Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Quick Executive Lunch at Four Seasons

Recently I made a quick trip to The Lounge at Four Seasons Hong Kong to check out the seasonal truffles menu by the new Executive Chef of the hotel Andrea Accordi who joined the team a few months ago. Admittedly I am not here as often as I am at the other F&B outlet inside the hotel, but I do like the laid-back environment of this restaurant, tucked away at the lobby right next to the reception, for a much simpler set of dishes from their all-day dining menu.

I wouldn't mind staying all afternoon admiring the harbor view, but since I sneaked out of office at mid-day for the meal we went through our dishes in rather quick succession. At a glance Chef Andrea did make an overhaul of the menu at The Lounge with the introduction of several Italian dishes, but today our focus was on the Australian Black winter truffles.

We began with a light crispy vegetable salad, pairing the earthy truffles with the crunchy raw vegetables (lettuce, zucchini blossoms, asparagus, carrots and more), served with dab of onion jam and the chilled tomato consomm√©. One couldn’t ask for the more refreshing summer dish, with good flavors and truffles aroma.

I love the presentation of the scallop dish, with two grilled Hokkaido scallops served with buttermilk foam and lettuce sauce with finely-sliced black truffle rounds on top. It’s a simple dish made special by the unique combination of ingredients and fancy plating. Likewise for the pasta dish which came next, with the small sweetbread ravioli served with butter sauce, chunks of langoustine, mashed smoked eggplant and black truffle slices. I loved that subtle truffle fragrance matched with the tangy tomato slices on top of the house-made ravioli. Once again, the dish was straight-forward but well-designed, perfect for the casual lunch service.

One very noticeable difference was the way the dishes were presented. It seems like the team has upped the game in plating, making the food even more so delightful to look at. If I told people those food came from a fine(r)-dining restaurant, I am sure they would have believed it. Of course I am conscious of the fact that the dishes I tasted came from their fancier black truffles menu, but taking a glance at their regular a la carte menu and seeing those dishes served at other tables, I saw a similar trend of changes.

The four of us shared three icecream sundaes to wrap up our quick lunch. The coconut sorbet served with mango, lychees, passionfruit and black truffles was probably the more luxurious one, but I also liked the one which was essentially a re-interpretation of a classic local street food, with the egg-waffle (gai daan jai) flavored icecream with condensed milk jelly, sesame tuile and egg waffles. I could totally see myself just order that and a cup of tea and spend the whole day reading by the window for a lazy outing - oh how I miss my life being a "guy-tai" during my sabbatical last year.

Having been hiding in office eating my packed lunch for the past weeks this is certainly great for a change, both the setting and the food (and the company). I am looking forward to more of Chef Andrea’s new dishes with his Italian touch to something other than a somewhat predictable menu like any other top hotel coffee shops.

(The meal was by invitation of Four Seasons Hong Kong)

Where? The Lounge at Four Seasons Hong Kong, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong
Menu Highlights? Grilled Hokkaido scallops with buttermilk foam, winter black truffles and lettuce sauce.

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