Saturday, February 2, 2019

New Style, New Location

I paid a visit to MIC Kitchen at their new location some time ago. The restaurant, which has been awarded Michelin star for many years (until the last edition), has quietly moved from their original location in the middle of nowhere in Kwun Tong to the heart of Central. There’s a sense of déjà vu as I stepped out of the elevator to the top floor of a commercial building on Stanley Street as I realized they took over the former space of Liberty Private Works, even inherited most of their set-up and décor with the same open kitchen and the surrounding counter seats.

I was late to the dinner so I was playing catch-up with the rest of the group with a pair of amuse bouche bites served. The minced frog meatball was fun with a spicy gochujang glaze on top with pickled daikon cubes served underneath, and the brioche with melted Comte and caramelized onion may not look that appealing (and quite messy to hold and eat) but it was delicious.

I am normally not a fan of Brussels Sprouts but I love the salad course with charred Brussels sprouts and edible flowers on top, and underneath was more Brussels sprouts, green apple, pancetta and chopped hazelnuts. It’s well-presented and I love all the textures that went into the dish for a good contrast.

The Lobster grain risotto was another creative dish, with the crunchy quinoa and buckwheat mixed in with the risotto cooked al-dente, and on top was pumpkin brunoise providing a touch of sweetness, lobster tail and served with the scallion-infused oil on the side. That’s followed by another seafood dish, with the fatty black cod fillet paired with lotus roots, scallions (with the roots) and miso and saffron puree.

We were offered an extra course of the seasonal winter black truffles which were served on top of Jerusalem artichokes done three ways – deep-fried, sautéed and puree – with a duck egg yolk done sous-vide. One couldn’t fault such straight-forward but good combination of all the distinct flavors that went in. I am a bit mixed about our main course of pigeon – I love the meat being perfectly cooked and tender, but I wasn’t a fan of the maitake mushrooms that were served alongside.

Our first dessert was said to be inspired by the local street food of ginger-milk custard, with the silky soft milk custard mixed with poached pears, maple syrup ice-cream (a nod to chef-owner Alvin Leung’s adopted home country) served in a mason jar with applewood smoke pumped in before being brought to our table. The second dessert was another East-meets-West creation, with the Chinese snow-fungus poached and served with chocolate mousse, a touch of aged tangerine peel, meringue crisps and shiso jelly drops. I thought the snow-fungus could do with more flavor (perhaps candied in syrup or something) but I loved the creative effort. And we ended with an interesting combination of petit fours – curry macarons, beef fat caramels, pineapple cakes, madeleines, and pistachio financiers. Not too shabby at all.

(Dinner was by invitation)

When? January 22 2019
Where? MIC Kitchen, Level 26, Stanley 11, 11 Stanley Street, Central, Hong Kong
Menu Highlights? "Lobster, Grains, Risotto, Pumpkin"
Champagne Bollinger Special Cuvee Brut NV
2017 Joseph Mellot "Le Tronsec" Pouilly Fume
2014 Chateau Pouilly Pouilly Fuisse

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