|Taste ||Environment ||Service ||Hygiene |
Value for Money
|Alcoholic Drinks||Phone Reservation||Parking|
Based on prior three dining experiences at Gagnaire's restaurant in Paris, I decided to give his Asian venture a try. Walking in, there is beautiful view of the bay over which the restaurant seems to levitate and the place is dark, decorated in black with accent mirrors. It feels like a date place.
There are two tasting menus and a short à la carte menu to choose from. The four-course tasting is an abridged version of the seven-course. Both have wine pairing options, which I recommend because, a. the sommelier's selections do pair well with the dishes, and b. the few gems on the wine list are not rare and priced around 2.5x auction.
The food philosophy is French with a combination of French and Asian ingredients. The best dishes generally stuck to French roots.
While this does not live up to Pierre Gagnaire Paris, there are enough food sparks to make Pierre Hong Kong worth a visit. If Pierre can overcome food inconsistencies, it'd clearly merit 2 stars.
1. Amuses-bouches: This was a set of fun little bites along the same lines as Gagnaire Paris. The black pudding with apple compote was a slightly meaty croquette ball. The brunoise with squid powder was a bit more than a palate cleanser. The beet chip in olive oil was the most harmonious combination with the sweet of the chip cutting the slight bitter of the oil. There was also a marshmallow made savory with shrimp powder, a cheese cracker, a yam, and goat cheese with beet gelée. To get to the Gagnaire standard, execution needs improvement. (I still remember Gagnaire's perfect tater tot on a toothpick in his amuses set over a decade ago.) To move to the San Sebastian 3 star standard, gain storied harmony and flavor development throughout the set.
There are only three places that I've ever been to (restaurant and retail included) where I remember the quality of the bread: the bread sticks at Daniel in NY, half the portfolio of Blue Oven Bakery in Cincinnati, and the mini-baguettes at Pierre Gagnaire in Paris. They have nearly the same mini-baguettes here: crispy and slightly fire kissed crust, doughy interior with just the slightest tinge of sour.
They also have the greatest compound butter in the world here. It's a beurre aux algues from Jean-Yves Bordier and it's one of the few beurre de barattes left in the world; they churn this butter in wood barrels by spinning milk in the barrel. It tastes like great Russian pressed caviar whipped with a great European butter. It's so good that I would trade my best-of-every vintage Italian olive oil source for a local supplier of this.
2. Yabbies with Osetra Caviar: Yabbies are large Australian crayfish. Here, they are poached just long enough to remove them from their shells whole, then served in that not-cooked-through state that allows the slightly-firmer-than-amaebi texture to come through. Under the Pouilly-Fuisse cream is a Japanese citrus gelée with grapefruit vacuoles. The whole dish is garnished with radishes, flowers, sugar crisps, and caviar. The play on textures in dish is really quite remarkable. You have the soft yabbies mixed with cream, then the gelatin elements as they break up in your mouth, crispy-fresh radish slices, crunchy sugar cracklin, and bursts of caviar and grapefruit sacs. The yabbies are pulled in different directions with each bite, from the traditional creamy shellfish to the citrusy shellfish and finally with that pop of brine from the caviar.
3. Hokkiado Scallop with Asparagus: The scallop is slightly overcooked, but benefits from the spinach puree (which gives it a green minerally character) and the scallop cream (which adds body). That green/white contrast is reflected also in the two colors of asparagus. The green has more mid-palate bite and astringency. The white is more mild; you get the mildly sweet vegetal finish of cooked asparagus before you swallow. Finally, there's a small roulade of black truffled chicken with scallop in the middle on two perfectly crisp crackers that reference one of the traditional preparations of Coquilles St. Jacques, sliced horizontally and layered with black truffles. This is an incredibly harmonious dish and were it not for the slight overcooking on the scallop, would have been the dish of the night.
4. Roasted Abalone with Foie Gras Soup: Nested atop braised leek, celery and fennel, the abalone is reasonably tender, but it has bite from being a small abalone. The foie gras is tinged with green curry and is probably a reference to crab back fat but constructed from earth. There's certainly a sense that each spoonful is like digging into sea mud in a good way. Julienned fresh celery strands add a bit of freshness, but it's still not quite balanced. This is the first of a few dishes that would have benefited from the omission of Asian influence. The green curry brings in an odd bitter that accentuates the worst aspect of foie gras, the part that's usually masked through careful deveining, salt, and cream.
5. Grilled Red Mullet with Tomato Relish: Very Mediterranean preparation that recalls a cross between ratatouille and bouillabaisse in flavor profile. Tomato, olive, artichoke and zucchini bring out the meaty character of the mullet; but the best part of this dish is the diced mullet that's barely torched on one side which contrasts so well with the roast pieces, the later being fleshy and briny to the prior's crunchy tang.
6. Smoked Pigeon Salad and Potato Soup: While it's still tender, smoking accentuates the gaminess on this bird. Fresh peas and salad greens offer minimal relief. The creamy potato soup has pieces of shredded pigeon and tomato on the bottom, which add depth and acidity.
7. Cheese Course: Three cheeses are presented, each with its own accompaniments that work well. The Gruyere comes across as creamier because of the white chocolate shavings and the shredded green beans are a fine textural go-between for flavor balance. The Fourme d'Ambert soup is rendered with cream and strained. It has beautiful layered overtones of blue cheese. The Moelleux du Revard is slightly mushroomy with a Camembert consistency. The caramelized pecans and fantastic spice paste (that's kind of like a modified achiote) really anchor cheese.
8. Grand Dessert: Having this at Gagnaire Paris made me look forward to the Hong Kong version. Sadly, too many of the small dishes were marred by Asian medicinal notes. The wild strawberries with grated Parmesan was sweet and savory, but missing the necessary balsamic to pull it together. I also question the choice of grated vs. shave Parmesan. The champagne granité with grapefruit is pulled in an overly sweet direction with the simple syrup on the bottom. The dragon fruit, cream, exotic citrus and tapioca dish had an odd Chinese medicinal aftertaste. The meringue with citrus and angelica seemed disjointed by the slightly bitter rhubarb that is angelica. The vanilla cream and panna cotta set was a happy play on the textures of crème anglaise. The chocolate cake with pistachio ice cream and blackberries was a classic winning combination.
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)
Date of Visit: Apr 17, 2013
Value for Money3
Dinner @ Pierre~ Mar 06, 2013
I think many people would agree that Mondays are very hard to get through as many of us are still experiencing weekend withdrawal symptoms, but luckily Mr. C organised dinner for us that night so at least I had something to look forward to~
Dinner was to be at Pierre inside the Mandarin Oriental hotel~ This one star establishment is one of Pierre Gagnaire's restaurants offering diners a taste of modern French cuisine. Upon entering the restaurant, it is very dimly lit, with each table being illuminated by a single spotlight hanging overhead. Although I could not really determine the colour scheme of the restaurant, I could sense the overall design was chic with a touch of contemporary elegance. As it was on the 25th floor, one side of the restaurant had full-length windows which offered pleasant night views of Victoria Harbour.
After being seated at one of the tables with a window view, we were warmly welcomed by the manager (yes because of Mr. C as usual ) and were offered a glass of champagne to start our evening. While the sommelier brought over the champagne (only for Mr. C, not me as I am not hugely partial to alcohol) we were then served an assortment of canapes to start off the evening.
A spoonful of fresh salmon roe that popped delightfully in the mouth paired with a dab of sour cream, foie gras and a cube of quince jelly with raspberry vinegar. It also came with crumbed ball of black pudding which tasted very similar to sausage rolls. Another plate of canapes consisted of a soft cake of tomato, a stick of celery with olive paste and thin beetroot crisps immersed in thyme olive oil.
Once our choices had been noted by the manager, our selection of bread was served. Thin baguette, cheese roll and an olive twist, accompanied by unsalted and chilli butter. I really liked their bread, the crusts were nicely crunchy with soft insides that soaked up the butter easily and surprisingly even Mr. C complimented their baguettes too.
Sauteed mushrooms and onion with black truffles on a souffleed biscuit topped with a quenelle of truffled chantilly cream. This was amazing. The souffleed biscuit was pillowy soft and spongy and it just soaked up the essence of chantilly cream which slowly melted over the whole creation leading to the most heavenly truffle fragrance. Something that really needs to be tried~
Before dessert, we were served our petit fours along with our coffees. A play on sweet and sour, there was a spoon of lemon foam, shortbread with apricot jam, lemon curd wrapped with marzipan, a meringue cup with blackberry coulis, pineapple and blackberry jelly and a dark chocolate ganache with citrus peel.
A layered creation of crunchy biscuit base, chestnut ganache and whisky bavarois it was paired with a bitter chocolate and pistachio ice-cream. Despite my previous unwillingness to order dessert, I could not resist a few forkfuls as the richness of the chocolate paired with chestnut and subtle whisky flavour was dangerously addictive. The chocolate ice-cream was definitely more to my preference as the bitter tones was sinfully rich, and although the pistachio flavour was very natural, I found the texture to be too airy for my liking.
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)
Date of Visit: Mar 04, 2013
Value for Money4
not impressed by serivice and food Dec 28, 2012
To be honest, for all the Michelin 3-star, 2-star, 1-star restaurants we have eaten in NY(all 3-star's except Masa, some 2-star's and 1-star's), Paris(3-star Guy Savoy, 1-star Le Restaurant), and Hong Kong( all 3-star's, some 2-star's and 1-star's), this may be my last choice.
The view is the only thing that can be raved about. However, Hong Kong has a lot of restaurants with great view.
The service was not up to the 2-star standard. Many mistakes being made.
- while we were still browsing the menu, the bread man brought the first (and the only) treat and the bread to our table. Only after placing one dish on the table, he realized that it's just too early or the other waiter who supposed to put my husband's dishes with him were not available. He took the dish back and disappeared.
- later our waiter placed the dishes for us, I do not think he introduced that 3-piece treat.
- there is one special butter with pieces of certain spice in it, no introduction by waiter.
- throughout the meal, only one waiter serving our table, so he has to place my dish first, then my husband's, then add sauce for me, then add sauce for my husband, this is not the typical way done in any other star restaurants we have been. I want our dishes to be served at the same time!
- please refill the tea cup without asking!!!
- no tag for coat check, fine, however when we left, they did not bring out the coat, I had to remind them. Not enough atttention to detail.
Food, tastes ok, presentation is like 0-star
- No bread option, just 3 pieces for everyone.
- I believe the chef spent 0 time on the presentaion of the food, the dishes are like dishes in a ordinary Chinese restaurant, where is the parisian chic???
- petit four is the cheapest...
After all, this is a rather disappointing meal...
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)
Date of Visit: Dec 28, 2012
Value for Money2
Luncheon @ Pierre when Pierre Gagnaire is in town. Nov 05, 2012
On one of the issues of HK Magazine’s article I was given a task to think of the best amuse-bouches in Hong Kong and my answer was Pierre of HK. Here it is definitely quite avant garte in the canapes style especially come night time. The amuse bouches at night are highly sophisticated, although the main courses tend to come in sets of 5 dishes which makes me think I am eating Japanese Kaiseki. My last Pierre’s Bordeaux style Degustation meal was decent but missing some caress in finesse yet it was still educational for me. Coming for this lunch session by impromptu, surprisingly Mr Pierre Gagnaire was once again in town and I even got to shook his hand twice. I am such a big fan and felt like a big kid today.
With sliced radish, crème fraiche, cauliflower and pumpkin mayo. This was quite good and definitely has head meat taste but not too overly so. ~ 9/10
The top dish actually had some real artichokes, Jerusalem artichoke diced tubers and puree, also the lovely crosnes. Out of these 3, one isn’t an artichoke despite the name! Tossed with a bit of peanuts and a Thai-like sweetish sauce and herbs, it was.. different. The bottom dish had a consomme jelly and a watery jelly, with shredded Chioggia beets. ~ 6.5/10
With a cepe pudding of sort beneath, I think Pierre HK usually likes this sort of layering food, and with the nicely fried cepe fricassee and a bit of foam, plus a contrast with the ice cream, this was quite well received. Who doesn’t like Porcini? ~ 9/10
Plenty of herbs and garlic flavour, also white wine. It was a little too heavy as it sort of covered the chicken and shellfishes taste, but the pasta was deemed good. ~ 6.5/10
This is such a Falls dish as wild games start to come into play, and this duck pie is so traditional and sometimes infused with truffle, except the sauce is actually Italian/Chinese inspired. This was lovely, it was gamey, well seasoned and not too dense. Pastry was of the more crispier type. Will come back just for this !! ~ 12/10
We ordered this mostly for the seabuckthorn which is rare to find in HK, and I some chances to try more in Scandinavia reently. The taste is different, something like a hybrid between a sour tomato and red currants. This dessert was good in the taste, but the chocolate skin on the frozen mousse was thicker than a typical Magnum ice cream stick. ~ 7/10
I really liked this, as it was vanilla-y and cinnamon-liked spiced and reminds me of mulled wine season. A lovely dessert with balance. ~ 9/10
LUNCH at Pierre might get you slightly less surprises, but the quality of mostly imported produce is still top notch and it is about horses for courses. Sometimes they don't mention it to the customers but a lot of the ingredients are imported in from France, such as some of the vegetables or meats above. It is actually a big bargain, considering how a lot of Japanese restaurants do lunches which give you pre-boiled Torigai, worst grade Tuna or Chilean or Canadian urchins without notifying the customers. Here it is the other way around! At below $500 for 3 Courses only and you get extras along the way. I also find lunch to be more predictable and comfortable!
Spending per head: Approximately HKD550
Value for Money5
Superb view, fine French cuisine Jun 12, 2012
COULD BE BETTER:
- I was actually expecting a bit more regarding desserts knowing that Pierre Gagnaire started his career as a Pastry chef.
- What they call "Pierre Gagnaire's grand dessert" is actually a mix of jelly and molecular desserts, which was very good, but we were expecting a mix of revisited French pastries.
- Everything was perfect, we started with a Ruinart Champagne as aperitif and continued with the tasting menu.
- Being seasonal, most of the winter menu was about seafood, from seabass, to oyster and prawns.
- The cheese dish was amazing, an alliance of French cheeses and processed fruit such as Pear ice cream with Roquefort ... GREAT !!!
- Great service
- Great view of Hong Kong
TO SUM UP:
Excellent ! One of the top fine dining in Hong Kong with a fantastic scene.
But be careful if you take the wine pairing which includes about 5 glasses of wines, you could easily get drunk, might not be suitable for women that are not used to drink a lot
Table Wait Time: 15 minute(s)
Occasion: Valentine's Day
Spending per head: Approximately HKD2200
Value for Money5
Why I am coming back again says it all Sep 25, 2011
Even though it has been a little while since I had dinner here, the tastes of Pierre's surprises are still lingering in my mind.
I come back again this for my birthday celebration, and again I felt amazed by the dishes. I opt for the 4-course seasonal menu (GourMay Menu) while he ordered the 6-course tasting menu. Would highlight the dishes that we liked the most during the lovely dining experience.
After we had the amuse-bouche, my first course arrived... in 5 different bowls and plates. Loved how everything was beautifully laid in front of you. and while I was admiring the food, the waiter started explaining to us - Cube of Burrata, coarsely chopped tomatoes with basel Fennel <San Remo>, Aniseed sherbet . It was then when I realized Burrata cheese blended well with raw cucumber and Pierre successfully made me eat raw cucumber, which was never on my favourite list. Everything gave me a twist of the normal expectation of what you think tomatoes or fennel would have tasted. and Sherbet was there to lighten up your palette and prepared you for the upcoming courses.
Date of Visit: May 18, 2011
Value for Money4
Pierre Jul 05, 2011
An incentive to work hard, this dinner was. After deciding against the very reasonable tasting menu, I finally decided on two courses with the help of the nice french waiter (actually, all of the waiters who served us was absolutely great, a completely different experience to Man Wah next door...)
:chopstick:First amuse bouche: shrimp and mango in the spoon, pumpkin puree? in a sour-salty licorice black coating, butter cookie and deep fried tiny clams in the centre - to be honest it looked better than it tasted. I was quite disappointed with the many different elements of this amuse bouche.
amuse round two was some sort of cream flavoured with banana on top of shellfish - again, I didn't really like this amuse bouche.
amuse bouche round three: smoked haddock (white), seaweed salad (top), and lettuce wrapped bone marrow.
I must say that whilst the amuses were definitely quirky and fun they failed to please the palate... save for a couple the others were just lacking substance - the fried tiny clams were soggy, the second amuse with banana on seafood and cream was simply not a good match.
Down the middle was a blue lobster salad with ginger, aloe, walnuts, cebette, lime and olive oil. On the right was a lobster consomme jelly and on the left was a cream cheese-yogurt sauce.
Although each component was tasty on its own right when put together it was surprisingly fantastic and refreshing. The lobster was so sweet and perfectly cooked as well.
On the side with part 1 of the dish was their lime, ginger, aloe, olive oil, walnut 'salad'.
light and fluffy quenelle of lobster and egg white in a rich bisque-like sauce.... yum! That sauce was strong in lobster and would definitely make an awesome soup.
last component of the lobster course was this. Again, the lobster meat was sweet and the carrot puree was a great match.
This palate cleanser was refreshing but the burrata cheese was a little misplaced in the sweet and tart icy granita.
My second course was veal fillet with foie gras on squid rings - everything was perfectly cooked, though i personally didn't like the soft foie on tender meat... lose the foie and it would've been a perfect 'surf and turf' dish.
This was one of the sides which came with the veal
Although potatoes were originally accompanying the veal, i asked for something else to substitute the (only) starch i detest. so in place of the spuds i received lovely morels in a earthy creamy sauce, in a pretty glass bowl. Morels are a pretty rare find in Hong Kong so the substitution was a nice surprise.
my mum ordered strayed from the tasting menu as well and ordered the roasted seabass fillet with red wine sauce. on the side (not photographed) was mashed new potatoes, mixed herbs and pink berries and 'marauder' toast. the fish was honestly cooked to perfection. crispy crust (slightly breadcrumbed) on the outside, extremely tender fillet on the inside, with a rich wine sauce to boot - no complaints here.
for the others, the tasting menu was the choice of the night.
first course - foie gras, glazed pigeon fillets, marmalade of apple and shallots with cinnamon; gellified artichoke and star anise flavoured liquid; tomato iced pulp.
second - sole fish with watercress salad, leek stalks, green pepper.
third - lobster fricasse with fresh ginger, endive fondue and white balsamic vinegar, black forbidden rice (right top corner) which came with a surprise side of scallop topped with cauliflower
fourth - milk calf - end of veal loin with lime and honey, vichy carrrots
Fifth - goats cheese platter - 3 kinds.
Sixth - Grand Dessert course (below)
Although i did get to try most of the dishes i will refrain from giving detailed comments... I can however, say that all the proteins were perfectly cooked again, and i especially liked the lobster course - it was very different to what i had ordered but the flavours were very good. What wasn't that great was the capers crust on the milk calf... it was too much and thus too sour, overpowering the natural taste of the milk calf (veal)
before the grand dessert there was a goat cheese course paired with some apricot jam and frozen tangy sweet creme on cracker (not pictured).. if you are no lover of strong cheeses this plate was probably not going to be enjoyable.
Pierre's grand dessert course round 1
coffee ice cream with coffe foam and an espresso powdered cookie disc - the cookie was soft and not very appetizing. the ice cream was the only good element.
wild strawberries on strawberry foam - uninspiring, though i liked the cute mini wild strawberries.
Assorted jellies in coconut soup - this was edible, but not something i'd order.
orange soup - this was quite interesting, as the bottom layer was a bitter-orange puree and the inner a sweeter tangy one, and so after mixing it was better.
chocolate crisps on chocolate soup with cubes of dark chocolate mousse - the fruit jelly at the bottom created a fun texture. this dessert i liked the most, which isn't surprising being a chocolate love, but honestly, the dark chocolate sauce was wonderfully rich in cocoa but light at the same time. the crisps on top were really crunchy for a textural contrast.
Pierre's strength tonight was definitely the friendly service and the execution of the proteins. perfectly cooked fish, lobster, veal, foie etc one after the other is not easy to find in Hong Kong and so for this, i really appreciated this dinner. that said, some of the pairings with the proteins didn't work too well, and the amuses and desserts could definitely have been stronger.
Recommended Dish(es): lobster
Value for Money4
Up to Standards but NOT Same as First Experience Mar 11, 2011
First of all, I have not been back for maybe 2 years so things may have changed. I know they got one more star from Michelin HK which they should have gotten 2 years back.
The sofas and tables have changed to accommodate more people which is fine from commercial angle. They are still comfortable and of course, the views are good if you got window seatings.
The starters (bread and assorted appetizers) were good but no longer outstanding. It seems downsizing has taken its toll all the way for Pierre (at least for set lunch).
My companion had the foie gras soup which was declared as excellent. We then headed for the mains which were lamb cutlets and a kind of cod fish (they called skrey fish) with mussels pieces. The fish was superb, blended well with the sause and cooked to perfection. The lamb was a let down for its small serving size (2 pieces), slightly overcooked and accompanied by salty chickpea pancake.
Dessert was ginger tart which has no ginger taste but was not overly sweet. It was rather refreshing.
There was no longer petite four served (which was a highlight from my first dining there) although the captain was kind enough to offer us 2 parfait compliment of the house.
Overall, Pierre is still a nice place to unwind and to enjoy food & conversations but I would say not to sacrafice the details and portion size in order to maintain price competitiveness. Otherwise, Caprice will finally take the #1 spot even though in my mind, Pierre is more willing to experiment and more daring in presentations.
Date of Visit: Mar 10, 2011
Spending per head: Approximately HKD450(Lunch)
Value for Money3
creativity but not mad science Sep 15, 2010
we duly arrived at 7.30pm. the restaurant was about half full and we were seated inside the annex, which was good because the four of us would probably make more noise than all the other customers added up together – we are very, very good laughers, especially after a glass or two. we took a quick glance at the menu and decided to go for the tasting menu – it’d be nice to see how chef elzer has developed in the last 11 months of working in hong kong. would he stick diligently to pierre gagnaire style? or dumb down to local taste? my recent lunch suggests the latter, but set lunch is never good indicator of a restaurant’s potential.
le pain - there’re olive bread, epi, and my beloved brioche. the sweet brioche milk bread had a slightly firm crust and soft, fluffy, moist buttery center. there was no seaweed butter but server gave us some chilli beurre to try instead, which was delicious!
nettle wrapped cod, langoustine tartar, razor clam, pomegranate, chilli prawn jus - this was a cold dish, with wrapped cod sitting on a bed of diced razor clams and curry prawn sauce. honestly, i did not quite like my cod served cold because the flesh would harden and lose its smooth oily texture. but it worked quite well here with the langoustine tartar and allowed the curry sauce to ascend.
hommage a la tomate: transparent tomato jelly with olive, tomato soup, roasted tomato, chilled tomato sage marmalade, acid pulp with piquillo, watermelon/red currant/tomato sorbet – this is my favorite dish of the night, showcasing a high level of creativity without losing sight of flavor. it’s basically tomato done 5 ways: first was transparent tomato jelly, aniseed and olive, with the bitterness of the olive sharply contrasting the faint sweetness of transparent tomato and accentuated both flavors. second one was tomato soup with potato cream sitting on pesto, which had a very buttery, rich texture. third one was roasted tomato. fourth one was tomato marmalade, my second favorite out of the five dishes, and tasted nothing like marmalade – it was more a sweet tomato cream with a touch of tartness. last one was watermelon/red currant/tomato sorbet. all ingredients were red and yet tasted so different, that each scoop you wouldn’t know what you are getting until it’s in your mouth.
so it was effectively 5 tomatoes dishes done in 11 different ways: hot, cold, cream, jelly, roast, marmalade, sorbet, sweet, bitter, sour, savory. oh, and in distinctly different tablewares too.
turner veloute – zucchini blossom stuffed with wild mushroom. the sauce was the highlight, made with green tea and orange which miraculously worked extremely well together – a formula designed by gagnaire. zucchini flower stuffed with pork, wild mushroom was nice, but its strong flavor somewhat distracted from the sauce.
potato paillasson with summer truffles, braised spring onions and leeks – it’s not normal truffle season but this one came from australia; the crispy potato texture was delightful, and resembled 土豆絲 in chinese cuisine. on the other hand, the sauce tasted like japanese tonkatsu sauce-based derivative… not my cup of tea. it was an awkward combination of east and west in terms of flavor, but texture i liked.
blue lobster fricasse – lobster with eggplant, melon, culatello, foie gras-based sauce. lobster galette on the side. i was surprised to see lobster matches so well with foie gras, which normally pairs with game meat; the lobster was stew cooked to a chewy, meaty texture. very deep flavor with a little tingle on the tongue. yummy!
challans duck aiguillettes – the thin sauce smelled like malaysian bak kut teh (肉骨茶); it was made of cumin, cinnamon, and mint – hence the familar asian herbal fragrance. but i found this dish a bit off-note as both the duck breast and the sauce were quite strong but not dissimilar enough to balance each other. it’s like, um, pressing C and D# together on a piano.
les desserts - dessert time finally! whenever i have dessert at pierre, i’m always reminded how far i am from becoming a real pastry chef as usually, an array of desserts came in like a bolero and covered our entire table… notably a playful adoption of savory ingredients in sweet dishes this time. you have to be really creative and really, really good in marrying flavors so that the savory materials would not taste awkward in a dessert dish, and chef nicolas had done a great job.
and of course we got extras – nicolas would not let us leave without letting us try all his other creations. keith and our friendly, well-acquainted server remembered our all-time favorite flourless souffle and gave us both the chocolate and lime flavors. chocolate souffle was a classic recipe whereas the lime one was new – slightly lighter than the old vanille one but i actually liked this better. the amazing thing about nicolas’ souffle that it’s always done just right – fluffy but not too airy, moist but not too wet, sweet but not too indulgent.
service was impeccable, as always. i am sad to see herve leave (the previous restaurant manager who went “back” to australia), but keith the maitre d' and the other servers put in every effort to make our dinner enjoyable. what makes them stand out is their in-depth knowledge on the menu and that they take pride in their job, which really shows.
food-wise – creative, unexpected. for someone who is relatively used to western dining, chef elzer provides a nice refreshing experience with unconventional flavor parings not to be found elsewhere. however, i tend to like his lighter dishes (tomato, lobster) than the stronger ones with more powerful sauces (duck breast, potato paillasson). while i generally prefer strong taste, they seemed a bit busy and my taste bud went overload. the ligher dishes, on the other hand, had very pleasing, well-balanced flavors with interesting textures.
full post with pictures: http://randomnomad.wordpress.com/2010/09/11/pierre-ii/
Value for Money4
Great service, food interesting & unusual Sep 06, 2010
Creative molecular cuisine which is not for everyone, as my table of 4 would attest to. Think: popcorn soup, meatballs in beef mousse, and white-asparagus custard with orange jelly... High quality ingredients are served in a variety of ways, sometimes cooking a fish or a duck in several different ways. So one is served a series of presentations rather than a discrete main entree, done moussed, skewered, served raw, and so on.
My starter, the skewered sea snails with curried vegetables and seaweed, was an elegant blend of textures and tastes. The orange jelly topping the asparagus custard bit the tongue the way food flavoring does, giving the dish a slightly bitter kick.
The main, John Dory, was perfectly poached, sitting on a bed of buttery pea puree, slightly offsetting the fillet's natural sweetness.
Amazing view, high up in the old Mandarin where Vong used to be, with an elegant yet hip atmosphere.
Recommended Dish(es): John Dory
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)
Date of Visit: Sep 03, 2010
Spending per head: Approximately HKD1200(Dinner)
Value for Money3
Pierre never fails to surprise May 19, 2010
It was my first anniversary with my boyfriend and we decided to visit Pierre again as we had an unforgettable night when we celebrated our first month together.
We were seated by the window facing Victoria Harbor again, but then all the round sofas were gone. The manager explained to us that separate seats were more appropriate for business lunches, though we really missed the round sofas. Glad that Pierre was a dainty restaurant and it still gave the impression of exclusivity. Then the manager started introducing the menu by offering a 4-course set called 'Les Saveurs' (the four tastes that your taste buds have)... As we wanted to have something lighter while still be able to have a variety of Pierre's selection, we decided to go for the set with wine pairing.
Before dinner started, we were served pre-dinner appetizers. They were served in separate dishes. In that case, you felt overwhelmed by their wide selections while everything was delicately prepared in small portions. One was a tomato paste to be put on a thin toast. There was also an asparagus mousse, a prawn wrapped in lettuce with salad dressing and a jelly sandwich with mozarella cheese in between. Every bite was a surprise! I especially loved the cheese one cause it wasn't as filling and strongly-flavored as i've thought! The jelly balanced out the strong cheese making it a very nice snack before dinner started
Our first course came and it was the 'Salty' Dish - Tomato Water - rhubarb/ pink radish/ cuttle fish/ abalone The radish was served on top on watercress mascarpone cream! my first time to have a cream made of non-sweet stuff but it came out really well with olive oil! It was like a salad paste with crispy radish the abalone was thinly sliced and seasoned and a great blend with the tomatos.
'Sour' was our second course - Grilled Turbot on the bone The white wine paired with the fish was fruity and i liked it a lot. The turbot's surface was cooked just well with a crispy texture with a paste of anchovy butter on top while the meat inside was still tender. The sauce was confit fennel. Pinenuts and olives were placed in between the fish and the sauce, absorbing flavors from the fish and the sauce. It was definitely my favorite fish dish apart from Cod.
'Bitter' was represented by Pan-seared / Poached foie-gras Diced spring onions and celery were paired with the foie gras, adding some freshness to the heavy dish while the sauce was awesome! It was made of black rice that had a nutty taste. I liked how the foie gras was only cooked by a bit of searing so the juice inside was well preserved.
'Sweet' ended with a dessert collection from Pierre! and ahhh! 'Happy Anniversary' was very nicely written on the big plate of Pierre's There were a variety of 6 desserts served. Felt so overwhelmed with the whole table of desserts and just by the appearance of the desserts was already an enjoyment. loved the lemon dessert the best, not too sweet but the refreshing taste lingered along in the taste buds for a long time which made the dinner a memorable one
Petit fours were a few chocolates. Pierre has turned food into an art and made French cuisine a total indulgement. Service was a key part to raise the whole dining experience to perfection. This is absolutely my most favorite French restaurant in town.
Date of Visit: May 10, 2010
Value for Money3
萬分$,萬分貨!!! 好正!!! Feb 18, 2010
同男人慶祝我哋99日... 去咗Pierre! (小女子一直都萬分期待哩間餐廳 )
we had a table by the window viewing ifc central pier and tst!
未order之前, waiter 送上餐前小食+bread!
bread wise 有 mini baguette 同埋 onion bread.
onion bread 好好味! 好想要多個...但係又會太飽所以理智地無要~
餐前小食有一籠點心: 魚蛋alike, 白菜 & gnocchi wrapped in roast beef
我同男人掛住調情d entrees 好快到... then the waiter who speaks cantonese 就收o左個餐前小食... 我都無時間叫佢唔好,佢已經收o左...
my entrees: La Pleine Mer ($520):
-Crunchy artichoke, oyster, sea snails and murex; mackerel sauce
-Sea bream tartar, infusion froide dulce, celery remoulade and horseradish
-Haddock corolle, dices of braised turnip, Ribot milk
-Sea-urchin bisque thickened with potato, squid rings and cuttlefish brunoise
男人entrees之選: Le Saint-Pierre et les Saint-Jacques ($620) aka scallops:
-John Dory "garlic and spices", yoghurt with cardamom
-Roast scallop with clarified butter, almond and parmesan crust, red pepper confit
-Hudson raw vegetable soup
-Green and white quenelle
-Scallop and banana petals with lime
我好enjoy 每一道菜,真係有spice up d tastebuds! 男人o既 roast scallop最好食~
mon grand plat: Le Turbot ($660)
-Fillet poached in smoked milk with bay leaves; saffron basmati rice galette, leek fondue
-Fennel consomme, grated manchego and mimolette cheese
個turbot係我個晚o既highlight! 魚肉好滑,個sauce好creamy 又有d 香草味! 個portion o岩o岩好! 一多你就會膩...
however, the fennel consomme... TOTALLY NOT MY CUP OF TEA! 本來見到 manchego 同 mimolette 對眼閃閃發光!點知... 係jelly... the taste is not right... EWWW...
男人grand plats 之選: Le Biche ($680)
-Roast filet of venison (replaced by steak) with juniper, blackcurrant and red cabbage, pomme darphin
-Traditional civet; crosnes and grelot onions
-Foie gras tartlet with chocolate, walnut and endive salad
男人次次都食steak... 佢要medium and it's PERFECTO! The other two side dishes were just so-so...
Foie gras tartlet (Bo Innovation's one is much better! Apparently Shang Palace in Kowloon Shangrila has it too and my friend said it's even better than Bo Innovation~)
is a bit disappointing... maybe cos it was served cold... and when it's cold it's hard to taste the foie gras (unlike the pate de foie gras)
食完entrees 同 grand plats 經已食唔到desserts啦... dinner was done wthin ah hour and half...
我會提議share 1 entree and 2 grand plats and 1 dessert!
今餐之後有種升呢o既感覺...原來french cuisine係可以係咁 indulging o既! (I reckon Pierre is better than Robouchon)
美中不足係5* hotel NOT providing 5* services...
Recommended Dish(es): Le Turbot, Le Pleine Mer
Date of Visit: Jan 15, 2010
Value for Money4
Avant Garde Cuisine, When It Works..! Jan 10, 2010
..... For the Full Collection and Larger Versions of Food Photos as Reference, feel free to visit my Supplementary Photos Blog: email@example.com
As of 2009 July, I was finally chastened by PIERRE GAGNIERRE HK for a quick 4 Course Lunch, him being one of my long term idols. Before long, a sequel of a follow up Dinner was accomplished, but it might well be 2015 before I submit that review going by the snail pace I'm churning out reviews lately! Note: During this critical phrase, there has already been transitions of Head Chefs, but no significant changes on the menu - its still quintessentially Pierre!. LUNCH ITSELF IS $380-390 FOR 2 COURSES, ADDITIONAL COURSES ARE CALCULATED AT $80 PER DISH, A BARGAIN IN MY OPINION CONSIDERING DINNER COST TRIPLE & THAT $80 WILL WHAT, LAND YOU A SINGLE "BIG DEAL OF A TINY PIECE" NIGIRI SUSHI IN OVER-PRICED BUT UNDER-ACHIEVING JAP RESTAURANTS?
"BREAD BASKET -"
Onion sourdough, soft butter roll & mini bagutte were paired with a salted-version of the same butter served in Caprice. Bread remains the same for night offerings, but the butter-style changes.
A cling-wrapped bowl sees suspended-in-mid-air some bread crisps, melba, parmesan shortbread as well as an inevitable showing of thin sweetish croquants, a precursor of more molecular food to come? Arriving with puy lentil & blue cheese spread, as well as Pierre's special spread made of chopped roots and vegetables , it reminded me of finely diced uncooked mirepoix.
"SPINACH SALAD - with MUSHROOM BISCOTTI, SMOKED DUCK ROLL WITH BLACK RICE, APPLE ON CRISPBREAD -"
The Spinach leaves were thick and dark greenish, its almost unlike any raw spinach I've devoured before, it resembling more of thai bettel in texture. It even managed to make my lips swell due to acute allergic reactions, possibly due to high iron contents? My upper lip wasn't very comfortable throughout the whole meal after this, BUT, it was really nice and the smoked duck ham with black rice should be a regular item! This was side with a toast with green apples.
"PAN-FRIED FOIE GRAS - CHERRY, LIN CHI MUSHROOMS AND CELERY -"
Duck Foie Gras was cooked to medium-rare, this accompanied by glazed cherries, as well as celery and what really isn't lin chi such as ganoderma lucidum, it was just lin zhi enoki mushrooms, a bit misleading I think...? Sided with a toast that's topped with a mixture of dehydrated mushroom chips as used on mushroom soups, also surprisingly some aromatic, freshly shaved summer truffles! All on the house and not even written on the menu!
"BOUILLABAISE JELLY - SOUBROSSADE ICE CREAM, NICOISE TOAST -"
This became the first dish which really foretold of Pierre's global restaurants carrying that slight hint of Molecular Gastronomy for the sake of fun only, but without overdoing it! The bouillabaise of prawny essence and slight alcoholic/bitter influence was first turned into cold jelly, then accompanied by dollops of cream, chopped crustacean derived seafood pieces as well as soubrossade sausages - the latter also doubly presented in the form of a non-melting savoury ice cream with too much gel glace perhaps. The nicoise toast separately made with parmesan flakes, anchovies, romaine lettuce & crisp bacon was quite fun to play with!
"FRENCH FARM CHICKEN FRICASSEE - GRENAILLE POTATO, CRISPY WHITE ONION AND SALAD -"
Dicked Farm Chicken fried with herbs and then mixed with famous grenaille potatoes and fresh salads for that crunchy textural contrast... for some reason I also tasted toasted-sesame? This dish is actually quite simple to execute, yet its also not an usually encountered dish. From a Michelin 1 Star kitchen and 2-3 Stars fame elsewhere, this main dish might seem under achieving - albeit in reality, the Pierre Gagnaire of the 2nd Renaissance after his hiatus has changed substance, just like Robuchon, becoming a true Food-Artist... And so, his kitchen and pastry chefs are allowed to break traditions and do whatever they feel will be deemded fun yet enjoyable by customers, this forms the backbone of how the Pierre kitchens operate. I found this dish refreshing.
"IBERICO TENDERLOIN - CARAMELIZED TOMATO & STEAMED CHINESE FAN GOU -"
There were lots of that Iberian Black Pork's acquired porky taste even for a tenderloin, some might marvel at its retainment of original meat flavours, others could find it slightly disengaging. It was slightly stringy, the steamed fan gou with vegies inside was fun and daring and it worked as a side, albeit a little over-steamed. Caramelized tomatoes served in a side bowl with spinach was sweetishly-acidic, balancing the overall wild pork flavour.
"BERNARD ANTONY CHEESE PLATE: SELF SELECTED -"
This came with a lot of really thoughtful accompaniments to ensure you get the best of a Cheesy experience... For more details, refer to my Supplementary Photo Blog.
"NELSON - VANILLA MILK JELLY, LEMON WURTZ, MALABAR ICE CREAM & STRAWBERRY MARSHMALLOW -"
Dessert comprised of a central vanilla jelly which was unbelievably addictive when balanced with the lemony wurst jelly inside. The highlight of this dish however must be awarded to the quenelle of gum-flavoured Malabar ice cream, a cousin of the carambar candy. Boiled for a long period to extract all of its full bubble-gummy flavours, the final "water-based" ice cream version was surprisingly, nearly smooth enough! - it was only slightly crystalized on a few certain bites, it can be attributed to every molecular foodie's dream P-J ice cream machine, a much higher end version of the ubiquitous Taiwanese snow-flake shaver. The marshmallows went just perfect as an supporting actor to this dish. This dessert to put it short - was simply awesome, awesome, bloody awesome, I was so close to ordering seconds straight away!
" ESPRESSO & CAPPUCINO -"
Pretty good quality, unlike many other Michelin restaurants serving exactly the same Italian brand.
" WINES BY THE GLASS -"
At the time of visit - I was appalled at the poor choices of white wines by the glass, which I wanted to order to pair with my food selection. This seem fixed by another visit already. Anyway, the decent red wines are good but expensive at around $160-180 a glass, however they come as larger portions than a normal standard drink. So when u order 2 portions - the Somelier will happily split them into 2 separate glasses! Very thoughtful!
Normally not a fondest adorer of
1): 'Molecular Cuisine' since it can often become ghastly cross-overs between Picasso's Cubism mixed with Frankenstein's Laboratorial Experiments gone astray , in reality, true
2): 'Molecular Gastronomy' intents carry a vastly different school of thought and goal. It needs to be distinguished from its predecessor, as the pivotal mentality resolves around a 'deconstruction of all matters related to food, for the purpose of understanding its separate elements', whereas others end up choosing to go down the path of more extreme molecular cuisines, treating it as a 'means to an end' and for the convenience of conjuring up new-age food just for the sake of detouring from the well established!
Bo's Innovation, Le 188 and The Krug Room falls into the former experimental 'Molecular Cuisine' category. Whereas places like Amber & even Caprice on the other hand luckily retained chefs with some sanity - who know fully well how to utilize their new found molecular knowledge and then administer them responsibly as food supporting enhancement than for pure show-boating! 分子料理 when explained in Chinese: unfortunately fails to clarify the differences between the two stylistic variations.
Pierre HK in my opinion, did not employ as much Molecular Gastronomy influences as others might expect: if anything, they were more geared towards cooking Fun but very balanced Avant Garde food, sometimes even courting with fusion ideas rather than Molecular elements, but it was all 適可而止. Unfortunately, the MICHELIN GUIDE does have its Achilles heel - it has never developed a penchant for non-serious food such as those served here, unless of course when its cooked by Mr. Pierre Gagnaire himself. In a way, its unfair to PIERRE HK as most of its underlying setup and even ingredients uses are basically identical to the 3 Starred Caprice. Relatively speaking, PIERRE duly deserves more applaud for their efforts. A HIGH '4' to LOW '5'.
Spending per head: Approximately HKD750
Value for Money5
Gastronomy Personified Dec 13, 2009
So, I bring you some of the more amazing dishes from the wondrous night. Of course, don't get me wrong, it was about a 98% perfection, the 2% just a matter of personal tastes. It is therefore no wonder that Pierre Gagnaire maintains his status in the culinary world. It was a little pricey, but you do leave very satisfied and in ecstacy. And portions are certainly generous enough to leave you rolling home afterwards..
The 2 Entrees we had were the highlights of the evening.
Mousseline: with green pepper; curry sauce, dried yellow grapes.
Grilled: French “grenaille” potatoes and dried white mushrooms.
Tartare: like a biscuit, celeriac cream; unctuous spicy grapefruit syrup.
Pan-fried: with shredded pine nuts; spot of caramelised soy sauce; slightly acid carrot julienne.
White velouté and amber jelly, shell powder.
Langoustines were beautifully done - in either style, very succulent and juicy, yet still retaining its bounce. These are probably the best I've had in treatment. With the exception of the curry, which I did not like very much, the rest of the company was excellent and enhance the flavours of the langoustines even further.
La Charcuterie fine:
Crispy toast, soubressade velouté and apple marmalade.
Foie gras soup with amontillado, citrus and chilli sorbet, boudin noir; small grilled sausage.
Small cubes of cooked ham, creamed curry, celeriac julienne.
Bresse chicken Pojarsky with tarragon.
European ham assortment (Parma, Bellota, Bigorre), colonatta fat and black bacon.
If you prefer a richer meatier flavours to begin with, don't miss this excellent entree.
Crispy pie with a velvety cream topped off with white truffle. Sheer decadence in the 2 bites. Unfortunately, not very big.
The foie gras soup has got to be one of the best ideas around. The rich piece of liver swimming in a foamed broth, and topped with a blood and other pork sausage was a decadent burst of a gorgeous variety of meat flavours. You had to be there...
The European ham assortment was a combination of good meats on a bed of sauerkraut. Clever delicate balance.
Slice of turbot roasted on the bone.
The fillets are cut then cooked in shellfish juice.
Provolone, pear, celeriac gratin with Colombo.
Pochas and hummus like a condiment.
The turbot while good by most standards, seemed to be an anticlimax after the 2 amazing entrees. I probably won't order it again given the other selections.
Roasted saddle of lamb from Lozere, bunch of fresh herbs, crusty olives; aubergine, lamb sweetbread, girolles.
Béchamel tuila, green pepper, garlic paste with vadouvan.
Lamb chops, tamarind on a green square of herbs.
Cold courgette cream soup with tarragon.
Condiment: Roquefort cheese.
The lamb saddle was most out-of-this-world. Even more so than the main event of the chops, which were delightfully tender and juicy. But the saddle was just so tasty, I was actually putting on top of the lamb chops and eating both as a combination. Probably wrong but it was good!
Strawberry jelly; marshmallow and crumble.
Milk chocolate crunchy parfait.
Of course, no French restaurant is worth its sugar without dessert. And the vanilla souffle certainly did not disappoint. If you've never had souffle, this would be a good place to have it. But of course, after you've had it here, you can't have it at most places afterwards. You decide!
Definitely worthy of its Michelin accolades. Well worth the visit and all the calories money could buy here!
For the original, please visit www.edeats.blogspot.com
Recommended Dish(es): Les Langoustines; Le Charcuterie Fine; L 'Agneau
Date of Visit: Nov 23, 2009
Spending per head: Approximately HKD1600(Dinner)
Value for Money3
a much more "gagnaire" pierre Nov 08, 2009
this was the first time i officially dined here since the departure of previous chef de cuisine philippe orrico, who left several months ago to head the hotel kitchens at 1881 heritage in TST opening soon. so i thought it would be interesting to see what changes the new chef has brought to the kitchen.
olivier elzer already won several notable honors under his belt before gagnaire took him under his wings. the young chef was voted amongst the best 22 young chefs in france by gaultmillau, and won a michelin star for abbaye de la bussière hotel restaurant in burgundy prior to his latest career move. he was previously mentored by eric briffard, who is currently head of george V le cinq in paris (sister restaurant caprice in hong kong). elzer interned at the gagnaire restaurant for 2 months before coming to hong kong, though he already started infusing asian flavors into french cuisine during his days in burgundy. so it seems like elzer’s young vibe and daring approach to fresh produce would be a good match with gagnaire’s style.
we both ordered the tasting menu in order to see the most of what the new kitchen has to offer.
amuse bouche: there were some coconut biscuits; then some fried shrimps and cabbage placed inside a dim sum basket; then a thin toast with pepper/vegetable mix; then some cheese biscuits; then some chinese tangerine jelly; then some foie gras puff pastry. the amuse bouche was very busy and went by like a breeze: overall nice presentation with innovation, and it was interesting to stimulate different parts of the tongue and awaken the taste buds, but i just found a little loose end in everything – the fried shrimp was too soggy; the puff pastry was too brittle; coconut biscuits a tad sugary…
Zezette infusion, mixed raw seafood and shellfish: it was a mix of diced tuna, shellfish, clams bathed in coriander sauce. the thin sauce was very light and gave a refreshing, minty lift to the crispy seafood. this quieted down our taste buds after having several strong/busy amuse bouche.
Royal urchin; sea urchin, seasoned mullet and salmon eggs: at the bottom was sea urchin mousseline, then a thin layer of gelatin, and on top was diced mullet and salmon roes. the french sea urchin was very fresh and delightful - it was weaker/less aromatic than the japanese sea urchin, but worked okay as a mousse. then it was gelatin as intermission before the saltiness and bursting ocean flavor of salmon roes reached my brain. yummy.
scallops 3 ways - (1) Poached; served with melted endive and celeriac root marinated in saké. (2) Mousseline; turmeric, creamy Manchego cheese risotto; pear sorbet.(3) Tartare; Hudson raw vegetable soup.
- we started with the poached one and it was absolutely amazing – poached and grilled at final touch, the scallop was juicy and flavorful.
- the mousseline one was quite amusing- tumeric gave an unexpected peppery, bitter taste to the risotto, while the scallop mousseline was fresh and delightful. but when mousseline was mixed together with the heavily cheese-y risotto, overall texture came too buttery despite the pear sorbet…
- the scallop tartar was layered with apple sauce on top, pomelo in the middle with scallop tartar, and vegetable soup at the bottom, so taste wise it was a light sweetness first, then bitterness from the pomelo, and a refreshing, slightly bitter vegetable soup at the bottom. however, this dish was too noisy and i found the bitterness offscale…
White Alba truffle emulsion with Parmesan, tomato confit and garlic sablé. Béchamel tuile: the dish smelled so, so nice that i almost did not want to eat it so that i could keep inhaling. the bechamel sauce at the bottom was nicely done and worked well with parmesan cheese layer in the middle to wrap around the lovely tomato confit. very generous portion of truffle to give off a unique aroma that i always love so much.
Foie gras pot au feu with Morteau sausage and Gillardeau oysters. Cauliflower florets with Cramone mustard: the pan-seared foie gras was wrapped inside a cabbage leaf with poached oyster at the bottom. surprisingly foie gras went very well with oysters; the foie gras was velvet smooth with a nice, thin crisp crust, and the gilladeau oysters were fat with a taste of brine. on the other hand, the sausage seemed out-of-place on the plate and just lied there lifelessly.
Abalone roasted à la diable; crispy bacon. Green Puy lentils gnocchi: (shame that i forgot to take photo) this was not your top-grade dried abalone with molten center and intense flavor, but it was still nicely roasted with a slight crunchy texture and assisted by saltiness of the pan-fried bacon. bold use of lentil because, frankly speaking, lentil has yet to find inroads into the chinese gourmand palate…
Obsiblue prawn curry, braised eggplant. Cockles, Bouchot mussels, French beans in a cone: the obsiblue prawn was absolutely, definitely, irrefutably a to-die-for and well deserved its reputation as “sea caviar”! it is one of the new favorites among parisien chefs and can only be found in some of the upscale michelin restaurants; it is grown in a small new caledonia pacific lagoon under strict conditions and can only be harvested once a year. it was *THE* most delicious prawn i have had. ever. the meat was crunchy, with tiny threads of tendons breaking between my teeth at each bite. the taste of ocean was subtle but distinct; i had the first gulp of the prawn mixed with the curry sauce, but the sauce way too distracting and wasted the good material, so i actually worked my flatware into freeing the prawn from the sauce and vinegared eggplant. the essence of mussels already melted into the thick rich curry sauce, balanced with the sourness of the vinegared eggplant. but i was not entirely convinced by the sauce yet – curry and mussels were fighting against each other.
langoustine: grilled lobster with slightly acidic vegetables at the bottom. the lobster was crunchy on the outside and still juicy and medium-rare in the inside.
Seaweed jelly, milk jelly with raifort, Etivaz Gruyère cubes, goat cheese dumplings. Pine nut powder: sorry but goat cheese is not my favorite thing.
grand dessert – apple pie with mousse filling; rhubarb with berries, grape sauce/jelly; pear sorbet; orange confit; coffee cream: apple pie topping was chewy and tasted marvellous; i never like rhubarb too much as it resembles more like a syrup shot to me, but this one was fortunately not too sweet; sorbet is always nice with tea jelly which was perfect combo; orange confit was refreshing, though the coffee cream was a bit too intense for me.
Vanilla souffle; Strawberry jelly, marshmallow and crumble. Crystal salt. Milk chocolate crunchy parfait: this was not part of the degustation menu but herve the restaurant manager always accomodates my request (love ya!) =). i am huge fan of souffle at pierre. there just isn’t any restaurant anywhere, bay area/paris/hong kong, that i can find better souffle – light as air and texture so smooth that it almost instantly melted in my mouth and glided down the esophagus. it is a magical dessert that can only come from fairy tales.
overall it was a remarkable meal; this restaurant has become much more “gagnaire” like under the hands of chef elzer, and there is notably more finesse in the cooking. the style closely resembles what i had at the pierre gagnaire restaurant in paris, although i suspect elzer eventually would have to dumb down the taste in order to cater to most hong kong foodies. also the degustation menu we had was very well composed; the dishes flowed nicely from first to last course, each of them a progressing taste, strength, and preparation style that allowed us to sample so many different kinds of sea creatures from new angles.
the negatives: some dishes worked wonderfully (sea urchins/foie gras/white truffle) while others not so well, though it is within expectation because there are always hit-or-misses in gagnaire’s furiously daring kitchen. there was also a slip in harmony; during the meal i felt the dishes sometimes were worked off an academic formula of acidity/alkalinity, bitterness/sweetness, and lost sight of the natural produce itself. sauce at times could also be too preoccupied and overpowering.
it is impressive how elzer could mold the gagnaire style in such a short period of time. i am looking forward to coming back next year to see how he develops his own style. so far it looks very promising.
full post with pictures: http://randomnomad.wordpress.com/2009/11/08/pierre/
Value for Money4