|VOLUME XV No. 33||W E D N E S D A Y||February 20, 2013|
RESTAURANTS OF HONGKONG ...
AND THE WORST !
|Name of Restaurant||VIEW62|
|Address of Restaurant||62nd Floor, Hopewell Centre, No. 183, Queen's Road East, Wanchai, Hongkong|
|Date of Visit||Monday, January 14, 2012|
|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|
|Music -- None||Excellent||Acceptable||Poor|
|Storage of Wine||Good||Poor||Unknown|
|Expertise of Sommelier||Excellent||Acceptable||None|
|Total Cost of Meal|
|Moderately Expensive||Very Reasonably Priced|
|Name of Restaurant Manager||Nil|
|Name of Executive Chef||Mr Javier Carrizosa|
VIEW62 by Paco Roncero is nestled on the 62nd Floor of Hopewell Centre at Number 183, Queen’s Road, East, Hongkong Island.
It is not located in the salacious area of Suzie Wong, depicted in the 1960 motion picture, ‘The World of Suzie Wong’, but it would be fair to state that Management of the restaurant has chosen a rather odd site for the home of a new type of cuisine for Hongkong.
One would have thought that Chef Paco Roncero, in early 2012 – the restaurant was opened in June of last year – would have selected a site for his 120-seater restaurant in a more luxurious part of town, making it convenient for the many American and European tourists, coming to Hongkong, to taste his unique culinary creations.
But he selected the top of The World of Suzie Wong as his Hongkong home and, by the looks of things, his eatery is doing reasonably well despite its location on the 62nd Floor of a 40 year-old, commercial building.
TARGET (泰達財經) visited VIEW62 on Monday, January 14, 2013, at about 6:45 pm, the reservation, having been made, using a nom de plume in order to hide the fact that this medium was intent on reviewing this restaurant that is, slowly, making its mark on Hongkong as a place to sample European ‘avant-garde, nouvelle cuisine’.
The view from the top of Hopewell Centre is breathe-taking and the revolving restaurant, which used to be a culinary ‘dump’ in years gone by, has been completely transformed into one of the most-exciting venues for five-star dining in the 416 square miles that constitute the territory.
Having been seated with the changing face of the world of Hongkong, painting a collage of colour and twinkling little lights below the restaurant’s ‘Eagle’s Nest’, this medium was handed an iPad in which the complete selection of the eatery’s wines was given.
TARGET selected a bottle of Spanish wine since the chef had worked in Madrid, the Capital City of Spain. The wine, which cost $HK1,200, was Marques de Rascala, Grand Reserva, Vintage 2001.
It was a good choice and went down well with the Tasting Menu, which costs $HK950 plus a 10-percent Service Charge, and select dishes from the a la carte menu.
The Tasting Menu comprised:
Olive Oil Butter
Rhubarb with Black Pepper
Foie Gras with White Chocolate
Iberico Pork Belly with Carabinero
Gnocchis Pesto Sauce with Parmesan Cheese and Ink Sauce
Monkfish with Chickpeas Consommé,
Lamb Shoulder with Mango, Mascarpone and Zucchini
Spicy Chocolate with Ginger Bread Mousse and Cumin Air
The a la carte dishes were:
It would be clumsy in the extreme to try to write about all of the above-mentioned dishes so this medium will only highlight some of them.
From the Tasting Menu, although this reviewer does not, usually, enjoy monkfish, the manner in which it was presented and the expertise of the person who had prepared it made it very much a pleasant Main Course.
What was interesting about the way in which this monkfish had been prepared was that it was not dried out, at all.
The Lamb Shoulder was another winner, the meat, being very tender, and the addition of mascarpone – an Italian cream cheese – gave it an additional ‘kick’. The meat, however, was a little powdery, suggesting that it had been slightly overcooked, as far as this reviewer is concerned.
Outstanding was the way to describe the manner in which all of the dishes were presented.
Good cooking, as everybody knows, comprises appearance, smell and taste: All of the dishes of VIEW62 follow this mandate.
The mackerel, one of the two main courses, selected from the a la carte menu, was described by the waiter as being maguro, ‘the family of tuna’, he explained politely.
How the meat of mackerel could ever be the garnet-coloured flesh of a tuna, usually served in Japanese restaurants, only Heaven might be able to explain, but whatever this dish was, it was poor, the fish meat, having been frozen.
And it tasted as such.
The second, main course from the a la carte menu, the Ox Loin, was insipid although it had been cooked to perfection.
The meat had come from Brazil, TARGET was told. At the price of $HK560 for six smallish slices of meat, this course was an outright loser – and a rip-off!
If the tools of the trade are not of the best quality, it is difficult to create perfection with them.
All of the other dishes could not be criticised and only accolades could be heaped upon the persons, working in the kitchen.
According to Management of VIEW62, the restaurant employs some 15 cooks and, today, the kitchen is managed by Mr Javier Carrizosa, an understudy of Chef Paco Roncero.
The service is excellent and one would be hard-pressed to better it.
The wine list is extensive and, considering the nature of this restaurant, the prices are not out of line.
TARGET has, always, maintained that if the bread, placed on the table of a restaurant, is not fresh and good, then, the entire meal suffers: The bread sets the stage for what will follow.
Well, in the case of this restaurant, such seemingly small matters as bread are considered sufficiently important to serve only the best.
The same is true of the French butter that accompanied the bread, but one must demand butter instead of being content with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar that is, automatically, poured into little dishes in front of every patron upon being seated.
It was interesting to note the freshness of VIEW62’s cheese platter and to compare it with those of other five-star restaurants.
This reviewer recalls the time, some many months ago, when, at Restaurant Petrus, the fine-dining restaurant of Island Shangri-La, the selection of cheeses on the trolley was so old that it was inedible – while Chef Frederic Chabbert was standing at the entrance of the restaurant, chatting up the charming, little Chinese hostess, being completely oblivious of his duty.
Today, TARGET would not hesitate to suggest that VIEW62 could well be a winner if it can make material improvements to certain matters, already pointed out, and, probably, it could well become among the best, stand-alone restaurants in Hongkong.
It could, easily, give most, fine-dining outlets of five-star hotels a good run for their money.
Spending large sums of money on dining may not be everybody’s cup of tea, so to speak, but for those who enjoy some of the best cuisines that money can buy, VIEW62 could be the place to visit.
Lastly, on a negative note, Management, really, should do something about the men’s toilet: It is not pleasant to have to walk on a urine-stained, marble floor when it would be very easy to clean up the place.
When this matter was brought to the attention of a manager, he said that he appreciated the comment.
TARGET makes every attempt to ensure accuracy of all data published,
TARGET cannot be held responsible for any errors and/or omissions.