Tsim Sha Tsui
Date of review: September 26, 2016 | Reviewed by: RACHEL READ
Located on the 19th floor of The One in Tsim Sha Tsui, it’s no surprise that the main attraction in this dining room is the view, with floor-to-ceiling windows that showcase a knockout vista of Victoria Harbour; time your meal right and you can enjoy front-row seats for the Symphony of Lights show at 8pm too. The rest of the interior is sophisticated without being ostentatious, featuring warm red and golden hues bathed in soft candlelight. The clientele seems to consist mostly of those celebrating birthdays, romantic dinners à deux and out-of-towners making the most of that sensational skyline. A live violinist also makes an appearance, adding further to the overall sense of special occasion dining.
Harlan’s menu is large and mostly European in flavour, with many of the dishes tried-and-tested classics. We start with Harlan’s Caesar salad, which features a slow-cooked egg, Spigaroli ham and anchovy cupped in large lettuce leaves; although this modish presentation is visually impressive, it makes it rather difficult to actually eat. The flavours and textures are spot on but for $268, we were hoping the restaurant might be a little more generous with the ham and anchovy, especially given the amount of lettuce and croutons. More sensibly proportioned is the burrata, which is beautifully creamy and complemented nicely by fresh heirloom tomatoes, peppery rocket and a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar.
For mains, the black cod is cooked well with crispy skin and succulent meat that flakes apart at the touch; it is accompanied with a sumptuous olive and lemon butter sauce that marries perfectly with the fish. The scattering of cherry tomatoes is a good addition, bringing a refreshing sweetness to what could be a quite rich dish, although the small scampi tails feel like an afterthought on the plate.
Things veer a little off-piste with dessert. The “Perfect Match” combination of coconut panna cotta, mango sorbet and lychee jelly sounds a winning one on paper and is presented beautifully; however the panna cotta has a strange, almost marshmallow-like texture, the beads of lychee jelly are too small to make an impact and there are inexplicable garnishes of parsley on the plate. Thankfully, we head to safer ground with “The Bowl” of tiramisu – a well-executed classic that comes served with Bailey’s ice cream and a flaky pistachio puff pastry twist.
The wine list is impressively large, with a varied selection that spans the globe and has sections dedicated to boutique producers. However, it does tend towards the more expensive end; bottles start from $620 and go up to $28,800, with the majority in the $800-1000 range. Nevertheless, there are plenty of choices available by glass, half-decanter or half-bottle, plus a reasonable corkage fee of $300.
Service is swift and attentive but lacks personality – when recommendations are asked for, staff are quick to push the promotional offers rather than giving advice based on taste.
A three-course meal for two with a couple of sides and glass of wine each costs around $2500, which feels expensive given the solid but unspectacular dishes we sampled – you definitely pay extra for the view here.