Friday, March 6, 2020

Sunday by the Bay

After almost completely shutting ourselves off at home for most part of the week, we were eager to be out and about again for the weekend. Thinking it would be a good idea to bring the car out for a spin on the south side, we called and made a reservation for Sunday brunch at The Verandah at The Repulse Bay.

Apparently we were not the only persons having the same idea – the road leading to Repulse Bay was jammed with cars and the restaurant was full by the time we arrived slightly after noon. Guess we were just lucky to get a table with a late reservation just the day before. Nothing much has changed with the venue – like it has always been like for decades with the classic décor and set-up – and our table right by the window with great beach and sea view was much enjoyable on a gorgeous day like this.

With the virus outbreak in the city still very much on everyone’s mind, they recently changed their Sunday brunch menu from semi-buffet to prix fixe format and we were happy that they did, saving us the trouble of having to get our own dishes. The new menu came with 5 courses with a choice of mains. We started off with the cold seafood platter, with a good variety of fresh sea produce served with shallot vinaigrette on the side. The scallops, crab legs and oysters were great and fresh as you would expect, and I particularly loved the abalone served chilled after infused with a sweet soy sauce marinate.

The antipasto platter, served individually, was like the best of the whole buffet table brought to us on a plate. Both the Caesar salad with the caramelized pecans and the Bayonne ham and melon were excellent. With its generous portion, I thought I could have just these 2 courses and called it a satisfying meal.

Of course there were then a few more dishes to come. The lobster bisque was delicious, served in an espresso cup with good crustacean flavor accented by the strong brandy and cream mixed in; of the choices presented for our main course I picked the chef’s recommendation which was Roasted Hokkaido Scallops. Again, it’s served in generous portion with three large scallops cooked mi-cuit and in the center of the dish, a vol-au-vent topped with morel mushrooms, green asparagus bits and crispy ham with crustacean foam spooned on the side. The scallops were perfectly cooked and so were all other ingredients in the dish, plus a nice presentation.

When they removed the buffet option from the menu they certainly didn’t sacrifice any of the quality and quantity of their Sunday brunch offering. After our plates for main courses were taken away, the dessert platter was served in a multi-payer tray with 5 different dishes served in mini sizes. My favorite was the chestnut trifle and the peach and almond tartlet – I didn’t expect less from the pastry kitchen of The Peninsula Hotel group.

And what’s even better was the menu also came with free-flow wine and cocktails. Both the house white (a Rioja Blanco) and the Grand Marnier cocktail with passionfruit puree and pineapple juice were dominated by zesty acidity which made these easy-going drinks on a sunny afternoon such as this.

When? February 23 2020
Where? The Verandah, The Repulse Bay, 109 Repulse Bay Road, Hong Kong
Menu Highlights? Roasted Hokkaido scallops morel mushrooms and green asparagus vol-au-vent with crustacean cream
Drinks? 2018 Bodegas Muga Rioja Blanco

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