Restaurant Uwe: creative, seasonal and ingredients-focused cuisine
Updated: Sep 20, 2019
For over a year, I've wanted check out Uwe, renowned chef Uwe Opocensky's eponymous restaurant located in Sheung Wan. And I'm glad I finally did. A true veteran in the Hong Kong dining scene, Uwe began his rise to culinary stardom as the Executive Chef at Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong before taking on the role of Group Executive Chef at international gourmet hamburger chain Beef & Liberty. In late 2017, he opened his first solo venture, Restaurant Uwe.
At Uwe, the menu is inspired by nature and the changing seasons, and special ingredients are of course subject to availability. We enjoyed a delicious multi-course experience full of surprises. The drinks pairing was just as exciting, with unique champagnes, wines and sake to complement our meal throughout the night.
The restaurant is discreetly located in Sheung Wan, near Corner Kitchen Café. The first thing I noticed was how cosy and understated the space felt, sort of like stepping inside someone's living room. The restaurant had been transformed into a scene from fall, complete with a full foliage in the ceiling and leaves scattered on the tables and floor.
The first dish featured a "tea bag", which dissolved as the mushroom consommé was poured and let loose its contents of freshly chopped herbs. This was served in cute vintage cups that the chef personally collected during his travels over the years. It's hard to see in the back, but the bone marrow candle with caramelised onions and brown bread to dip was just delicious.
Next was the foie gras "mushroom", which was plucked out from the trunk of a faux tree that the chef wheeled over. The creamy foie paired well with the tartare under it.
The succulent blue lobster, served with a garnish of edible flowers. Once you bite through the bouncy exterior, you're met with a very very lightly cooked and tender centre. Tasted like it was glazed in its own roe, but I'm not 100%.
The carabinero was our collective favourite. The massive Galician Prawn is presented as a special on the menu, and I would highly recommend ordering this -- if it's even available when you're there! Only 15-30 are caught per week, and Uwe gets them specially from a fisherman located north of Barcelona. The flash seared prawn is delicious on its own, but even more so with the brown sauce made from ground salted smaller prawns aged in whisky barrels at a temperature of 54.8 degrees celsius over 6 weeks.
You should have seen our hands after this. Felt like a feral creature cracking the heads open and devouring the roe. There was just so much of it. And it paired wonderfully with crisp Japanese sake, which cut through the stickiness of the roe.
[Photo credit to @fatasslovesfood] One of the highlights of the night for me was this tender line caught sea bass, served with girolle mushrooms, wine sauce made with the bones and homemade XO sauce. Fish dishes are usually not as memorable for me at fine dining restaurants, but that xo sauce took the bass to a whole new level.
My very ideal picnic spread: hot and gooey Mont D'or cheese, shaved black truffles, baby potatoes and warm baked pumpkin with pumpkin seeds, pumpkin oil and comte cheese sauce. The flavour-rich potatoes and naturally sweet pumpkin are home-grown on Restaurant Uwe's farm. Everything on the table complemented each other so well. At this point in the meal we had already unbuttoned/unzipped various pieces of our clothing and yet we couldn't help but keep eating.
My first taste of wild game this season! The platter features French Mieral duck from Bresse and the tenderest smoky quail. This is accompanied by delicious skewered duck heart and bitter chocolate & mushroom sauce, and a side of Uwe's grandmother's coleslaw with duck confit - which gives off the most incredible aroma of spices.
An ode to Uwe's native German background - a traditional apple strudel with ice cream. Not to mention the edible forest in the back, created with pumpkin leaves. Just an all-round sensational meal, great for an intimate meal with family, friends and significant others, and somewhere you're going to keep wanting to go back to.
Bookings open at the beginning of every month at http://www.uwe.com.hk/.
Sample menu at http://www.uwe.com.hk/menu.pdf.
Prices begin at HK$1,388+10% per guest , with an additional HK$888+10% for wine pairing.
Tel: +852 6730 2494
Address: G/F, 252 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
For more on what I'm eating in HK, follow me at @furellie!