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2020-11-10 686 views
This Michelin 2-star restaurant is located in Wanchai, created by the famous 'Demon Chef' Alvin Leung, who is famous for his techniques to break down the traditional Chinese food to the essence and then recreated in a new contemporary format, in the so-called 'molecular cuisine'. Stepping out of the lift we were greeted warmly by the staff, and seeing the neon lights I found it abstract and then the staff told me it was depicting the different MTR lines, which was truly interesting. This is amon
This Michelin 2-star restaurant is located in Wanchai, created by the famous 'Demon Chef' Alvin Leung, who is famous for his techniques to break down the traditional Chinese food to the essence and then recreated in a new contemporary format, in the so-called 'molecular cuisine'.
Stepping out of the lift we were greeted warmly by the staff, and seeing the neon lights I found it abstract and then the staff told me it was depicting the different MTR lines, which was truly interesting. This is among many other decorations the chef had put in the restaurant, from local cartoon characters, to old records and movie tickets adoring the walls, the whole ambience was one of fun and we were very pleased at the emphasis of our proud home Hong Kong.
We had pre-ordered the signature 'The Big Hong Kong Wedding' ($1,500 each after the pre-paid discount). Before serving the dishes, the staff came with a metal box holding two dried piece of towels. Holding a bottle of Florida Water, a type of cologne with delicate aromas. The staff poured that to the towels, and probably because of the dried ice in the box, smoke started seeping out from the holes, bringing a nice fragrance to the environment. A clever way to prepare the towels for us to clean our hands before the meal, and the use of the local brand of florida water made it even more impressive.
To pair with the food, I also opted for the wine tasting ($1,380). The sommelier came with the first wine, D Rose from Champagne Devaux, to pair with the first course 'Taste of Marriage'. There was a postcard showing many of the traditional food and beverages you would find in a wedding banquet, and the chef had brilliantly created five bite-size appetizers focusing on the five tastes: bitter, sour, spicy, savory and sweet.
The first taste is Bitterness. The chef used bitter gourd to prepare a sorbet and then put on a miniature ice-cream cone, which got some finely diced smoked cod inside. A great starter with refreshing taste.
Next we had the Sourness. The staff provided us a bottle with dropper, containing a nice aged Zhejiang vinegar which we added to the Japanese 'tong yuan' or gelatinous rice ball, with some tiny bits of dried shrimp inside, further wrapped with a basil leaf and on top a bit of sea urchin paste. Moving to Savory, the piece of rice cracker has some finely diced marinated salty lemon, salty pork meat, and salted egg yolk pieces. Both of them were very good in taste. I also like the pattern on the plate showing the demon holding the two words of happiness.
The fourth taste was Spiciness. The staff used a lighter to ignite the piece of Sichuan pepper stem, creating a nice fragrance of spiciness as well as a visual effect like a firecracker, reminiscent of those found in wedding celebration. The cherry tomato had been sprinkled with some chili powder but were not excessively hot, in fact having a juicy sweet taste matching well with the spice.
The final taste was Sweetness. Served in a traditional cup you would see when the newly wed presented the cup of tea to the parents, this dish contained two pieces of creamy foie gras terrine, with some peach gum cooked with a nice sauce prepared with red dates to give the sweetness. And to finish everything off, the lai see, or red packet actually also contained a piece of deep-fried beetroot.
The second course is called 'Son of a Scallop'. The concept of the dish is that the Chinese name for scallop is equivalent to 'bringing a son', so the chef used a seared scallop and cut into pieces, with some thinly sliced lotus root served on a plate reminiscent of lotus leaf, and then pouring in a sauce made from the famous Chinese Huadiao wine 'daughter red'. Another mind-blowing example of how the chef created the dish from the concept, to the attention of all the details from plate and choice of ingredients.
Before serving the second course the sommelier came to pour my second wine, an orange wine from Paraschos of Friuli, Italy. The Sauvignon grape has an interesting style, maybe not the best to drink on its own, but do pair quite well with the dish.
The third course is called 'The Phoenix Rides the Dragon'. The phoenix is referring to the chicken mousse on the bottom of the bowl, which we all thought was steamed egg originally. But in fact it was a very silky smooth layer of chicken. And on it there were lobster, taking its Chinese name to signify dragon, along with pieces of true morels. Again impeccable in the complexity on flavors and presentation.
The fourth course is called 'Pisces Paradise'. Two fishes were drawn on the plate to echo the name of the dish, and there is a piece of pan-seared horsehead tilefish served with a fish sauce broth, together with some small pieces of cuttlefish and couscous. The fish is flavorful, with the broth highly complementary on the taste. The couscous and cuttlefish offers a contrasting bite which made the overall experience truly magical.
The fifth course is called 'Rich Abalone'. The chef had cooked the abalone and then thinly sliced it so on the texture it has a similar profile as a conch, intense on the flavors and also got a nice bite. The paste underneath is actually a mashed green bean which is creamy. On top there is a generous scoop of caviar which provided additional savory notes. Very rich in terms of flavors, and premium in the choice of ingredients, the wine paired is a Beaune Premier Cru from Domaine Fanny Sabre which is surprisingly matching, without any hint of fishy note when enjoying together with the abalone.
The sixth course is called '7 Happiness'. Another amazing rendering, the staff brought us each a cup used in ancient times by the nobles and emperors to drink their wine, and then pour in front of us from a bottle of 7-up! The cocktail in fact was made by mixing the soft drink with Perfume Tree Gin, a gin made locally, with the chef adding a number of other herbs like lemongrass, clove, cinnamon to infuse with more flavors. First time I enjoyed a beverage using this cup, and the drink itself was quite nice too.
The seventh course is an additional one I ordered, per the recommendation from the staff, because of the white truffle season we were in. This Duck Egg with White Truffle ($380) is in fact a rice roll with a running duck egg inside, and then served with a cheese sauce, plus some freshly shaved white truffle on top. When opening the glass jar the beautiful aromas of the truffle was so overwhelming, and the taste is also good, but comparatively this one has less of a surprise.
The eighth course is called 'Miss Piggy Goes Red'. The chef prepares three different pieces, one being the roasted suckling pig, one being a pork belly braised with Zhejiang vinegar, and the other a deep-fried roll stuffed with pig blood. All of them are tasty but personally I found the first two was not as 'unexpected' as other dishes. The pleasant surprise came from the pig blood however. On the wine pairing, it was a Carmenere with the demon label, meaning a wine made for the restaurant, coming from Chile and owned by the celebrity Bernice Liu.
The ninth course is called 'Cheerful Grains'. The dish contains a number of different rice grains, with different texture and bite, on top of a paste. Probably a bit drunk already by then, I don't have a good memory of how it tasted. But the concept comes from the fried rice being served at the end of the wedding banquet.
The tenth course is called 'Unbroken Lineages'. From the idea of the noodles served at the wedding banquet, it was made to resemble a spring, in a single piece and unbroken. On the taste it was not as impressive though.
Coming to the desserts, first comes a creative dish called 'No Shark Fins'. Served with a traditional covered tray we found in banquet when we were still kids, the 'shark fins' were in fact gelatin shreds made with pineapple juice, and then adding the sweet soup. Quite nice.
Then another fun and amazing dish, 'Comes After Sex'. Served in a baby food jar, the dessert has a cream cap made to taste like braised pork belly with preserved vegetables, and underneath there is chocolate crumbles. Good in taste and impressive on the creativity. The wine paired is Les Clos de Paulilles from Banyuls.
The last course is 'V Generation'. With the idea coming from the pig knuckles consumed after the mother giving birth, the dessert features the sweetened vinegar sauce, served in a mini vinegar urn. Opening the urn there are pieces of cracker, with the homemade ice-cream made with the vinegar sauce. A great finale for a fantastic meal.
A surprise is the chocolate made to look like a tiny orange, serving as the petits fours. Nice wrap up for the dinner, the service throughout has been good, with each dish meticulously introduced and explained, and also the chef (not Alvin) came a couple of times himself to share with us.
The bill was $5,324 and considering the total experience it was fair. It was certainly the most impressive meal I had in a long while, and in terms of creativity it was definitely top class. And I highly recommend to try this out. And I also look forward to the new menu so we can return and experience once again the amazing dishes from the Demon Chef.