Pierre is situated on the 25th floor of the Mandarin Oriental hotel, opposite the excellent Man Wah. Head chef Jean Denis had previously worked for Pierre Gagnaire at Sketch in London, moving here in 2013. Prior to that he headed up the kitchen of Gagnaire's Francois Plantation in St Bart's. The dining room had well spaced tables, a central flower display with some distinctly wilted gerberas but a fine view over the harbour. In addition to the a la carte there were two tasting menus, a four course one at HKD 988 and a seven course one at HKD 1588 (£123), which is the one that we opted for. The lighting in the room was remarkably murky, hence the matching photos.
The wine list had reasonable coverage from beyond France, but had hefty markups. Josmeyer Riesling 2007 Les Pierrets was HKD 990 for a wine that you can find in a shop for HKD 264, Charles Heintz Littoral Chardonnay 2008 was HKD 1,380 for a wine that retails at HKD 326, and Antinori Solaia 2008 at 6,300 for a wine that costs HKD 2,296.
A set of nibbles began the meal: sauerkraut soup with bacon was distinctly sour, along with a warm black pudding, cuttlefish with squid ink, Dover sole with sorrel and champagne sauce with truffle. These were pleasant if unexceptional (15/20).
The menu began with a pretty ring of white beetroot purée, jelled borscht, diced celeriac, pear, chive and lime and thick cream with cucumber and a vodka granita, topped with oscietra caviar. This was an attractive dish, though for me there was rather a lot of cucumber relative to the other components (15/20).
Scallop with sea urchin bisque had pumpkin purée, golden turnip and cuttlefish. The shellfish was nicely cooked, having reasonable inherent sweetness, and I liked the bisque, which was not too intense and worked well with the scallop (16/20). Dover sole was fricasseed with Champagne and a truffled duxelle of button mushrooms. The fish was cooked well enough, though the mushrooms had limited flavour (15/20). Brittany lobster was laced with lemon and ginger, served with broccoli, sweet onion and a rich potato mousse. The lobster was tender but the potato was not quite warm, though I enjoyed the hint of ginger (15/20).
Turbot was poached and served with fennel, clams and a vin jaune sauce. The fish was carefully cooked and the sauce had good flavour (16/20). This was much more successful than medallions of doe deer with jumper berries, red cabbage and black currant marmalade with lard, lentil gnocchi and an orange marzipan purée, accompanied by apple ice cream with cinnamon. The deer was distinctly overcooked and the cabbage cooked for far too long so that its texture was entirely lost, the overall effect very rich, something that the apple ice cream was unable to cut through (barely 13/20).
Thin slices of Bernard Antony three year aged Comte came with quince paste and Jura yellow wine syrup. This was very enjoyable, though of course this was mostly a matter of careful sourcing rather than much in the way of intervention from the kitchen. For dessert I had rum baba, which was actually very good, the base moist and served with Chantilly cream and pink praline with a bed of citrus jelly, which worked nicely to balance the cream (17/20). My wife's chocolate soufflé was also very well made, rich and comforting.
Service was very good throughout. The bill, with just one bottle of pleasant but far from excessive wine between us, came to HKD 6,353 for three, working out at £164 a head. If you went for a shorter menu and had a moderate wine your bill might come to somewhere around £130 a head all in. This seemed to me like a lot of money for what arrived on the plate, and the 2014 two Michelin star rating appears distinctly ambitious based on this meal.