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2017-03-15 1950 views
This restaurant is located in Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, one of the most famous hotels in town with a long history. Managed by Executive Chef Robin Zavou, this is a Michelin-star restaurant with a nice ambiance and comfortable seating. On the night we had a table facing the window overlooking Chater Road, which offers good privacy. The services are nice with the staff coming to explain the menu right at the beginning, and the sommelier also doing a good job in explaining the wines that I order
The services are nice with the staff coming to explain the menu right at the beginning, and the sommelier also doing a good job in explaining the wines that I ordered to accompany the tasting menu. The first course after the amuse bouche is Truffle, which is a crunchy crust with different mushroom on top, and sprinkled with truffle pieces. The mushroom is not only tasty but also highly fragrance, and the wine paired is Kanta from Egon Muller, which is an Australian Riesling produced under a partnership with the famous German wine producer. The second course I had chosen the King Crab, which is a spring-roll style king crab wrap with a crunchy skin and a delicious and creamy crab meat fillings. The staff told me not to using the knife to cut the roll but to pick it up and bite, which I agree offered a better texture and contrast. The aioli sauce further enhanced the flavors and the wine paired is a champagne from Bruno Paillard, and is a great complement to the food with the long ageing in barrel providing great development characters. Ivy opted for the Krug Lobster, which is an interesting dish. The maitre'd first came to show us the lobster tail, fresh and of sashimi-grade, from which the meat was taken out and poured with some Krug champagne to mix well. The translucent meat then turned opague and absorbing some of the flavors, before it was moved back into the kitchen to prepare further, with a soy sauce gelatin on top and the lobster served in a Krug bottle! A fancy and creative way to serve, and the nice sweet taste of the lobster is balanced well with the savory soy sauce gelatin making it overall refreshing and delicate. A must-try in my opinion. The third course is "Tea", which is a chicken consomme served on a cup. Another fancy dish, the cup is first served without the soup, but there you can see a liver mousse with some mushroom and black truffle beautifully decorated. Then the staff took a glass teapot and put some herbs in, reminiscent of tea leaves, before pouring in the chicken stock, to infuse the soup with the flavors, and then pouring the consomme into the cup. We were also told to scoop the mousse and drink with the consomme together, which greatly enhanced the flavors. There is also a Provence Rose from Hubert Lamy paired but I don't think it is much relevant for this course. The fourth course I have opted for Sea Bass, while Ivy went for Venison. The sea bass is grilled perfectly, with a crispy skin but not a tiny bit of over-cooking, having the flesh tender and juicy. On the side there is pearl onion, some vegetable salad and a crayfish which gives a good complement to the fish and not in any way shadowing the delicate taste of it. The wine paired is an interesting choice, an Italian red made from indigenous grape (I forgot the name). It is a difficult pairing in fact since the tannin, despite fairly low, still gives a bit of that fishy aftertaste. A real ambitious effort, but I would rather go for something safer, namely, a white. The fifth course is Cheese, which is an assorted platter with blue cheese, livarot, a cheddar style one and another I couldn't recall the name, but a bit like Morbier. The blue cheese is always something I don't fancy, but this one surprisingly I like very much. It is very salty, yes, but when paired with the honey to neutralize a bit on the saltiness it is not pungent at all, but delicate, silky smooth and melting. The Livarot likewise is also not so strong as some I have tasted before, soft and nice. A truly wonderful choice for even someone who might not be particularly fond of cheese. The wine paired is a Tawny 20 years which is a signature choice.
The sixth and final course is Cherry, which is another fancy dish, with a crunchy sugar coating wrapping a cherry mousse, to make to look alike a giant cherry. Underneath is some nuts and chocolate pieces which when mixed together, would taste like a black forest cake according to the maitre'd. Frankly I don't agree to that, but still it is a nice dessert with good sweetness but not overpowering. However, the wine paired, Chateau Guiraud from Sauternes, would in my opinion not sweet enough to match with the food. Probably a Tokaji would be a better alternative.
The general impression I got after the meal was that this is a really nice restaurant, with good and friendly services, cozy and comfortable environment, great food and wine, scoring good marks in all aspects. The price is a bit on the high side particularly with the wine pairing, but still not too extravagant. With a cocktail, a bottle of water on top, the cost for the meal was $5,443 for two. And I think it is worth coming back to try their other more classic dishes under the other menu.
My overall rating is 78/100.