Le French May: Journalists Get Sneak Preview at W Hong Kong

Food and Beverage

Travel writers and food critics got a sneak preview of what’s in store at W Hong Kong’s three food and beverage outlets for Hong Kong foodies during Le French GourMay, a month long celebration of French gastronomy and wine.

Now in its fifth year, Le French GourMay is an offshoot of Le French May. Le French May is now in its 21st year. It started out as a cultural festival, whose focus was on exhibitions, cinema, and the performing arts.

I’m not sure exactly how it came about, but as restaurateurs and vintners started wanting a piece of the action (how could you celebrate French culture without French food?), Le French GourMay was born.

Now food and beverage outlets and wine sellers are among the most enthusiastic participants of the month long Gallic festival.

Wine Tastings and Wine Pairing Dinners

In addition to wine tastings and food and wine pairing dinners, restaurants all over town – especially those at five star hotels – launch special menus with French themes. Each year a different region is featured. This year it is Burgundy, which produces some of the world’s greatest wines.

As with an increasing number of Hong Kong’s five start properties, W Hong Kong will be an enthusiastic participant of this year’s Le French GourMay.

And I can tell you this: W Hong Kong, which is one of Hong Kong’s edgier hotels, can always be counted on to keep the media well informed.

And nobody ever goes home hungry – or (more importantly) thirsty!

So this is what we learned.

Wines from Burgundy

During Le French GourMay, wines from Burgundy will be paired with yummy Cantonese dishes at seven course wine matching dinners at Sing Yin, W Hong Kong’s popular Chinese restaurant.

Sing Yin’s signature dish is lychee wood-fired crispy skin chicken, and I can assure you, what they served us was yummy. What I especially liked was the smokiness of the chicken – sort of like the oak you can taste in a good Chardonnay.

It will be paired with Louis Latour Savigny les Beaune 2003, a robust red wine that will “bring out the taste of the chicken,” the press release that I requested promises.

We also got to try the baked American king scallop with black truffle. This mouth-watering East meets West concoction will be paired with Louis Latour Macon Villages Chameroy 2010.

Finally, there was stir-fried salted egg yolk prawns with seasonal vegetables, which wil be paired with Louis Latour Cotes de Beaunes Villages 2011.

International Buffet

A French inspired wine package will be served during Le French GourMay at The Kitchen, the hotel’s international buffet restaurant.

I had a lengthy conversation with W Hong Kong’s Culinary Director, Gunnar Kuchenbecker, who heads the kitchen at The Kitchen.

His passion – and enthusiasm – was contagious. That’s the good news. The bad news is that as I hung on his every word, I didn’t have time to try any of the food samples that had been prepared for us.

As I was leaving The Kitchen, I spotted something that I simply had to try.

“What are these?” I asked.

“Foie gras,” I was told.

They looked totally decadent.

“You’re going to have to help me with this,” I said to the person that was accompanying me. I usually find foie gras a bit rich and can only enjoy it in small quantities.

I struggled to cut the piece in half. I took one bite. I said: “I’m sorry, but you’re going to have to get your own. This one is all mine!”

Woobar, W Hong Kong’s Trendy Night Spot

The final stop on our culinary journey was WooBar, W Hong Kong’s trendy night spot, where a massive buffet table laden with cheeses and meats – and more wine – awaited.

And then, the requisite photo shoots …


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