Thursday, April 30, 2015

Chef Akrame was in town!!

Akrame is a two-Michelin star restaurant in Paris that opened in Hong Kong in November 2013, since then it has gained one-Michelin star in Hong Kong within a year of opening.

I was really lucky because not only did I get a chance to try Chef Akrame Benallal's summer degustation menu but I also got to meet him at the restaurant before his flight back to Paris.

He was in Hong Kong from 22-24 April to personally unveil his creative summer degustation menu and set up his upcoming restaurant Atelier Vivanda which is due to open in June!

The summer degustation menu was available for preview in April as posted on their FB which will be available for the whole month of June under Chef Jon Irwin's execution as 3, 4, and 6 courses for lunch; and 4, 6, and 8 courses for dinner.

On the back of the printed menu, I loved the way it was pictorially presented with how it is cooked and served.

I had six courses, which I thought was not going to be filling at the beginning but it turned out to be quite filling and the food was mind blowing.
Each course was exciting with an explosion of flavours and textures that is guaranteed to surprise you.
Started off with the amuse bouche, which was served by charming Akrame.

On the left was this light cheesy cracker made with squid ink, parmesian and smoked eel. The next piece in the middle had a stronger flavour of tart yoghurt and a burst of saltiness from the olive.
The final piece was celtuce which had a lovely crunch and a touch of sweetness from the raspberry.

The first course was Creamy Polenta with Smoked Haddock and Warm Coffee Mayonnaise which really took me by surprise because when coffee is used as a savoury ingredient it combines with the smoky taste of haddock really well and the silky polenta beneath it acted like a delicious mash.

The Gillardeau Oyster was topped with Seaweed Tartare, Citron and Granny Smith apples.
It was a nice burst of light and fruity flavours but the sharpness of the lemon flesh stood out the most and it was the reason I loved it because lemon juice and oysters go really well together.
As a tea lover I was impressed because they bring out a glass teapot, place the raw lobster inside and put a tea strainer on top that contains Lapsang Souchong (which is a black tea from China) and pour French tarragon hot consomme into the teapot and poach it.

When it is poached, they placed the lobster on top of the red lentils and it is ready to eat.

The texture of the lobster was delicate and springy infused with a tarragon fragrance

This was the last seafood course which was seabass with Carrots Arlequin and Charcoal Butter.
I loved the way the seafood was covered in charcoal butter served with a side of carrots Arlequin that was topped with dreamy foam.

The seabass was silky and delicate which went perfectly well with the fine carrot puree that had a really velvety texture.
Between the main course, there was a sorbet to refresh made with mandarin topped with campari jelly!

I thought the cylinder was edible but it was made of ice but still the idea is pretty cool and keeps the sorbet cold!

The mandarin sorbet was cooling with a slight bitterness.
When this course came, the waiter was holding a pot which contained a piece of pigeon buried in crushed cocoa beans which he carefully took out with food tweezers!!

I love cocoa beans because the scent is addictive and I wish they put some extra crushed cocoa beans on my plate too.Anyway, since this menu is available in June, I will probably come back for it and I was really glad the waitor recommended this to me because when pigeon is done the right way, it tastes so amazing.

The texture of the pigeon was soft and it tastes like duck and velvety liver with the odd crunch from the cocao beans.
There was watercress mint coulis which had this interesting bitter taste that brought out the sweetness of the pigeon.
The dessert was a wonderful surprise because I got four items including the petit fours.
This is the moment you will feel the meal was totally worth it because they were not too sweet and it was a great dinner because from start to dessert it was all perfect!!

Cream Cheese and Red Berries topped with Beetroot Granite.
I had this first and it was light and summery with tart berries and cream cheese that tasted like yoghurt.

It was nice how they dusted it with beetroot granite and not something sweet.

Cylindrical Chocolate Mousse and Green Cardamom Gelée
The roll was really delicate with light dreamy chocolate mousse in the middle that was not too sweet and the cardamom jelly just gave it some sparkle in the taste.

Surprise Ice Cream (cream puff flavour)
By the time I got to the icecream I was feeling happy and guilty but the happiness continued because the icecream was good as well.
The cream puff icecream was interesting, it was delicate and not too sweet and you could taste blended cream puffs in the icecream!

Petit fours: Bar of chocolate:
The presentation itself is so classy because it is wrapped in foil with their logo and the chocolate can be taken home too.
It was chocolate with seasalt that was bold and I loved the salty taste that lingered.
I didn't finish it but it was nice that I could take a piece of that wonderful evening back home to savor and remember the wonderful meal when I eat the chocolate!

Price info:
From 1 to 30 June 2015, restaurant Akrame's seasonal menu is priced at:
- 3-courses : HK$280;
4-courses : HK$380;
6-courses : HK$580
- 4-courses : HK$888;
6-courses : HK$1,098;
and 8-courses : HK$1,398

Help yourself to dessert in the evenings at Crystal Harbour Restaurant

Went here for dinner and the food was reasonable.

The interesting part was the dessert, there was icecream and Chinese sweet soups which you can help yourself to.
The red bean dessert was starchy and sweet with a strong fruit peel flavour.

Good food at an ice skating rink

Agan, I am trying to try all the joints at Tai O Building so this was the next one.
When I went in I nearly skidded because the floor was covered in grease and you can see the marks after you walk on it.

The lunch sets are really good because they include soup and a main for $30 only.
The chicken and rice was a big portion but half the chicken was bones, the spring onion and ginger puree was good because it was finely chopped and not too salty which went well with the rice and chicken.

Anyway, had to carefully leave this place because the floor was so slippery.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

foodpanda to the rescue

When foodpanda was first launched I didn't think much of it because I was surrounded by good food but when my location changed I got depressed because all the food around the area was SHXT.
I found myself constantly travelling to other areas for food which probably sounds extreme but I love food that much!
Finally went on their website to see what I could order.

First you have to enter your location so that the database will show the list of restaurants around your area, but don’t fret because there are some restaurants that are not nearby which you can order.
I reduced my choice to one restaurant because it was Jewish food which I have never tried before and it is located in the Jewish Community Centre of Hong Kong which is not open to public.
Made the order and the super cute panda was here to the rescue with my delicious gourmet food!!
** Please note that the delivery person is not guaranteed to be dressed up like a panda.

The food was lovely and hot and it was just amazing being able to get special food especially cous cous and chicken soup with matzoh balls.

There were two huge pieces of chicken thighs in that dish.

If it were not for foodpanda I wouldn't be able to try the food from the Jewish community centre but I wonder how they managed to get in because it is members only!!
Foodpanda is amazing and I can’t wait to order again.

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