Above & Beyond・天外天
Tsim Sha Tsui
Date of review: June 16, 2016 | Reviewed by: Joanna Lam
Dining at Above & Beyond is almost like enjoying modest yet well-executed Hong Kong classics in a sleek sitting room with a view. Decked by furniture in muted colours and art pieces with understated aesthetics, the elegant restaurant is a masterpiece by renowned British architect Sir Terence Conran. Request a table by the floor-to-ceiling windows where guests can indulge in the authentic Chinese flavours and the unparalleled vista of the city’s skyline.
While the views dazzle at the dining space, it’s really the food that truly steals the show. The concept here is decadent take on Cantonese fare. Diners can expect Chinese dishes with sumptuous ingredients and a creative twist, highlights include baked lamb chop with coffee sauce and deep-fried sesame balls with bird’s nest.
Begin your meal with heartwarming Chinese soup offerings. The double-boiled pork lung soup with fish maw and almond cream is an indulgent classic that tantalises your taste buds with its fragrant and comforting ingredients. The double-boiled dried sea whelk with whole conpoy and abalone is also a sound way to start your decadent meal. We ordered the crispy crab claw with shrimp mouse, a bite-size treat that impressed us with its fresh crab flavours and its enticing sauce with chopped mushrooms. The wok-fried lobster with egg white and black truffles offers the delightful juxtaposition of aromatic tastes and silky texture.
For mains, we went for a mix of quintessential Cantonese offerings. The crispy skin chicken was beautifully done with the aromatic skin seared to a perfect golden-brown and its meat is flavourful and succulent. For something a little lighter, the braised bamboo pith, pumpkin and superior vegetables dish is a comforting dish that offers a good balance of crunchy texture and subtle taste. The steamed scallops with bean curd on the other hand, is a little bland but contains generous portion of fresh and luscious scallops. We finish with double-boiled pear with osmanthus and sweetened almond cream with egg white, two equally smoothing desserts that wrap up the meal with a taste of subtle sweetness and a velvety smoothness.
An expansive walk-in wine cellar can be spotted at one end of the restaurant, featuring wines from a range of origins such as France, Italy, Australia among the others. Tea lovers will be delighted by the menu of specialty brews from various places in China.
The service is professional and enthusiastic. Teacups are topped up regularly and it was easy to catch the attention of wait staff despite the vast space.
Dinner for two with tea comes to around $2,002, which is excellent value for an enjoyable dining experience of indulgent food and brilliant service.