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We had lunch at Arbor for our anniversary. The bottom line is, don't try the weekly tasting menu for the variety. The chef's omakase menu is so much better in almost every sense.We ordered one weekly menu at 588 and one chef's tasting menu at 888. My wife ordered peach nectar and I had Sancerre Cuvee Flores by Domaine Vincent Picard 2017 on top of the sparkling water. The wine was fruity and refreshing, with a crisp finish.The amuse bouche is a beef tartare on crispy Nori seaweed shell, topped w
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We had lunch at Arbor for our anniversary. The bottom line is, don't try the weekly tasting menu for the variety. The chef's omakase menu is so much better in almost every sense.
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We ordered one weekly menu at 588 and one chef's tasting menu at 888. My wife ordered peach nectar and I had Sancerre Cuvee Flores by Domaine Vincent Picard 2017 on top of the sparkling water. The wine was fruity and refreshing, with a crisp finish.

The amuse bouche is a beef tartare on crispy Nori seaweed shell, topped with a tangy emulsion that cuts through the richness of the beef. Quite a nice start.
amuse bouche
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Then the brioche -- it's just so light, soft, fluffy and tasty. The server explained that there is miso and seaweed in the bread, but the taste is very subtle. Served with mentaiko and kombu butter. We both think the kombu butter is too strong in flavour. 
Brioche + mentaiko and kombu butter
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Then for the chef's omakase, the starter is foie gras mousse with fig and prune compote, topped with some crispy fried floral buds (the server did explain it's from Japan, but it's just impossible to recall the full description...). This starter is sure a winner -- the foie gras mousse is creamy and velvety smooth with a hint of mineral taste, the fresh fig and the compote works together to cut through the richness. Then the crispy bits and the green emulsion add contrasts of texture. Everything is well balanced and the presentation also looks pleasing.
Foie gras mousse
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For the weekly tasting menu, the starter is seared Japanese mackarel (saba) sashimi marinated in kombu, served with fruit tomato and kombu stock. This is not bad, but quite expected. The fish tastes the way it should. The tomato is sweet, but not mind blowing. The plating, ugh, needs some work really.
Seared saba, fruit tomato, kombu stock
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The second course in the chef's omakase menu is sous vide Hokkaido octopus tentacles, with seared chestnut, gingko, lotus root on a bed of pearl barley, in a seafood chestnut emulsion. Again, thoughts are put into each every component -- the octopus is tender and flavoursome. The vegetables are crunchy and add a different texture. The chestnut emulsion is very rich and tasty. The whole dish works well together.
sous-vide octopus, chestnut, gingko, lotus root, pearl barley in chestnut emulsion
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For the weekly tasting menu, the second course is mirin-marinated ikura wrapped in thinly sliced radish, over diced radish and crispy fried bits, with a tart emulsion (I can't recall what they used in it, but I don't think the taste profiles of those ingredients work too well anyway). Each ikura sac is like a pop of briny and winey concoction, which is quite interesting. The radish and the crispy bits actually add more complexity in texture, yet without adding to the flavours. The emulsion honestly doesn't work IMO -- it's sour, but without depth of any kind. I think some smokiness or even a subtle bonito or eel taste in the emulsion would echo with the ikura and add more depth.  Oh, did I mention the uninspired plating?
Ikura, radish, crispy bits
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For mains, we ordered the A4 wagyu beef tenderloin with $250 extra in the chef's omakase menu. The server said more than once that this is the chef's signature dish. The beef is marinated in mirin and stock, seared to medium-rare, served with a miso emulsion, a smoked eggplant puree and a marinated eggplant. Jus of the beef is poured at the centre. Hmmm, this is not bad -- at least it's perfectly seared and rested before sliced. But my wife thinks the beef is not fatty enough by wagyu standard, definitely not melt-in-your-mouth kind. I personally don't think the texture is a problem, but it's a course that lacks culinary vision. The marinade doesn't really make the beef too different. Both the smoked eggplant puree and the miso emulsion lack oomph. They just lie there without really giving the beef any character. I don't know. Maybe I'm asking for too much because it's a michelin-starred restaurant after all?
A4 wagyu tenderloin
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And the disaster of the whole meal -- the main course of the weekly tasting menu -- pork tongue with Sichuan pepper, Japanese cabbage, turnip mash, and tomatillos (or some berries? not sure, again, can't remember every word the server said). I was expecting some chunky slices of pork tongue. But I was so disappointed to see the skinny oblong tongue covered in foam. The plating was so bland and lacklustre that I instantly lost my appetite. I know a whole pork tongue could look disturbing. But covering it up with some beige colour sour foam doesn't make it any better. Regarding the taste, the tongue isn't chewy and springy like grilled gyutan, but very soft and mushy. The Sichuan pepper taste is there and that's probably the only thing interesting about this dish. Then the cabbage is bland and doesn't work with the tongue in anyway. The turnip mash is creamy and buttery, but again it has no chemistry with the tongue... 
Pork tongue, sichuan pepper, cabbage, turnip mash
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The desserts saved the meal a little. For the weekly tasting menu, a classic combination of chocolate in different forms (creme brulee, hojicha and choco gelato, dark choco sables, and a salted caramel and chocolate sauce) are juxtaposed with crunchy freeze-dried cheese bits, grains and nuts. Every component is impeccably made. The grains add a lovely crunch. Chocolate lovers should be pleased.
Chocolate platter -- creme brulee, hojicha choco gelato, dark choco sables
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Dessert for chef's omakase is grapefruit sorbet on frozen grapefruit vesicles and peel, in a frozen cheese cup, over flakes of meringue. Very strong taste of grapefruit with lovely contrasts in texture. The tartness is nicely balanced by the buttery cheese cup and the sugary crispy meringue. Again, it's a perfect combination of great presentation, nice balance of palate and interesting mouthfeels.
Grapefruit sorbet, frozen vesicles and candied peel in frozen cheese cup over flaked meringue
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Instead of petit four, we were served freshly baked madeleines and green tea macarons. Both are awesome -- madeleines are hot with crispy edges and tender soft centres and a light lemony scent. The macarons are of perfect texture, crispy shell and chewy centres. The matcha cream is bursting with green tea flavour and is of perfect sweetness. 
Matcha macarons, warm madeleines
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All in all, I really don't get the pork tongue main course -- looks like boarding school canteen food with foam. As you might have noticed, the weekly tasting menu is just some kind of filler to cater to a lower price range. I believe a dignified chef won't budge on his vision. If your culinary vision can't be realized at a lower price, just stick with one menu that you're really happy with. 

On the up side, service was thoughtful, detailed and very friendly. The wine was excellent and of good value. The room gets quite noisy when full. I think the ambiance is somewhat lacking. And the washroom is definitely not Michelin star-worthy. Don't use it unless you really need to.
題外話/補充資料: My advice -- Order the Chef's omakase menu. It's closer to my idea of fine dining. If you really like beef, order the wagyu with extra. Just don't expect it to taste different from any good steak you've had. But I do believe the fish or pigeon course won't be too bad (won't be as bad as the pork tongue, I suppose).
(以上食評乃用戶個人意見 , 並不代表OpenRice之觀點。)
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味道
環境
服務
衛生
抵食
用餐日期
2019-09-11
用餐途徑
堂食
人均消費
$1150 (午餐)
慶祝紀念
紀念日
推介美食
amuse bouche
Brioche + mentaiko and kombu butter
Foie gras mousse
sous-vide octopus, chestnut, gingko, lotus root, pearl barley in chestnut emulsion
Chocolate platter -- creme brulee, hojicha choco gelato, dark choco sables
Grapefruit sorbet, frozen vesicles and candied peel in frozen cheese cup over flaked meringue
Matcha macarons, warm madeleines
  • sous vide octopus
  • grapefruit dessert