REPORTING BY Rachel Sadler PHOTOS BY Richard Gordon www.richardgordonphotography.com
Boasting a fabulous sea view from the ground floor of Auberge Discovery Bay Hong Kong, Café bord de Mer & Lounge has been a hit with residents since the hotel opened in 2013. Specialising in Western and pan-Asian cuisine, it’s open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with a choice of buffet, set and a la carte menus.
“Café bord de Mer can seat up to 160 guests, while the outdoor terrace welcomes up to 400. It is a good place for families to enjoy food together, and we offer a lot of different international dishes,” opens Larry Lai, Executive Chef.
What’s more, the restaurant is warm and inviting – interactive cooking stations and timber finishes establish a welcoming and relaxing vibe. Full-length windows draw sunlight into the large, open-plan space and reward guests with panoramic views over the South China Sea.
Café bord de Mer’s lunch and dinner buffets are a firm favourite with DBers – there’s a rich selection of Western and Asian dishes to choose from, and the price point is good, meaning you can enjoy a buffet any day of the week, not just on special occasions.
“Guests can enjoy a mixture of Japanese, Chinese and Western dishes; our buffets are very international,” says Larry. “Popular dishes include the roast beef (available daily) and we always have at least four Chinese dishes on offer, plus a large selection of sashimi.”
The antipasti table is another favourite with diners, offering a traditional selection of cured Italian meats, olives and cheeses. Try the mouth-watering smoked salmon toast which comes with a carefully curated selection of olive oils to drizzle over the bread.
Café bord de Mer’s buffets include free-flow soft drinks, coffees and teas – and there’s always the option to dip into the hotel’s extensive wine cellar. “We have a wealth of wines for guests’ selection, with everything from Delamotte Champagne to Maotai Chinese Wine, plus a full range of sake,” says Larry. “Our French Wine Promotion in December was a big success with wines like Dourthe Marquille White Bordeaux and Chateau Haute Bergerade Costieres-de-Nimes.”
Larry and his team are already gearing up for the Chinese New Year (CNY) celebrations, which will begin at the end of the month. “It’s a big time for families to get together,” he says. “We are planning a special Chinese lunch, and we’ll also provide a traditional dinner buffet, with many different dishes to share“.
“At CNY, everything we eat has a symbolic meaning, so we will serve classic chicken roll, which is said to bring riches and happiness. And we will have steamed whole fish, which is believed to bring you more prosperity.”
As in previous years, the restaurant and hotel entrance will be lavishly decorated in red and gold throughout the festive period. “It’s the Year of the Tiger so we will follow that theme and there will also be decorative dancing lions,” Larry says.
Café bord de Mer’s spacious terrace seats 400, and it’s a great place to relax and unwind, while soaking up the glorious sea view. It’s as popular for romantic suppers and family gatherings, as it is for large scale receptions and events.
“The terrace is great during the cooler months, as there’s a nice sea breeze for guests to enjoy,” says Larry. “You can dine there, or simply relax with a drink. We see a lot of residents enjoying a coffee on the terrace after their discounted sessions at Spa Botanica.”
Café bord de Mer’s set lunch and dinner menus each come with a choice of appetiser, main, dessert and drink. As with the buffet and a la carte menu, the emphasis is on providing an international selection of dishes with something to appeal to all.
“For set lunch, beef cheek is our bestseller,” says Larry. “Kumquat cured salmon tartar with soft quail egg and caviar is another popular dish. We marinate the salmon in kumquat jelly and we use a special kumquat olive oil dressing.”