Brunch Around Philippe Orrico's Creation @ Upper Modern Bistro

Sheung Wan has become so gentrified these days, hence it is not difficult to find multiple up-market eateries and Upper Modern Bistro which is just off the busy Hollywood Road is the vision of Philippe Orrico serving a perfect marriage of familiar and comforting French bistro dishes, appetizer and more elaborate cuisine with an Asian twist. mylifestylenewes entered Upper Modern Bistro and spent a rather contended Saturday by his latest inspiring Set Brunch creation……

Upper Modern Bistro is Michelin-starred Chef Philippe Orrico’s first solo venture since moving to Hong Kong eight years ago in 2006 to set up Pierre at Mandarin Oriental. He quickly obtained one Michelin Star and, following this, joined the well-known restaurateur David Yeo as Executive Chef of Hullet House, where he recieved another Michelin star at Saint George before opening this bistro just over a year ago. With his latest Set Brunch menu creation being introduced, you can guess that Orrico is always evolving.

First things first, from the street frontage you can see that the vibe at Upper Modern Bistro is relaxed, informal and fun - from table-top dining to bar dining. You can enjoy a simple classic cocktail at the bar with dishes served from either modern tapas to the full restaurant menu. The cocktail bar and dining area are linked into one harmonious room by the creation of a dangling-petal inspired ceiling that increases the feeling of light and space.

The ambience is delightful, particularly on a bright sunny day, as the floor to ceiling windows let in a lot of natural light, without the glaring sun.The fresh, light, stylish interiors are by Tim Shephard of Three Wise Monkeys, who worked closely with Orrico to create a modern brasserie, with a vibrant and relaxed atmosphere where the kitchen is the focal point of the room. The view is all yours and voyeurism doesn’t pay while popping your eyes while the alluring Chef is in action.

The menu is one of the key reasons for wanting to try this bistro and it is ingredients led fresh, light and modern changing with the season. Orrico is perhaps best known for the inspiration he gathers from ingredients, creating imaginative dishes with care and passion. The set brunch on a weekend looks very interesting and inspiring especially the presentation as it is not your typical set-up, in that all dishes are set, Hence Set Brunch is called, all you have to do is just sit back and relax and enjoy what is brought to your table.

Emmanuel Brochet champagne is poured.

 The set menu includes one glass of Emmanuel Brochet champagne and this turns out to be from a very boutique vineyard with some great development noticeable on the palate due to the blending of different vintages. A nice apple and pear nose that follows through the palette with a long pleasant finish.

There are eight dishes to share before you choose a main course from a selection of eight interesting dishes. The sharing starters consists of two Brittany oysters with a ponzu marinade, foie gras crème brûlée, lentils humus with salmon roe, smoked duck & white beans with croutons, octopus & potatoes with a mustard vinaigrette, fish market ceviche with an avocado guacamole, prawn & tomato salad with an aji aji dressing and lastly, grilled Kurobuta sausages with a miso and mustard dip. 

The presentation was rather eclectic with the use of different types and colours of ceramic dishes, creating a very adhoc/country bistro feel to how it was put together, which we liked despite not every vessel was practical. Taste wise, some dishes were more successful than others. The oysters were quite a decent size but rather briny and fishy, it’s a matter of taste as to how you like your oysters the way it should be.

The prawn and tomato salad was delicious too, with the aji aji dressing - a little spicy sauce contains of fresh ingredient and herbs elevates the entire dish.

 The fish ceviche was pleasant and paired with avocado guacamole with the right touch to the palatte.

The octopus and potatoes was very outstanding, with the mustard dressing adding piquancy to the dish and the ingredients cooked to perfection.

The foie gras crème brûlée which is the signature dish was rather creamy with a strong discernible flavor that one normally savours, it is rather an inventive creation.

Lentils humus with salmon is savoring and best accompany by the freshly made bread.

The cured smoked duck and white bean salad may not be as well cured yet with a raw texture in taste and chewing the vein even it was finely diced may not be as pleasant as it shall have been presented.

The pork sausages were quite tasty, although it was hard to detect the miso in the mustard dip, but the distinct mustard flavour was rather a friendly accompaniment for the pork.

Mains were an exciting taste temptation and we couldn’t try everything we wanted, of course who would especially on your first visit, but we convinced the chef to allow us to taste 4 mains in tasting portions to get an overview. The gnocchis with morel mushrooms and comte cheese was delectable, with the gnocchi having a slightly pan fried finish and was truly melt in the mouth food.

The braised milk fed veal cheek with mushroom macaroni and brown jus to follow was also another dish not to be missed, it was tender because of the braising, resulting in the meat literally falling apart at the touch of the knife, plus the brown sauce and mushrooms adding an overall richness to go with the flavoursome veal.

The French quail was high on our list of expectations and it did not disappoint with a beautiful gamey flavor and richness to the meat, with a further depth of flavor to be added by the mash potato, grapes and walnuts – a quintessential French dish that is a must try.

The sautéed beef with teriyaki sauce to provide a richness and pointed flavor to very tender and juicy meat, with French beans as a foil to cut through all the rich flavours. All four dishes showed that the chef really enjoys some classic dishes with a twist and we happily enjoyed every morsel on each plate and appreciated the consistency applied to every dish he created.

Upper Modern Bistro had some great selection of Cheeses encompassing the rare Comte Millesimes 2009, Brin D'amour and Pave de la Ginestrie and more. We suggest you ask for the Manager's recommendation before the dessert is served.

No French bistro is replete without a dessert trolley and your taste buds will be sated with what the trolley displays and leave you salivating for more, as you can only try 3 different desserts from the Set Brunch menu (sensible when you think about it). We had a hazelnut puff, pistachio cake, white chocolate mousse, tiramisu, pear tart. They looked not only absolutely delicious, but all other flavours left us wanting more. The standouts were the pistachio cake with distinctive flavours and textures that were rich and creamy and utterly delicious for a happy and sweet ending. Nevertheless, there were still others left to try on our next visit.

Tried & Tested:
Location: 3/5
Design & Decor: 4/5
Food & Beverage: 4/5
Service: 3/5
Value For Money: 4/5
Experience: 4.5/5

Inspiring Presentation on All Dishes Creation

Service - Less Prompt

6-14 Upper Station Street
Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
Tel:+852 2517 0977

Reviews are based on actual day of visit and experience. mylifestylenews reserves the right of final decision in case of any disputes. All images are photographed by mylifestylenews team without any photoshop enhancement and are the property owned by mylifestylenews unless otherwise stated. 

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