The festive season may be over, but that does not mean you have to say goodbye to delicious homemade food and cosy dinners with friends. We have all had our fill of roast turkey and mince pies for the year, but the classic French dinner party is a perennial hit. Of course, you have to have wine, cheese, and charcuterie, but the options are endless—and that’s before you even get to the mains! To get a true taste of French “art de vivre” at reasonable, affordable prices, check out LQV’s newly launched Pre-Order
platform, where you can order a wide range of fresh French delicacies directly from artisanal producers at a fraction of the typical Hong Kong retail cost.
Need a little inspiration? To help you host an unforgettable French dinner, we got the experts at LQV to put together a curated menu of food and drinks so that you can spend less time planning and more time relaxing. Santé!
Whet your appetite with apéro, a pre-dinner gathering where you and your guests can catch up over drinks and snacks. For a selection of classic apéro nibbles that requires minimum effort and yields maximum reward, you can’t go wrong with a charcuterie board. This dry saucisson ($37 for 170 grams) works well on its own or with a piece of French bread and some raw milk salted butter ($60 for 250 grams). For something a little different, why not try this duck saucisson ($36 for 170 grams) or saucisson with Comté cheese ($39 for 170 grams)?
Add some texture to your board with a few slices of paté en crôute—a.k.a. paté wrapped in shortcrust pastry and jelly—like this chestnut-studded version ($101 for 450 grams) or one made from guineafowl and morel mushrooms ($114 for 450 grams). For the final touch, complete your board with some truffle cooked ham ($77 for 200 grams), a flavourful spread of duck rillettes ($45 for 180 grams), and a few crunchy cornichon pickles ($49 for 340 grams) on the side.
Planning on making meat the star of your main course? Cover all your bases with this 4.2-kilogram meat hamper ($980)—the exact selection of meat may change based on availability, but the current iteration comes loaded with premium cuts of beef, as well as boneless veal shoulder, lamb chops, and chipolata sausages.
The steaks could not be easier to prepare—just sear them in a hot oiled pan for three minutes on each side, then transfer to a pre-heated oven to cook at 180 degrees Celsius. The length of time depends on how much beef you have, but the rule of thumb is one minute per 100 grams. Rest the dish for at least half its cooking time under aluminium foil so it can settle before serving alongside wholegrain mustard ($84 for 250 grams). The succulent lamb chops are best enjoyed grilled or roasted, with a few sprigs of fresh rosemary thrown in during cooking to enhance the lamb’s natural flavours. For the optimum taste, texture, and juiciness, our experts recommend cooking the meat to medium-rare, so everything is nicely browned on the outside but still soft and pink on the inside.
Balance out the red meat-heavy mains with some quenelles de brochet ($106 for 300 grams), a light and savoury fish cake made from a dense soufflé of grounded pike fish that is emblematic of Lyonnaise cuisine. Serve the quenelles as they would in Lyon, with a traditional Nantua sauce ($95 for 175 grams) made from béchamel sauce, cream and crayfish butter.
What even is French dining without a good cheese? And a French dinner party in the winter without baked or melted cheese, well… that’s unthinkable. Perhaps the most iconic winter cheese in Europe is raclette, an elegant cheese that is simply exquisite when melted over potatoes, charcuterie, and bread. Go for the raw milk raclette cheese ($90 for 400 grams) for something classic and comforting; we also like this raclette fumée ($90 for 400 grams), which is smoked for days in a cave to give it an earthy, toasted flavour.
Instead of an overly sweet or heavy pudding, end your dinner on the French way by crafting your own cheese platter—start with Comté ($122 for 400 grams), a semi-hard cheese which has been aged for 12 months to bring out its delicately nutty, woodsy, and milky flavours, and contrast it with some slices of rustic and fruity Tomme de Savoie ($101 for 400 grams). Add a little freshness with the soft and creamy Saint Nectaire ($111 for 375 grams), whose earthy hazelnut flavours go beautifully with the final piece: a strong and complex Roquefort ($82 for 250 grams).
Balance the savoury, lactic flavours of the cheese with some low-sugar jams; a fragrant and sharp raspberry jam ($62 for 225 grams) would go perfectly with some Saint Nectaire while strawberry jam ($62 for 225 grams) pairs well with the creamy taste of Roquefort cheese. Finally, apricot jam ($62 for 225 grams) is a great all-rounder that goes well with most soft-crust cheeses like goat cheese, Brie, or Camembert.
If you’re still craving something sweet to finish off your meal, why not go for something light and refreshing? These organic yoghurts can be enjoyed plain ($30 for 250 grams), but you can also try the raspberry ($40 for 250 grams), strawberry ($40 for 250 grams), or apricot ($40 for 250 grams) flavours for a little continuity. Alternatively, you can cap off the meal with a rich and sweet crème brûlée ($31 for 125 grams) or a smooth and creamy riz au lait (rice pudding; $31 for 125 grams) which is lightly spiced with vanilla and cinnamon.
Of course, there’s no better way to end a meal than to pop some bubbles! For a well-balanced bottle of bubbly with powerful notes of plum and wild berries, try this genuine “Blanc de Noirs” Champagne Brut Tradition Domaine Sandrin NV ($190 for 750 millilitres), which is extracted from black grapes. For something richer and deeper, LQV’s wine experts recommend this easy-drinking VdP des Collines Rhodaniennes Syrah Les Graviers Domaine Julien Cecillon 2019 ($140 for 750 millilitres), which has a nose of fresh black fruits and gamey notes buoyed by vegetal freshness.
Now that we’ve given you the exact ingredients to throw the perfect French dinner party, all you need to do is get round to ordering it all. Life should be simple, and to make it so, just place your order for our recommended food and drinks on LQV Pre-Order! This newly launched platform grants you direct access to LQV’s premium suppliers in France and allows you to purchase French treats and delicacies from the comfort of your own home. Place an order during the first week of every month, and your goodies will arrive at your home within two to three weeks. Thanks to the pre-order model and LQV’s longstanding relationships with renowned artisan producers, they’re able to offer a wide range of top-notch French products at competitive prices.
From now until 6 January 2022, you can also get five percent off your first pre-order by entering the promo code localiiz5 at checkout.
Founded in Paris in 2010, LQV was awarded Best Wine Shop by La Revue du Vin de France, the most famous French wine review, in 2013. When they expanded their wine bar to Asia in 2014, they chose Hong Kong as their first destination, and now have three locations across Hong Kong Island and one in Singapore. Apart from offering an exceptional selection of wines, LQV also runs La Crèmerie and Le Boucher Français to fulfil all your cheese, meat, and cold cut needs as well.
With their extensive knowledge of French gastronomy and wine, LQV has always been a great place to pick up artisanal French products; now, with their new pre-order service, you can browse the crème de la crème at a fraction of the retail cost. Prices of products may vary over time depending on seasonality and availability.