VOLUME XI  No. 151 W E D N E S D A Y August 12, 2009


Dining and Wining ...
Where To Go ...
Where Not To Go









Name of Restaurant Riva, Parklane Hotel Hongkong
Address of Restaurant No. 310, Gloucester Road, Causeway, Hongkong
Date of Visit Thursday, August 6, 2009  

TARGETs  Rating

    First Impression Excellent Acceptable Poor
    Attentiveness to Customers’ Needs Excellent Acceptable Poor
    Flexibility Excellent Acceptable Poor
    Product Expertise of Serving Staff Excellent Acceptable Poor
    Speed of Service Excellent Acceptable Poor
    Cleanliness of Uniform and Serving Staff Excellent Acceptable Poor
          Lighting Excellent Acceptable Poor
          Music Excellent Acceptable Poor
          General Excellent Acceptable Poor
          Presentation Excellent Acceptable Poor
          Taste Excellent Acceptable Poor
          Quantity Excellent Acceptable Poor
          Choice Extensive Limited Unbalanced
          Cost Reasonable Unreasonable Expensive
          Storage of Wine Good Poor Unknown
          Expertise of Sommelier -- None Excellent Acceptable Poor
Total Cost of Meal    

          Very Expensive

Moderately Expensive       Very Reasonably Priced
Name of Food and Beverage Manager Mr Daniel Tse
Name of Executive Chef Mr Heinz-Jorg Funchoff  


Riva, the fine-dining restaurant of The Park Lane Hotel in Causeway Bay, has found a new executive chef. 

He is Mr Heinz-Jorg Funchoff, a native of Germany. 

The last time that TARGET (泰達財經) visited this outlet on the 27th Floor of The Park Lane Hotel was on Wednesday, August 29, 2007, when the Executive Chef was Mr Martin Becquart, a Laotian by birth, having been trained in St Martin in Amiens, France. 

The opinion of Riva, then, was that it rated very highly. 

Happily, Riva, still, rates highly, but perhaps a tad lower than when Mr Martin Becquart was running the show. 

Last Thursday, August 6, 2009, at about 6:30 p.m., TARGET’s reviewers entered the restaurant, having reserved a table, using a false name, so that our visit would not be marred by disclosure of our true intent. 

The Executive Chef was absent on the day of our visit so that his Chinese team did the cooking.  

This was that which this medium ordered:


Amuse Bouche


Tuna Nicoise Salad


Red Onion & Oxtail Soup


Pan-fried Cod Fish and Baby Squid with Chorizo
and Warm Crushed Potato Salad
served with Boullion Piperade



Raz el Hanout rubbed Grilled Australian Lamb Rack
Oriental Dried Fruit Cous Cous
served with Spiced Lamb Jus



Whipped Brie Cheese on Melba Toast with Balsamic Glaze


Pink Champagne Sorbet


Vanilla Pannacotta and Mixed Berries
served with Raspberry Coulis



Mocha or Tea
Petit Fours


HK$728 per person 

A La Carte 

Potato and Garlic Soup with Pickled Chanterelle


Low Temperature Cooked Norwegian Salmon
with Grilled new Season Potatoes and Dehydrated Cherry Tomatoes
served with Molasse and Vanilla infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil



Chocolate Fondant with Black Cherry Ice Cream and Crème Anglaise


With the above, TARGET ordered a bottle of Château Cheval Blanc, a wine from Saint-Émilion in the Bordeaux wine region of France. 

Vintage 1983, certainly, is not the best vintage of ‘Castle White Horse’, but one has to drink something, doesn’t one? 

However, at $HK5,100 per bottle, it was a bit pricey for this vintage. 

If one likes to drink good wine, unfortunately, Riva is not the venue for you because the wine list is very limited and unbalanced although, with the exception of TARGET’s choice, the prices are reasonable. 

A Taste of Riva 

For the most part, the tasting menu was extremely good. 

The Amuse Bouche was a grilled scallop, washed in a pumpkin puree. 

It was excellent, having been cooked to perfection. 

Turning to the soup, it was obvious that this broth had been boiled and boiled and boiled … and it was excellent, too. 

The only part of the menu that did not stand up well was the Grilled Australian lamb.  

It was tough with very little flavour. 

This was strange, actually, because unlike Australian beef, which can often be insipid, lamb from the Antipodes is, generally, good and very flavourful. 

The main course was a bit of a let-down. 

The presentation of all dishes was good, if not exceptional, and the service was as good as it gets. 

At the price of $HK728, however, the tasting menu was good value for money. 

The A La Carte Selections 

The Potato and Garlic Soup was another winner, in TARGET’s opinion, and, like the soup of the tasting menu, it had been boiled and boiled and boiled. 

The rich flavours of the soup tended to permeate the area around TARGET’s table. 

The main course, the Norwegian Salmon, should have been superb, but somebody in the kitchen did not know how to cook it, properly, so that it was almost raw in the centre – which is acceptable, of course – but water (or something) was flowing out of the centre of the dead piece of flesh. 

Not only did the watery substance not enhance the look of the fish meat, but it detracted from its taste. 

It is possible, of course, that the salmon had been either frozen or had been stored for too long a period of time in a cold refrigerator and so, when it was cooked, through osmosis, water collected in the centre of the fish meat. 

This is not to suggest that the fish meat was off or bad because it was not, but the kitchen staff slipped up badly when preparing this dish. 

Unlike the tasting menu where the lamb was almost tasteless, which is no fault of the kitchen staff but of the purchasing department of the hotel, the credit for the errors in respect of the preparation of the salmon, clearly rests with the kitchen staff. 

As for the Chocolate Fondant, no criticism could be levelled and it was eaten in its entirety. 

The Ambiance 

The ambiance at Riva, thank God, has not changed at all over the years. 

It is, still, a wonderful venue for a dinner, overlooking as it does, Victoria Harbour. 

A pianist still plays melodies from the days when music was supposed to be melodious without the requirement of jazzing up the action or somebody screeching in the background. 

The service is excellent and the staff goes out of their way to make certain that everything is to the customer’s complete satisfaction. 

The toilets, which TARGET always inspects when entering a restaurant, are immaculate. 

The tables are not close together so that 90 diners can be seated without somebody’s bottom, sticking out as he or she passes between the tables. 

There is a small sign on the tables with a cartoon of a mobile telephone, ringing. The sign states: ‘Please be considerate to other guests.’ 

Grammatically wrong, no doubt, but right on target in spirit. 

Causeway Bay is one of the most-crowded parts of Hongkong Island, which means that it is one of the most-crowded districts in the world. 

Riva must be considered a very pleasant surprise to all who visit it for the first time because all of the customers, who are ‘regulars’, appear to be ‘old-monied people’ who are extremely well-mannered. 

It would be nice if Management of this outlet could improve its wine list because nothing could be more enjoyable than to sit and to watch as the boats pass by, lovely music, entering one’s external auditory canal, and, in one hand, there is a good glass of French/Italian/German or even Australian wine, its bouquet, tickling ones nostrils as one is reminded of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland:

‘Drink Me! Drink Me!’






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TARGET cannot be held responsible for any errors and/or omissions.




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