|Tomato, strawberry and mozzarella salad|
So I'm guessing, for a hotel restaurant like Whisk, they have some sort of projected profit goal thingy they have to achieve. And not being exactly the busiest restaurant in town, they'd be desperate for two main things: 1) attract more people, 2) lower (food) costs. With a $218 set meal, Mon-Sat, for 3 courses plus coffee/tea and petit fours, I gotta say they're trying very hard to do 1). But then, how about 2)? How low can those food costs go? To me, it seems like they've lowered it a bit too much. Tasteless beef, cheap balsamic glaze - I'd rather $218 for two courses and better ingredients - I only have one stomach, after all. One thing they don't have to change is the chef. He's turning out great stuff from what crappy things his budget allows. Either that, or he needs to source really local, but I don't think hotel management can accept that kind of operation...
Anyway, to the food - my first course (pictured above). The cheese was a rubbery fail, and they used balsamic glaze. WHY??? The strawberries were sweet enough, which made the whole thing too sweet and didn't have enough of that tomatoey-umami-acid + dairy zing that a mozz & tomato salad should have. I was looking for "fresh" (isn't that what most people look for in salads?) and this didn't have it.
|Aussie tenderloin, foie, spinach, truffle mash|
And I'd rather they left the foie out. I looked at it and didn't even want to touch it.
The confit was better than the one at Bettys Kitschen, where that single dish costs more than this entire lunch. This skin was really crisp, with a slightly waxy flesh, with a fat + salt combo that's like a less smelly version of good Chinese salted fish (鹹香).
So aside from the totally melted vanilla ice cream, this was pretty good. Nice big chunks of apple with a good amount of give rather than completely mushy. The crumble was sable-like but with more butter, lived up to its name.
This isn't Caprice, Amber or Gaddi's, although the chef is doing things that would make him fit right in those places. He needs a bigger budget. I hope The Mira's paying him a nice fat salary and giving him what he wants because if I were him, it wouldn't be long before I'd be damn bored and frustrated and look for somewhere else to go! To be honest, I think I would be willing to pay $100 more if the quality of the produce itself were better.
5/F The Mira
118 Nathan Road (entrance on Kimberley Road)
Tsim Sha Tsui
+852 2315 5999
Set lunch available Mon-Sat, Sun is a champagne brunch
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