Sunday, October 2, 2016

Duck and Waffle pop-up at Ozone (Hong Kong, CHINA) ★★★☆☆

It's been a while since I last attended a pop-up event but this one took me less than a second to make up my mind.

Duck and Waffle was a huge success at this year's Taste of Hong Kong festival and there's no secret that London's only 24-hour gourmet restaurant wanted to come back for a second stint in the city later in the year. But I never thought they would do it at the Ozone Bar of Ritz Carlton Hong Kong.

Executive chef Dan Doherty is on hand for this week-long promotion that features many of the restaurant's signature dishes including of course, the namesake duck & waffle.

It's a great day with clear skies so without further delay, I went to check out the stunning view from the window after placing my orders.

Colombian eggs ($145) - Starting things off for us was a dish with neither duck nor waffle. I thought we couldn't possibly have brunch without eggs and toast so it's nice to get this out of the way. There's really nothing fancy about it, just some scrambled eggs on a wheat toast with slabs of creamy avocado, and smoked salmon on the side ($55 supplement). Good way to warm up our palates on any day.

Duck & waffle ($220) - This is the reason why we were all here. I ordered two portions of this just to make sure that everyone could experience this dish. I didn't know if chef Doherty was the first to introduce waffle with crispy duck leg confit and fried duck egg but this is just ingenious.

And I love the maple syrup with the mustard seeds. Now I felt like a genius ordering two portions so we didn't have to fight for a bigger split.

Spicy ox cheek doughnut ($125) - Our server has very explicitly told us to expect something sweet, sour, spicy and bitter at the same time from this dish. From her tone, I guess what she meant was that it tastes a little funny (or weird). Let's find out.

Inside this spherical goodness of sweet dough was braised ox cheek. I could handle that part with savory ox cheek matching against the sweetness from the doughnut but having it together with apricot jam (a little bitter) and smoked paprika sugar (spicy) did feel a little bit weird even for me. If you want my honest opinion, I thought the richness of all the (contrasting) flavors didn't seem to harmonize with each other.

Duck congee ($195) - Surprisingly this is very Chinese. Serving on the bed of warm porridge was confit duck, duck egg, spring onion, ginger (lots of them), hazelnuts and hot sauce. This was OK. I didn't expect it to be so "Chinese" but it tasted alright.

It was a shame that they didn't have all of their signature dishes available at brunch today. The spiced crispy pig's ears (sold-out) and baked haddock with lobster cream (only available at dinner) were both unavailable for different reasons but other than that, I thought the team from Duck and Waffle and Ozone did a wonderful job delivering this pop-up event.

Food Rating: 5.5/10
Price: $$$$
Address: 118/F, The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, International Commerce Centre, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Closest Metro Station: Kowloon Station
Tel: +852 2263-2270

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