Le Dome de Cristal occupies the dome shaped space which previously housed Club No. 9, which I used to visit for clubbing whenever I was back in town and they were infamous for having a policy which only allowed good looking people into the venue. So discriminating but thank god I was allowed into that space at least a few times oink oink :@ ! Back to the current dining space, their signature ‘Cristal Champagne’ traces way back into history. One of the most prestigious Champagnes made by Louis Roederer and the first Champagne to be stored in crystal clear bottles instead of green bottles, both for asthetic reasons and also safety reasons. The image of Le Dome de Cristal instantly appeals to Central’s young demographic crowd and young professionals who are chasing big names and spoilt by choice not unlike myself, but deep under I believe most of us actually calculate about the money side of things that we earn from our hard working.. From my personal perception, I think it is their Louis Roederer and ‘Cristal’ range Champagnes here which can be popped open at closer to retail prices than the normal restaurants which attracted my attention. If you want to show-off to a date you might as well do it here because it is relatively accountable. Food-wise, the freshness of the ingredients really sang out tonight on this opening Invitation Dinner hosted by Ambrosia Group and I have to say I was even impressed by it.. Here’s hoping they could keep it up !
Bread Basket -
The crispy breads on the left are like a mix between Musica sheets and Lavish, pretty good. The Bread Rolls were on the softer side and caters for the more normal eating crowd. Also can’t help notice the stainless steel bread tray which is also spotted at GOLD by Harlans.
Ostra Regal, Gillardeau, Ecaille D’Argent, White Pearl - $88 each
All French oysters here and ready to pair perfectly with French Champagnes... I normally love Ecaille D’Argent followed by Gillardeau, but the Ostra Regals throws spanner into the works tonight. But these were all so amazingly fresh and big, I will have to try a few more to decide which I like best and remember to bring my super palate next time ; ). Most amazing oysters I have devoured in Hong Kong ever, even if this was by invitation.. ~ 9/10
Carpaccio of Yellow fin Tuna, Scallops & Salmon Roes with Sesame Dressing – $288
Didn’t notice the sesame dressing much but it didn’t require it as the highlight was the super bouncy Scallops and the fresh Ikura salmon roes. The tuna was ok but for once it did the right job as a back drop and letting other elements sing, since it was weaker. ~ 8/10
Organic Tomato Salad with White Anchovies & Pickled Garlic, 12 y.o. Balsamic -
This looked good but I expected their organic tomatoes to be more of the heirloom offerings with more natural taste… And the white anchovies selection was on the saltier side. If they could upgrade the tomatoes quality or add in some Mozzarella or Burrata too I will be more convinced… ~ 6/10
Louis Roederer 2007 Blanc de Blancs – $1980
I love the pure Chardonnay based Blanc de Blancs Champagnes. It is crisp and ever so lemony refreshing, the 2007 vintage was mostly about green apples, lemon and fresh grapes with slight hint of minerality. My 2nd favourite drink.
Alaskan Crab Meat with Imperial caviar and Du Barry Cauliflower Cream Sauce – $298
This surprised me more than you might expect. The Alaskan Crab meat beneath was super fresh and tasty and unlike anything I have tried anywhere else including Japan.. Apparently these were shipped unfrozen on a bed of ice. Its sweetness can even match up to the saltier Imperial Caviars directly, wow. I was totally flabbergasted by it’s sweetness and even Japanese sushi shops will be proud if they can emulate this feat on a daily basis. Another crab dish below was equally impressive. Hope it wasn’t a once off. ~ 10/10
Duck Foie Gras Terrine stuffed with Fig Chutney and Fig Slices and Flowers – $188
The duck gras terrine was rather dense but it had a really strong taste to offset. The fig chutney in the middle was a good balance point. I don’t know – actually I quite like denser livery terrines too… But in HK context I guess people expect really smooth Goose foie gras pates instead, as almost everyone in town think Foie Gras = equals Goose Liver. Whereas in France it’s usually synonymous with Duck Liver… Embarrassing to be a HK person sometimes with preconceptions?
Linguini wih Sicilian Red Shrimp & Imperial Caviar, Cherry Tomatoes,
Freshly julienned Basils and Fried Basil Leaf - $398
Nowadays Red Prawn pastas are expected in most Italian restaurants in town, and in fact if you look around yourself and the world carefully, you might finally notice HK actually has the most concentrated numbers of Red Prawn pastas globally even counting in Italy or Japan or Spain. It is so obvious that we are spoilt. This version was made really well here and half using lobster reduction and crustacean oil, and upon sucking upon the prawns head, it was so intense and more Spanish Prawns like to me than the advertised Sicilian prawns. I really liked their balanced input of tomatoes and basil herbs here, balancing the Red Prawn umami taste. So elegant but not overly powering in the sauce and about balance than potency ~ 9/10
Cristal 2005 Champagne - $2950
My first experience of this recent 2005 Vintage. It carries a micro mousse-like texture, and very fresh green apple and grapes aroma and almost floral like, I think it was a bit acidic to be ready to develop it’s true potential flavors but here we catch a 1st glimpse! At Le Dome de Cristal this precious bottle can be had at just below $3,000. Again in this context, this is probably the only venue to impress your date with a well priced ‘Cristal’ so it all comes down to the food.
Charcoal Grilled Yellow Fin Tuna, Shaved Fennel Salad with Ham,
Haricots and Alaskan King Crab Legs - $528
The crabs were so fresh again just like the above and fabulous. The tuna was sashimi grade and quickly grilled outside. What really impressed me so far tonight was the ingredients and their fresh taste… the produce they source is exceptional including the oysters. Fanciful recipes was never going to be as satisfying as the final real taste. At $528 however this was to me a bit pricey. ~ 8/10
Charcoal Grilled Canadian Black Pork Rack, with Apple and Rhubarb Chutney,
with Red Currant Glaze - $488
Interesting that 3 different sour components were used in the recipe but in the end they were mild in sourness. It didn’t distract from the very powerful Pork taste… One of the diners beside me doesn’t usually appreciate pork but even she was surprised by how sophisticated it tasted. I have previously had the privilege to enjoy really flavourful pork from Spain, Hungary, Japan etc. but still no one believes me when I say pork can really taste this good. Here I found that experience again .. So addictive and I hope it can be maintained for the long term ~ 9/10
Slow Cooked Lamb Loin with Gratinated Potato with Morel Mushroom,
Morel Foam and Sheep Milk Yogurt - $588
I was so sleepy towards this part of the meal on the Friday but the foodie side of me couldn’t resist noticing the gigantic morel mushrooms. The Sheep’s milk yogurt sauce grabbed my attention but it could be stronger still, but interestingly the Morel foam was potent enough. The lamb loin seemed pink within but well caramelized outside, upon biting in, it was just right too. The lamb taste was there, all the subtle details counted … ~ 8.5/10
2004 Cristal Rose Champagne – $9800
I recall our lovely Hosts explaining about both Red and White grapes composition of this 2004 Rose Champagne, which is predominantly Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay. It was really lovely and all rounded sweet, I have to say this was the Champagne which won my heart during the night. At a price tag though and compared to the normal Cristal above, margins slightly too high to my comfort but then this is 2004 Cristal Rose..
Champagne Caviar with White Peach Mousse Cake - $188
This looked so pretty and with different cuts of fruits and especially Boysenberry, one of my favorites. I would love to wax lyricals about this pretty dessert but I thought the Champagne molecular ‘caviars’ were denser than expected but it certainly looked really really impressive. ~ 8/10
Gold Leaf Champagne Jelly with Fresh Grapes – $148
A Champagne and Grapes jelly dusted with gold leaves within, topped with Red Currants.
I was becoming quite tired and sleepy by this stage but I always try to remember the taste sensations and concepts lol… The Champagne component was noticeable and the grapes equation was quite pronounced too, I liked the red currants on top which gave it layering. ~ 7.5/10
Valrhona Chocolate Dome with Wasabi Filling Vanilla Ice-Cream and Sorbet – $158
I quite like the chocolate dome but I lost track of the wasabi flavour somehow inside the dome... The recipe was definitely not as exciting as the above 2 desserts despite this being the ‘Dome’. ~ 6.9/10
Le Dome de Cristal -
Ingredients here were amazing indeed, recipes wise it will be more geared towards trusty flavours with a twist. Executed really really well on this Tasting Night but at this price point it is expected! Many dishes when served, wowed me by their freshness and execution than by recipe as you can taste the natural ingredients and subtle tunings behind. At this pricing range some upper class people can afford it daily but some might be hesitant to follow my recommendation and delve right in… I suggest going for a lunch first and see if it is suitable for you before deciding to revisit during dinner time? : )
Price: (Meal hosted by Le Dome de Cristal)
Food: ♕♕♕♕ 1/2 - ♕♕♕♕♕
Ease of Access: 4/5
3/F, The Galleria, 9 Queen's Road Central, Hong Kong, Central
Ph: 2116 4688