Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Krug Room - (Hong Kong)

  This is one of the most exclusive Private Dining Rooms in Hong Kong.  It is hidden from it all inside the prestigious Hong Kong Mandarin Oriental Hotel,  in fact even to myself it was definitely a new adventure to discover it just tucked behind my perennial favourite & British comfort food restaurant The Chinnery and I just ate there last week without knowing!   The Krug Room is known as the place to be and to be seen!   Real big thanks to www.hkfashiongeek.com for being so generous to invite us over for the night,  especially when Miss V was stuck at work on the Monday and couldn’t attend herself…  We definitely owe her a meal.




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The Krug Room -
Run by a favourite chef in town of mine,  Uwe Opocensky.   He looks after the well deserved Michelin Starred Mandarin Grill & Bar,  one of the most exciting dining packages available in Hong Kong!  *As a pre-warning I actually liked the Mandarin Grill side better during this visit : )






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Tonight’s Menu is Scribbled on the Wall -
I hope I have not given out a spoiler to those visiting The Krug Room..






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The Krug Room naturally serves only Krug Champagnes -
Tonight’s dinner included 4 bottles of the Krug Grand Cuvee…





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Room is obviously decorated with THE Krug Symbol on the Wall -






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Steak Tartare and Avocado Cornets -
This was a nice starter  ~  7/10






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Croque Monsieur with Ham, Cheese and Truffles -
I liked this a lot, in fact for some reason to me it had more shaved porcini than truffle taste,  but along that spec.  The slightly melted cheese and ham in a single biteful size was kinda cute!   ~ 9/10






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Beef Cracker with dotted Foie Gras and Edible Flowers -
We thought the beef cracker wasn’t very beefy enough.  The foie gras was ok but didn’t seem to match the cracker and flowers too much.  May be beef cracker can match more with bone marrow lol,  some mal-nutritioned and fairly annoying ‘foodie’ said on the spot! ; )   ~  6.9/10






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US Kumamoto Oysters with Vichyssoise and Caviar -
The base cold soup is made from leeks and potatoes and chicken stock,  usually but not always served cold.  The oyster was surprisingly only served as ‘halves’ in the pretty wavy shaped shell.  There wasn’t much surprises with this than we expected.  *Especially knowing what Mandarin Grill & Bar is usually capable of…   ~  7/10







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Hamachi King Fish with Tomato Puree,  Lemon Curd and Herbs served in a Tin -
I think this looked cute,  but one can’t naturally relate Hamachi with Tins,  and especially when they are cut into such thin strips.  The sour Tomato sauce was slightly spoiling the fish’s natural flavours.   Most consensually agreed  this was a little unbalanced and some mentioned swapping it with Calamari strips might have produced better results.  ~  5/10







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Italian Culatello Ham with Beetroots, Goat Cheese,  
Beetroots Powder and Puree, Apple Gel, and Crisp Yoghurt Leaves -
I just ate this dish at Mandarin Grill side recently.  That version used the 5J Spanish Jamon ham,  but the difference wasn’t huge as the Culatello used here are of very high quality.  The Yoghurt Leaves were autumny and slightly sweet and crackly.  Ham, Beetroot and Goats Cheese are a tested combination and it worked well tonight!     ~  8/10






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Alaskan King Crab Leg, Stuffed with Mayonnaise and Lemon Verbena with Oyster Leaf…
My immediate thought was that this would have been more successful as an Amuse Bouche course!   It tasted good but somehow we believed each course at The Krug Room will build up from the previous course 1 by 1,  but this was kind of more simple than though… Not much surprises!   ~  7/10






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Scallops and Kindai Toro,  covered with Green Apple Foam on Shiso Leaf -
The apple foam kind of spoiled the fatty tuna a bit with it’s sharp acidity,  and the tuna was sliced too thin.   The scallops were surprisingly plump and fresh in contrast,  loved these more!  There was a bit of Osestra caviar whacked on top of the Toro Tuna,  which are more ornamental and already made an appearance on the above US Kumamoto Oyster dish,  or half of an oyster.  The Pebbles also already made a 2nd appearance tonight too and all the foodies expected at least some pebbles to be edible!!  May 1 day our wishes be granted true ^o^    ~  6/10






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Palate Cleanser – Peach & Tomato based drink with Same Ice cube and Bell Pepper Dots

When we downed this it was quite acidic sour and I actually coughed uncontrollably, even I was surprised as I like acidic drinks in general.   It was quite vinegary like and although this was playful with a 5 dots ice cube,  I was starting to believe that the Onion or Tomato Tea Bag Soup served on the Mandarin Grill side,  was much better and sophisticated than here!   The purpose between them is different,  but when eating at The Krug Room, I guess we don’t need a Palate Cleanser,  we need a surprise?  I know this was served here previously. Bring it back please!  ~  4/10






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Dungeness Crab Meat with 5 Textures of Peas -
Freeze dried,  Sauteed, Pea Puree, Dehydrated Powder and Pea Shoots
Some people liked the sauteed peas the most, some liked the puree,  I liked the freeze dried dehydrated powder most but some said it stuck to their upper mouth lining.   Everyone else disliked the freeze dried peas version as it was bland and resembled but didn’t tasted like dried Wasabi Peas!   The Crab Meat was ok and somehow we expected more of it?   I actually quite liked this dish but it was just a little too overwhelmed by pea variations versus the crab meat !  ~  7/10






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Turbot Fish with Cauliflower Puree, Sliced Cauliflower and Chives Blossom -
I had a similar Turbot fish at Mandarin Grill lately and have got to say that version was better in terms of recipe sophistication and the heart put into the dish -  that one also came with a pesto linguine on the side.   This one here was good but not so exciting,  ganbatte !  ~  7/10

    





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Blue Homard Lobster from Brittany is topped again with Caviar for 3rd Time Tonight...
Served on a bed of Thyme, Olive Oil, a plate made of Smoked Cedar,  with a Sugary Crustacean Shell and Sea Samphire -
This wasn’t bad per se but a very similar Lobster dish I ordered as A La Carte next door at Mandarin Grill was much better balanced with some pickled vegetables and a crustacean based sauce.  Even knowing this was more of a smaller tasting portion of many multiple courses,  I finally realised the full potential here lied with Michelin starred Mandarin Grill & Bar.   *The Lobster tonight was also slightly under-cooked and therefore slightly little stringy raw than my previous versions.      ~  6/10




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Lobster Shell lookalike -
This looked really promising and engagingly fun!  The above Yoghurt leaves in the Culatello and Beetroot dish had a similar theme,  but the version here was kinda sugary sweet and not so balanced.  We discussed about this issue and thought that it would perform tremendously better if it carried a savory crustacean flavour.  Looking forward to that already.






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18 Weeks Suckling Pig,  with Apple-Caramel Sauce, and Black Truffle Jelly Disc -
The Pork seemed re-compressed but was really good!  So was that apple caramel sauce which was to die for stuff!   This was certainly a redemption dish for the night!   The truffle jelly disc however was kinda muted and wasn’t truffle-y enough.   And having had the other 3 Ways Suckling Pigs dish at Mandarin Grill side,   I think that was more theatrical and engaging.   I am not sure if I understand The Krug Room philosophy clearly,  but I have always heard that it was meant to impress the guests 1st up,  whether the customers agree or not with the food.   But I found so many dishes tonight to be better at the Mandarin Grill side run by the same Chef.  And it is more expensive over here too, which got me confused as not everyone normally splurges out for the unknown!   ~  8/10






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Specially made Laguiole styled Steak Knife -
Laguiole is not a manufacturer. It is a regional style of a knife.






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Welsh Rhug Estate Tenderloin, 
with Purple Carrots & Puree,  Aubergine Juice soaked Tapioca Charcoal,  Brioche Crumbs -
The Charcoal has been present in another Suckling Pig dish before I ate at Mandarin Grill,  that was good!  Tenderloin tonight was surprisingly marbled for this cut and cooked really well.   I also liked the blackened brioche crumbs and some of the foodies drew pictures or words on these!  Now that signals the highlight of a fun night out !   ~  8/10







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Banana Split with Chocolate Sauce -
With multiple layered Ice Creams and banana fruit puree inside,  encased within the White Chocolate crisp shell.   It was a lot of fun indeed today.  It reminds me of the Mango version I had at my 2nd last visit to Mandarin Grill.  (Yes, I paid for myself, it’s still one of the best restos in town)  ~  8/10






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Side to the Banana:  Cream with Almonds and Cherry Sorbet balls -
To complement with the above Chocolate Banana Split.  this was really appreciated. Especially the Cherry gelato balls which looked like Maraschino cherries but were indeed just shaped like one but tasted intensely of cherries! 







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Breakfast with Brioche Toast, Fried Bacon,  Egg Yolk Coated with Sugar and a White Chocolate Egg dome containing a Crème Brulee -
The bread was good with a sugar bruleed top.  The sweetish Bacons were also addictive.  The Egg yolk in sugar was too ‘strong’ in egg taste it felt like Beijing or Tsingtao eggs.  The so-called Crème Brulee within the Egg dome never eventuated though.  It just tasted like coagulated cream and seemed pasteurised unnatural.  I think this dish had really really high potentials within the recipe.  It’s just that when it became together as a package it was slightly too contrived rather than tasting like it’s sounded... ?  ~  6/10




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Kinder Chocolate-like,  inside the Crispy Egg -
The cream seemed a little too unnaturally sweetened.  And there are no signs of the so called Crème Brulee inside, except vanilla seeds.   Unless if we can consider the outside sugar shell to be a burnt brulee like replacement..  







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Krug on the Moon -
I have had this before and also the similar Christmas version last year at the Mandarin Oriental Media Launch Party,  or the lunch ART HK version.   This time it was less engaging nor as passionate as before, it didn’t spring more surprises in 2 ways.   I think the lack of confidence or passion shown from staff members making this for us was a problem,  vs the very experienced diners all eating on the same table who expected an Alinea renactment which made it more of an awkward situation?  ~  5/10 







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The Krug Room -
Many thanks to www.hkfashiongeek.com again for the invitation and to share her part of the meal to us,  despite not being able to make a presence that night.   I wish I could take her back to Mandarin Grill & Bar to experience the fuller part of the dining adventure 1 day.  It is one of my favourite restaurants in Hong Kong still.

 



Price:  Around $2,000 Per Person before Krug Champagne
Ease of Access:   4/5  (On Top of MTR Central Station)
Food:   ♕♕♕1/2  to ♕♕♕♕


Address: 中環干諾道中5號香港文華東方酒店1樓
1/F, Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, 5 Connaught Road Central, Central
Ph:  2825 4014

8 comments:

  1. Wow 2000 per pax before alcohol! Gosh, how am i going to bring my parents to this place?

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  2. Michelle, the sister more main stream restaurant Mandarin Grill is great! Just next door to here.

    It's just that somehow we expected here to be better still, but it turned out to be the reverse : ) Mandarin Grill is still one of the places I like the best hehe..

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