Saturday, December 26, 2020

Pre-Christmas Brunch

We never need any excuse to eat out any day, any time of the week, but we thought we would have our little pre-Christmas celebration over at the Sunday brunch at Landmark Mandarin Oriental in early December. I always enjoy the ambiance of MO Bar during the day, which felt like a little oasis right next to the busiest street in town and inside the busiest shopping mall, and even better was the Christmas decorations that’s already set up weeks ago bringing a sense of joyous mood.

One of the best thing about their weekend brunch was their free-flow drinks offered as part of the 3-course menu. It never hurt to start with some champagnes, but we are more interested in their cocktails including some in the festive theme. The Moscow Mule was not exactly a “festive cocktail” per se, but I did feel it’s a perfectly appropriate winter drink with the strong gingery taste.

The starter course was served in sharing portion and presented in a fancy Christmas tree stand. The foie gras parfait was clearly my favorite, served in a Mason jar with a thin layer of cherry jam on top. Love the smooth, almost creamy texture and the rich flavor – I could live with a more buttery and warmer brioche but both worked well together nonetheless. The pair of chilled seafood dishes were also nice – including the house-cured salmon gravlax and the king crab leg with avocado and yuzu mayonnaise, and both paired well with the vintage Moet. The butternut squash velouté was the sole hot dish served as starter, in a small espresso cup with parmesan mousse and winter truffle puree. 

There’s a choice of main courses and I went for the flat iron steak. It’s served in bistro cooking style, with the meat perfectly seared to medium-rare (as I have requested), and served with chunks of caramelized heirloom beets, radicchio, toasts and with jus seasoned with balsamic vinegar. The portion was more than generous and I love the unusual flavor (and had my dose of "healthy food” in terms of the beetroots). The side of Tater Tots followed the traits of the signature bar snack offered at the PDT speakeasy bar at the MO Bar Annex upstairs, and this version was done with blue cheese and bacon bits with the uncompromisingly pungent flavor from the crumbled cheese melted on top. 

The desserts arrived in the same Christmas tree tower with scores of bite-sized pastries and sweet dishes. The chocolate caramel truffle in the shape of Christmas tree ornament was the best among all, and it went well with the MO Signature Mulled Wine. It ain’t Christmas without the taste of the classic mulled wine and the MO team certainly served one of the best versions in town year after year. 

P.S. I love the idea of the territory-wide United We Dine campaign, bringing together restaurants and bars with a way for us to support the local F&B industry. Special menus were being offered and customers can win prizes by submitting the restaurant receipt for a lucky draw. Check their website for more information and the list of participating restaurants (including MO Bar)

When? December 13 2020
Where? MO Bar, The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong
Menu Highlights? Brandt Prime Flat Iron Steak with Black Peppercorns, Caramelized Heirloom Beets, Radicchio and Aged Balsamic Vinegar
Drinks? 2012 Champagne Moet & Chandon Grand Vintage Brut

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