Friday, October 16, 2015

Mercedes Me Restaurant & Bar (Hong Kong, CHINA) ★★★★☆

Why is it always the case that all the good restaurants often choose to open in October and November? Are they trying to get themselves in-shape and ready for Christmas? If this is truly the spirit, then Mercedes Me Restaurant & Bar is just peaking at the right time.

Located in the Entertainment Building on Queen’s Road Central, the new Mercedes Me Store combines a showroom and luxury dining concept all under the same roof, just a stone's throw from Lan Kwai Fong.

After checking out their showroom, it was time to indulge ourselves in the innovative cuisine brought to us by Maximal Concepts, the same folks who are behind Mott32, Blue Butcher, Fish & Meat and Stockton. I was told the cutting edge cuisine served here drew inspirations from the Spanish, Japanese and Peruvian recipes, with an added modern twist. I am eager to find out more myself.

We started things off with a couple of cocktails while they were getting our table ready.

As a seafood lover, the tiger prawn shiso roll with yuzu-kosho pesto was an easy choice for me. The spring rolls were certainly very crispy and savory. Yum.

Next up was the chicken empanada, a stuffed pastry with diced chicken that was served with spicy pico de gallo. These were quite flaky and with a quick bite, the fillings all started to ooze out. Pretty nice.

But the star of the night belonged to this third starter, slow-cooked Spanish octopus with puffed pork skin, potato foam and smoked paprika. Sometimes I am a bit weary of ordering octopus because of its tendency to be very chewy but this was easily one of the most tender ones you would ever find here in Hong Kong. Soft and juicy, you can never beat that combination.

Iberico pork "Presa" with smoked piquillo peppers was our lone meat dish of the night and it was a good one as well. Reminded me of another Iberico pork dish from another talented kitchen in Carbone. The meat was flavorful with a fair amount of juice. Not bad.

Our first dessert was on the house and it was a simple ginger sorbet with white chocolate ganache, passion fruit and ginger flavored crumbs. It looked kind of simple but undoubtedly served its purpose well.

Following the complimentary dessert, we realized that we didn't have enough to satisfy our sweet tooth so we winded up order an extra dessert - caramelized Catalan cream foam, Vanilla ice-cream, orange and honeycomb. Like the previous dessert, this was very light and refreshing.

I really enjoyed the Latin American twist in some of their dishes. The point worth noting here is that, South American cuisine is quietly gaining momentum the last few years and as of this year, 4 out of the top 20 restaurants in the world (according to the World's 50 best restaurant by S. Pellegrino and Acqua Panna) came from Latin America. As one of new trend setters in the culinary world, South American cuisine will continue to play a much bigger role and it will be interesting to see whether this will translate into success for Mercedes Me down the stretch.

Food Rating: 6/10
Price: $$$$
Address: Shop C and D, Entertainment Building, 30 Queen’s Road, Central, Hong Kong
Closest Metro Station: Central
Tel: +852 2895-7398

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