Thursday, December 10, 2020

Private Room Dinner

Given this was probably our last group fine-dining meal for the year, it just seemed appropriate that we got to enjoy it at the comfort of the private room at Roganic. We have had a few great meals at the restaurant which opened a year or so ago, and so when our friends asked us for recommendation, this is one of the first few places that came to mind and with tables available on the date we wanted to go. And better yet, they arranged for us the private room situated on the side of the main dining area, giving us some privacy and space to enjoy our Sunday dinner in. 

Knowing the tasting menu was going to be long, we started early at 6:30pm. Turned out it did take almost 3.5 hours to go through all 12 courses, starting with the small bites of cauliflower cheese tartlet to the final dessert of brownie fudge cake, and in between, chefs Oli and Ash popped in every now and then to present some of the dishes to us. 

I was impressed with most of the dishes. One thing I particularly enjoyed was the minimalist cooking style - they just let the original flavor of each ingredient to shine and surprised us with a few unique combinations, like the chunks of firm pineapple tomato (yellow beefsteak tomato) with cod roe emulsion, linseed crackers with tomato tapioca and pike perch on the side and edible flowers on top. Remarkably pretty in presentation with delicious at the same time. Or the dill-brined cabbage served with a gigantic piece of mussels and crispy kale on top. I love the mild sea flavor accented by a hint of herbs. 

The "Hong Kong Pea" was another surprise to me. I don't mind peas but sometimes there's this pungent grassy taste that I could live without, but this time they balanced it with a subtle sweetness from the watermelon granita on top, along with the pea espuma made using local produce and pea shoots on top. So still got that punchy flavor but with a sweet hint, and I love the refreshing flavor and the complexity. 

Another thing I enjoyed was the combination of local and imported ingredients, with some even grown on premise inside those hydroponic containers next to the kitchen, to create something truly unique. I love both the liver parfait made with local chicken was served as finger sandwich on top of a piece of buttermilk waffle and crushed hazelnuts, and the whole piece of maitake mushrooms was pan-seared and served with a whey-celariac foam with grated salted egg on top. 

Then there's some dish that went back to the British root, like the black truffle pudding with black garlic puree on top, with the dense, buttery fritter slab mixed with the rich creamy truffle custard and equally rich black garlic puree on top. This complimentary dish sent from the team could be a light meal right there with that bite. And of course, in the middle of the meal we were served their signature soda bread and the whipper brown butter, something I am happy to have any time. 

If there's one dish that I thought have some room for improvement, it would be the grouper dish. Nothing substantially wrong taste-wise, with the piece of grouper fillet poached with fish-bone broth served with Swiss chard and Jerusalem artichoke puree, but then I thought it's slightly under-seasoned and not as interesting as the rest of the dishes. We were spoiled with good fish dish around town so we could be a bit hard to please when it came to that. 

Our last savory course was another brilliant work by the team. The piece of 14-day-aged duck breast was perfectly done, served with jus reduction and on the side, turnips done 2 way and braised duck ragu. Tender and juicy meat, and the chunks of turnip were filled with flavor from the cooking liquid too. 

Three sweet courses were served at the end, and they were all impressive. Their namesake dessert was often served in different filling depending on the season, and this time it's the earl grey tea and cheese parfait with Japanese pear compote, with pear juice and fig leaf oil underneath. I love the light and refreshing flavor with the right sweetness level. This set up nicely for the finale course, the piece of brownie fudge cake served with whipped pecan praline quenelle and cocoa nib crisp in between.  A tad bit lighter than the traditional British toffee pudding and just as enjoyable. 

Paired with a few wines throughout the evening, some brought in and some from their wine list, starting with a pair of bubbly (British and French), then a pair of red (Tuscany and Piedmont) and finished with a LBV Port. All went well with such a fine and enjoyable meal in a cozy space - well except the service could be a bit hmm... overzealous at times. 

More photos in my Flickr album:

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 Roganic Hong Kong) 

When? November 22 2020
Where? Roganic, UG/F 08, Sino Plaza, 255 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
Menu Highlights? 14-day-aged duck, turnip, shiso
Exton Park Vineyard Simon Rogan Rose NV, Hampshire UK
Champagne Alfred Gratien Brut NV
2014 Marchesi Antinori Tignanello Toscana IGT
2010 Barale Fratelli Serra Boella Barbaresco DOCG
2013 Quinta do Noval Unfiltered Single Vineyard Late Bottled Vintage Port

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