Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Restaurant Petrus - fine dining with views to die for


I think I've found the most spectacular and stunning views of Victoria Harbour, and quite possibly the most wonderful vista in all of Hong Kong.  Located on the 56th floor of the Island Shangri-la, Restaurant Petrus is a French fine diner that had been on my 'must visit' list for some time. I'd heard that there were some spectacular views from Petrus, but nothing could prepare me for the view that greeted me as we were shown to our table.

Matching the spectacular view of Hong Kong, was the plush interior of the Island Shangri-la's showpiece restaurant that was literally at the top of the world.  Old style French opulence sprang to mind as we surveyed the gilt chairs surrounding crisp white linen at each table.  A grand piano underneath hanging chandeliers and cherubs guarding the entrance were just some of the features that added to the feeling of pure luxury.

Matching the regal setting was a menu that was not short of luxurious ingredients, along with a wine list that showcased the restaurant's twelve thousand bottles of wine (yes, you read that correctly).  We had a choice between a special black truffle degustation and a la carte, but with an unusual take on our normal dining habits, we chose the 'simpler' options of the standard a la carte menu.  

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Steak Frites by the Butchers Club - quality steaks at a price


We'd only just sat down at our table when an enthusiastic chef from the kitchen was presenting huge slabs of raw meat for our perusal.  We could have had the full story about dry aged beef, but since I knew a little bit of the process of dry ageing, we skipped the lecture.

That's the way they roll at the Butchers Club, to say they are fanatical about beef products might just be underselling the team's devotion to bringing top quality meat to Hong Kong.

The Butchers Club are very well known for their burgers and for a while there, I was pretty darn addicted to their fat and juicy hamburgers (see post here).  While their burgers are arguably the best in town, I was keen to find out just how devoted to the art-of-the-cow the Butchers Club were, and visiting their Steak Frites joint on Staunton Street seemed like the best way to find out.

I'd walked past the entrance to Steak Frites countless times on the way to work each morning, so was well acquainted with the entrance actually being around the corner in Aberdeen Street. Walking up the stairs into the dining room was an interesting experience, with decor that included exposed bricks and a rustic feel that was enhanced by the slight red glow of the numerous hanging lights.  The space was a little smaller and more intimate than I was expecting, the tables quite close together.  Our table afforded us a clear view of the kitchen and fridge stocked full with the specially acquired Australian and US beef.

Sunday, 31 January 2016

Grissini hosted by Gaetano Trovato - 2 Michelin Stars


I always get just a little bit excited when I discover that international chefs are coming to Hong Kong for guest stints, especially when they are as renowned as Chef Gaetano Trovato, owner of Two Michelin Starred restaurant Italian restaurant Arnolfo.

Chef Trovato was coming to visit his former protege Alessandro Cozzolino who currently holds the position of Chef de Cuisine at the Grand Hyatt's Grissini.  Spending a few short days in the kitchen of the Italian fine dining restaurant, there was a limited opportunity to sample the maestro's take on classic Italian cooking.  

Of course, we had to take advantage of the narrow window of opportunity and make a reservation.

We'd picked the coldest day on record to visit Grissini, it had barely risen beyond 2 degrees celsius in Hong Kong, so when we arrived at the Grand Hyatt, we were dressed in clothes more appropriate for skiing in the Italian alps.  When we made our way through the grand hallway of the Hyatt and up to the entrance to Grissini, we'd only just managed to get the feeling back in our fingers.

Saturday, 30 January 2016

The Ocean and Pure Berlin Collaboration: The 4 Hands Dinner


Service and luxury begin long before you enter the front door of The Ocean restaurant over in beachside Repulse Bay.  It's a little known secret that I'm about to expose, but there is a limousine service available from the newly opened restaurant by fine dining restaurant group Le Comptior.  With a fleet of Tesla electric motor vehicles, the group combines luxury and an environmentally friendly approach that is reflected in the group's food philosophy.

Since my first visit to The Ocean, which was a little bit of a mixed bag (see post here), we've been over to Chef Agustin Balbi's fine dining seafood restaurant a couple of times.  It's fair to say that we've come to love the inventive styling of Chef Balbi and his dedication to creating delectable and creative plates of food, centering on seafood.  

So it was great excitement that we travelled from our apartment courtesy of the limousine service to the special collaboration event planned by Chef Balbi and the way-out-crazy-dudes from Pure Berlin.

If you've never heard of Pure Berlin, then your probably not alone, but the avant garde concept group  out of the German capital are looking to establish Germany as the next international culinary trend destination.  Chief idea maker of Pure Berlin and food designer Miles Watson (actually a Kiwi) had decided to take their ideas on the road and the collaborative meal at The Ocean was a stop on the tour.

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