Amuse Bouche・Amuse Bouch
Date of review: February 10, 2014 | Reviewed by:
Perched high amidst the neon skyscrapers of Wan Chai, entering this petite restaurant feels like stumbling upon a secret – one that is kept by those who coif and quaff. With floor-to-ceiling windows, most tables have a glittery view, be they window-side or on the central, raised platform. Like the food, the décor takes its cue from France, but adds its own lavish, contemporary strokes: black and white art deco-inspired partitions mixed with bold gilded mirrors, high-gloss, backlit wine bottle feature walls next to velvet banquettes in dark chocolate hues – to them, opulence trumps coherence.
For dinner, a degustation as well as an a la carte menu are offered, although degustation dishes can also be ordered individually. We start with the fresh slipper lobster and blue crab, served with lobster jelly – a delight for those who love seafood. The lobster and crab are so fresh, they are almost sweet, and the clear, golden jelly is an intense interpretation of crustacean goodness, but its coolness keeps it refreshing at the same time. Another seafood dish worth mentioning is the lobster bisque. Big on flavour but light on the stomach, the bisque with morels is another seafood gem that makes a great start to the meal.
With breadcrumb and red capsicum crust, the main of slow-cooked and roasted Australian lamb rack won’t win much praise on the creative front, but the lamb itself is perfectly cooked. Neatly frenched, tender and impossibly juicy, each bite is a joy.
For dessert, we have a rustic-looking Grand Marnier soufflé. The alcohol is surprisingly strong, and while the pomelo sorbet stuffed within helps alleviate the sharpness, its coldness and density is a poor match for the delicate soufflé, possibly expediting its collapse.
A large list that largely focuses on flashy, splashy bottles from France’s most obvious regions, Bordeaux and Burgundy, with bottles like 1990 Romanée Conti fetching HK$170,000 and very few choices under HK$1,000. While there isn’t a list of wines by the glass, staff are able to assist.
When the restaurant is at full capacity, service can seem a little rushed and it can be hard to get the staff’s attention. When you do, however, it is generally helpful and informative.
A three-course dinner for two with two glasses of wine comes to around HK$2,100. All aspects of the restaurant are solid, but need to be pushed just a little harder for it to be considered a truly high-end dining experience.