This new restaurant, called VEA, is a collaboration project between Chef Vicky Cheng (formerly of Liberty Private Works) and mixologist/bartender Antonio Lai of The Quinary. I am a fan of Chef Vicky's creative cooking since his early LPW days so I am eager to find out his next move since he left the old venture early this year after over 4 years at the helm. And I came here for the dinner tasting during their soft opening period last week at the invitation of their PR.
Compared to Chef Vicky's old restaurant, I found this new venue more spacious - both the seating and cooking areas - and a touch more elaborate. There are separate hot and cold stations inside the kitchen, allowing dishes to be prepared and plated with much ease by the team, even with everyone arrive at different time. The counter seats were surprisingly comfortable, and allowed diners to have an unobstructed view of all the kitchen actions. The downstairs lounge area looked like a perfect place for after-work drinks and some casual bites, with spectacular view from the little balcony which doubled as the herb garden.
Being forewarned it's going to be a long dinner with numerous courses, we started a bit earlier than usual so we didn't have to rush through. At the restaurant, only tasting menu is being offered every evening, which I was told will change from time to time plus the team is able to accommodate any special dietary requirements.
|Hairy Crab - Shiso, Apple, Black Vinegar|
|Egg - Truffles, Parmesan, Caviar|
|Pigeon - Smoked Eel, Blood, Cabbage|
|Wagyu - Black Garlic, Tomato, Ginkgo Nuts|
|Raspberry - Pistachio, Lemon, Meringue|
|Milk Jam - Salted Duck Egg, Quinoa|
|Langoustine - Salsify, Fennel, Custard Apple with Cocktail Pairing (Pinot Noir Agave)|
|VEA Signature Tea|
There were quite a handful of restaurants around trying to push the boundary either with avant-garde cooking techniques and unique combination of ingredients. I felt Chef Vicky has mastered in both categories and struck the right balance of being creative without going over the top. The dishes were delightful to look at, well-executed in many aspects and left me with plenty of good surprises. Bravo to the team and I have a feeling that this place will be the talk of the town soon once more people had the opportunity to check it out.
More photos in my Flickr album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/g4gary/albums/72157661076209340
When? November 24 2015
Where? VEA, Level 29-30, The Wellington, 198 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong
Menu Highlights? Hairy crab, shiso and black vinegar; Pigeon with smoked eel, blood and cabbage