Amuse Bouche・Amuse Bouch
Date of review: September 19, 2016 | Reviewed by: RACHEL READ
Amuse Bouche’s décor feels rather anonymous, with the most noteworthy feature being the black-and-white patterned sliding doors that can partition the space into private rooms when needed. Instead, the eye is drawn to the restaurant’s floor-to-ceiling windows, which boast a stellar 270-degree cityscape view that places you right in the thick of Hong Kong’s glittering concrete jungle. It’s also nice to see a lively crowd even early on a Monday night, suggesting a loyal clientele of regulars.
Premium ingredients are the stars of Amuse Bouche’s French-inspired menu – truffle, foie gras, lobster and Hokkaido scallops loom large in several dishes. Befitting the restaurant’s name, every table is served a complimentary amuse bouche to begin their meal; on the night we visited, it was wafer-thin, beautifully soft slices of beef shin with a deliciously punchy mustard sauce.
For appetisers, the truffle pasta is decadent but not overly rich, and comes topped with an extremely generous amount of fresh black truffle shavings; it tastes even better with just a dash of the rock salt that’s provided at the table. The scallop trio is an interesting fusion of Western and Asian flavours and techniques, featuring a roasted Hokkaido scallop with salmon roe, a conpoy bean custard and a dried scallop rillettes toast. Some aspects fare better than others – whilst we enjoy the deceptively light custard, which comes with a crunchy Parmesan crisp, the scallop is under-seasoned and the accompanying truffle coulis mentioned on the menu is little more than a small splodge on the plate.
Our main of US prime beef sirloin is a classic for all the right reasons, albeit a rather uninspired one; cooked to the juicy and perfectly-pink medium that we requested, it sits on a bed of black truffle diced celeriac, which makes a winning partner to the meat. We are advised to add a black mineral salt, which really brings the beef alive. After an excellent platter of four French cheeses, our dessert of green apple tart with vanilla ice cream proves to be the highlight of the meal. With a crisp buttery base and harmonious notes of cinnamon and honey, it’s a delicate and elegant end to the night.
Wine connoisseurs will find a lot to love here – the drinks menu is extensive, encompassing 31 pages of wines from around the globe, including many niche producers and noteworthy vintages. Disappointingly, only a few are available by glass (although the option of half-bottles does help), but our recommended Bordeaux pairs excellently with our meal.
Service is attentive, friendly, non-intrusive and knowledgeable, with introductions given to each course and staff able to explain dishes patiently and in more detail when asked.
Our three-course meal for two with a cheese platter and glass of wine each costs $2200, with four-course and five-course tasting menus available per person for $790 and $950 respectively. Although a little expensive, the premium ingredients, excellent wines and swift service do help balance things out.