Thursday, April 09, 2009

Hong Kong Classics - Petrus


To me, before the name Petrus meant a wine, it meant a restaurant. Some really posh place where coiffed ladies and gents in bowties would go and clink champagne glasses under crystal chandeliers.

I was right about the last two details, but the ladies aren't so into being coiffed anymore and bowties are reserved for Donald Tsang impersonators (or the man himself, maybe, if he could bear the thought of spending our tax dollars on caviar). Nonetheless it is indeed a special occassion restaurant. The first time I went was with some very, very, very generous friends on my 23rd birthday, and the second time, about a month ago to celebrate... well, nothing, unless you count blatent, shameless sybaritic behaviour as a cause for celebration. Judging by the number of birthday cakes and bouquets we saw that night, it seemed that everyone else there had something 'on'. And when you look at the menu, you'll know exactly why no-one could possibly come here everyday. No, its not the prohibitive prices (not that prohibitive, really), it's the offerings - it's all foie gras this and caviar that with a lobster reduction and a foam of wagyu with a dusting of truffle. Okay, I'm exaggerating and not really making sense, but essentially every item on the menu had one of the ingredients listed above. Every. Single. Item.

That, to my spoilt, pompous, not-so-little palate is the perfect target of ridicule, but mean girl laughing aside, I can only conclude that it's a place for occassions, something different and special, which is always nice, I suppose.

The food to me is fine. Reliably decadent, as you would expect from a restaurant of this price range and calibre, but there are no surprises.

Poached spring vegetables with black truffle

Okay, so I was expecting a clear poaching liquid and uber-sweet veg, but as it turns out, they just had to put cream into the liquid. It was nice, but the cream just made it too traditional, not to mention heavy, for me.

Roast pork with black truffle

I think it was a special, and the pork was from somewhere in France, possibly from somewhere near the French/Spanish border (or was that from another meal? Gluttony and early-onset Alzheimers do not make good bedfellows). The mash was excellent - super stretchy/bouncy and of course, buttery. The meat itself was quite juicy, though not the most tender, and the skin, well, let's just say I'd take transcendent cripsy stuff from Joy Hing over it any day. Not bad, nothing amazing.

Crisp apple tart

Most interesting dish of the night - great combo of textures - cooked apples at the bottom, a dense moussey layer in the middle, a very crisp tuile-like disc, topped with a silky ice cream and all sitting in an airy foam (of which I didn't really see the point).

Making Crepes Suzette

Petits fours

A note about salts - this is a round-the-world salt container - they had stuff from Scotland and France etc. Some people believe salt-tasting to be the height of pretentiousness, but either I'm pretentious, or I can actually taste the enhancement that each salt brings. My favourite salt to date is Murray River (pink) salt from Australia, but then again I haven't really done a proper salt tasting. Maybe I should organise one...

So anyway - occasion restaurant. That's what it is. Oh, and did I mention the view? Make sure you get a seat by the window (a preferably away from the horribly loud piano) - they've got a fireworks-perfect apsect.

Restaurant Petrus
Island Shangri-la
Admiralty
Hong Kong
+852 2820 8590

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