Updated: Sep 20, 2019
Created and led by Chef de Cuisine Eric Räty (prev. Café Gray Deluxe in The Upper House), Arbor is the newest contender to shake up Hong Kong's modern fine dining scene. With everything from the interior design to the food modelled after nature, dining at Arbor is a unique gastronomic experience that pays special homage to the seasons. Add the gorgeous 25/F city views and excellent wine pairings, and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Arbor to any discerning food lover.
Last Wednesday, I tried a special combination of the seasonal tasting menu X chef's tasting menu - 10 courses of unique forest-inspired dishes that use French techniques and premium Japanese ingredients. The menu is intriguingly succinct, with dishes titled simply as "uni", "oyster", "langoustine" and so on. Read on for the details of each dish that we had, and what I thought about them!
You know how they say a restaurant's bread basket is a good indication of how the rest of the dishes will pan out? Accurate, in this case. Loved the still-warm homemade sourdough with sunflower seeds, and both the bonito butter and seaweed bamboo butter. The Hokkaido uni was a refreshing amuse-bouche to kick off our meal.
Under that oyster leaf with cucumber gelatin drops is a succulent Japanese oyster with pickled cucumber. This pretty dish really spoke to the dewy forest theme of the menu!
If I had to choose my favourite, it would be this charcoal-grilled Icelandic langoustine that was still raw in the middle. Fell in love with the natural sweetness of the meat paired with the light bonito vinegar broth, and the Japanese fruit tomato topped with konbu cooked with cassis, Okinawan sugar, liquorice and Guinness beer.
The creative combination of fresh rhubarb, umeboshi puree, buckwheat and foie really blew our minds. The sweet, sour and savoury flavours with the added texture of buckwheat was lovely.
One of the courses I was the most excited about, and it certainly delivered. Juicy asparagus topped with finger lime, served with miso hollandaise.
The fish broth really stood out in this dish! So rich and comforting. The finger lime made a welcome reappearance here, accompanied by lemongrass and chilli. The seabass itself exhibited delicious traits of a wild-caught fish, being very tender, flavourful and high in moisture content.
The explosive main. A4 grade Kumamoto wagyu seared with miso, shishito pepper, yuzu butter and Indian malabar pepper sauce. Also, Chef Raty really nailed it with the sides of Okinawan potato mash and purple sweet potato crisps. The beef melted, and paired beautifully with the 1999 Chateau Laforge.
The chef's pastry background came through in all its glory for this surprising yuba dessert. For this dessert with a local twist, Chef Raty turned the skins crispy, and accompanied it with ice cream, roasted white chocolate/salted duck egg yolk crumbs, and black soy beans marinated in Kowloon soy sauce and Okinawan sugar. Genius!
[Pine shoot] [Citrus]
The finale. Valrhona chocolate logs, bamboo pine shoot sorbet & cream coated with actual pine leaves, and the fluffiest Madeleine with lemon & lime zest (fresh out of the oven!). A fitting end to a delicious nature-rich meal.
Lunch - 12:00 to 14:30
Bar - 12:00 to 14:30; 5:30pm until late
Dinner - 18:30 until late
Reservations - +852 3185 8388
Address - 25/F, H Queen’s, 80 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong
Website - arbor-hk.com
Facebook - www.facebook.com/ArborHK
Instagram - www.instagram.com/ArborHK