Tate Dining Room

DSC02046I always love the idea of a small fine dining restaurant. It’s just feel somewhat more warm, intimate, unpretentious, and focus. Here I am, dining at a restaurant headed by the best Female chef in Asia 2015, Vicky Lau, who once graduated as a graphic designer from New York University before she enrolled at Le Cordon Bleu Bangkok. Chef Lau honed his skills under Sebastien Lepinoy during his time at Cepage. (Sebastien Lepinoy is currentlyheading Les Amis’s kitchen in Singapore. Review).

DSC02026I hate to say this, but the bread was honestly felt dry. It didn’t belong in a 1* restaurant. 1/10

DSC02037Our meal started with 5 amuse bouches that represent the 5 Chinese elements.

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Quail egg coated with ginseng chicken broth, smoked eel, dashi sphere, corn panacotta, mushroom panacotta

Ode to tomatoes

Ode to tomatoes

five type of tomatoes tartare, strawberry tomato gazpacho, smoked sardine, marrakech lemon skin confit

The strawberry and the tomato tasted really fresh and vibrant with a hint of smoke sardine on your palate. All flavor worked well without a single flavor dominated the plate. 8/10

DSC02040The brioche was definitely way better than the first bread. Good crust on the outside and soft inside.

The Sea

The Sea

Seascallop espuma, taraba crab meat, yuzu gelee, marinated jelly fish, osetra caviar, rice paper

Hong Kong version of “Song of the Sea” probably? It left me the heavy flavor impression at first, judged by the presentation itself, but when you start to dig in, you’ll find that this dish packed with sea flavor yet still feel light in a good way. Very enjoyable. 9/10

Hokkigai Clam

Hokkigai Clam

root vegetable mille feuille, cauliflower black garlic espuma, fresh water clam sauce

A nice blend between sea and earthy flavor. Everything was cooked and seasoned just right. 7.5/10

Sakura Ebi

Sakura Ebi

Lobster broth, fregola pasta, mentaiko, vin jaunne foam, kombu, crispy sakura ebi

I didn’t manage to enjoy this dish since it just felt too heavy. The shellfish flavor was just overpowering the whole dish. I believe it would taste better if the flavor was lighter and having more acidity into it. The Vin Jaunne foam almost just there for the sake of the presentation only. 4.5/10

Rose Bresse Pigeon

Rose Bresse Pigeon

slow cooked breast of pigeon, filo pastry wrapped fermented mustard green thigh of pigeon, roasted baby beetroot, pigeon jus

The meat was just juicy and tender. The jus was rich and worked as the flavor booster really well. The fig managed to cut the richness and balance the dish. 9/10

Honey, Milk, & Chamomile

Honey, Milk, & Chamomile

Honey, Milk, & Chamomile

Honey, Milk, & Chamomile

Home made wing ho hong kong bee farm honey ice cream, chamomile white chocolate mousse, dacquoise, yogurt meringue, willams pear ice cream

I’m not a big fan of white chocolate and sweet desserts, but this one clearly won my heart. 8/10

Zen Garden

Zen Garden

Zen Garden

Zen Garden

Passion fruit marshmallow, matcha macaroon, dark chocolate coconut

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Tate is very enjoyable to your eye and your palate. Without any doubt, Chef Lau’s accent appeared on the whole meal. The plates were neat and artistic yet not too complicated. Some dish like Ode to Tomatoes and The Sea were just perfect. Most of the dish feels light without losing any flavor profile. Too bad, some dish was off balance, otherwise it would be a perfect dinner.

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Tate Dining Room

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Hong Kong, 中環蘇豪伊利近街59號地下

+852 2555 2172

http://www.tate.com.hk/

Caprice

I feel quite lucky because I don’t have to travel as far as France to experience Haute Cuisine. Caprice is the most luxurious, elegant, and brilliant in delivering the best Haute Cuisine as possible in Hong Kong. Together with Lung King Heen, both of them are the first French and Chinese restaurant that earn 3 Michelin Stars in Hong Kong. The executive chef, Vincent Thierry, built his skills in some Michelin starred kitchen across the country such as Four Seasons Hotel George V, Le Buerehiesel, and Le Cinq.

 

IMG_1795Shellfish Consomme, lemon grass and ginger mousse, Sea Urchin

IMG_1798Tourteau Crab Tiramisu – Fruity Marinade and Tandoori Spices

This beautiful tiramisu cake look-a-like doesn’t only please your eyes, but your palate as well. It was so creamy, fresh, and the fruity marinade works properly with the crab. Delicious!

IMG_1797Langoustine Ravioli – Veal Sweetbreads and Chanterelle Mushrooms in Shellfish Bisque

Stunning! I can’t describe this dish more than amazing. Every single element on the plate was the star, and everything were cooked to perfection. Flavor wise? Oh, give me more, it was really blew my mind away!

Challans Duck Fillet – Duck Leg Parmentier, Jardinière Vegetables and Apple Chutney Sauce

The duck fillet was good. It was moist and tender, even nothing’s wrong with the vegetables. But I’m not a fan of the duck leg parmentier. It’s slightly too rich for me.

IMG_1802Racan Pigeon Feuilleté – Foie Gras, Nori Seaweed and Aubergine Fondant in Warm Citrus Vinaigrette

Pigeon is always my favorite protein. Clearly, every element on this plate was handled with care. The carrot ball was tender but still have a bite to it. The pigeon was cooked perfectly accompanied with amazing jus.

IMG_1805Pre Dessert –  Cherries Textures

IMG_1815Mango Mousse Parfait – Yoghurt Meringue and Shortbread, Mango Emulsion, Elderflower Sorbet

Refreshing! Here you can get different texture from crumble, crisp, soft, cold, and also you get different side from the sweetness to the sourness from this incredible tropical fruit.

IMG_1813Tainori Chocolate – Wild Strawberries and Basil Sorbet

“What the!?” that’s my impression when this futuristic dessert arrived on the table. I like the presentation. The chocolate, strawberry, and the sorbet were able to come together harmoniously.

IMG_1806Petit Four

Passion Fruit Dark Chocolate, Macaroon Orange Ginger, Dark Chocolate with different texture of strawberry

Caprice for me is not just about enjoying what is on your plate. It’s all about the whole experience. The ambiance, the view, the service, they’re just, perfect. If you don’t believe such thing as perfection, I would say dining at caprice is something that you won’t easily forget. Would I return again? Definitely.

Caprice

Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong

Lunch 12:00 noon – 2:30 pm

Dinner 6:00 pm – 10:30 pm

http://www.fourseasons.com/hongkong/dining/restaurants/caprice/

Amber

Richard Ekkebus, is a culinary director of the Landmark Mandarin Oriental hotel Amber Restaurant. He is a Dutch-born, and has been trained in several French culinary maestros such as Passard, Gagnaire, and Guy Savoy. The restaurant earns two Michelin Star and 50Best restaurant from Aqua Panna San Pellegrinno Award.

Amber restaurant tries to serve the best ingredients around the world, and treated with European techniques.

 

IMG_1717Bread

IMG_1718Foie Gras Lollipop, Raspberry and Beetroot

This lollipop reminds me of Heston’s idea of creating orange that made from chicken liver. This was delicious. This kind of thing will put a smile on your face when you eat it.

IMG_1719White Asparagus Sabayon, Serano Ham

IMG_1723LANGOUSTINE in organic tomato & watermelon ‘nage’ with espelette chili & coriander

The langoustine was cooked perfectly, and the nage compliments really well. For me, this dish is about clarity, the pureness of flavor that comes from the produce. It was refreshing and tasty.

HOKKAIDO SEA URCHIN in a Lobster jell-O with Cauliflower, caviar,Crispy Seaweed Waffles

The most expensive seafood gathered together on the table. The bottom layer is cauliflower mousse, and followed by sea urchin, lobster gel and topped by caviar. This Rolls-Royce  spread served with seaweed waffles.

IMG_1726TASMANIAN SALMON confit & Smoked
avocado, Horseradish & Granny smith apple

For me, the Salmon itself is more than enough on the plate. It has the smoke sensation and perfect texture and flavor. This is an amazing piece of salmon.

IMG_1727DUCK FOIE GRAS steamed then charcoal grilled with virgin pistachio oil salt-roasted beetroots in cherry juice & hibiscus reduction

Charcoal grilled Foie Gras? Just by reading the title, I can imagine this dish will worth to die for. Creamy, fatty, rich, and tasty Foie Gras with the reduction was just mind blowing.

KAGOSHIMA WAGYU BEEF sirloin MS: A4, oven roasted
 purée of ‘forgotten’ shallots

The roasted beef can’t get any better than dish, especially for the shallot pureee was just beyond expectation. On the contrary, I don’t really like the braised beef. It tasted somewhat too sweet for me.

IMG_1730French Farmer Cheeses

IMG_1733BLOOD ORANGE sorbet with florentine’s & confit zest
a semi fredo inspired after ‘calissons de provençe’

 IMG_1735ALBINAO 85% CHOCOLATE soufflé with
cacao sorbet

If I only have one more chance to eat chocolate before I die. This souffle will be on my option.

IMG_1736Petit Four

Clearly, Hong Kong has been step up his game since the past few years in this industry. This is the place where East meet West, the place where in the restaurant scene is not limited to one particular source of ingredient or technique. In Amber restaurant, you’ll find best of the best ingredients from around the world that handled with generous amount of passion and skills. Definitely worth a journey.

Amber Restaurant

The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong
15 Queen’s Road, Seventh Floor
The Landmark
Central, Hong Kong

Hours of Operation
Breakfast
Monday to Sunday 7:00 am – 10:30 am

Lunch
Monday to Sunday 12:00 pm – 2:30 pm

Dinner
Monday to Sunday 6:30 pm – 10:30 pm

http://www.amberhongkong.com

Greg’s Restaurant

Fine dining restaurant in China isn’t a new stuff these days. In fact, you can find some of culinary destination here. But for a small city like Xiamen, it’s still quite rare, especially for French restaurant. During my trip to xiamen, I was randomly typed at google “fine dining xiamen” “french restaurant xiamen” “best restaurant xiamen”, and this restaurant was recommended by Trip Advisor, and receives good reviews.

Greg’s Restaurant is a French restaurant that served rustic French cuisine by Louraichi Gregory who was working as a Head Chef at Xiamen Pan Pacific Hotel before.

Amuse Bouche:

Toasted bread with tomato salad

Starter:

Pumpkin Creme Brulee served with sliced scallop and balsamic reduction.

I just realized that I made a mistake by ordering this dish when it was being put on the table. The creme brulee and the scallop didn’t go together at all. For the creme brulee itself the texture was splitting, and slightly bland. What a shame.

Truffle Mushroom Soup

This soup was taste delicious, it has the right balance. But, the texture was far too runny.

Bread

Main:

Duck Confit with Salad, and Potato Gratin

I felt bad about this dish. This was a shame for a classic Duck Confit. The duck was far far away too dry, slightly bland. The only good thing about this plate was the potato gratin which was very tasty.

Grilled Salmon

This dish was really outstanding. The Salmon was grilled to perfection. Crispy skin, but the flesh was really soft and tasty.

Vanilla Creme Brulee

The sweetness of the creme brulee wasn’t enough for me. You might say that taste is personal. But, the consistency of the dish was too runny.

Chocolate Tart

I had no mood to taste it. But my girlfriend said it wasn’t too bad

My overall experience with Greg’s Restaurant was not that good. I’m not trying to be a snob here. But at least I wanted for it to be just right. Other that that, the service was excellent, the staff were English speaking, the buzz was really good. Maybe they will getting better.

Greg’s Restaurant

1C,No 10,Hubin Bei Road, Xiamen 361012, China
+86 0592 5316600

China

Chinese food.More Than Just a Wok. get it?

XIAMEN

Ok, let me tell you something. I went to this restaurant (you can blame me not to post the front appearance of the restaurant) when I was very hungry with my girlfriend and two other friends. This restaurant was very unique, for the starter they will serve you like what you saw at the first picture. Basically they’re sticky rice balls with pork filing and egg yolk. Each person only got ONE! One godamn ball! My friend told me to not finish it too soon before other dishes are coming out. I didn’t care, it was really lovely, juicy, tasty, and every single bite of it just made me craving for it more and more. You know what, you won’t be able to order that ball again. It’s their rule, their uniqueness for every customer to have only one ball. I was very sad, so I ordered plain rice instead.

Everything were nice, very nice indeed, but the only outstanding dish for me beside the ball was the last picture. Basically it was a fried pork with chili or something. I thought that dish was mediocre like other Chinese restaurant that serve fried pork with dried chili, spring onion, sechuan pepper. But the star ingredient for me was not the pork, but the chili! The chili was so delicious, extremely crispy, and the heat was not aggressive at all.

This frog dish was very tasty. It has potato, celery, ginger, dry chili, spices. Love it.

This noodle shop is run by a family from western part of China (that’s what my girlfriend told me). They’re Moslem, so that you won’t find pork in here. I like the Chinese pancake for my starter. It was soft, simple, something that you want to have for your breakfast. They have 2 options for topping, scallion and carrot. For the noodle, at the top you have like a regular la mian or chinese noodle, but served with minced meat, scallion, egg. Simple but full of flavor. You can put some chili from table side which I did. But the chili was mixed with spices so that it gives extra kick to the noodle. At the bottom pitcure, I have a kind of home made tagliatelle, even the sauce tasted very similar with tomato sauce, and the most important, the noodle was cooked al-dente.

Sorry, these were not the best picture I’ve taken. But these are kaorou, Chinese barbecue, one of my favorite food. They have lots of ingredients that you can choose ranged from fish, beef, lamb, chicken, liver, broccoli, aubergine, you named it, they served it. They grilled them on top of charcoal so that you get the smoky flavor. And for the seasoning, they use Chinese seasoning, pepper, chili powder, and garlic oil. The right balance of seasoning is crucial. I liked the way they prepared the aubergine. They grilled it, basted it with oil, when it turned soft, they cut into half, throw the garlic oil, spring onion, seasoning, WALA. HEAVEN!

Another noodle shop, they called it Saguo in Chinese. At first you’ll have to choose some toppings such as crab stick, pork/fish/beef balls, mushroom, prawn,oyster, and so on. After that you have to choose the noodle. They have thin and thick rice noodle, la mian, and the noodle that appear on the picture. They will cook all the stuffs in the claypot. Close your eyes, imagine that the weather is windy and cold, take a slurp of the noodle, tasty broth. Oh man…

I called this dish Chinese crepe. I won’t give any description. Just looked at the picture. All i can say that it tasted 10 times better then french crepe.

Be Careful of fake Wine! look at this carefully. I think for you who know about wine will notice easily about this wine. This is the fake version of the famous french wine Chateau Lafite. In China, they sell it as Chateau Lafitte, or by using “double T”. It’s cheap, but it tastes horrible.

They will be more updates for this post when I have a chance to return again. Thanks for reading