Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Need More Time Perhaps

From one hotel with a view to another, we checked out from our stay at The Murray for brunch at Salisterra on top of the nearby Upper House. The restaurant went through a few iterations in terms of culinary directions with several chefs came and went, and the latest to steer the ship is Chef Cary Docherty, whom we know from his day at Gough's on Gough (now closed) and then Lobster Bar at Island Shangri-la. 

On weekends during the day they offered a 3-course brunch menu, with choices of appetizers, main courses and desserts. The restaurant was said to be focusing on coastal French and Italian cooking, but barring a few Mediterranean-themed dishes such as shakshuka, the side dish of polenta or tarte au citron, the rest just looked like a generic hotel coffee shop offering to me. Let's hope that's only because they were in the middle of transformation. 

Anyway, I started with Shakshuka and it's great, with mashed tomatoes, peppers, onions and garlic, finished in the oven with poached eggs on top. and served bubbling hot in a iron deep-dish. There's no better brunch dish than this I reckon and it's healthy too, with no meat but plenty of rich flavor. One could choose from the five options for main course - unless if you are a vegetarian you are stuck with roasted potatoes and salad being the only non-meat choice - and I went for "Roasted Rib of Beef with Bordelaise Sauce" (remember my earlier comments about the menu being generic?) Not an issue per se as Chef Cary did an excellent Sunday roast in his previous ventures, but this one paled in comparison, by a wide margin. The beef was done more raw than I expected with a only few pieces of broccolini and carrots served on the side (and the sauce). Nonetheless the meat tasted alright - at least it was seasoned properly and the sauce was tasty. The sides were probably the better part - I like the soft and creamy polenta finished with grated parmesan for the gooey texture and extra flavor. 

The choice between three sweet tarts for dessert meant it can be assembled and served quickly and easily by just about everyone. That said, the warm chocolate tart I ordered was fine, dusted with cocoa powder as garnish and mascarpone espuma on the side. They went for the safe route by offering something simple for brunch but I think they came up short of our expectation this time in terms of execution. Give this some time, maybe. 

When? August 21 2022
Where? Salisterra, Level 49, The Upper House, 88 Queensway, Hong Kong
Menu Highlights? Shakshuka

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