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Envisioned by designer Andre Fu as a respite from the city, The Upper House resonates with both discerning locals and tourists for its calming ambience and chic, understated interiors. Café Grey Deluxe retains the design ethos of the hotel with its neutral hued interior and plush furniture, but offers a link to the dynamic city via the expansive windows that frame the cityscape (including sparkling views of Victoria Harbour). Tables are filled with business diners as well as couples on a romantic date – a good mix of people out to enjoy a meal in stylish surrounds.
Café Gray Deluxe’s sophisticated direction speaks to discerning diners, and a quick glance at the restaurant shows that it’s full of them. The ala carte menu affirms their commitment to showcasing organic produce as well as traceability of ingredients, something they expound on with their seasonal “Market Menus”.
We started with the half dozen Smokey Bay oysters and Maine lobster claws, which tasted as fresh as promised on paper. We then opted for two of their signature dishes, the house cured gravalax and the herb crusted sea bass Provençale. The highly recommended gravalax came in a generous portion and paired well with the crunchy brioche underneath. The latter featured an expertly cooked fish on a bed of moist vegetables, which was definitely satisfying.
Classic dishes such as steak tartare and glazed veal cheek dominate the menu, which may dismay diners looking for more experimental creations. Though there isn’t anything overly challenging on offer, the upside is you’re bound to find one of your favourites. We tried the braised short rib of beef with soft grits; the short rib was tender to the bite (as it should be) and the whole dish was comfort on a plate.
Overall, while the menu veers towards the safer side, it is definitely well curated. The dishes have broad appeal and so do the chosen wines – a formula that has won Café Grey Deluxe a legion of loyal diners.
Café Gray Deluxe has a comprehensive selection of wine and a decent number are available by the glass. The wine selection complements the breadth of their menu, which offers a wide range of modern European dishes. Their seasonal “Market menus” already come with a shortlist of about 8 bottles recommended by the sommelier.
Servers exude confidence and maturity; they’re able to answer questions and address issues immediately. Warm and professional, service is exactly how you’d expect it to be in an establishment of this calibre.
Given the quality of the produce, calibre of cooking, and the surrounds, eating here is a worthwhile treat