Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The V Word

With a prior engagement conveniently landed on February 14 this year, it was great that we managed to have a Friday date night recently for a preview of the Valentine’s Day Menu at Dining at Murasaki, a new contemporary Japanese restaurant in Causeway Bay.

The restaurant peculiarly took up the space formerly occupied by a high-end chachaanteng at a commercial building near to the harborfront and now turned into a modern, intimate fine-dining restaurant completed with a bar near the entrance, a vast dining area in the middle along with private rooms. And with the restaurant’s name Murasaki meaning purple in Japanese, as you could imagine, purple was the main color scheme.

Purple must have been the owner’s favorite color as the color also appeared prominently throughout our dinner courses – purple onions, purple sweet potato… well I think you got the idea. The 9-course menu were prepared and served western style, with inspirations drawn from Japanese kaiseki cooking and ingredients. We began with a glass of champers with a dash of purple syrup – well, a bit cheesy and over the top if you must ask, but no one’s going to say no to the lovely bubbly on a Friday evening.

All the courses were beautifully presented – it’s obvious that the culinary team spent a lot time planning on the plating bit. Our first course was  presented with port wine jelly and foie gras terrine shaped as miniature flower petals and pear compote as leaves, with the plate dusted with the red-purpleish raspberry powder. The sashimi course which came next came like a pair of blossoming flowers, with tai and toro sashimi slices rolled like roses with thinly-sliced peaches. At first I thought it’s more gimmicky than substance but I actually enjoyed the hint of sweetness with the fatty fish, much to my surprise.

My favorite course of the evening was the lobster udon served towards the end. The thin Inaniwa udon was served in a red-hot stone bowl topped with thinly-sliced and torched lobster meat and a heart-shaped raw daikon slice, with the rich and piping-hot broth poured in at the table. It was comforting and full of lovely umami flavor. Two dessert courses were served at the end (great for my sweet tooth), along with the canele and purple macarons.

Overall I thought all the dishes were fine, with my preference went towards those courses more traditional rather than those that tried to be more on the creative side. Though we are not the kind of couple big into the V-day celebration thing, we enjoyed this elaborate dinner nonetheless. It was a comfortable way to spend a quiet evening.

(Dinner was by invitation courtesy of the restaurant)

When? February 3 2017
Where? Dining at Murasaki, UG/F, Sino Plaza, 255 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
Menu Highlights? Lobster Udon
Drink? Champagne Billecart-Salmon Brut Reserve NV

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