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/

Orient 8

As one of the Asia’s finest hotel, Hotel Mulia is a luxurious five-star hotel located in the heart of Jakarta. The hotel has several well known restaurants under his roof including Orient 8, a pan-Asian and French fine dining restaurant that caters big appetite like buffet to the poshy degustation menu.

The kitchen helmed by Florian Lamelot. A French-born chef who became Daniel Boloulud’s protégé for about 5 years at several restaurants including his eponymous Restaurant Daniel at NYC, and DB Bistro in Singapore.

DSC01556 I’m not good at describing an interior, in my opinion, the dining room is absolutely lovely. Everything just looks right, paintings on the wall, chandeliers, and tableware. This place is perfect either for special occasion or a casual one.

DSC01606 DSC01607During Valentine’s day, they had two sets menu for “him” and for “her”. (sorry for the blurry images)

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Amuse Bouche: Risotto Ball, Tuna Tartar, Quiche

A set of palate teaser started with a risotto ball, crisp on the outside and al-dente in the center, seasoned with grated truffle. The tuna tartar was fresh and perfectly seasoned. The quiche is basically a savory egg tart with grated truffle, the pastry was slightly soggy.

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Trio de crabe et asparges vertes

  “Mille-feuilles‟‟ of peekytoe crab, avocado and asparagus salad, Petite verrine of crab claw and Parmesan croustillant, orange vinaigrette.

Mousse had a lovely creamy texture, the sweetness from the crab meat and the asparagus blend really well, I believe that a hint of acidity will perfect this dish.

DSC01578For him: Foie gras and artichoke cannelloni, grated Parmesan, chicken jus

This humble looking dish carries big bold flavor. The pasta was perfectly cooked, slightly crisp on top and soft in the center (foie gras and artichoke filing). The chicken jus binds the flavor altogether really well.

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Gnocchi à la truffe noire

For her: Hand-made potato gnocchi, shaved winter black truffle topped with a light veal jus.

Probably the best gnocchi I’ve ever had in town so far. Perfectly made, perfectly cooked, far from the boring, starchy, gluey texture that you might easily get from other places. It’s served with veal jus and truffle slices. You can’t get enough of this!

Effeuiller de cabillaud

Effeuiller de cabillaud

For him: Poached cod fish “Baccala style” paired with “A.O.C” Tarbet white beans, chipiron à la plancha and red wine ink sauce

Definitely a hearty dish with strong Italian accent, good seasoning, especially the slightly cured cod (baccala style). I personally felt that the fish was slightly overcooked, or it might be resulted from the drying process? I might getting wrong with this. The squid was absolutely good.

Cabillaud d’Atlantique en croûte vin rouge

Cabillaud d’Atlantique en croûte vin rouge

For her: Atlantic seabass topped with red wine crust, cauliflower, romanesco seafood cremolata and red wine sauce.

Didn’t manage to taste it. My bad.

Le bœuf Wellington

Le bœuf Wellington

Prime Black Angus beef Wellington layered with foie gras, truffle and baby spinach

The main course was absolutely stunning. I believe that the picture tells you almost everything what it is going to feel in your mouth. The seasoning and the cooking were spotless. From the crisp pastry, running down to the succulent beef, buttery foie gras, perfumed with truffle, and accompanied with beef jus. Voila!

Soupe de fruits aphrodites


Soupe de fruits aphrodites

Pre-dessert: Seasonal chilled fruits soup topped with strawberry sorbet

The pre-dessert was pretty boring to be honest. It was too sweet to my liking, and not chilled properly.

Fleur d’amour

Fleur d’amour

Coconut candied flower vase, golden raspberry and nuts crystalline

This pretty looking dessert has the right amount of sweetness and manages to carry the surprise element hidden in the sugar works. The sweet coconut feeling was paired really well with the raspberry gelee on the bottom.

Orient 8 definitely has a lot to offer, too bad the brilliant kitchen didn’t match by the service on that day. It was pretty slow, and both of our fish and meat course were switched (the beef was served before the fish). The staff was apologize due to miscommunication between the kitchen and the service staff. Quite a disappointment to be honest, but still, the cooking is solid, and the consistency  was there.

Orient 8

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Hotel Mulia Senayan, Jalan Asia Afrika, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta 10270, Indonesia

+62 21 5753278

Lunch: 12.00-15.00 (last order 14.30)

Dinner: 18.00-23.00 (last order 22.30)

http://www.theorient8.com/

Akasaka Tantei

Kaiseki. What I know about it is a traditional Japanese degustation meal that emphasize on the whole dining experience such as attention to details, balance of flavor, presentation, and even the plate plays important role as the previous factors.  I would say that Kaiseki is the Haute Japanese cuisine.

Honestly, I have zero knowledge about Kaiseki. I know nothing. Even my knowledge about Japanese food is very little. I can’t really figure out the different types of ramen, how to determine good soba, tempura, or even unagi.

I had a good time so far by eating delicious food in Japan. But I quite curious about what Kaiseki is all about, so I decided to buy a Japan Michelin guide. I found out that Kaiseki meal is…. Expensive. Very expensive indeed. Especially if you want to experience the whole thing by staying at Ryokan. Most people will choose Kyoto to experience the ultimate Kaiseki, but the price is relatively expensive. One single meal can cost you up to $600.

I found one restaurant in Tokyo Michelin guide 2012 named Akasaka Tan-tei. The restaurant just got their first star by serving Okinawan produces that arranged in Kaiseki style. So just call this Okinawan Kaiseki. The restaurant is located in the middle of Roppongi area in Tokyo.

All tables are in private rooms, so you can have a good time enjoying your meal with your partner. The only let down is that the staffs speak very little English, so I had difficulty in getting explanation and information about the dish.

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These are what they have

IMG_3407Ramen with Mushroom tempura

The ramen served with a light broth. This is a good start for the meal. It was light but tasty.

IMG_3521From left to right: Mashed Okinawan Vegetables, Japanese Sweet Potato, Pig Ear Jelly, Okinawan young Papaya Salad, Scallop with Tofu sauce with Sake Infusion.

The pig ear jelly was interesting because you get different texture from the jelly and the crunchiness from the pig ear. The Jelly tasted like a pork broth to me. Everything is good on this plate, from the scallop to the salad, you get different texture and flavor.

IMG_3412Pan fried Okinawan fish, Winged bean, Grated turnip broth.

The fish was perfectly cooked, and paired beautifully with the light broth of grated turnip, the winged bean gives extra flavor and texture to the dish.

IMG_3413Kampachi Sashimi, Squid Sushi.

The fish is fresh, and also the squid, but the squid sushi was a complete disaster for me. The wasabi was far too overpowering. It’s just destroy the whole dish.

IMG_3414Pork Belly with white miso sauce.

This is the signature dish from Akasaka Tantei, and also the star of the night. The pork was just unbelievable. It’s incredibly tasty, juicy, tender, and packed with flavor. It was so tender until it was felt like eating a chunk of pork butter. The white miso sauce goes really well with the pork belly.

IMG_3415Okinawan vegetables

Here you get yellow carrot, radish, taro, and other vegetable that cooked beautifully, and topped with vegetable puree.

IMG_3525Okinawan Beef, Chives, Grilled Ginko Nut, Mushroom Tofu Salad

The beef was mind blowing. It was just what you want to get from a piece of meat, but this was like eating chives with beef, not eating beef chives. The grilled ginko and the tofu salad were just fine.

IMG_3418Rice with Dashi Broth

This is a humble bowl of rice with a light touch of dashi soup. Pour the Dashi soup to the rice, and you will have like a rice soup. It was so simple but delicious.

IMG_3419Okinawan Fruits with Yuzu Sorbet.

This is a simple, yet a perfect dessert to close the meal. Selections of fresh fruits such as starfruit, strawberry, grape, kiwi, dragon fruit, served with Yuzu ice cream with passion fruit sauce.

Akasaka Tantei was an up and down experience for me. Honestly it’s quite tough to judge because I have no clue about a proper Kaiseki meal, nor Okinawan cuisine. Plus with so little explanation from the staff left me trying to figure out some of the ingredients that I might not known before, nor how suppose they should taste.

Overall it was a great experience. Akasaka Tantei might not the best meal in Tokyo, but I had a good time there, and the price is quite reasonable. So far, my conclusion is they’re able to show the beauty behind simplicity.

Akasaka Tan-tei

 

http://www.akasakatantei.com/en.html

tel: 03-3584-6646