Restaurant ・ French
At Seasons, the restaurant design is inspired by the seasons, with the main room taking on elements of autumn with its rich dark woods and hues of turning leaves. Elsewhere the other seasons manifest in the décor, but the main autumnal dining area is where all the action happens with a large open plan kitchen where diners can watch the chefs at work. Low lit and with comfortable seating, it’s an atmospheric setting in which to enjoy a meal that can feel intimate despite the large number of diners that can be accommodated in the restaurant.
A well seasoned steak tartare sets a meal at Seasons off to a good start. While the accompaniments on the beautifully presented dish, of slightly over-dressed lettuce and small crisps, don't add much but texture, the classic tartare is perfect on the small pieces of toast hot from the grill. Looking for something a little lighter and more refreshing? You can't go wrong with the signature five-spiced tuna, well-balanced in its marinade, while the tuna is fresh and paired with smooth avocado and crispy shallots for an interesting texture combination. Moving into the main courses, the ribeye is presented fresh out of a wooden box where it has been resting in smoke to add extra layers of flavour. Thanks to the high fat content, the meat is full in taste and is beautifully tender and served with a rich red wine sauce. The Dover sole is an unusual rendering of a classic French menu item – here served with nori, mushroom and truffle. While the nori adds an appealing umami flavour to the dish, the fragrance and earthiness is lacking from the large shavings of truffle that top the fish and while the mushrooms bring some of that earthiness, the quality of the fresh fish is somewhat overpowered by its accompaniments. For dessert, the lemon soufflé is beautifully light and fluffy with just a light hint of citrus and it pairs well with the more intensely sharp calamansi ice cream, smooth and served on a biscuit base to add texture to the dish. The chocolate dessert looks beautiful on the plate but the sum of all the parts – rather dry brownie pieces and a less-than intense chocolate, paired with a rather unflavourful salty caramel ice cream, is something of a disappointment.
The wine list is extensive with plenty of champagnes - both vintage and non-vintage, rose and sparkling wines - to choose from, while the focus further down the menu is on French wines, with an excellent spread from across the nation's grape-growing regions. A reasonable selection from elsewhere is also available. Seasons' sommelier is well-versed in the available wines and is able to offer good recommendations for pairings that please. For those keen to pair their dishes with something hailing from a little closer to home, a selection of Japanese spirits, including umeshu and sakes, can also be enjoyed.
A luke warm welcome to the restaurant is followed by patchy service - either overly efficient, with plates taken away as you take your final mouthful, or lacking in attentiveness as water glasses remain empty. That said, staff are reasonably well-versed on the menu and can make sound recommendations.
Even though we order degustation-sized portions for starters and mains, the price still comes in at HK$2,200 with two glasses of wine. Though there are dishes that won’t be found elsewhere available here and the quality is high, the standard of service doesn’t match that of the food.