Parisian hangout Cocotte, tucked away on Shin Hing Steps, is changing the way Hong Kongers unwind after work, with their successful apéro menu having charmed No Ho’s (north of Hollywood road) diners.
Not content to settle for a rushed happy hour, Cocotte’s guests are known to unwind from 5pm to 7pm with Cocotte’s extensive wine list and seasonal hearty snacks, and breeze the early summer nights away on the steps of Shin Hing Street.
Integral to French society, apéro is slang for apéritif and is essentially Happy Hour minus the rush. Parisians will talk fondly of balmy May evenings by the Canal in Paris with a bottle of chilled Rosé wine from Provence (HK$58/gl), a crispy baguette and a selection offreshly cut charcuterie. Traditionally an apéritif is an alcoholic beverage served before a meal to stimulate the appetite along with a naughty amuse-bouche to tease. Armed with a solid menu of locally sourced cheese and wines, Cocotte has won Hong Kongers round and the city is finding the time for after work apéros.
Chef Petrous Moldovan’s apéro snack menu is enough to make any Frenchman weak at the knees, offering Cocotte’s très popularTruffled Croque Monsieur (HK$78) a black truffled take on the classic grilled ham & cheese sandwich. Croquettes au fromage(HK$58) or Les Olives (HK$48) (homemade marinated olives and olive tapenade with toasted bread) are firm favourites amongst the Shin Hing steps crowd whilst Le Boeuf Carpaccio (HK$88) is a fine accompaniment to a cool glass of Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut (HK$128).
Cocotte’s simple cocktails ooze Parisian charm; the warm bite of their Negroni (HK$68) – Beefeater Gin, Campari, Martini Rosso, cuts neatly into the creamy taste of Cocotte’s artisanal cheeses or their Frites Maison with Truffled Sea Salt(HK$XX), best enjoyed amongst friends. The selection of Beers (HK$35), House Pours (HK$58) and specially selected Cocktails (HK$68) are also a happy complement to their moreish nibbles.
Cocotte’s Apéro Assiette de Fromages
Cocotte’s cheese platters are the real deal, as certified by the French, and are reasonably priced snack-ettes at 3 Cheeses for HK$128 or 5 for HK$188. Of course, lone-diners are more than welcome to a sneaky 1 cheese (HK$48) and insiders know to ask Cocotte’s co-founder Brice Moldovan for the Brillat Savarin with a crack of black pepper over the top. Cocotte serve their specialty apéro cheeses with seasonal vegetables à la Française, making sure that no Cocotter leaves without having had a true taste of Paris.
The Plateau de Charcuterie (HK$168), Cocotte’s pick of the best cold cuts, is the best way to relax into the evening and for those who want it all there’s the Plateau Moitie-Moitie (HK$198), the half cheese half charcuterie board. Extra points if you can ask for it in French.
Apéritif is derived from the Latin verb aperire, which means to open. Cocotte knows that the best way to wind down is to start the night off with an apéro on a serene terrace, and open the door for good conversations around good food with good people. That’s how the apéro is done at Cocotte.