Saturday, July 15, 2017

Say Cheese on Sunday

We met up with some friends at Upper Modern Bistro a few Sundays ago before they embarked on the month-long summer vacation. We came across the restaurant's FB posts about their cheese promotion on weekends and thought the offer to tap into one of our favorite cheese collections in town at such price was something we don't want to miss.

The restaurant didn't change much since their opening at this hip Tai Ping Shan Street neighborhood, and the menu was similar to our last visit a year ago. Their Sunday brunch menu consists of appetizers served in small dishes for sharing, followed by a main dish of our choice.

I enjoyed the medley of appetizers served in quick succession. Some were just simple, classic bistro-style dishes, like the bruschetta with parma ham and tomato or the foie gras terrine and mushrooms duxylles; while some were more elaborate, like the shucked raw oysters (Fine de Bretagne No 2) with caviar or tuna tataki with shiso marinate, citrus mayo and basil oil.

I did like the oysters, in decent size with dashi jelly and caviar on top (menu said champagne jelly but I thought it could be a last-minute change that wasn't updated on the menu), and the combination of seasonings on the thin slices of tuna, giving the dish a true summer flavor and refreshing aroma.

There's a number of different choices available for the main - meat or seafood or vegetable, or even a simple Eggs Benedict if one was more into breakfast dishes than lunch's. My pick was the pork cheek confit with sautéed vegetables. Again, it's a fail-safe dish which could be prepared in advance and assembled rather quickly by anyone who happened to be in the kitchen - which is perfectly appropriate given this is a casual bistro. And the dish looked nice when presented and tasted good - I love the touch of dukkha spices bringing some exotic, interesting taste to the tender pieces of pork cheek.

We paced ourselves so we got room for the cheese course. It's an optional, add-on course which was available for a mere $60 per person, with unlimited refills and choices. How cool is that? Their "cheese-master" (and manager) Jeremy was not around then, but our friend Andy whom we knew from his Caprice days was there on duty, and gave us a great selection of cheeses - some we were familiar with, and some we haven't tried before.  But all of them were just lovely - we could have spent the whole afternoon munching non-stop if we didn't have an appointment after our brunch.

Selection of small pastries was available as our dessert - they looked marvelous and with a wide selection available to choose from. The rum baba served in a small jar was delicious and I also loved the raspberry velvet cake. With a few interesting shops and cafes (and even a farmer's market), this block has slowly become my favorite neighborhood to hang out, with the brunch offering here just presented yet another reason for us to come by more often, and definitely more cheeses next time!

When? June 25 2017
Where? Upper Modern Bistro, 6-14 Upper Station Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
Menu Highlights? Confit Pork Cheek, Sauteed Vegetables and Dukkha Spices
Drink? Champagne Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve NV

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