Updated: Dec 7, 2019
Last Friday night, I headed over to Tsim Sha Tsui after work to check out the the seasonal eight-course omakase menu by Chef Oliver Li at WHISK at The Mira Hotel. The restaurant is actually located in the building next to the hotel, and you take the elevator up to the fifth floor. Priced at HK$890 (or HK$1,170 with the wagyu), the menu is a celebration of eight hand-selected premium ingredients, each prepared with creativity and finesse by the talented Chef Li. The eight ingredients / courses include the Murasaki sea urchin, spanner crab, Amadai fish, Miyazaki wagyu OR duck breast, eel, local abalone, Agu pork and white asparagus. The menu can be viewed at http://bit.ly/omakase_menu_whisk.
I also highly recommend getting the sommelier's wine pairing for an additional HK$340 for four glasses. We started with a welcome glass of GH Mumm champagne, along with a homemade bread basket and umami-rich seaweed butter. Make sure to ask for the beetroot bread (pictured below middle), which they don't always have - they noticed how fast it disappeared and kindly gave us another freshly-baked serving!
The meal began with our first course of Hokkaido murasaki uni served in its own shell, along with lobster consomme jelly and a generous topping of Ossetra caviar. A very savoury start, which contrasted with the subtler-flavoured next course of Spanner Crab meat sprinkled with seaweed powder. I loved the crispy leaf on top, which added a nice texture to the dish. Next was the local slow-cooked Abalone, accompanied by pork belly, pork belly sauce, blood sausage puree, spinach puree and popped spelt. The flavours skewed towards the sweeter side, and my mum and I agreed had a similar profile to the type of home-cooked dishes my grandma likes to make in Tokyo.
For an additional+HK$280, you can enjoy the special Miyazaki Wagyu (the alternative meat dish to the Duck breast with Szechuan pepper sauce - also super delicious). This is the same high-quality wagyu that is served at Wagyu Mafia, delivered fresh from Mr. Ozaki's farm. The wagyu are fed on a mix of grass and grains for up to 36 months, when it is believed to be at its peak form, texture and flavour for consumption. At WHISK, the beef is served with burnt onion puree, charred shishito pepper and bamboo shoot. It's paired with the 2014 Rioja Reserva from Bodegas Muga in Rioja Alta, Spain, deliciously full-bodied and a great complement to the juicy beef.
My absolute favourite dish of the 8-course omakase, however, was the Amadai fish. The fish was incredibly tender and flaky with a uniquely crispy golden skin, swimming in a rich broth made of bouillon steeped with ham, dried scallop and chicken for six hours. It paired wonderfully with the slightly sweet 2016 Markus Molitor Riesling. The famous Agu Pork from Okinawa is served with shavings of truffle, pumpkin puree and roasted purple carrot, and paired with the light and acidic Pinot Grigio Schiopetto. Finally, our dessert was a surprising interpretation of White Asparagus, served as a simple and refreshing scoop of homemade sorbet to end our meal.
This was my first time at WHISK at the Mira Hotel, and the full house (of such a huge fine-dining restaurant, too) spoke volumes to its popularity with the local crowds. Next thing to check off would be the boozy Sunday brunch here that I keep hearing about from other people - will be sure to come back!
WHISK at The Mira Hotel
Tel: +852 2315 5999
Address: 5/F, The Mira Hong Kong, Mira Place, 118 - 130 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon