Thursday, May 12, 2016

Restaurant Akrame (Hong Kong, CHINA) ★★☆☆☆

Another colleague is leaving us in a few months and while I hate to say goodbye face-to-face, we both decide to meet up over lunch one last time before her departure. This time, I took up the responsibility of picking the restaurant and I wasted no time suggesting Michelin starred Restaurant Akrame, which is close to the both of us.

It's been a while since I last visited this place but it has more to do with the large number of new restaurants opened in Wanchai rather than the incompetence of this kitchen. As a matter of fact, since the closure of The Principal, Restaurant Akrame has quietly become one of my favorite fine dining places in the district.

One thing I do like about Akrame is that I never have to worry about having too many choices. Just a surprise menu and the only choice I need to make is between 3, 4 and 6 courses. Easy enough for me.

As usual, the amuse bouche came in pairs, firstly with smoked eel on a black cuttlefish biscuit and that was followed by a deep fried ball of spicy potato purée with smoked beef on top. 

Starter was next. Underneath a flat-leaf spinach were tiny little pieces of French clams cooked in a mint flavored sauce and served with a dash of lemon purée. The clams were alright, though some had grains of sand in it but the mix of mint and lemon didn't yield the results I was initially hoping for. Not a good start here.

Our fish course was slow-cooked yellowtail fillet sitting on a bed of green pea purée with a bit of Thai basil oil. I like the idea of having green pea with yellowtail but there's a bit of fishy flavors coming from the white fish that wasn't very pleasant. I would say, it's slightly better than the previous clams dish but still not nearly impressing enough.

Between pork and duck, I went the safe way with the seared duck breast mainly because Akrame always does a good job delivering their duck breast. This was pretty decent stuff, although I probably won't mind a crispier skin or more succulent duck meat. The orange jelly and orange zest provided enough to offset the richness of the duck meat but something exciting is missing here.

A bowl of lentils with cheese foam was served on the side. At this point in time, our servers finally realized that they've given us some salted butter right from the start but no bread so one gentleman calmly came over and asked if we wanted some bread. We've been busy chatting and also didn't realize the careless mistake so we went, "yeah, we want some bread please...". This is just a very weird and embarrassing situation to be in.

I actually thought dessert was better than any of the savory dishes we had this afternoon. The thin sheet of Tonka milk chocolate mousse was pretty nice.

And pretty much the same could be said for this piece of cake (forgot what's in it) that came with it.

This is a huge step back from our last visit. Just when I thought they were ready to replace The Principal as my go-to restaurant in Wanchai, they came crashing back to reality. It's definitely not a performance one would expect from a Michelin starred restaurant.

Food Rating: 4.5/10
Price: $$$
Address: 9 Ship Street, Wanchai, Hong Kong
Closest Metro Station: Wanchai
Tel: +852 2528-5068

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