It’s no secret: Hong Kong is a tough city for restaurants. New venues open every week, menus change constantly, two hand-dinners become four hands dinners, and then even six hands dinners. It’s madness. To succeed, a concept needs to cut through the noise- and not just with overblown promotion and fancy graphics. It needs to be good, damn good.
The latest pop-up at The Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong is just that. Executive Chef Andrea Accordi hand selected Chef Lam Ming Kin for a weeklong takeover of The Lounge. The Hong Kong-born, French-trained Kim has made a name for himself in Taiwan with his two restaurants, Chou Chou and Longtail, a modern brasserie and contemporary exploration of Asian cuisine respectively. He’s brought a sampling from both menus to Hong Kong for the week, and the dishes are truly not to be missed. There is an extensive a la carte menu and tasting menu, with optional wine pairings available.
Classically trained, Kin’s resume is impressive. He’s worked at Vong in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Hong Kong, Apicius and Guy Savoy’s Le Chiberta in Paris, and Jean Georges in New York. He even helped open Jean George’s Mercato in Shanghai (he says he still misses the pizza!).
A far cry from night markets and street food, what Kin serves up is Michelin-worthy, and if Accordi’s opinion is anything to go by, it won’t be long until he has first star. We had the chance to try some of the dishes and were amazed at the seamless blending of Asian and French flavours and techniques. Fusion is often a dirty word, but not here.
The garden-like Persimmon Salad, made with in-season persimmons, pureed avocado, and a generous but balanced servings of herbs, nuts, and seeds was a finely tuned balance of flavour, texture and beauty. The Charred Foie Gras Dumplings followed next, artfully plated atop a thick brush-stroke of sweet corn puree. Were they decadent? Yes – but the Kaffir lime cut the richness and kept it balanced. Were they delicious? Outrageously so. As a main, we went for the fried Tilefish with a cordia vinaigrette, which once again demonstrated Kin’s ability to subtly play with flavours and textures. It was crunchy, sweet, tart, and visually stunning. To finish, the Kaya French Toast topped with espresso ice cream and soy caramel sauce; it was a revelation. Think an eggy, three square inch soufflé, encrusted in sugar and possibly touched by angels.
Too often creative food comes with a cost: taste. But not here. For Kin, form and substance are equally important – and each dish delivers not just taste, but beauty and texture. The Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong continues to impress us with creative collaborations and interesting offerings, actually adding value to the over-saturated market in the city. Highly recommend checking this one out, even if it’s just for dessert.
Chef Lam Ming Kin’s menus will be available in The Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong Lounge from 19-23 September.