Friday, September 9, 2016

Ta Vie 旅 (Hong Kong, CHINA) ★★★★☆

I've been thinking about visiting Chef Hideaki Sato (佐藤秀明)'s Ta Vie 旅 ever since it replaced Holytan Grill at the Pottinger last year. But a lot has happened over the past 12 months (moving house 3 times and oh, my little nugget was born early this year too.) and that plan unfortunately never did come to fruition.

In the brink of an eye, Sato-san's fine-dining French restaurant has already opened for more than a year now, and with a Michelin star under its belt too. And I was reading about them starting to serve lunch a couple of months ago (Well, it's about time!). It just couldn't come at a better time for me (as it's much easier to sneak out for lunch than dinner!).

During lunch, one can choose between their 3-course lunch set menu ($450) and a more comprehensive 5-course tasting menu ($780). Since I'm a bit cash strapped with the new baby and all, the shorter 3-course menu was the one I picked this afternoon.

There was no amuse bouche so we dived straight in with the salad portion of the meal, in which I picked the foie gras terrine with fresh Japanese figs, dragon fruit and a little green salad. The terrine was really smooth and flavorful but I thought better were the Japanese fruits, in particular the figs which were big and sweet. How come we never had local figs as big and sweet as these?

Anyways, a simple but nice start for me.

Next up was chilled sweet corn soup with shrimp consommé jelly and basil pesto. This was a big contrast in style comparing with the previous dish. 

After Sato-san demonstrated his competency in handling a more traditional French dish in the form of a foie gras terrine earlier, he showed off his innovative side with this chilled corn soup. I like the soft custard-like texture of the shrimp consommé jelly (kind of like a marshmallow) working well with the sweetness of the corn soup. Pretty nice.

I had a little too much beef cheek lately (including one from Rhoda two nights ago) so it will be pan seared Hokkaido scallops for me all the way here. The tasty scallops were served up nicely with tomato confit and green olive.

Unfortunately, I didn't get to see the innovative side of Sato-san from the three dishes I ordered (Perhaps a little from the corn soup). Well, at least not the same exemplary cooking and creative fare which have made Tenku RyuGin (天空龍吟) a 2-star restaurant during his tenure. Nevertheless, I was delighted to see some of the best ingredients Japan has to offer, including figs and Hokkaido scallops.

Food Rating: 6.5/10
Price: $$$$
Address: 2/F, The Pottinger, 74 Queen's Road Central, Central, Hong Kong
Closest Metro Station: Central
Tel: +852 2668-6488
S. Pellegrino Asia's 50 Best Restaurants: 48th (2016)

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