|Delicious oysters are hidden under the tomato cloud from Amber|
Taste of Hong Kong managed to recruit 12 restaurants, many high-end ones, and one restaurant from London, Duck and Waffle. It is a 24-hour restaurant on the 40th floor of the Heron Tower, serving all kinds of food, but best known for its duck leg confit with waffles.
|Duck 'a la royale' looked like dessert, but very savoury!|
The event was situated near the giant wheel by the Central waterfront with a kind of U-shaped area for the main restaurants, and in the middle were smaller stalls for companies selling wines, sake, craft beer, Champagne, and even mulled wine which was the perfect way to keep warm in the rainy weather.
However, dining at Taste of Hong Kong is not cheap either. After paying HK$168 (US$21.65) for the entrance fee (HK$198 on Saturday and Sunday), then visitors had to get a "Crown Card" and put money on it before they could purchase the food.
The cheapest dishes were HK$50 each, and it could go as high as HK$380. And this is not a sit-down restaurant setting -- food was presented on paper plates and visitors had to stand and eat.
But kudos to the restaurants for dressing up their stalls. Many made them look like the entrance to their real location, including fancy flower arrangements. Serge et le Phoque even had a DJ spinning discs at the counter where the co-owner Charles Pelletier took orders.
|Lobster rolls in brioche buns before they were devoured|
Nevertheless, people were game to show up despite the gloomy weather, which proves Hong Kong is such an enthusiastic foodie city.
|A winner - marsala glazed veal cheek from Cafe Gray Deluxe|
I have yet to eat a proper meal at Bibo, but here I tried the La Noix de Saint Jacques (HK$80), featuring Hokkaido scallops that were seared, with kumquat ginger, chilli and chives that looked pretty, but wasn't very memorable taste-wise.
|Beautifully plated green spaghetti chitarra from Tosca|
Having eaten lobster rolls in North America this past fall, these ones sadly didn't do much for me, probably because they were not prepared in a proper restaurant. There's the other factor of eating them on the east coast, which meant the meat was much fresher.
We moved on to Cafe Gray Deluxe, a place I've eaten at a few times, though not recently. Here, I tried the marsala glazed veal cheek (HK$90) and it was the best savoury dish I tasted today.
The veal was so tender, it melted in the mouth, and it was accompanied with saffron risotto, thin slices of parmesan and parma ham. The dish was so hearty and delicious that it hit the spot, much like a good stew.
We also tried the cured Tasmanian salmon (HK$80), thin slices of salmon on top of an avocado-cucumber salsa and topped with chillis.
|Sweet finale -- the dacquoise from Serge et le Phoque|
The green spaghetti was wrapped in a thin slice of swordfish, and then topped with baby squid and black olive oil. It was definitely a taste of the sea, as chef Pino Lavarra had explained to the media. The presentation was beautiful, and even the paper plate it was on was pretty.
Finally dessert. I've had it before at Serge et le Phoque, but it was hard to resist. The dacquoise (HK$50) is like a quasi macaroon/Beard Papa cream puff in one. It's a pretty large macaron filled with vanilla cream and some nougatine. Biting into the dessert is not too rich and heavy, and it's the smooth vanilla cream that makes it so delicious.
After that I was very full -- some of the dishes mentioned were shared with others, but the rest were mostly eaten by myself! The weather seemed to worsen by the time I left and I trudged to the gym and exercised for about 30 minutes to work off some of those calories of the dessert alone...