New restaurants are always exciting. There has been a lot of chatter over the socials about Tung Chung’s newest offering, Basic Bistro. I’m a bit late to the party but I had to see what all the fuss was about.
It was a chilly winter’s day when I visited, the sort of day that makes your fingertips tingle and your earlobes sting. It was the perfect day to be treated with a warm welcome as I was ushered into the pleasant surroundings of the new Basic Bistro. The interior is reminiscent of a Parisian eatery. There is a long well-stocked bar to the right. Burnt-orange leather chairs, dark wood and the soft glow of ambient mood lighting set the tone for a relaxing lunch.
The menu is exactly what you’d expect of a Parisian bistro too - escargot; steak tartare; muscles in white wine. As I came for lunch I went for the three-course set menu at $182 for a starter, main, dessert and tea or coffee. It’s the higher end of the price scale for a set lunch in Tung Chung but I was soon to find out why.
I need to talk about the coffee. It was the frothiest coffee I’ve ever seen. When it was placed on the table I thought it was a soufflé. It was impossible to drink it without looking like I had a beige moustache, and I’m all in favour of a milk moustache. Hiding on the saucer was what appeared to be a large sugar lump. It turns out it was a freshly made coconut biscuit. No, not a biscuit, it was more of a cake. Whatever it was, it provided a delicious accompaniment to the frothy coffee.
I opted for the soup to start. On my visit, it was carrot and ginger. I like both carrots and ginger so this was a good option. The soup was hot, rich and creamy with a nice spice from the ginger and a hint of pepper. It was just the thing for a cold Wednesday. The top of the soup was drizzled with pesto which added a nice background flavour. It came with a pan-toasted crouton which was both crunchy and soft.
Next up was the chicken parmigiana. A big plump crispy breaded breast was smothered in a tasty tomato sauce and oozy cheese. It was perfectly cooked with the inside moist and hiding a wonderful treat. The breast was stuffed with more cheese which came flowing out like a little dairy river. It was a nice take on a classic dish- a parmigiana kiev. The salad was a citrus treat - fresh and crunchy, with an added pop from pomegranate seeds and a nice chew from dried cranberries. I could have eaten a large portion of the salad as a standalone dish.
I’m not a dessert person, but I ordered one as the waitress said it’s their signature dessert and that was an opportunity too good to pass up. Rounding off the French feel of the meal was a Crepe Suzette, and it was on fire - literally and figuratively. This winter-warmer and was just the thing to finish the meal. The pancake was sweet, buttery and zesty and was being ridden by a large dollop of ice cream. On my visit, they’d run out of vanilla so my dish was substituted with strawberry ice cream but it worked well.
Basic Bistro is a lovely place. It feels like an extension of your home. The staff are attentive and chatty, a trait so rare to find in Hong Kong. I can’t wait to go back for dinner with my wife and waste away the evening over a bottle of wine, good company and good food.
Basic Bistro Shop 102, 1/F, T-Bay, Tung Chung, Hong Kong To book: www.basicbistro.com.hk/