Headed by acclaimed sommelier Hervé Pennequin, this restaurant boasts a collection of over 800 wines

The small, yuccie (young, urban, creative) neighbourhood of Tai Ping Shan is gaining quite the foothold in French dining, with the likes of Bouillon and Nissa La Bella respectively bringing Parisian and French Riviera fare to the area over the course of the past year. Come November, they'll contend with Bacchus, a new wine-forward establishment opening up in Hollywood Centre that will serve its own brand of modern, Asian-influenced French cuisine with a vast coterie of rare bottles.

Named after the Roman god of wine, Bacchus is led by Hervé Pennequin, a dedicated wine educator and sommelier who boasts some serious credentials: awarded ASI’s 3rd Best Sommelier of the World in 2004, he was also bestowed the distinction of “Chevalier de l’Ordre du Mérite Agricole'' by the French government for the work he has done to impart French culture throughout the world. In his time, he's also served as the head sommelier at Amber and the Hong Kong Jockey Club.

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At Bacchus, Pennequin has curated a selection of 800 esoteric labels from around the world, highlighting uncommon grape varietals such as Marselan and Rkatsiteli alongside both familiar and novel expressions from Bordeaux and Burgundy, among others. The restaurant carries a wide range of bottles for every wallet size—the most affordable wine on the list starts at HK$320 and a large selection of the list are on offer for around HK$800 to HK$1,800. As expected, the wine selection by the glass carries some true gems, including Leroy SA, Volnay 1999 Pinot Noir (HK$660), Vin Blanc de Palmer 2018 Sauvignon Gris (HK$510), and the Ao Yun 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon & Franc (HK$390). 

Heading up the food programme are chef consultant Laurent Varachaud, who has worked with the likes of Michelin-starred chefs Alain Ducasse and Pierre Gagnaire, and executive chef Mickael Messina, formerly of Paris' Hôtel Plaza Athénée. Their take on French cuisine takes ample inspiration from Hong Kong's foodscape while placing the pairing potential of the different dishes front and centre. 

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Just some of the signatures include the Apicius Duck Magret “Revisited”, a tribute to the late chef Alain Senderens that brings together spiced honey roast duck breasts, cinnamon-marinated white turnips, sautéed Daikoku mushrooms, honey peach purée and dates, paired with a 2017 Banyuls Domaine de Bila-Haut port wine; and the poached Macao dover sole with sea grapes, potato mille-feuille, and sake cream sauce, paired with sake from Iwa, created by the former cellar master of Dom Pérignon. Throughout the menu, Asian touches abound in herbs like sancho pepper, wasabi and osmanthus, as well as in ingredients like uni, wakame seaweed and black sesame paste. Each dish on the menu has also been given its own wine pairing by Pennequin. 

To match its rarefied offerings, the restaurant's confines have been designed by Minus Workshop with subtle references to Roman temple architecture in mind. Outside, a sizeable third-floor terrace invites diners to enjoy their wine outside, especially as we head into the cooler months of the year. Set to open in November, make sure to give Bacchus' Instagram a follow for the most timely updates.

Bacchus, 3/F, Hollywood Centre, 233 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong; +852 3750 5200

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