Babylon, A1, 49-51 Gough St., Central, Hong Kong, Hong Kong S.A.R., China
Nearest Train:Sheung Wan
Fake European: that’s what this is. Sure, you could call it fusion, or even “Eurasian” if you’re pretentious. But the truth of the matter is this is a phony meal by phony people—folks who have an obsession with the continent’s good life, and then decided, “Hey, I can be European too!” You can’t. Because as dark as you make your restaurant, ornate as the seats may be, as congenial a waiter you might have, if the food isn’t up to par, then the restaurant just comes off as irritatingly inauthentic. Cold foie gras steamed in wine? Even Ducasse’s version at Spoon isn’t good. Don’t mess around with a much-loved French favorite, and try putting a little more crab in your crabmeat salad next time. The braised lamb shank was adequate, if a little tasteless in its herb and wine sauce, while the risotto was the meal’s only saving grace—nicely textured and almost the right creaminess. And admittedly, it did end well with the lemon tart, which was like a sweet Limoncello on a summer’s day. But despite its refreshing zest, it couldn’t shake the bad taste of sham that was left in our mouth.