Monday, December 5, 2011
I hadn't even had a chance to try The Chocolate Library at The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong when they changed the name. It's now called Cafe 103 for the floor that it's on -- but not to worry the chocolates haven't completely disappeared. Instead the lounge area above Tosca offers a buffet spread for both lunch and dinner and it still has its chocolate afternoon tea.
The dinner buffet is a generous spread and despite the small narrow space, guests do manage to manoeuvre around easily with plates. For appetisers, there's antipasto, a salad bar, cold seafood such as prawns and Alaska king crab legs, conch and mussels. What's nice is that other items such as sashimi are already beautifully presented in small glass cups with colourful seaweed making it easier to handle -- and even wasabi is portioned out into small green cubes. Also in small bowls are marinated fish, and proscuitto with melon also topped with gold foil. Very rich.
There's also many selections for hot food, both western and Asian. A must-try is the Canadian prime rib sliced finely and topped with gravy so that you can go for seconds or try other dishes. The prime rib is very tender and juicy. Another good one is the rack of lamb, a nice pink in the middle, very delicious. Complement these with small potatoes or have the chicken curry with rice. There's also large prawns cooked in ketchup sauce, or seasonal vegetables, and a daily soup.
It's good the selection isn't too extensive otherwise there won't be enough room for the main event -- dessert. While there is a cheese tray, focus directly on the sweets. They are presented on a kind of shelf so look high and low for what tempts your tummy.
There's homemade macaroons in various flavours, an exotic fruit surprise that includes mango and bits of chocolate topped with a generous helping of cream, raspberry mousse, a small bowl of dark chocolate mousse that's utterly sinful, and a lychee mousse for a light and refreshing taste. Another favourite is the green tea cake with raspberry jam in the middle, and carrot cake. There's also individual chocolates like raspberry marshmallow and a curious one with garlic that thankfully had a subtle taste.
Chocoholics who still haven't had enough of their fill should try the signature hot chocolate -- topped with some foam it's not too rich or sweet and should definitely satiate any intense chocolate craving.
Too bad Cafe 103 doesn't do 24-hour take out...
103/F, The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong
International Commerce Centre
1 Austin Road West