Tuesday, December 2, 2014
There was shock and sadness when we heard Italian restaurant Domani was closing down in Pacific Place. There was no explanation until Swire announced it was taking over the space -- or shall we say taking back the space -- to open a British-style place which piqued curiosity.
But the results from the decor to food are fantastic. The undulating white ceiling designed by Thomas Heatherwick is thankfully still there, but the rest of the space has been cleared out with floor-to-ceiling windows to make a more open area and even has outdoor dining outside weather permitting.
Inside, the shade of Continental Green was chosen -- a deep jade green matched with dark wood that gives the interior a warm and elegant atmosphere with clean lines. The booth seating is great for parties of two to four for a bit more intimacy.
The restaurant is the brainchild of UK chef and food writer Rowley Leigh and he's brought modern British classics to the table. The restaurant isn't strictly British -- more French in fact -- according to Leigh, but focuses a lot on seafood along with items cooked on the Josper grill.
Guests can start off with items like freshly-shucked oysters (HK$490 for three) or raw tuna with ginger dressing (HK$145), but we opted for one of the signature dishes, the griddled scallops with chestnut puree, shio and lemon (HK$195). The effect is fantastic with the freshness from the perfectly cooked scallops to the smooth texture of the chestnut and the flavours perked up by the sharp taste of the shiso leaf.
Another signature appetiser is the chicken and goats' cheese mousse (HK$125) that is topped with finely diced olives, a very smooth and delicious taste that isn't too strong, paired with refreshing greens on the side to balance the richness. Pity there was only one slice of toast!
For mains, a British classic is the fish pie (HK$165), and be forewarned it's a challenge for one to finish! Sharing is easier and that way you can save room for dessert too. The dense dish is choc full of piece of fish like salmon, smoked haddock, prawn, and whiting) that are perfectly cooked and the topping of whipped baked potato is fabulous.
If that hasn't filled you up there's always dessert. Some may like to try the rice pudding with apricots that's light and not too sweet, or sample some full-on flavours with the pai perdu with chilli roasted pineapple and a scoop of vanilla ice cream (HK$85). Hot, cold spicy and sweet all in one bite.
But the one to beat is the chocolate souffle (HK$115) that takes 15 minutes to make, but well worth the wait. It arrives at the table perfectly cooked, and then the server makes a small hole in the middle and inserts a scoop of pistachio ice cream in there and the drizzles a rich chocolate sauce on top -- if that wasn't already enough chocolate for you.
The souffle is so airy and light, countered by the richness of the sauce that makes it so, so good.
If you're an early bird, The Continental is open for breakfast from 7am and serves lunch, afternoon tea, and of course dinner. The new go-to spot in Pacific Place with a touch of class.
Unit 406, L4, Pacific Place