One of my outright favourite restaurants in Hong Kong and looking back at my Photo Albums, this is already my 6th visit but I seem to have only posted intermittently as I think too many posts about here is too much of a spoiler to the ultimate experience! One of my previous reviews can be found here: Mandarin Grill (I). This place isn’t totally flawless but it is at least exploratory and some people find certain dishes to be too similar to other International restaurants occasionally, but Mandarin Grill always manages to spring a surprise to me and my dining companions. It is definitely one of the top dining destinations for that very special occasion. Their related Krug Room Private Dining space review can also be found here: http://www.hkepicurus.com/2012/09/the-krug-room-hong-kong.html and for me, I actually prefer more the grander and main dining room here as the courses are served bigger and more convincing as a package!
An Arbois from Eastern France –
I ordered this Jura wine because it’s hard to come by in Hong Kong, made with Savagnin Blanc, which is related to the Traminer grapes family. Wouldn’t say I really liked this but it was definitely unique in taste and harder to find. Perks of being spoiled with choices.. ~ 7/10
Puligny-Montrachet, La Truffière par Robert Comte 2009 -
Really lovely Burgundy Chardonnay with intricate layers, no tasting note as I only took a sip or two as it was my partner’s drink. But definitely I can only recall fond memories of all the Wines I have drank at Mandarin Grill all these years, as they are carefully hand-picked by the Sommelier each year. Although they are not cheap by the glass but you can always trust their recommendations, I would even say more than the food recs ~ 9/10
Ocean Trout Slow-cooked at Low Temperature with Honey for 10 minutes -
This is an interesting recipe and an adaptation from an Austrian 2* restaurant.
This is cooked and placed in front of the customers for 10 minutes before they whisk it away, then coming back already plated. In the mean time, other dishes arrive before it’s ready !
US Kumamoto Oyster with Cold Vichyssoise and Caviar -
A dish served on cold stones as already experienced at the Krug Room. This was quite enjoyable and actually the balance was better than before this time with more apparent taste of ingredients. ~ 9/10
5 Olive Oils -
4 of the 5 Olive Oils are always featured here permanently. But this time we still received 1 extra surprise. Don’t be shy and request for all 5 EVOOs to be poured so you can experience them all at once. The most expensive bottle here is easily $1000-$2000 each and to me, it is all part of the overall package of dining here! Why hold back when you fully paid for your meal, like us? I am not arrogant but I am definitely not shy. ; )
Dehydrated Leaves -
Part of the below Christmas Tree course. Made with different veggies as we tested on the spot.
Art Piece - Cauliflower and Foie Gras Puree,
with Jamon Ham and Mushrooms, Cheese snow, and Black Trumpet.
An amazingly presented dish and so artistic. The taste was also great and when they shaved the Ice on top, we were kind of moved as it was during the middle of December Winter. ~ 8.5/10
Remember the 10 Minute Trout above?
Finally the Honey Slow-cooked Trout from North Seas arrives back again -
This time decorated with a carrot puree in Bee Hive shape and with Caviar and Crème Fraiche and herbs. This was slightly under-seasoned but luckily less sweeter than I had anticipated from the cooking process. If this was more saltier it will be a really balanced dish. But as it is it was definitely awesome as a concept even if some Austrian restaurant is serving a similar version and you really have to compare them side by side to know the difference. ~ 8/10
Onion Soup -
This is one of my favorite Courses here. The onion consommé takes almost a month to make to ensure the flavors are robust enough, and a Melting ‘Obulato’ Tea Bag in a Pot carries more spices, etc. It’s a bit theatrical and reminds one of the Mad Hatter’s course at The Fat Duck too. Me and my dining partner somehow thought it needed some cheese element to be even more complete! Albeit it was definitely fun but yes the cheese?! I also previously tried a Tomato Soup version on a separate occasion which was also decently intense. ~ 8.5/10
Challans Duck with Rolled Apples, Cabbage, Truffle Toast and Jus Reduction -
This course was only ordered because I really wanted my date to try the Venison dish I have had previously, which was really impressive in both presentation and taste. The kitchen said the ingredients weren’t stable and suggested I order this instead… Truth be told, this is a very big difference with what I had in mind especially if you have PREVIOUSLY experienced that Venison Dish. It was like it came out from a totally different kitchen. @@ ~ 4/10
Some Red Burgundy from Beaune and Italian Amarone to pair with the Duck and Lamb dishes -
Wine Pairing at Mandarin Grill is always spot-on for me and that’s based on empirical statistics. The Santa Sofia Amarone for example was less sweeter than the norm but worked so well with the gamey lamb below with a hint of spice. The Domaine de Montille Beaune was well structured but soft with finesse, most importantly, instantly likeable by everyone if not predictable.. Certainly suited the novice drinkers like us easily ; )
3 Parts of Welsh Lamb - with Lamb Shoulder, Lamb Ribs and Leg with Grilled Celeriac -
The base of the plate is lined with a spinach puree and herbal sauce in the shape of a Cow, which from memory used to be the base for a separate Beef dish. All the parts were cooked perfectly, the lamb shoulder was more saltier on the certain bites which were less dense and softer, since they absorbd in more cooking liquid. Interesting finding as each bite was different! Liked this overall ~ 8.5/10
Barley Cooked in Lamb Jus as a Condiment - Part of the Above Main Course
This was really gamey actually, and as we were becoming full by this stage and it became quite rich. I really enjoyed this though as it’s quite unique for HK Context. Liked the bold concept..
Pea Flavored Salt -
To go with the lamb…
Very interesting combination and it worked. Go figure but it was fun but good. It’s all part of the fun dining at Mandarin Grill. Not everything always works but the hit rate is sort of high.
Peanuts and Chestnuts Dessert -
The maple syrup flavoured leaves were said to be yoghurt, but somehow tasted like goat’s milk to me as they were very gamey. The rest of it was also a nice surprise with many contradictions in concept - no spoilers from me here! A really lovely ending to the meal if not for their failed Duck dish which was really far from the previous Venison dish. ~ 10/10
Edible Cinnamon, Star Anise and Vanilla Pods -
This was a bit of a surprise, they tasted so strong of their advertised tastes and 2ndly they look just amazingly like the real thing indeed! The Petits Fours or Mignardises here have always been playful, but this was more than we wished for in a fun way. We couldn’t finish them but we took the doggies bag to smuggle some away for later consumption. The meal had more highs than lows compared to the past but it was still worth us coming back for the Nth time. ~ 10/10
Price: $1600 Per Person + 10%.
Food: ♕♕♕♕♕ to ♕♕♕♕♕ 1/2
Mon to Sat - 12:00pm - 23:00pm
Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, 5 Connaught Road Central, Central
Ph: 2825 4004