May 17, 2012|
Calling all Francophiles: Le French May is upon us again, adding a hefty dose of joie de vivre to Hong Kong cultural life. Throughout the festival, catch events that celebrate the French tradition in various disciplines—from visual arts, classical and contemporary music to dance, dramatic performance and cinema. Beyond these disciplines, though, Le French May has expanded its scope to include fashion and even food. Now in its landmark 20th year, Le French May remains a testament to the French community here, some 13,000 strong and growing steadily. So see some art, raise a glass of good wine and appreciate all the country has to offer… all while remaining 6,000 miles away. For a full festival program, be sure to check out www.frenchmay.com.
Le French GourMay is a relative newcomer to the Gallic arts and culture fest, added only four years ago. For the month of May only, some local restaurants and bars have cooked up special menus to encourage the city’s foodies to taste the crème de la crème of French dining—it’s more than Julia Child’s concoctions and Nutella crepes, n’est-ce pas? We’ve rounded up some of the culinary treats on offer.
This SoHo joint with an Art Deco vibe aims to bring a bit of Paris to Hong Kong this month. A four-course set menu at $480 per head includes traditional delicacies such as seared foie gras with shallot marmalade and a duck leg confit with Lyonnaise potatoes and sautéed green beans.
23 Elgin St., Central, 2810-0771.
Imbuing French cuisine with a contemporary flair, sous chef Alexandre Buytaert uses hints of more unexpected ingredients such as lentils and quail eggs to accent traditional dishes, including escargots and lamb rump. A set menu, available throughout May, comes to $1,088 per head (more if you opt for a wine pairing).
5/F, The Mira Hotel, 118 Nathan Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui, 2315-5999.
If you want a Michelin-starred experience without the usual hefty price tag, then Caprice’s special French May menu is a (relative) bargain. Bursting with authentic French flavors, one highlight of the four-course meal is the appetizer of white asparagus served on a bed of Pyrenean tomme (a rustic French cheese), cubes of Bayonne ham, and various parts of duck, including foie gras, confit and gizzard. Following this is a roasted corvina fish fillet, followed by a free-range roasted Landes chicken and a cinnamon apple croustade to finish. The dinner comes to $1,080 per head with an extra $500 for wine pairing throughout the month of May.
6/F, Four Seasons Hotel, 8 Finance St., Central, 3196-8860.
Though this restaurant is known for pizza more than French fare, Wildfire has imported some ingredients direct from France to jazz up their typically Italian offerings for the month of May. Think special toppings such as brie, Bayonne ham, artichokes, pearl onions, foie gras butter and yellow cherry tomatoes atop a hearty pizza base.
2 Knutsford Terrace, Tsim Sha Tsui, 3690-1598.
When it comes to French food and artful presentation, award-winning chef Richard Ekkebus is without a doubt a maestro. His two-Michelin-starred restaurant’s special five-course menu is truly indulgent, starting off with fresh oysters over a pickled Japanese cucumber jello and ending with a charcoal-grilled pigeon breast and minced pigeon leg crépinette. The feast comes to $1,388 per person and is only available during May. For an extra $988, enjoy Bordeaux wines along with your meal, specially chosen by expert John Chan to complement each course.
7/F, The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, 15 Queen’s Rd. Central, 2132-0066.
Get a healthy dose of French culture with these upcoming shows and ongoing exhibitions.
French musical ensemble Le Concert Spirituel performs a selection of Italian baroque and traditional French chapel music, including works by Marc-Antoine Charpentier, Pierre Bouteiller and Sebastien de Brossard.
May 31, 8pm. Concert Hall, City Hall, 5 Edinburgh Place, Central. $180-380 from www.urbtix.hk.
Quintet Percussions Claviers de Lyon celebrates the 150th birthday of classical French master Debussy by re-arranging his works for keyboard percussion. The ensemble specializes in instruments like the marimba, xylophone and vibraphone, and has wowed audiences with their quirky charm since the group’s founding in 1983.
May 24, 8pm. Amphitheatre, Academy of Performing Arts, 1 Gloucester Rd., Wan Chai. $180-380 from www.hkticketing.com
Through a daring fusion of artistic mediums—equestrian art, music, dance and theater—the Théâtre Equestre Zingaro has created an innovative performance it dubs “equestrian theater.” The show stars Bartabas, founder of the company and known as one of the most talented horse trainers in equestrian circles; butoh dancer Ko Murobushi; and the horses of the company. Performances in English except for May 17, which will be in French.
Through May 19, 8pm. Kwai Tsing Theatre, 12 Hing Ning Rd., Kwai Fong. $250-580 from www.urbtix.hk.
French sculptor Nathalie Decoster places tiny human figures in the context of huge geometric shapes, using simple materials like bronze, concrete and even mattress springs in her works. Her sculptures tell whimsical stories of contemporary urban life.
Until June 3, they can be found in Chater Garden, Statue Square, the Hong Kong Arts Centre and the Mandarin Oriental. Through Jun 3.
Stylist Olivier Châtenet, a huge fan of design legend Yves Saint Laurent, started his collection of Saint Laurent pieces 15 years ago when he came across a small trench by the master for a mere 10 francs. From there, he started collecting pieces from blouses to safari jackets and much more. Now you can see his clothing collection first-hand with photographs and displayed apparel and accessories.
May 19-Jun 10. City Hall, 5 Edinburgh Place, Central, 2921-2838.
The biggest Picasso exhibition ever to grace Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Heritage Museum will show seven sculptures and 48 paintings by the Spanish master as part of the Parisian Musee National de Picasso’s international traveling exhibition. The works encompass all of the stages of Picasso’s career, from the Blue Period to Neoclassicism to Cubism. Museum closed on Tuesdays. Free admission for children under four years old. Visit www.heritagemuseum.gov.hk for ticket information.
May 19-Jul 22. Heritage Museum, 1 Man Lam Rd., Sha Tin, 2180-8188. $20.