|VOLUME XIII No. 178||W E D N E S D A Y||September 21, 2011|
RESTAURANTS OF HONGKONG ...
AND THE WORST !
|Name of Restaurant||Amber|
|Address of Restaurant||7/Floor, The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, No. 15, Queen's Road, Central, Hongkong|
|Date of Visit||Sunday, September 18, 2011|
|Attentiveness to Customers’ Needs||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|
|Wine -- Not Applicable|
|Storage of Wine||Good||Poor||Unknown|
|Expertise of Sommelier||Excellent||Acceptable||None|
|Total Cost of Meal|
|Moderately Expensive||Very Reasonably Priced|
|Name of Director of Food and Beverage||Mr Richard Ekkebus|
|Name of Executive Chef||Mr Richard Ekkebus|
There is quite a number of excellent steak houses in the Hongkong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and, for the avid carnivores among us, these are the places in which one can sink one’s teeth into a juicy piece of USDA porterhouse steak.
These steak houses are unashamed to slap a 16-ounce slab of meat, cooked to one’s specifications, on a plate with an Idaho potato, complete with sour cream, chives and, perhaps, some desiccated bacon.
One leaves such a restaurant, satisfied, and, subconsciously, one may be planning to return in the near future when the urge for good steak rears up again.
However, there are other restaurants in the territory in which the chefs, in their vain attempts to be creative, go too far.
One could state that some chefs go completely bonkers in their mad attempts to walk on water.
One such restaurant, in TARGET’s opinion, is Amber, the lone restaurant of The Landmark Mandarin Oriental on Queen’s Road, Central (excluding the bar on the ground floor of the hotel).
This medium dropped into Amber, last Sunday at about noon, in order to sample the Sunday fare.
This is that which this medium ordered, right off the menu:
There was a consistency with most of the dishes, sampled at this fine-dining outlet of this Central hotel: One had great difficulty in knowing what one was eating without reference to the menu.
If one closed one’s eyes, it would have been almost impossible for most of the dishes to be identified or even to know what the dish was meant to be.
The Executive Chef, Mr Richard Ekkebus, had made every dish appear as a work of art, to be sure, but something was, sadly, missing from every dish: The taste and texture of the main ingredient that should have been the most-important feature of each and every course.
Take for instance, the Dungeness Crab Starter.
Here, on a platter, were 3 pieces of what had the appearance of Japanese kappa maki, which is made from rice, laced with vinegar and wrapped in a sheet of seaweed, in the middle of which is some raw vegetable, such as a cube of cucumber.
In fact, the Dungeness Crab Started even tasted similar to this Japanese delicacy.
But where was the taste of the crab?
Also, it appeared that this dish had been prepared some time prior to it being ordered because, on the first bite of one of the rolls, one received a healthy dose of some cold liquid.
This would suggest that it had been placed in a very cold refrigerator for some time before being served.
The other starter, the Maatjes Herring dish, was mostly beetroot, the 3 herring pieces, measuring about one centimeter by about one quarter of a centimeter, being difficult to find.
The 2 Middle Courses were on a par with the starters and TARGET (泰達財經) will not waste time, explaining the insipidity of these 2 dishes.
The Main Courses
The Challans chicken dish did not taste of chicken, at all, although, clearly, it had the appearance of piece of the breast of a chicken: An almost white chunk of meat on a plate.
As with all of the other dishes, the presentation was outstanding, but it was all show with little substance.
If this reviewer had closed his eyes, it would have been impossible to know the contents of the various dishes.
The beef oxtail should have been an excellent dish, but, once again, it did not taste of oxtail, at all.
Peeling away 2 of the outer layers of the dish, TARGET was able to find some flakes of the ox tail meat, it, having been separated from the bones of animal, but, on trying to taste the meat, again, it did not taste at all like meat.
Which is quite an accomplishment!
The 3 deserts were no better than the first other courses so that this medium will not labour the situation, any further.
Lastly, after making 3 attempts to obtain a cup of hot coffee, TARGET gave up, paid the bill, and left the 7th floor of the hotel.
In summing up many of the dishes, the garnishes tended to overpower the tastes of the natural ingredients, which was the principal reason for ordering the various courses, of course.
One could not help but enjoy the ‘food art’, but without the advantage of eating food.
Presentation … presentation … presentation!Did somebody forget something?
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TARGET cannot be held responsible for any errors and/or omissions.