• Faye Bradley

LPM Restaurant & Bar Reimagines Southern French Dishes with Eclectic Mediterranean Fare

French cuisine isn’t all croissants and snails—although the latter does make its debut at H Queen’s LPM Restaurant & Bar which serves a Mediterranean spin on neo-French dishes. Style and design is the name of the game at this London-based eatery, opening its first Asian branch here in Hong Kong in 2018. The walls at LPM Restaurant & Bar are adorned with slick, contemporary art pieces complemented with a pared-back colour palette of olive hue and neutrals. And the dishes? An exotic execution of bistro classics from the signature warm prawns in olive oil to the indulgent rib-eye steak (with frites, of course). We visited the sleek, chic neighbourhood favourite to taste the top dishes on the menu.

Image courtesy of Mr Ping | Cha Siu Papers Times

H Queen’s location, amidst fine diners


H Queen’s houses some of Hong Kong’s most prolific fine dining venues, including Ichu, Ecriture and Arbor, amidst a collection of art galleries to match the high-end theme. Opening its Hong Kong outpost just over two years ago, London-born LPM Restaurant & Bar has made a stellar debut since day one with full bookings most nights.


There are two entrances into the restaurant—one through the H Queen’s building and the other on Stanley Street. Diners can choose to sit in the open-air outdoors or inside the intimate restaurant—we opted for the latter.

Image courtesy of Mr Ping | Cha Siu Papers Times

Design


Embracing its elegant, art-centric theme, the restaurant is laid out with neat tables dressed traditionally sitting in the main dining room, while the long stretch of bar showcases an impressive selection of spirits. Meanwhile, the other end of the restaurant is stationed with an open kitchen to emanate a homey touch that bridges chef and diner, to the otherwise high-end feel of the space. Art enthusiasts can awe at the sophisticated selection of contemporary works which adorn the walls, many of which echo the eccentric style of 20th-century painters from the South of France and the Mediterranean region.

Image courtesy of Mr Ping | Cha Siu Papers Times

Take a trip down the French Riviera


LPM Restaurant & Bar specialises in Nicoise dishes—the French city on the Mediterranean coast—yet pays tribute to numerous European techniques and ingredients well-embedded in the courses. Not to be confused for French fine dining which takes a more specific, prix fixe approach, the restaurant expertly merges hints of Mediterranean cuisine in its predominately French menu.


We began our meal with an LPM welcome—a fresh tomato and lemon presented directly to our table with a cutting knife—a little bit of farm-to-table, anyone? With this unique beginning, we paired it with the fresh bread to curate amateur bruschettas before the first starter—a touch of pre-meal entertainment if you may.

Without lingering too long, our first dish arrived from the HORS D’OEUVRES, the Burrata with Fresh Datterini Tomatoes and Basil. Creamy and fresh, the burrata was light yet well-paired with the acidity of the juicy tomatoes and a hint of basil.

Image courtesy of Mr Ping | Cha Siu Papers Times

Carpaccio has been a more recent admiration of mine, one that I’ve only tried for the first time recently—but it’s proved to be a winning feat every moment so far. So when we were recommended to try the Yellowtail Carpaccio, I did not contest. The hamachi was succulent and tender without being overpowering or greasy. Although the presentation was slightly less alluring as its counterparts, the dish itself was one of my favourites from the menu.

Image courtesy of Mr Ping | Cha Siu Papers Times

After whetting our appetite with another round of the very popular rustic bread selection, we saved our stomachs for the rest to come. We were told that the Tuna Carpaccio with Oscietra Caviar was a must for tartare aficionados—and right they were with the elegantly-presented dish, which offered much more than its pretty presentation. The tuna carpaccio was topped with quail egg yolk and crispy wafers for a satisfying crunch to every bite. If that doesn’t sound gourmet enough, on the side, a delicate spoonful of caviar awaits—to be devoured with the rest of the dish.

Image courtesy of Mr Ping | Cha Siu Papers Times

If even the thought of snails makes you flinch, think again. Before I had visited LPM Restaurant & Bar, the mere concept of eating snails was a no-go from the first time I’d seen it on a menu and it was history ever since. However, on my trip to the French-heavy restaurant, I had already heard numerous raving reviews of the somewhat controversial dish which populates French menus as well as traditional Chinese dining menus—and LPM seemed to be a master at it, upon feedback. So, I took the leap and ordered the highly-recommended dish from our server, the Escargots (or if you want to face the truth: the snails). Drizzled generously with garlic butter, the snails were surprisingly delightful—in fact, they were incredible. I’d say that the ‘meat’ itself was a catalyst for the main component, the rich garlic butter. Combined, the two simple ingredients complemented one another to curate a non-intimidating dish which, in my books, has exceeded expectations for the better.

Image courtesy of Mr Ping | Cha Siu Papers Times

Another signature dish and undeniable crowd-favourite, the Warm Prawns with Olive Oil are halved and laid flat on a bed of lemon and olive oil. The richness of the oil paired with the sprinkling of basil leaves lent a refreshing uplift to the warm prawns.

Image courtesy of Mr Ping | Cha Siu Papers Times

Les Plats are the main dishes on the menu and like the starters, are best shared to fully experience the concept of LPM. After a hefty selection of divine seafood dishes, we wanted to try the meats of the restaurant—and what better dish to try at a French restaurant than the neo-classic Steak and Frites? Taking us back to basics, the Grilled Rib Eye Steak 400gr was a large portion for two, using my favourite cut of steak. Thick-cut and medium-rare, the rib-eye was juicy and cooked to the perfect temperature, as requested. At first glance, I was concerned that it may be chewy due to its thick-cut but was pleasantly wrong. We ordered the homemade french fries on the side, crisp and hot from the fryer to our delight. Our wine sommelier paired this dish with a scrumptious red wine to complement the beef. Perhaps the steak could have been served with some sort of vegetable (besides the salad) to rest between meaty bites.

Image courtesy of Mr Ping | Cha Siu Papers Times

Dessert, s’il vous plaît


No matter how full you are, dessert is not to be missed. Our server was insistent on trying her personal favourites which dominate the kitchen orders when it comes to dessert time—the French Toast with Spice Ice Cream and the Cheesecake. Simple and straight to the point, and ultimately, the classics in France. We swooned over the cheesecake, masterful and rich in texture while the flavour focused on the delicate creamy elements contrasting with the buttery crust. The French Toast was also a winning feat, however, was a little bit too dry and we think it could have been more buttery (to throw out any diets on the spot). The spice ice cream which it arrived with was the ‘cherry on top’.

Image courtesy of Mr Ping | Cha Siu Papers Times

Cocktails & wine pairing


Helming the well-stocked bar at LPM, the bartenders are friendly and happy to recommend drinks based on personal preferences. We tried a few cocktails from the menu—the Peach Liqueur was a little too sweet for me, but the Foggy was a musky, whisky-based drink that tickled my fancy more so. The resident sommelier helped to curate our wine pairing which I very much appreciated as each wine complemented our courses perfectly.

Image courtesy of Mr Ping | Cha Siu Papers Times

Dress to impress


In a city scattered with pretentious eats which cater only to the elite, LPM Restaurant & Bar perches itself away from snobbiness and instead focuses on the food and the service. But first impressions count—when we first walked in, it did feel somewhat that way, however, we were quickly proved wrong with the start-to-finish stellar experience. Prices are on the expensive side, which we would hope can become more affordable in years to come. Many diners come here to impress a client, a date or celebrate a special occasion, but when observed from a dining experience point-of-view, the dishes were incredible. Whisking you away from the downtown hustle and into a tranquil abode, which to some, may be a little too cosy (the tables are quite squished), the home-like ambiance is reminiscent of a journey through olive oil groves of the Alpes Maritimes.


LPM Restaurant & Bar, 23-29 Stanley Street Shop 1, 1/F, H, Queen’s, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2887 1113, lpmrestaurants.com/hongkong


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