Saturday, May 5, 2012

ART HK Lunch at Mandarin Bar & Grill - (Hong Kong)

Michelin 1 Stars  Mandarin Bar & Grill under the guidance of Chef Uwe Opocensky has become one of my favorite restaurants in town, if not in the world!   A previous review can be found HERE,  in fact in between this period I have actually revisited again during dinner but those meals were much more complex,  so hopefully I will get around to posting those back logs to show you how amazing the experiences can become.   This latest 2012 May ART HK event is possibly another reason to revisit?    I wholeheartedly suggest that you visit during Dinner time for the full Mandarin Grill experience,  but this time around the ART HK Lunch tickled our fancy enough to quickly secure a table,  starting from $688 for 3 courses and inclusive of an ART HK ticket,   whereas Dinner at 5 courses is substantially pricier at $1488 and obviously comes with more sophisticated dishes.   The creativity of the kitchen is very engaging here by default,  but usually much better during dinner as can be expected.  And by the way just to put it on actual record,  yes we did paid for our own meals again much like recently at upstairs Pierre (2*),  although we are acutely aware of some sinister bullies in the HK Bloggersphere trying to unnecessarily spread rumours otherwise on a smear campaign,  just because they can’t seem to afford eating here with their own money.     Knowing the hotel staff well doesn’t mean we receive a free meal.    Reality is quite cruel actually, as we’ve even got to pay for the over-priced mineral waters eating here.     We admire the kitchen and Chef Uwe’s creations and that is all we care about,  and why we continuously come back for more,  as true foodies would support what we really believe in.     Getting Back to the food,   I think some of the sauces or food elements can become slightly repetitive after several occasions,  but that’s made up for by the executional side of things as well as the ingenious creativity in the dishes.     The ART HK Food menu runs from May 1st to 20th during both lunch and dinner, as far as I can gather from the net information.  It is probably worth a visit but normal dinner is going to be more representational of what the kitchen is capable of cooking.



Blenheim Palace Water from the UK -  $85
It has a slightly minerality to it but remains soft and salty, 
it’s kind of good with the food.  Worth the premium paid for once. Angry smile


Bread Basket -
This to me is one of the best Bread Baskets in HK.  The Olive Bread and the Pretzel Rolls are my favourites,  followed by the Au Lait bread.    ~  9/10

The default Olive Oil used is from France,
Very high quality.  At night time,  you can choose up to 5 different types!


Graffiti Wall -  With Foie Gras and Brioche
If you order for 4 or more people,  this will come with 4 different graffiti graphics and arrive like a standing ovation Berlin Wall.   The top is a ‘printed’ cover which is artistic looking and fun.  Quite different from the usual Mandarin Grill food offerings…   Tasted decent enough.    ~   7/10


Painting Landscape – Beef, US Snake River
This was beautiful to look at.  With purees from 2 colorful peppers, onion, spinach and mushrooms,  this also came with a cinnamon tree twig and a slow cooked Duck egg yolk to literally complete the ‘Picture’!    The beef was cooked evenly pink and came with some truffle jus,  .  Talk about a piece of art representing the ART HK theme!  The staff however called this a cap/calotte cut,  but I am pretty sure this is the eye muscle cut though    ~   9/10

COLOURS -  Yellow, Red & Chocolate
The night version is going to be much more interesting with the iPods and the Chocolate Picture Frame.   This is still colourful enough,  although somehow we expected a small picture frame for some reason.   Probably more fun looking at it than for eating. If you want the fuller experience,  come during dinner please!  



Petits Fours.   Fried Ice Cream Doughnuts with Chocolate Sauce -
Surprisingly not much ice cream detectable inside,  felt more like French Beignets and decent.  A little bit too powdery inside.  ~  6.9/10



Breakfast Tea -
This is not the first time I’ve discovered this,  but the Teas served at MO Grill are better than at Café Causette.   This one was quite pleasant indeed! 




************** Other Lunch Dishes, $508 for 2 Courses,  $608 for 3 Courses *************



Veloute of Asparagus, Slow Cooked Duck Egg Yolk, Manni Olive Oil -

This tasted pretty decent for a lunch dish. 
The duck egg yolk texture is semi-gelled and kind of fun.   ~  8/10


Prawn,  Caviar, Cress & Mayonnaise -
This is substantially more simpler than dinner dishes,  for obvious reasons.  Lunch customers are usually in a hurry,  plus there is afterall a price difference.   But the taste of these prawns was good and with a lemony tang.   Refreshing.   ~   7/10




Roasted Pigeon,  Wild Mushroom,  Potato Fondant and Chive -
This was cooked very well and the meat cooked to rare via sous vide.   One piece of the breast was much more gamey than the other side,  which was an interesting find.    ~  9/10




Beef Eye,  Hungarian,  Spatzle, Pepper -
Tried a bit of this and the beef was slightly more cooked than the above ART HK main course one, which uses the same muscle cut  (I love this cut btw,  I use it myself to cook sometimes).   This was sliced thinner than the above but arrived as 2 pieces instead.   Everyone liked the above one a smidgeon better but this was still decent with the pasta.   ~  7/10



Side Of Vegetables - 
Came with Main Beef Dish




Rhubarb Trifle – Vanilla,  Rhubarb and Whipped Cream
This was very lovely actually and we all detected some alcohol input for some reason,  very refreshing as a summery dessert!   One of the serendipitous finds during the lunch course as it is not found on the a la carte dessert menu.   ~  8/10





Price:   $608 – $688 Lunch Per Person + 10%.   Dinner around $1488 to $1688.
Food:  ♕♕♕♕ 1/2

Opening Hours:
Mon to Sat -   12:00pm - 23:00pm

Address: 中環干諾道中5號香港文華東方酒店
Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, 5 Connaught Road Central, Central
Ph: 2825 4004

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