Monday, March 19, 2018

The Afternoon After

It just so happened that after drinking Petrus one evening, the next day I was at Restaurant Petrus the restaurant on Island Shangri-la for a lovely Sunday lunch with their PR team. With the foggy sky looming our city all morning, I was surprised it has cleared up significantly just as we arrived at the restaurant, making our window-side round table on the top floor of the hotel particularly comfortable with the perfect view of the city skyline. Plus it's always such a pleasure to dine at such an elegant and classic dining room.

Today we went with a 5-course menu by Chef Ricardo Chaneton, including some of his signature dishes and also some from the restaurant’s regular weekend lunch menu. With bread basket served and bottle of bubbly poured, we began with the amuse bouche of apple tartlet with blood pudding. It’s a fun way to start with the contrast of refreshing apple inside the buttery tart crust and the rich blood pudding puree piped on top. Our first course of beef tartare was a straight-forward dish with hand-chopped chunks of beef, slightly seasoned and served with raspberry, baby coriander and crème fraiche. It has a well-balanced flavor and an almost creamy texture.

The next course of Langoustine Paillard was my favorite dish of the afternoon. Thinly sliced langoustine tartare was placed in the middle of a deep dish with an even thinner slice of colonnata lard right underneath, surrounded by a creamy bisque espuma and a dollop of Oscietra caviar on top. The hint of smokiness from the lard contrasted well with the clean langoustine flavor and everything seemed to complement one another perfectly.

The Mediterranean style was evident in the next course of meagre fish fillet. The fish with flaky and delicate texture was possibly roasted then seared on the skin, with a mild, and almost sweet taste. On the side was a buttery sauce with chickpeas and bits of calamari and chorizo for the rich taste. It was bright and enjoyable.

The main course of lamb rack was served in a very generous portion, with two pieces of Frenched lamb rack slow-cooked to the pinkish doneness with a seared crust, and served with a splash of meat jus, charred Brussels sprouts with ricotta and a dollop of black garlic puree. The meat has a mild flavor and was very tender with good amount of fat, and I liked that touch of sweet black garlic.

The desserts were almost like a re-interpreted Ferrero Rocher chocolate, with the creamy caramel ganache served with vanilla icecream, bits of hazelnuts and milk chocolates. It was exquisite and hit all the right spot. And then we finished with the raspberry bonbon that popped in our mouths with that sweet fruity syrup in the center.

No Petrus today, but instead a few other wines were poured and I felt they were well-chosen, starting with a bottle from a grower champagne house, then a pair of whites (from Loire Valley and Napa Valley respectively). The red that went with our lamb main course was poured from a giant Balthazar bottle (that’s 12L or equivalent of 16 standard bottles). It was a classic Bordeaux-style second wine to a Grand Cru Classe chateau with excellent black fruits, rich and full-bodied and with smooth tannins – I think it has just reached its prime. I considered myself lucky to have such a good weekend of fine dining and drinking.

(Lunch was by invitation and based on a special menu)

More pictures can be found in my Flickr album:

When? March 4 2018
Where? Restaurant Petrus, Level 56 Island Shangri-la, Pacific Place, Supreme Court Road, Hong Kong
Menu Highlights? Langoustine Paillard, Colonnata Lard and Oscietra Caviar
Champagne Agrapart 7 Crus Brut
2014 Domaine les Poete Quincy, Loire Valley
2014 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay, Napa Valley
2006 Clos du Marquis, St-Julien

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