Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Sunday Brunch at Akrame

We had the opportunity to check out the new Sunday brunch menu at the Michelin-starred restaurant Akrame in Wanchai a few weekends ago. I was here a few months ago when Chef Akrame Benallal flew in from Paris to launch the then-seasonal tasting menu, and this time, it’s his protégé Chef Lise at the helm, delivering a delightful 5-course menu on a hot, but nice Sunday afternoon.

The brunch menu was somewhat similar to their dinner offering but lighter in portion. The dishes were consistent with the creative cooking the restaurant is known for, using unusual combination of ingredients bringing in contrasting flavors in fancy presentation.

Fresh corns always make good summer dish, and that's what we started with, with corns prepared three ways – raw, puree and popcorns – served with an egg cooked in "perfect temperature" of 63C and red shiso leaves as garnish. The cooking was simple but I love the unusual combinations of familiar flavors with the subtle aroma from the shiso.


We were shown the whole roasted guinea fowl at the table before it’s carved and plated as our main course. (No, we didn't get the entire bird, just in case you were wondering) I love the rich taste and texture of the piece cut from the thigh part, and I thought the piece of guinea fowl breast could improve with meat jus reduction poured on top. The haricot vert and bits of pistachio served on the side worked just fine – nothing overly fancy here - and the potato puree on the side was added with onion confit for a softer texture and some sweetness from the slow-cooked onions.

Two desserts were served and both were tasty – the cube of pineapple served with yogurt espuma, dill and bits of meringues was refreshing, while I love the combination of the quenelle of fresh herb sorbet and rich chocolate ganache with a piece of meringue biscuit sandwiched in between. Both were straight-forward but I love the thoughts that went into bringing all these ingredients together.

The brunch menu is on the light side which didn't leave me over-stuffed with food – if you have a big appetite you might want to consider adding one of the optional dishes available on the menu. But it will definitely appeal to people looking for an easy-going, stylish meal with well-executed dishes on the weekend without having to go all uptight in a proper fine-dining restaurant. It's also a good starting point to sample the unique, clever cooking at this Michelin-starred establishment, which slowly built up its reputation in this budding street block filling up with nice places to eat.

(The meal was by invitation)

More photos at https://www.flickr.com/photos/g4gary/albums/72157673037424816

When? August 28 2016
Where? Restaurant Akrame, 9B Ship Street, Wanchai, Hong Kong
Menu Highlights? Egg/Corn/Red Shiso
Drinks? Champagne Delamotte Brut NV
Web: www.akrame.com.hk


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