Friday, October 21, 2011

Scare Tactics

Food presentation is normally about making dishes look as pretty as possible -- a flourish of sauce here, a calculated dribble of colour there, an architectural marvel built from meat and potatoes... you get the drift. But all bets are off when Halloween descends upon Hong Kong, a fact that's especially true at Ava restaurant at Hotel Panorama, the newly opened sister restaurant to Azure (that's way, way better). Chef Mike Boyle throws caution to the wind to concoct dishes that are unabashedly gory, a mashup of blood, guts and great ingredients that hopefully taste much better than they look.

We Geeks don't often venture to the dark side but this might be reason enough to! The other reason would be that I've actually already been to Ava, and on regular days the food is pretty good -- awesome Rhug Estate meatiness and truly creative concepts that you wouldn't expect in some random TST hotel. For Halloween, the dishes include "Poor Little Lamb", "The Car Accident", "What's That" and the obligatory "Cemetary", among others. But if you want your dishes a little less bloodied, try the unique Boston lobster appetizer, the wood-smoked melt-in-your-mouth Atlantic salmon or the langoustine with gnocchi -- best gnocchi I've had in Hong Kong. For dessert, get them to make the ice cream table-side, with the aid of liquid nitrogen. Pretty cool stuff, and great lightweight ice cream.

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