Updated: Sep 27, 2019
As the first international outpost of celebrated chef & restaurateur Alain Ducasse’s lauded seafood restaurant in Paris, the new location of Rech at the InterContinental Hong Kong had some seriously hefty shoes to fill when it opened recently. Replacing Ducasse’s previous fine dining concept of 10 years, SPOON, the new seafood centred restaurant channels the clean, bright and picturesque vibe of Europe's coastal towns. With top-quality French seafood as the highlight, Rech delivered a remarkable dining experience with responsibly sourced line-caught fish and shellfish that we enjoyed in Ducasse’s inventive signature style from the á la carte menu. While first and foremost a French concept, there were unmistakably Asian flavours and touches running throughout many of the dishes. Most of the fish served originates from the Jego Brothers Fish Trade in the ancient tuna port of Morbihan, Brittany, which provides Rech restaurants with jet-fresh fare using fishing techniques that are mindful of the environment. I also got to try the signature aged Camembert cheese and desserts – which nicely complemented the light seafood dishes.
Aside from the food, start dinner earlier and get a seat by the window, so you can watch the breathtaking transformation of Hong Kong’s cityscape from day to night! The views overlooking the harbour were gorgeous, and we couldn’t have asked for better. Read below for full details of my dinner experience.
Once you turn the corner into Rech, you’re immediately whisked into a world away from the bustling hotel lobby outside. Minimal in design and tastefully decorated with shells, stones and soft, beachy colours complete with an open kitchen, the interior reflects Rech’s seaside concept. We sat at the bar while the table was being prepared, and I had a glass of Louis Roederer Brut Nature 2006 as we waited (the other choice of bubbles is an Alain Ducasse exclusive!).
Seaweed crackers, konbu bread, rye bread, amuse-bouche of fried clams and butter SHAPED PERFECTLY LIKE A FISH which I now realise was entertaining enough to hold us over until the first course.
From the raw section, we ordered the Japanese caramelised mackerel belly with shiso, as recommended by our server. We were surprised at how much it reminded us of nostalgic home flavours! Almost resembling how my grandmother flavours traditional fish dishes when I visit her in Tokyo. Below the caramelised pieces are raw chunks of mackerel with zesty hints of lemon and lime.
Following on the seafood journey, we ordered the Pan-seared Langoustine Ravioles and ‘Club’ Crab and Mango from the Starters section of the menu. After arriving to our table, the seared langoustine ravioles were bathed in an aromatic broth of roasted langoustine, vegetables, garlic, basil, black peppercorn, ginger and lemongrass. The crab arrived all pretty and sandwiched between crackers and mango before we mixed it all up and destroyed it – loved how fresh it tasted.
For our mains, we had Sea Scallops cooked in their shells and the Sea Bass on Scales. The scallops were perfectly tender, and bursting with bold, fragrant flavours from the coriander-peanut combination. The sea bass was served with its crispy skin with scales intact, and with a generous side of octopus, a seared piece of squid and iodised cooking jus. By the way, bear in mind that the menu is constantly changing with the seasons and availability of fresh catches!
After our seafood feast, the staff recommended us to try the famous whole Camembert cheese – for which of course our cheese-obsessed selves couldn't pass up. Maison Mons is the sole supplier of the famous Camembert served at Rech by Alain Ducasse, a family in France that travels throughout the country to find and work with the best artisan cheese-makers, earning a strong reputation as the best specialty cheese supplier in the region. The mature Camembert (from Normandy, France) is aged 20-30 days, and served alongside green salad, croutons and classic French dressing to provide a delicious contrast to the rich flavours of the cheese. The cheese was one of a kind, and was absolutely delicious by itself as well as paired with the homemade konbu bread.
Finally, we dove into the storied desserts at Rech: Mr. Rech & Mrs. Rech, my new favourite power couple to date. Mr. Rech is the long-standing dessert on the Rech menu, an Alain Ducasse signature created with hazelnut meringue, hazelnut ice cream, and an incredibly decadent warm chocolate sauce that I couldn’t stop slurping up! It’s the kind of chocolate that’s rich and intense, but without the sugary sweetness of store chocs. Turns out, it came straight from the Alain Ducasse Chocolate Factory (yes, it exists) in Paris. On the other hand, Mrs. Rech (right) is not currently on the dinner menu, but is available on the limited edition Le French GourMay menu now! And if you get the chance, YOU MUST TRY THIS DESSERT. It’s so good, we actually licked both plates clean despite how full we were from the rest of the dinner. Mrs. Rech is comprised of a thin meringue of almond sucés on the bottom, mascarpone cheese ice cream (!!) and a sauce of super fresh raspberries and Rosé champagne. So yum, and the perfect cap to our indulgent meal.
Or so we thought! The lovely server then came over and regaled us with one of the sweetest pieces of news I'd ever heard: "The freshly baked madeleines are being taken out of the oven now!" They arrived light, hot, fluffy and still on their baking trays. If I was impressed by the first half of our dinner, I was blown away by the latter half.
Special thanks to Rubi and Alex, who took our dining experience to the next level with their charming hospitality!
Tel: +852 2313 2323
Address: Lobby Level, InterContinental Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong (TST East Exit J)
Opening Hours: Dinner – Tues-Sun 6pm-11pm, Lunch – Sunday 12pm-2:30pm
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