Thursday, February 2, 2012

Amber @ the Mandarin Oriental

Well, it's been almost a month since my trip to the Kong, and I still haven't bothered to post about our dinner at Amber, at the Landmark Mandarin Oriental. At number 37, it was the only restaurant in Hong Kong to make it onto the San Pelligrino World's Top 50 (we tried to get into Sun Tung Lok, a 3 Michelin star restaurant as well, but they were fully booked - I suppose, next time we need to be more organised).

Firstly, the space is so sexy. It is indeed a sexy space. Dark, architectually stunning and of course, perfectly laid out. It was indeed a fitting space. Service, was impeccable.

I'm not going to lie, my memory is a bit shaky regarding the food, given we averaged about 5-6 hours sleep per night over the course of 10 days and our dinner @ Amber was the last night before we left. We were undoubtedly exhausted.

So I'll just post the pretty pictures and refer to the menu and say some nasty things (ok not so nasty).

We started with canapes and amuse bouches, which consisted of a croquette, jelly things, a pumpkin soup and other stuff which I can't remember. It was all very nice. The soup was good, but I did get a bit of an ego when someone said "David, it tastes just like your pumpkin soup".

The first official dish was a sea urchin "in a lobster jell-O with cauliflower, caviar crispy seaweed waffles" Surprisingly, the sea urchin wasn't as overpowering as I was expecting - the other ingredients seemed to temper it out. All in all quite a light dish to start.

The next dish was Tasmanian salmon "confit & smoked" with avocado, horseradish & granny smith apple". This was ok. It wasn't phenomenal, as lets face it, we eat salmon to death in Australia, and Tasmanian Salmon? The smoke was quite burnt, but hey, who am I to judge?!

The dish on the right was a Red Amadai, with "fennel & orange confit, ‘bottarga’ grated new potatoes ‘bouillabaisse’ & manni olive oil emulsion". The fish itself was immaculately seasoned and cooked, but they "roasted" it with scales on. Seriously guys, this is NOT cool. I'm all for new textures and stuff....but SCALES? Now, that I will pass judgement on.

Due to my lack of attention to the degustation menu a foie gras dish made it onto the menu. I felt incredibly guilty for this as ultimately the production of foie gras employs incredibly cruel farming practices. Something I vehemently disagree with. So lesson learnt, next time read all the dishes before ordering the degustation.

Savouries finished with a kagoshima wagyu beef "oven roasted" with purée of ‘forgotten’ shallots. We asked for medium rare, but damn, this was almost mooing. The actual sauce or "jus" was was delicious, but those forgotten shallots must've really been forgotten. I don't think anyone on our table was able to eat those forgotten shallots.

 Instead of cheese courses, we asked for a substitution which was a pineapple with "olive oil caviar". Very smart use of technique to spherify the olive oil which was basically "capsules" of oil when placed in your mouth dissolves. Surprisingly, pineapple and olive oil go quite well together.

The first dessert consisted of clementines "sorbet with florentine’s & confit zest, a semi fredo inspired after ‘calissons de provençe’". This was delicious. The second being a chocolate souffle made with  abinao 85% chocolate. Souffle is souffle. We've all had great souffle and this was another great souffle.

Of course, with all top tier restaurants, we finished off with petit fours which were all fantastic.

All in all, Amber @ the Landmark Mandarin Oriental is a nice dining experience. The space and service well and truly will meet your expectations. The food however, with some high-end ingredients, at times missed the mark. Try it if you're near Central, but please, don't book flights to the Kong just for this.

Amber at The Landmark Mandarin Oriental
15 Queens Road Central, The Landmark, Central Hong Kong.

1 comment:

Brand adam said...

Your blog looks nice. Thanks for sharing your experience with us.I love Mandarin food very much and i have tried many mandarin recipes which i got from YouTube , recipe books and many other website at home .