Le Bistro Winebeast
G-1 Tai Yip Building, 141 Thomson Rd, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
There are countless places that focus on wine in Hong Kong, but few make it as accessible and affordable as Le Bistro Winebeast. Avoiding the industry mark-up per bottle, this casual bistro puts customers first – a philosophy that has earned it the reputation as one of the best places in Hong Kong to gather with friends over a shared love of wine and gastronomy.
It’s no surprise that Le Bistro Winebeast offers one of the most extensive selections of wine in the city, with more than 650 bottles available to enjoy at the restaurant thanks to its adjacent wine shop. Previously housed separately, the shop and bistro were combined in 2015, allowing for a seamless experience for guests from start to finish.
Manning the house is husband-and-wife duo, Johan and Cristina Ducroquet. Together they tallied up years of experience at Michelin-star restaurants around the globe, before heading to Hong Kong to help open Le Bistro Winebeast.
Despite relocating to a much larger 185-square-metre space on Thomson Road, the new Winebeast still feels as cosy as ever, largely due to the exuberant warmth and hospitality of Head Sommelier, Cristina. Her intelligent and insightful recommendations will help you navigate the restaurant’s long wine list with ease, whether you’re leaning towards a red Bordeaux, an organic new-age tipple or a bubbly grand cru from Champagne.
Unbeknown to many, Le Bistro Winebeast has also been quietly serving up some of the best French bistro food alongside its extensive list of wine. This is thanks to Johan, a formidable force in the kitchen who churns out seasonal, classic French dishes with passion. His menu changes every two months with some quintessential signature dishes.
Start your journey with the beef tartare, featuring pieces of premium French Charolais beef tossed with red onion, pickles and capers for tang, a dash of tabasco for a peppery kick and a quail egg yolk for creamy richness. Pair that with a charcuterie plate or the excellent pork rillettes that, like the tartare, are best scooped up with thick slices of rustic farmhouse bread.
Johan shows an equal affinity for both seafood and meat, though some of the best mains are in the latter category. His signature roasted pigeon is served with an assortment of radish, beetroot, chive flower, shallot and honey, while the pithiviers of quail and foie gras demonstrates Johan’s mastery of French techniques with its delicate puff pastry crust. For dessert, don’t miss the chocolate ganache paired with bitter orange ice cream or the cloud-like lemon souffle, which is set aflame with a splash of Grand Marnier.
With its bright red chairs, hand-drawn chalkboards and wooden cellars lined with rows of bottles and wine oak barrels, the restaurant oozes French charm and hospitality. The vibe nails that je ne sais quoi that makes the bistro such an attractive place to linger over several bottles of wine.
And linger you will – with the vino flowing and stellar dishes coming out of the kitchen, it may be hours before you emerge from the charming hideaway in Wan Chai, most likely already planning your next visit.