Sunday, November 2, 2014

Cuisine Cuisine 國金軒 - Dinner this time instead of Lunch

  This dinner session was organized by The Mira Hotel as an Invitational Tasting,  and Cuisine Cuisine has 2 branches indeed in Hong Kong.  1 is here at Tsim Sha Tsui Mira Hotel,  the other branch is at IFC over on Hong Kong Island side.   My last visit to this branch was for Yum Cha and when they still had 2 Michelin Stars,  and in the 2015 Michelin Guide they haven’t managed to crawl back on the deficit to regain any Macarons this year.   To me personally,   the problem definitely lies more with the Guide Book than anything else,  I mean,  I would really love to eat with some Michelin Inspectors and see what they order and experience.   Being a Food Critic myself too.  



We had a mediocre Dim Sum experience here last time around…
Hope this time,  the Head Chef and his a la carte dishes have turned things around!


Tea to start off the Night -
Served in a tall glass

Soy Sauce with Chili,  Sakura Prawns XO Sauce,  and a Chili XO Sauce -
The middle prawns XO Sauce is very impressive and packed with Umami flavours.  Very inventive..



Appetizer - Pineapple and Mango Sauce
A really thoughtful starter that rotates by the week.  Didn’t expect this from a Chinese restaurant at all.   This is totally Michelin style as a concept…


Baked Crab meat in Avocado -
Actually I know avocado pairs really well with crab,  but I have eaten this ‘Western’ combination at several Michelin Chinese restaurants  in town.  Seems like Cantonese chefs are more aware of the unbeatable flavour combination than I expected !   ~ 8/10

Fish Maw and Mushrooms Soup -
The Fish maw is cooked perfectly and thick.   The soup had a good depth of clear chicken consomme flavour.  The Mushroom seems like a Japanese variety as you can recognise it with the extra fragrance.   ~ 8/10


Fried Spanish Carabineros Prawn with Prawn Head,  on Steamed Egg White  -  $268
This was another new Signature dish and as I have mentioned above,  the Chef’s awareness of using International ingredients has given him more flexibility.   Here this combination worked well with the strong Red Prawn flavour combined with the more subtle egg white custard.   Remember to suck on the prawn head as that’s where all the flavours lie in the Spanish prawn…   ~ 8.5/10


Red wine Braised,  Skin-On Ox Tail -   $288
The skin on oxtail is amazing in an ex-Michelin starred setting already,  as this is usually prohibitive due to customers wanting more meat than gelatinous skin after paying for the dish.   This had a good whiff of red wine and upon enquiring further,  I was not surprised to find that a whole bottle of red had gone in to make them so tender and flavourful,  and then a few more spoonful of fresh red wines splashed in at the last minute along the claypot’s side to keep its aroma.   Really addictive and we had to order some side white rice for sure to pair with this lovely Oxtail.  And there was a genius addition of Red Kidney Beans into it too,  and reminded me of a Chili bowl   ~ 8/10




French Pigeon stir fried with Asparagus – $568
This Pigeon has it’s neck twisted and not slit to bleed by it’s neck,  meaning it retained most of it’s bloody taste.   A very very bold dish and ultimately the Pigeon was very gamey for a Chinese dish -  half the table couldn’t take it as it is,  half of us thought this was ingenious.   It was almost livery and organs like.   Personally I thought this was slightly too gamey for Cantonese cuisine and at $580 a pop it isn’t cheap,  but I appreciate the Chef to attempt making this.    Respect!    ~ 7.5/10




Fried Ma Yao Salted Fish,  with Ginger Shreds – $480
This arrived when I thought it will be more dry-cured liked a salted fish,  it turned out to be half-half cured.    The skin was crispy and the meat within was still fleshy enough,   and together with the lovely fried ginger strands,  this was elevating Cantonese cuisine to another level not seen anywhere else before.   ~ 8/10


Shrimp Roes on Thick Noodles with Fish Maw,  Spring Onions & Ginger  -
This was done pretty well and reminded of the soup above.   I expected the thick noodles to be more al dente but the shrimp roes flavour more than made up for it in the end.   ~ 7.5/10



Pandan Layered Cake,  Birds Nest Egg Tart,  Berries Pudding -
Desserts to follow…




Pomelo,  Mango Soup -
One of the best versions in town if you ask me.  At least you can taste the mango and pomelo,   and it was not too milky.   Way better than China Tang or Island Tang versions by far ..   ~ 8/10




Black Sugar Steamed Sponge Cake -
Well structured.   Amazingly not many places these days get it right,  here it was above the norm but not moist enough for me.   ~ 7.5/10




Sticky Red Date Pudding -
A non-typical Cantonese dessert.  Edited:  I mistyped it as Sticky Rice before lol,  I mean Sticky Red Date of course.   This was done really well and impressive,  if they will advertise this recipe well as I didn’t even know it existed on their menu !   It is good for women if you believe in Chinese medicine.   ~ 8/10


Cuisine Cuisine -
Went from 2 Michelin Stars to none recently in the 2015 Guide.  
The biggest change is the Chef behind the kitchen,  but the food was pretty decently cooked.   Some of the dishes carried a Western food methology in approach.    Personally trying to understand the HK Michelin Guide mode of thought is always going to be surface deep…  Despite being of Invitational nature,  this restaurant tonight was as good as it can get with any other Michelin 1-2 starred Cantonese restaurants in town.  I can pinpoint some small details at where they can become better,  but at least here they are exploratory and willing to use some Western cooking ingredients and incorporate them into Cantonese Chinese cuisine.



Price:   Meal by Invitation by Mira Hotel.  Approx $450 per person. 
Food:   ♕♕♕♕ 1/2
Ease of Access:  3/5

3/F, The Mira, 118 Nathan Road,
Tsim Sha Tsui
尖沙咀彌敦道118號The Mira 3樓
Ph:  2315 5222

1 comment:

  1. you can always tell if a chinese restaurant is good or not by their xo sauce.



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