Saturday, March 14, 2009

Hong Kong Classics - Mandarin Grill

I'm a sucker for classics, especially in the form of Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong (not to be confused with the Landmark Mandarin, which, apart from Amber and a fabulous spa, doesn't have too much going for it).

Put me in an F&B outlet in the Mandarin any day and I know I won't be disappointed. True, I might not be surprised, but it gives me that that 'I know what I'm getting and I know it's going to be tip-top' comfort. Which I guess is what I mean by a classic.

For my birthday I chose to revisit such a classic - the Mandarin Grill. I hadn't been since the hotel was renovated a few years back, and I loved it instantly. The glassed-in kitchen, the low-lit, clubby atmosphere, the floor to ceiling windows looking out into not the cliched, though beautiful harbour view, but a quintessential Central view - the legislative council, the HSBC building - it all says, this is Hong Kong, and you're in the thick of it.

Now, the food. The menu is very simple - split into something like entrees - hot/cold, soup, and mains. No more than about 4 choices per category.

To start I had a smoked porcini soup. Some unchopped smoked porcini was presented with a small glass dome over the top, in an otherwise untouched soup dish. The dome was lifted and smoke swirled just high enough to reach my nose, whilst the soup was poured tableside. Simple, effective and satisfying. The amount of cream was just right to make it a 'creamy' soup, but never overwhelming the funghi.

The main was a US angus steak for two, served on a slab of salt (looked like pink marble chopping board) and carved tableside. Presented beautifully with potato gratin (which was, by now a bit too much cream for me) and a delightfully vibrant assortment of spring veg that unfortunately my dodgy camera phone was unable to capture, especially with the (blissful) lack of light. Excellent beef that tasted like beef. Enough I say to the wagyu steaks, cheeks, butts and whathaveyous. Give me a steak that tastes like steak and leave the wagyu for the teppanyaki (quite magnificent in its own right).

Dessert was cake from the Mandarin Cake Shop which never disappoints, though I would like to try a dessert one of these days.

Fab fab fab. Love it.

Mandarin Grill

Mandarin Oriental
5 Connaught Rd
Hong Kong
+852 2522 0111

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