Monday, August 1, 2016

Whisk (Hong Kong, CHINA) ★★☆☆☆

It's been more than a year since I last signed up for a Restaurant Week's "tasting event". After my previous RW experience at Azure and La Table de Patrick, I wasn't particularly sure if I wanted another shot at it but being a forgiving person, I decided to pick one restaurant to try this year - Whisk.

This visit to Whisk was my first since the departure of Chef Bjoern Alexander Panek who left for Twenty Six by Liberty (and by the way, he just left Twenty Six by Liberty too starting 1st August) and they have changed their chef de cuisine a couple of times since then.

Following Chef Bjoern Alexander Panek's departure in 2015, Whisk has transformed from a fine dining restaurant to one that focuses more on casual dining and their social dining concept. The modern European influence is still there but the interpretation is far less playful from what it used to be.

My first impression was a good one starting with a nice basket of freshly made bread.

Starting things off for us was the first of two starters, hamachi carpaccio, with yuzu, green apple and shiso soy. Judging from its presentation, it was obvious to me that the team here didn't care much about the art of plating. This looked like a dish coming from a "hole-in-the-wall" restaurant.

Well, to be fair, there's nothing wrong about this carpaccio at all. The texture was pretty decent and the acidity was a nice touch. But yes, it looked pretty awful.

The bouillabaisse a la Marseillaise with garlic rouille and toast was also fairly decent. I have always liked Marseilles style bouillabaisse for the fact that there are often more seafood than soup and this was the case once again.

I ended up dropping a few extra bucks for this lobster tagliolini. This was supposed to be one of their signature dishes and I've seen them mentioned a couple of times in the menu.

Unfortunately, that didn't work out too well for me. The tagliolini tasted more like e-fu noodles (伊麵) to me and looks like they need a bit more work with the tomato and tarragon sauce too.

The braised pork belly was probably the lone bright spot on the afternoon. It was very soft and tender with the vinegar doing a good job in its supporting role.

Dessert was a bit disappointing as well. This one called Mango tango, featuring small scoops of yogurt mousse, coconut chip and mango ice-cream, I could probably do it myself at home.

I trust that their kitchen must be pretty far from the dining room and that's why my matcha ice-cream has almost completely melted when it arrived? But this was a lot better than the previous dessert with the small Hokkaido 3.6 milk pudding and tokachi Azuki complementing the melting matcha ice-cream rather nicely.

Another try and another fail for me at a Restaurant Week "tasting event" (Service was excellent though so that's why the 3 stars for experience.). I guess it will be at least another couple more years before I consider pouncing on another RW event.

Food Rating: 4/10
Price: $$$
Address: 5/F The Mira, 118 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Closest Metro Station: Tsim Sha Tsui
Tel: +852 2315-5999

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