Amuse Bouche・Amuse Bouch
Date of review: August 7, 2015 | Reviewed by: Jacqueline Kot
The décor is understated and residential-like, with panelling on the white walls and wood-panelled floors. Sliding walls in a black and white geometric pattern are there to divide up to space for private events and all around the restaurants are empty bottles of fine wine used for decorative purposes, proof of the reputation of the restaurant’s stellar wine list.
Amuse Boche has four, five and nine-course options, along with a la carte. The five-course menu started with a morsel of smoked salmon as the amuse boche and not the unique creations one has come to expect from fine dining establishments, which was a little surprising. However, our spirits were picked up again with the first course—an exquisite plate of seafood that included a carpaccio of tender slivers of scallop with sea urchin, and a mound of shredded blue crab and lobster paired with tomato consommé jelly that had a touch of spice that made it a good match for the seafood. This was followed by an oyster chowder soup that was rich in flavour and creamy without being overpowering, before a dish of roasted French quail breast and leg with Romanesco cabbage and mushroom risotto. The quail was cooked to tender, well seasoned and went well with the perfectly cooked mushroom risotto.
The last course before dessert was the roasted Aveyron lamb rack with Lyonnaise potatoes, cepes, black olive and Pommery mustard sauce. The lamb was tender and while the jus could use a little more salt, the cepes, black olives and mustard provided a good mix of flavours that went well with the meat. For those wanting less of a classic option, the sautéed turbot fillet with black truffle and seasonal vegetables was a delight. The fillet came in thin slices and was mixed together with the vegetables and black truffle—the composition of the dish came as a surprise and was an appealing, unique fusion of flavours and textures.
And while we were already quite satisfied after the fourth course—the portions being quite generous for a multi-course menu—the crispy green apple tart with vanilla ginger ice cream woke our taste buds. The pastry was soft and crispy at the same time, and had just the right level of sweetness and buttery richness to bring our tart flavours of the green apple.
Amuse Boche will appeal to those who take their wine seriously—its wine list is 31 pages long, featuring prices that are fair for a restaurant. A lion’s share of the wines hail from France but there are also a good amount of options from Italy, Spain, South America, the US and Australia.
The service was attentive and thoughtful, at just the right amount—our server made sure our courses came at a comfortable pace, constantly checked if our wine glass was full, and provided a friendly and detailed introduction for each course. All this is done without any hovering and with quiet time to enjoy our food.
The five-course menu is HK$950 per person, a reasonable price once you factored in the level of service, the quality of the food and the portions. A four-course menu is $790 while an eight-course menu is $1,390.