Friday, April 15, 2016

True Sunday Brunch at Spoon

We were at InterContinental Hong Kong a couple weekends ago to check out the new Sunday lunch menu at Spoon by Alain Ducasse. It was a particularly lovely day to be seated in this elegant yet relaxing dining room while enjoying the breath-taking view of the Hong Kong skyline across the harbor under this sunny weather.

While marketed as "lunch" and is only available from 12pm onwards, the prix-fixe menu - offered only on Sundays - stayed true to the traditional brunch style with the classic Alain Ducasse touch, emphasizing on simple French cooking and the freshest ingredients.

We started with the warm pastries basket served not only with salted and unsalted Bordier butters but also with a couple house-made fruit jams - apricots and strawberries. While the jams were nice, I stuck with my usual choice of the salted butter generously smeared on just about everything from the baguette, croissant or even the sweet pain au raisin.

I love the fine mix of tried-and-true breakfast items and some more substantial dishes served in a leisurely pace. The cottage cheese, which was served along with a small bowl of muesli and milk, was mild but went well with honey drizzled on top, while one couldn’t go wrong with scrambled eggs mixed with grated black truffles. Both the thinly sliced San Daniele ham and Salmon Gravlax were served in generous sharing portion with condiments (pickles for the ham, blini and crème fraiche for the salmon), and they went down well with the glass of champagne served (love the balance of acidity with a hint of brioche for the Alain Ducasse private label champers)

There were a choice of mains - one could pick either the roast venison, the steamed sea bass, or the signature cookpot with quinoa and vegetables - oven-baked and served in an uniquely-designed ceramic casserole. The restaurant was very kind to let us try all three, and my favorite was actually the meatless option of cookpot. I was surprised that an interesting medley of vegetables – carrots, cabbage, beetroots, broccoli, asparagus and more – combined with the crunchy black quinoa could give out so much flavors. This is straight-forward cooking at its best.

After the cheese course which was brie and stilton served with a rustic bell pepper chutney, a few sweet dishes were served, starting with the waffles and French toast with mixed berries, cream and chocolate, then a bowl of tropical fruit sorbets. Our final course was a fancy version of the traditional dessert cart, with different petite-sized cakes laid out beautifully on a tray for customers to pick. I personally loved that mixed berries cheesecake with a muesli base the most for that creamy top and nutty bottom texture contrast.

The Sunday lunch menu came with free-flow of wines, juices and mocktails. Though I would describe the wine choices as "interesting" with some bottles coming from places off the beaten track (fancy a Corsica white anyone?), I expected a slightly finer selection from a restaurant of this caliber. Well at least the champagne was consistently good, and so was the mocktail of apple and mixed berries juice, I was told. Perhaps they should consider adding a few cocktails to spike up the options too?

Overall I think this is a no-brainer choice for an easy, relaxing Sunday lunch with solid, excellent cooking especially at this side of town.

More photos can be found in my Flickr album:

(The brunch was by invitation and courtesy of InterContinental Hong Kong)

When? April 3 2016
Where? Spoon by Alain Ducasse, Inter-continental Hong Kong
Menu Highlights? Cookpot of Quinoa and Vegetables
Champagne Selection Alain Ducasse Brut NV
Domaine Terra Vecchia Clos Poggiale Vin de Corse Blanc 2013
Les Jamelles Merlot Vin de Pays d'Oc 2014

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