Friday, January 22, 2016

AnOther Place by David Myers (Hong Kong, CHINA) ★★★☆☆

I've been looking forward to this place ever since it's been named 8 of the most anticipated new openings in Autumn 2015 by Hong Kong Tatler Dining back in September. They took a little while to sort things out but finally were ready for their soft opening in early January. 

To be brutally honest, I didn't know a lot about Chef Myers so I went onto the mighty internet for answers before this dinner. Turns out that he's an American celebrity chef and a one-time "Best New Chefs" by Food & Wine Magazine, who honed his craft working under Charlie Trotter and Daniel Boulud. He went on to open a few restaurants on his own, mostly in Los Angeles and has recently been involved with a few projects in Asia, including Adrift at Marina Bay Sands Singapore.

After a 10-minute walk from Fortress Hill MTR towards the harbour, I found myself in an unfamiliar territory between Fortress Hill and Tin Hau, an area more known for its industrial buildings than fine dining venues. Just when I thought I was lost and started launching my Google map, I spotted this big "C" signage on the wall. Yes, Block C of Seaview Estate, that's where AnOther Place by David Myers is "hidden".

AnOther Place is a members' club, lounge and fine dining restaurant all under the same roof. As soon as I was seated, I immediately started checking out one of their 2 dining rooms, which was pretty small but well appointed and cozy. In fact it felt like I was visiting someone's house.

They were supposed to have a pretty nice view of the harbour from the bar table but unfortunately with all the scaffolding, the only thing I could see was a giant net and a bridge full of traffic.

They obviously wanted to make things simple for us. There were no a la carte menu available at the moment, just two prix fixe menus with 4-course ($680) and 6-course ($880) options. I was feeling a little hungry tonight so I decided to go with the longer set. 

Kicking things off was a small amuse bouche with some finely chopped mushroom sautéed and placed inside a little cherry tomato. A bit of white cream made also with mushroom and truffle was served on the side. OK but nothing mind blowing there.

The first course of the night was konbu cured halibut with nori jam and puffed wild rice. I thought the texture of the cured halibut was pretty nice but the whole thing was a bit under-seasoned. 

Next up was roasted Brittany diver scallops with lovage infused clam chowder. This was probably the first time I had squid ink with my clam chowder and the result was pretty stunning. Love the creamy chowder with the sweetness of fresh clams and some potato purée. Easily the best dish of the night.

Onto our third course and it's our fish course, confit of Norwegian salmon served with truffled potato gnocchi, crispy oxtail, buttered leeks and a red wine beef jus.

It was pretty happy with the presentation of the salmon confit which was nicely garnished with some greenery and olive oil "pearls" on top. On the side were green pea purée, crispy oxtail and truffled potato gnocchi. A well designed dish but the ingredients didn't really come together as well as I thought.

The highly anticipated Kagoshima wagyu strip loin also failed to impress me despite being a house specialty dish. The wagyu strip loin was done 2 different ways with 3 pieces seared and 2 others braised using the beef jus. Disappointingly, the seared pieces were well under-seasoned with the flavors from the sea salt totally missing in action.

Right before our dessert arrived, we were offered an Asian pear sorbet, prosecco granite and pomegranate gelée. This was very refreshing.

Finally, the last course was ready to be served and it's a pair of chocolate beignets served alongside a scoop of malt ice-cream and berries. I thought this tasted seriously good like a chocolate molten lava cake in the shape of a water chestnut. The chocolate lava oozed out on the first bite and it was perfectly matched with the sweetness of the malt ice-cream.

Petite fours were 3 tiny nibbles that were a little discouraging.

Considering all the hype, I was pretty disappointed with the results. Perhaps, I was expecting something along the line of Twenty six by Liberty or VEA Restaurant & Lounge where an innovative brand of European fare would be served up but boy was I wrong. This was definitely not worth the price tag.  

Another thing I found annoying was the fact that the servers repeatedly tried to explain all these French dining terms throughout the meal. What is amuse bouche? What is petite fours? And the explanation would often go something like this....."In France, they like to serve all these small nibbles to get your appetite started and....blah blah blah.", like a little history lesson. Well, if we could find our way to this French dining restaurant in a Fortress Hill industrial building, we are probably not a beginner in French dining. So let's just cut the introduction and go straight to the ingredients please!

Food Rating: 5/10
Price: $$$$
Address: 5/F Block C, Seaview Estate, 2-8 Watson Road, Fortress Hill, Hong Kong
Closest Metro Station: Fortress Hill
Tel: +852 2979-0064

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