Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Review: Ore-no Kappou

It's rare that I've returned to a restaurant before I had time to put up the review but I guess this is just one of those places where people are anxious to go check out. Hence I've somehow have ventured here twice in the span of a few weeks. This review will focus on the dinner I had as the other time was lunch where the review can be summed up as such. We had the set lunch which wasn't too bad. I had a decent sashimi with good quality fish for about HK$200. The only grievance was that they wouldn't let me substitute out anything even though I had allergies. Done.

For those of you who aren't aware, the concept of Ore-no was to bring Michelin food at an affordable price. At least that's the concept in Japan where they get away with delivering top notch food for good prices by having everyone eat standing so you basically perform a dine and dash which quite feasibly would work here I'd think. However, the folks behind the brand obviously disagree as they have taken over an entire floor of the new California tower, giving us a restaurant that easily seats 100 pax. There are still some tables for the dine and dash experience but the two times I've been, no one has utilised those standing tables even though the restaurant was pretty much full during lunch.

On to the food. We started out with the Monaka Surprise. We didn't plan on ordering this dish, however we saw the next table order it and was so intrigued that we couldn't help but get us a piece of it. It was a twist on the traditionally sweet monaka filled with miso marinated cream cheese and terrine de foie gras, smoked radish pickles sand with a wafer exterior. It was a decadent party in my mouth. You can’t go wrong with cream cheese and foie gras really and the texture was awesome when combined with picked radish and the crispy exterior.

This was the Uni jelly chef takku style - sea urchin and mousse with chicken soup jelly. We had high expectations for this especially given the beautiful presentation but overall found it quite disappointing as the mousse didn’t have much Uni flavor. The portion was also a bit on the large side and I suspect we only thought it was large as we didn't quite enjoy it and felt it was a waste of quota to consume too much of it.

This was also a bit of a disappointing dish especially since we ordered it due to the fact that the waiter kept telling us it's a signature dish and really good. It was also one of the pricier dishes on the menu so we weren't sure if we were just being upsold but we decided to give the waiter the benefit of the doubt. Described as deep fried lobster wrapped in lotus root with tosa style vinegar, we felt it was a bit of a waste to deep fry lobster. But it did have a nice crunch with the lotus roots and had a nice citrusy tang. The vegetables though were oozing oil which made for an uncomfortable mouthful.

I just wasn't able to get a good shot of this Saba sushi which was delicious. It was a bit of a disconnect when we felt this dish was a much better value for money given that it was about $60 while the lobster above was $500. This dish had a freshness to the mackerel that was lacking in the lobster.

We ended with a very standard matcha dessert that was so nondescript that I can't quite remember what it was anymore. Overall, I'd say the experience wasn't bad, there were some hits and misses and I'd be interested in trying out some of the other dishes if I return. (There were quite a few dishes that wasn't available for some reason on the evening we went.)

Dinner for the two of us came to about $970 where we had two mocktails in addition to the food.

Ore-no Kappou, 6/F, California Tower, Lan Kwai Fong, Central.

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