Review: Is the St Regis’ Chinese Restaurant A Home Run For Refined Cantonese Cuisine?
The St. Regis Hong Kong opened its doors a month ago, shortly after Rosewood Hong Kong. Run, the luxury property's Chinese fine dining establishment has been the talk of the town since its opening, and we are curious to explore what is on offer.
The restaurant’s space, designed by Andre Fu, is a modern interpretation of a traditional Chinese tea pavilion. The main dining area, an expansive square room, accommodates tables that are generously spaced apart. Warm lighting is enhanced with cubed glass lanterns that brighten the room’s bronze tones and silver-grey booth seating.
Run is operated by a team led by chef Hung Chi-Kwong, formerly at Cuisine Cuisine at The Mira and Man Wah. The menu offerings are mostly Cantonese, with a few modern twists in execution and presentation. We began our evening with the Sichuan style marinated shredded fish maw, where tender strips of fish maw were tossed in a tangy dressing with julienned cucumbers, carrots, and wood ear mushrooms. Sichuan peppercorns generated mild numbness followed by heat from the chillies. The barbecued Iberico pork with honey is a signature dish, and also one of the few dishes with half-portions available. Our barbecued pork lacked the charred crust but was tender throughout. The sauce, served on the side of the charsiu, was however over-seasoned and overpowered the mild honey notes of the glaze on the barbecued pork.
Seasoning was an issue at Run, evident in the wok-fried prawns with shrimp paste and dried shrimp - the savoury condiment overpowered and threw off-balance the original flavours of the dried shrimp and fresh prawns, which were otherwise crunchy, fresh and cooked just right. Pan-fried tofu with shrimp mousse, morel mushrooms and bamboo pith suffered the same issue with over-seasoning. The tofu was beautifully shaped into petite quenelles and deep fried until golden, but both the braised morels and the sauce were too salty.
Run’s sweet and sour pork was beautifully crafted with fresh pineapple and pork cut in bite-sized pieces and which stayed crisp throughout. We were particularly impressed with their individual servings of fried rice with quinoa and preserved vegetables, a vegetarian option that was wonderfully executed with tiny cubes of pumpkin balancing out the savoury preserved mustard tuber. Another highlight was the fried rice with quinoa, spotted garoupa and prawn oil. The creamy texture of the fish, cut into thick strips, was enhanced by a drizzle of prawn oil, coating the rice with umami in every grain. Desserts held little surprise but we enjoyed the steamed purple sweet potato and Chinese yam layered cakes. The gelatinous texture of the treat with contrasting shades of purple and white was pleasant with just a touch of coconut in its aftertaste.
The restuaurant has its own cellar an extensive wine list featuring bottles curated by the hotel’s chief sommelier Tristan Pommier. Wines are listed by region and guests can indulge in rare finds from France and Italy. Wine-by-the-glass options are adequate but pairing suggestions by the staff are hit or miss. Guests can also opt for a fine selection of premium teas with a tea-pairing experience.
Service is satisfactory though occasionally disorganised, as the service team takes little initiative to follow up on guests’ requests. The delivery of dishes are prompt with some sound suggestions for food and wine pairing. Members of the service team are also friendly and well-mannered.
With expectations high over the St Regis’ culinary offerings, Run impresses with its design, but is in need of better control over food quality especially in relation to consistency and execution to become a well-rounded establishment.
A meal for two plus drinks and service amounts to HK$2,000.
How we rate
Each of our reviewers score restaurants based on four main criteria: setting, food, service, and drinks, taking into account more than 35 different points of reference including manners of staff, usefulness of the wine list, and whether or not the restaurant makes an effort to be environmentally aware. 5/5 indicates an exceptional experience; 4-4.5/5 is excellent; 3-3.5/5 is good to very good; and 2.5/5 or lower is average to below average. Before visiting a restaurant, the reviewers will book using a pseudonym and do not make themselves known to restaurant staff, in order to experience the venue as a regular guest—if this is not possible, or if we are recognised, we will indicate this in the review.