Friday, January 13, 2012

Star Dishes at SPOON

Food and travel guest blogger hkLifestyleGeek gives us her next scoop on fantastic restaurants around town and travel tips. Contact her at

The day before the Michelin star ratings came out Alain Ducasse was at SPOON by Alain Ducasse in the InterContinental Hong Kong and had his doubts the restaurant would receive another star But when the announcement was made that SPOON was indeed awarded two stars, the staff called up Ducasse early in the morning in France. His response? "It's a nice idea."
The staff at SPOON are thrilled their hard work has paid off, from the renovation of the restaurant and revamp of the menu to suit Asian palates. Changes included putting tablecloths on tables and wait staff wearing waistcoats and ties. The transformation which was completed in a few years has led to memorable results especially on the culinary side. When I was there, executive chef Philippe Duc presented a mesmerising seven-course menu that included two desserts to showcase his prowess in the kitchen. That also meant pacing ourselves and our stomachs.

For starters the cep mushroom and lobster light veloute with the mushroom soup poured into the bowl tableside with a small dollop of creme fraiche. It had a strong mushroom taste that was creamy and delicious, with small chunks of lobster. An ideal winter dish.

Next came the Bresse chicken and foie gras "pate en croute". It was too pretty to eat, as the French chicken and foie gras were incorporated into a loaf covered in a thin crispy pastry that was sliced thinly accompanied with spinach leaves. While the pastry was light, the contents inside were heavy and rich, playing on crunchy and soft, light and decadent.

We were already half-way full when the pan-seared sea scallops, pumpkin and white truffle arrived. The fresh large scallops were fantastic, meaty and tasty, accompanied with finely cubed pumpkin and thin slices of the aromatic white truffle dressed with a bisque sauce.

The only fault with the meal was the baked Atlantic brill, shrimps "bouquet". The fillet was unfortunately overcooked, making the fish more on the tough side, but was salvaged by the large halved mushrooms and rich sauce seasoned with shallots.
Stuffed saddle of lamb from France with lemon flavoured cauliflower semolina was quickly declared the highlight of the dinner. Duc explained lamb from France is not as gamey as other countries; the meat cooked until it was a beautiful pink colour and wrapped in pastry. To complement the lightness of the lamb were hints of lemon zest flavour. We thought we wouldn't be able to tackle this dish, but it was so good, we finished it.
By now we were completely stuffed but there were two desserts to go. First was the coconut-pineapple vacherin, a light dessert featuring two scoops of each coconut and pineapple topped with small meringue tear drops and baked thin pineapple slices. It was nice and refreshing, but not too memorable.
That was not the case with the chocolate-hazelnut bliss. The low, round cake was irresistable with wafers inside but overall sinfully rich and topped with a golden hazelnut. Again for some reason we managed to find room in our stomachs to finish it, but then again who wouldn't?

Does the restaurant deserve two stars? Minus the overcooked fish, it definitely does. The consistency of the restaurant is getting better and with two stars under its belt, surely SPOON will endeavour to do what it takes to keep them.

SPOON by Alain Ducasse
G/F, InterContinental Hong Kong
18 Salisbury Road
Tsim Sha Tsui

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