After spending many weekends couped up inside because the poor weather, I decided to venture out to Kennedy Town to pay a visit to a much talked about Bistro du Vin.
It’s actually opened for a while now and was formally noted for its lack of corkage (though there seem to be one now at $200 per bt or buy 1 get 1) and its proximity to China Merchants Godown where a lot of clients keep their wines. These days, after living in Hong Kong for a while, I’ve learned to keep expectations low but I was pleasantly surprised by the low key yet warm atmosphere of the place. It really hits the spot if you’re looking for something simple and not fussy, which is increasingly hard to find in Hong Kong if you’re not chasing (Michelin) stars.
The food is stereotypically bistro - think Beef Bourgignon, Escargot, Duck Confit etc but done superbly well and at a great price! I have a personal weakness for duck confits, so of course I couldn’t resist. The skin was thoroughly crispy, the flesh tender and flavours intense. The escargots were great; buttery yet not rubbery is the way to go.
I didn’t come prepared with a bottle of my own but will definitely make note to bring my own next time. Their wine list is short but definitely has good coverage of key regions - their whites however seem stronger than their reds. Instead I ordered Domaine Jules Desjourneys Moulin-à-Vent 2009; I’ve been meaning to drink more aged Beaujolais and was happy to have found this on the list.
Fabien Duperray is a relative newcomer in Beaujolais heading from Burgundy. I’ve had his excellent value for drinking Macon Verze before but never his Beaujolais. Though he is only a newcomer, he has acquired 7ha of old vines in Fleurie and Moulin-a-Vent - most parcels average over 65 years old and are up to 100 years old. Though not certified organic, he uses biodynamic methods. His most recent 2015 releases have done exceptionally well with critics, with most at 94-97pts at The Wine Advocate.
My tip for this place? Bring a red of your choice and order the Bernard Bonin from their list.
Though Moulin-a-Vent wines tends to be on the fuller side in Beaujolais anyway, I was blown away by the lush mouth feel. The nose was somehow delicate, perfumed yet concentrated all at once, with great notes of violet, ripe cherries and spice. On the palate, it was very fresh and did not at all show its age; clearly it can go another 10 years or more without issue. The notes on the palate matched those on the nose with soft supple tannins and great silky finish.