Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Event Preview

I was gutted for not being able to attend the T.Dining Off-Menu event in mid-November because of other engagements, but glad I was given a sneak preview in an afternoon recently with a few participating chefs showing us some of the dishes that would be presented at the actual event. T.Dining has been great in bringing together some of the best culinary talents in town for one-of-a-kind collaboration events for the past few years (such as this and this), and this may be their most ambitious one yet, featuring over a dozen chefs not only from Hong Kong but some flying in later this month, all paired up to create a number of unique dishes only available at this event to be held at The Peak Galleria.

In the preview afternoon we managed to try about half of those dishes. The canape dish by Chef Stephanie (of Roots Eatery) was eye-opening with an unique combination of abalone with burrata cheese. The cooked abalone was dipped in a light batter and deep-fried with a crunchy, bouncy texture, and the burrata cheese was like the creamy dipping sauce, and the dab of salted fish on top was the highlight, giving the dish some interesting exotic flavor.

There were a few other dishes that I particularly enjoyed. Chef Vicky Lau (of Tate Dining Room), teaming with Chef Hisato Hamada of Wagyumafia, cleverly turned a straight forward beef tartare into an Asian interpretation with crispy rice at the bottom - that reminded me a bit of Guo Ba in Northern Chinese cuisine and a bit of the classic Kiritanpo originated from Japan's Aomori Prefecture. And it's served with a dab of caviar, a small piece of gherkin and edible flowers on top. Chef Uwe Opocensky (now at Island Shangri-la/Restaurant Petrus) also had its take on Asian cooking with his abalone and meatless XO sauce using Indian spices served with a piece of locally foraged pepper leaf.

Chef Vicky Cheng was known for turning Chinese delicacy into western dishes at his Michelin-starred restaurant VEA, and this time, he presented a hearty congee made with traditional method with picked flower crab meat and sea cucumbers, reminiscent of an Italian risotto with the soft texture. Chef Richard Ekkebus (of Amber) went along with the same local ingredient, western cooking theme with his version of yellow-wine chicken, with slow-cooked chicken roulade topped with seaweed, and served with bok choy, chicken jus and sabayon sauce made with Chinese Yellow Wine. Could live with the stronger wine flavor in the sauce but other than that, it's perfectly cooked with the juicy chicken from a locally raised bird.

The Araki is perhaps the most exciting restaurant opening in town this year, with Chef Mitsuhiro Araki moved to Hong Kong leaving his (previously) 3-Michelin-starred London restaurant behind. He brought along his kitchen team with him to the event, and did a little showcase of portioning the huge piece of tuna into different cuts – can’t wait to see what he’s preparing at the event and at his soon-to-be-opened restaurant in TST. And to finish, it's Chef Palash Mitra's Bengali Seafood Pulao for the chef's hometown flavor given a modern twist.

Altogether we tried around 7 dishes with cocktails prepared by Sandeep and Gagan of the new speakeasy bar Tell Camellia, and they were more than satisfying. Can only imagine it will even be better during that weekend with over 12 dishes available along with drinks from 3 excellent bars, and coffee curated by our friends Josh and Caleb of Twins Kitchen/Interval Coffee Bar. I am sure I will have my major FOMO moment when I start seeing pictures of the event and of the dishes in a few weeks' time, but at least I got to "watch the trailer" and got a brief idea how it would be like if I were there.

(Event was by invitation and based on an one-off menu)

When? October 30 2019
Where? Off Menu Preview at V-Zug, 12/F, 8 Russell Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
Menu Highlights? Sesame Szechuan Wagyumafia Beef Tartare with Rice Crisp topped with Caviar presented by Chef Vicky Lau of Tate Dining Room and Chef Hisato Hamada of Wagyumafia
Off Menu presented by T.Dining: www.offmenuhk.com
Hong Kong Tatler T.Dining: hk.asiatatler.com/dining

1 comment :

Charmaine said...

Thanks for the post Gary! Didn't realise you won't be able to make it to the actual event :(