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Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
Taking over the restaurant space that formerly housed Spoon for the last ten years, Rech’s interior is slightly modified from its predecessor’s. Gone are the signature spoons lining the ceiling, but the well-lit space set against the panoramic harbour view feels more open and spacious.
The décor offers elements reminiscent of the seaside, with beach-coloured wood and nude earth tones filling the room, matched with special lamps designed to resemble floating clouds. Tables are neatly arranged across the main dining area. We recommend sitting by the window, where guests can enjoy the vibrant city lights and harbour view.
Rech’s portion sizes can be quite large. Guests are offered toasted country bread and seaweed baguette, both of which are warm and best enjoyed with fish-shaped pats of lemon seaweed butter. Starters such as ‘club’ crab and mango and cookpot of tiny spelt, squid and sesame seeds are both deceptively simple.
In the former, crisp croutons hold a generous helping of crabmeat and diced mango, with just the right amount of tangy dressing and romaine lettuce hearts for texture. The cookpot of squid and spelt is superb, where al dente spelt is beautifully paired with scored ringlets of calamari and dressed with a light sesame dressing.
Simplicity continues to be the key when it comes to how Rech’s seafood is executed. Wild cod aioli may not look like much, but the tender cod fillets are great with a generous helping of aioli, which brings richness to poached courgettes and carrots as well.
Grenobloise-style skate wing is tricky to execute well. Here the skate wing remains tender, and the sauce, made with beurre noisette, or toasted clarified butter, with capers and crispy croutons, are just tangy enough to cut the richness of the fish.
The dessert selection may not match the varieties of seafood dishes offered, but the beautiful simplicity of these sweets echo the savoury plates enjoyed earlier. A simple rum baba with whipped cream features a soft sponge that is strong enough to stand up in form against a generous drizzle of rum, best complemented with the lightest softly-whipped cream.
Confit and iced lemon with kombu seaweed plays with an unexpected ocean element, pairing a kombu gelee with lemon confit and calamansi sorbet. The gelee lends a herbaceous touch to the sunny citrus sorbet, while the lemon confit offers a crisp and mildly sweet alternative to candied lemon peel; it’s a refreshing ending to a meal at Rech.
The wine list at Rech is filled with pages of white wines from France’s various regions, particularly champagnes and whites. A generous selection of wines are available by the glass. The Alain Ducasse Selection Champagne Blanc is light and crisp, with mild acidity that matches well with the restaurant’s simple seafood starters and first courses. Le Domaine d’Henri Chablis 1er Cru Fourchaume 2014, another white wine on the list, has strong herbaceous profile with a long finish that matches well with white fish and even fruity desserts.
Service at Rech begins with a warm greeting, followed by just the right hint of introduction to the restaurant’s menu offerings. Smiles are in abundance as the service team shows passion through helpful and attentive service throughout the meal. Exchanging plates, rearranging cutlery and refilling glasses need no reminding with seamless service throughout, although main courses do require an extended period of waiting.
A three-course dinner for two including one glass of wine amounts to approximately HK$2,000. The price tag may be big for the level of simplicity in the execution of French seafood dishes, but Alain Ducasse’s latest opening in Hong Kong has high potential in a market where there will always be a demand for new fine dining options.