Tuesday, January 12, 2021

In-Room Michelin

We were not going to let the dine-in restriction deprive us the enjoyment of a proper dinner while staycationing at The Pen, so we went for the room service from Spring Moon downstairs. With our suite that came with a separate dining area and a long dining table, we found that almost as good as a proper sit-down meal but in the comfort of the posh, private space. 

While the hotel’s default room service menu has only somewhat generic choices of food, they were flexible enough to let us pick direct from the restaurant’s regular menu, including the prix fixe dinner course which was normally available for dine-in only. So here’s the tip for those considering doing staycation there. 

Food arrived right on time as we requested and they quickly help set up the table for us. We opted for the 6-course tasting menu this time, and we started with the pair of appetizers. The thick slices of char siu were on the leaner side but still juicy and tender with a nice honey glaze on the crust, and the red jellyfish, pickled in dark vinegar with a touch of Sichuan pepper and served in a small bowl on the side, was tasty with good bouncy texture. 

Serving temperature was always my biggest pet peeves as far as room service meal is concerned, but they managed to deliver the braised fish maw soup (reasonably) piping hot. It was enjoyable with hearty flavor, with finely julienned fish maw, woodear mushrooms and chicken mixed in the thickened superior soup base cooked with pork, chicken and ham. 

We continued with the pair of hot seafood dishes that were kept in the food warmer, first the sauteed tiger prawns with mushrooms and black truffle sauce, followed by the wok-fried scallop with ginger and spring onion sauce. Both were decent – delivered in the same standard I would have expected as they were served inside the restaurant. My preference edged towards the scallop dish, with a huge piece of Hokkaido scallop pan-seared served with termite mushrooms, ginger, spring onion in the classic gravy sauce inside a mini casserole. I wish I had a bowl of steamed plain rice to soak up the flavorful sauce. 

Our last savory course of fried rice was nicely done too – mixed with bits of roasted duck and Yunnan ham for the rich flavor. Mango pudding was a nostalgic dessert typically served as the sweet course at the end of a banquet meal and the one we had was fine with the right sweetness and creamy texture. 

Dining in our own room also meant we could freely bring our own bottle to go with the meal. This time we started with a vintage Blanc de Noirs champagne followed by a Brunello, both came of age nicely I reckon. The champagne has nice structure and power, buttery with a hint of pear and ripe lemon and balanced acidity that went perfectly well with the seafood dishes. I wish we had a beef or rich meat dish that would have been perfect with the red that we opened, but it’s still beautiful on its own, especially given time to breathe with nice ripe black fruit characters and rounded tannins.

In normal nights I would probably still prefer eating inside the restaurant with the ambience resembling the classic Cantonese tea-house and enjoyed their signature tea sommelier service by their staff rather than having to pull out the dishes from the trolley ourselves and pour our own wines, but given the circumstances, it’s not bad an alternative being able to bring the Michelin-starred restaurant to our room. It's certainly our first experience of such and probably won't be the last.    

More photos in my Flickr album: www.flickr.com/photos/g4gary/albums/72157717598239816

When? December 27 2020
Where? Spring Moon at The Peninsula Hong Kong, 22 Salisbury Road, Tsimshatsui, Kowloon
Menu Highlights? Wok-fried Hokkaido Scallop with Termite Mushrooms, Ginger and Spring Onion
2009 Maison Mumm RSRV Blanc de Noirs Brut Grand Cru Champagne
2010 San Filippo Le Lucere Brunello di Montalcino DOCG
Web: www.peninsula.com/en/hong-kong/hotel-fine-dining/spring-moon-cantonese

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