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Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
Located on the 3rd floor of The Mira Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui. Cuisine Cuisine is reached via a private lift that opens out into a luxurious and spacious restaurant. Large windows overlook the bustle of the city as guests relax at spaciously separated tables or more intimate booths; a modern glass chandelier dominates the main dining room creating a stunning visual; subtle mood lighting and modern art adorning the walls create an ambience of elegance.
Cuisine Cuisine brings traditional Cantonese cooking to new heights as the chef introduces contemporary technique and presentation to his dishes. Some things are enhanced only by the skill and passion of the kitchen; the signature barbequed pork, for example, is simply perfect as it melts on the tongue, releasing its deep, rich flavours. The Peking duck is presented with an imaginative trio of pancakes – traditional, carrot and vegetable – while the bird is the masterfully carved. An equally imaginative array of condiments brings this well known dish to new heights. Steamed crab claw with black truffles on winter melon is an indulgent dish that demonstrates the chef’s ability to create a wonderfully aromatic culinary experience that is refreshing yet intensely satisfying. Not all the creations work, however, and a signature dish of sauteed sliced abalone with onions and wild mushrooms failed to impress. Not only was it presented in a golden deep-fried basket that, by the time it was served, had become limp and soggy, the abalone, onions and wild mushrooms were served separately and the flavours failed to come together as a whole. Luckily, desserts are enjoyable, with some unusual twists; the twice-baked Hokkaido milk with lychee was delightfully refreshing, and the sweetened almond cream with sesame dumplings and egg white were faultless.
An impressive array of some of the world’s finest vintages reflect that this is a hotel restaurant of the highest calibre. While the Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1982 may be out of the reach of most, there remains an excellent choice of old and new world wines, many available by the glass.
In what should be a perfect evening shared with friends over some of Hong Kong’s best food, service sadly is not up to par. A failure to introduce dishes or clean away dirty plates was combined with long waits between courses. There was also no attempt to refill our drinking glasses and the lack of knowledge of the menu reflects a breakdown in communication between the kitchen and front-of-house.
A meal for two without alcohol will cost around HK$1,600, and for the food it is worth every penny you spend; however, the service should be far better at this price point.