Sunday, July 29, 2012

SPOON by Alain Ducasse @ InterContinental Hong Kong

The 1-Michelin Star SPOON by Alain Ducasse (Michelin Guide 2012) features contemporary French cuisine inspired by Alain Ducasse, one of the world’s most celebrated chefs. A combination of a celebrity chef and Michelin-starred restaurant definitely warrants a visit. His other Alain Ducasse restaurant in The Dorchester is a 3-Michelin Star.

The SPOON at InterContinental Hong Kong, located in Tsim Tsa Tsui has a decor imagined and conceived by the designer Tony Chi which lavishly showcases the breathtaking view of Victoria Harbour and its stunning skyline.

That's my view for the night!

What's not to love when you have such a breathtaking view at dinner? Instead of siting opposite your dining partner (which I usually do because it feels weird not to sit opposite each other when there's only 2 of us) here, we sat side by side as to not to block this picturesque view of Hong Kong harbour. It took my dining partner more than a month to make a reservation for one of the best seats in this restaurant. When the night falls, the diners can enjoy a display of laser light performance from the towers.

To be honest, I did not have any expectations at SPOON. I just want to enjoy the food, wines, view and a good companionship. When I was served the amuse bouche, my eyes were sparkling. First there was a beautiful napkin folded into a lotus flower carrying these small little "papa johns", then on a shiny silver plate, there's some cute macaron look-alike amuse bouche which is filled with salmon & mozarella cheese and the green ones are the lettuce with crab meat. 

I don't usually place too much expectations on amuse bouche because usually they are bite sized and they looked too effortless. However, these ones here are just spectacular. I love how they experiment with the asian ingredients and then served in the French way. Well, I finished all the amuse bouche the unfeminine way. The breadbasket is equally impressive. This is where you will have to really come empty stomach and try to sample every dish that is served to you. And don't let me start on that creamy butter.... ohh ahh... that sounds like orgasm already.

After all that, we have not even started on our appetiser yet. Can you imagine that? The night falls and we are still sampling yet another stunning amuse bouche comprising a fried frog leg with a bowl of ginger soup. First, eat the frog leg and then let the ginger soup trickle down the throat. I found so much pleasure in drinking that ginger soup. The spiciness of the ginger is very subtle but the soup tasted of savoury stock which I suspect has been boiled with frogs as well. Ahhh... so good.

While waiting patiently for our 1st dish, we had a bottle of 2004 Domaine Ramonet Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru Les Vergers which costs HKD$1350 at the restaurant itself. It's a chardonnay from the Burgundy region it's indeed a very good bottle. I like the fresh, spicy and wintermint nose. On the palate, it is buttery with flavours of pears and notes of white flowers. It has a medium body grip, the right complexity and a medium to long finish. Is the bottle worth the price tag? At this restaurant, this price tag is definitely worth it. Mathieu Ginglardi has been a very attentive sommelier as well.

ORGANIC Egg, Truffle & Tomato ($350)

Can you see that the slices of black truffles on this dish is so generous. I finally get to savour these flakes like potato chips! Haha... except that they don't taste anything like potato chips. What lies beneath this pie-like egg dish is a perfect egg yolk waiting for me to sink that fork into it. Very interesting dish which makes you wonder why did you just pay RM150 for some eggs? Oh well... If I knew how to make this, I wouldn't even have ordered it right?

Steamed Duck Foie Gras from "Les Landes" ($390)

This is something different from the usual foie gras I have. Instead of having it pan-seared, this is steamed and served with varies diced fruits, almond and basil. It's quite refreshing to have the nectarine to pair with foie gras so that it neutralises the taste of fats.

 Dover Sole "A La Riche" ($720)

This is a main dish with dover sole, crayfish, mushrooms and truffles. A Dover sole is a long, slipper-shaped flatfish with a small head, light-brown mottled skin and a creamy underside. The meat of this fish is delicate and flavourful but firm. Because one rarely sees this fish on a menu, if there's one, you better order it!

That afternoon before dinner, we were shopping around in Tsim Tsa Tsui and we came across this wine shop called Major Cellar located on Hankow road. I suggest all wine aficionados and collectors to visit this shop. It's filled with wines of the vintages that you'll wish to own or rather sip. They have an impressive line ups of 1st growths of Bordeaux as well as Burgundy. I get to choose a bottle for tonight's dinner and I finally chose this Chateau Montelena 1994 from Napa Valley costing $1980.

This bottle here received a 95 points from Wine Spectator. I felt that I could have mistaken this as a Bordeaux from the nose of this wine. I'm not a big Napa drinker but I do realise that there are actually many wonderful wines that come from this region. Montelena is one of them and I like how this bottle here has a bombastic display of black fruits, hints of vanilla and oak with a full and rich finish.

 "Challans" Duckling ($590)

My main comprised of duck with a cereals crust, served with babty beetroot and turnip. It looks like a piece of steak from the outside. I am impressed that they managed to serve my duck medium as per instruction. Along with the duck, there is also a side dish of duck confit with crepes. You eat it like how you would eat a peking duck wrapped in momo skin and cucumber. The duck confit was very flavourful and robust. This is one of the best duck dishes I've had at a French restaurant!

Sorry I had to mosaic his face for anonymity. 
Sometimes you just need some privacy. hahahah

For dessert, my partner has a cheese platter comprises of 4 selections of French cheeses ($170) where one of my favourite is the Comte.

While I had an Almond Soufflé served with Apricot Marmalade and their home made ice-cream ($160). Soufflé has been one of my favourite desserts at any white table cloth restaurants as the soufle shows the true skills of a chef. This one here passes the test with flying colours.

While I thought our dinner had ended, the Maitre D served us some petite fours and some chocolates from Jean Paul Hevin. This is just too posh! I had a wonderful culinary experience here as well as stellar service from the staff. This is truly a Michelin starred restaurant because the service definitely makes a difference. There's no need for waving of hands as they're always there when you need them. For a restaurant like this, you just need to look into their direction and they'll be at your service.

I have to thank my dinner date for bringing me here. The whole dinner costs $4k+ excluding the bottle of Chateau Montelena as you can always negotiate a 1+1 deal where you buy a bottle from the restaurant and you BYO one. Is it worth it? Yes!

SPOON by Alain Ducasse
Hôtel Intercontinental, Lobby Level,
18 Salisbury Road
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel. +852 2313 2256
Fax. +852 2732 2803


Anonymous said...

For someone who enjoy good food, you sure don't know how to spell souffle.

Happy that you look more contented in current company than the previous one.

Mun Mun said...

Well it does look like you did enjoy this lavish dinner. I am sure the wines were up to your expectations that night. Well chosen wine for the 94' Cabernet Sauvignon Ch. Montelena.

Restaurant like this, do really need to book in advance for good seats.


A Arthur said...

Hey Sweetie, Why you mosaic his face? Is he your beau in HKG? Let me guess. Must be some supernova filmstar in Hong Kong and you want to keep a secret but yet you have to let others know. Bring him in to Ipoh and your Uncle Lau will buy both of you the famous Ipoh Chicken Ho-Fun.

You keep well, Sweetie.

Uncle Lau

KY said...

hahaha that mosaic pic looks like jap porn a bit. :X

i also wanna have the foie grasssss

eiling lim said...

Anon: Thanks for pointing out the typo. I guess you're too early to make such conclusions. I can only smile at your comment.

Mun Mun: Lol.. don't pull my leg.

Uncle Lau: Haha.. Uncle Lau, he's not some filmstar. I'll tell you when I see you. You can buy me 2 bowls of Chicken Hor Fun. Thanks!

KY: Wrong part to mosaic to qualify as a Jap porn la..

suituapui said...

Now, now...who's that? Come, come...let us see his face!!! LOL!!!

Don't know the exchange rate so can't really tell but I hear things in Hongkong are very expensive these days. Place and food sure look good though...

eiling lim said...

STP: haha... it's called privacy! Yeap the exchange rate is something like HKD$100 for RM41.

Sean said...

wow, this looks like a meal to remember for a very long time! i guess Spoon really deserves its two stars, for various reasons. will remember to make reservations as far in advance as possible if i'm ever here, and i hope the egg and duckling dishes will still be on the menu =)

Anonymous said...


eiling lim said...

Sean: Yeap it'll definitely be a memorable dinner. Everything was just perfect!

Anon: Haha.. you made my day!

Anonymous said...

Hey anon 706: Wow! That is a harsh comment! U sound like a jilted ex.


eiling lim said...

Steven: Haha.. That's a first for me! cheers

Anonymous said...

you looked so much more attractive in the night scene.

eiling lim said...

Anon: Thanks. Sorry but I can't help but sense a sarcasm there

Anonymous said...

reply of 5:43. Please do not get me wrong. You looked even more attractive with that back scene at night (shown in the photo)

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