Updated: Oct 15, 2019
This was my first time visiting Tate Dining Room & Bar since it relocated from Elgin Street to Hollywood Road, and this time, I came to try Chef Vicky Lau's new seasonal menu that launched this month (September 2019). Chef Vicky is known for championing a unique French-Chinese cooking style, born out of a combination of her classical French culinary training and a deep respect for her roots in Hong Kong. She's maintained the one Michelin star rating for Tate since 2013, and also received the Asia's Best Female Chef 2015 award by Asia's 50 Best Restaurants.
The menu at Tate is made to resemble a storybook, with each chapter representing a different course. Each chapter is a poetic "ode" to a certain ingredient, and it's interesting to see how the chef is able to transform the perception of each familiar Chinese ingredient with the most intriguing juxtapositions. Who would even think to pair kumquat with grenobloise? Or Brillat-Savarin with the Chinese dried fruit candies that we grew up loving?
The 8-course menu is pried at HK$,1680+10% per guest, with the option of wine pairing starting at an additional +HK$190 for a glass of Ruinart Blanc de Blancs, +HK$480 for three glasses and HK$780 for six glasses.
Chef Vicky Lau at work in her kitchen. The designer-turned-chef has been quite active with cool four-hands collaborations lately such as with Chef Tam Kwok Fung of Wing Lei Palace in Macau and Chef Junghyun Park of Atomix NYC.
The Petit Salé consisted of crispy tart with drunken sweet shrimp that melted in my mouth, followed by rice cracker topped with duck parfait and "lap cheong" local-style Chinese sausage.
The first course was the beautiful ODE TO CONCH, served with seaweed jelly, cauliflower puree and Chinese sea snail pieces topped with Ossetra caviar.
The ODE TO ABALONE was one of my favourite courses, featuring pan-roasted abalone, turnip and a rich and creamy white chicken broth.
This is Tate’s famous homemade brioche with fermented tofu butter, which (I think) has been on the menu for quite some time. And with good reason.
ODE TO TURBOT was a beautiful steamed turbot fillet dressed with Shaoxing wine sabayon, baby artichoke and Jerusalem artichoke puree.
For ODE TO KUMQUAT, we enjoyed a large Hokkaido scallop swimming in aged kumquat grenobloise-style sauce. Grenobloise is a type of traditional French sauce made with browned butter, capers, parsley and lemon.
ODE TO LOBSTER was a Brittany blue lobster served with carrot red bean curd sauce and my favourite surprise element of pineapple.
The ODE TO CHALLANS DUCK is one of two choices for your meat course, and I'm so glad I was able to try both this and the Mayura (below). Dubbed the "best duck in the world", the French Challans duck variety is known for its uniquely thin and crispy skin. At Tate, it's pan-roasted with fig and red date compote and poured over with duck jus - simply gorgeous.
The ODE TO MAYURA BEEF is a supplemental HK$120 per person, and features chocolate-fed wagyu tenderloin with aubergine, served with a light herbal beef bouillon. The legendary Mayura is a full blooded wagyu variety from Australia, and has this unbeatable texture and quality to it.
Our pre-dessert was a palate-cleansing Tahiti vanilla cream, yogurt meringue and guava sorbet with refreshing notes of kaffir lime.
I recommend adding on ODE TO BRILLAT-SAVARIN with a supplemental HK$120, which comes as a block of the amazing creamy Brillat-Savarin cheese accompanied by pretty boxes displaying various Chinese condiments and home-dried fruit candies (Hawthorn, sweet and sour plum, etc). The combination was surprisingly on point, and something I never would have envisioned working out.
Finally, ODE TO CHESTNUT, the first hearty taste of autumn. If you are familiar with the traditional Hong Kong -style baked tapioca dessert - the ultimate comfort food - then this chestnut soufflé will resonate with you on a personal level. Once your spoon sinks through the fluffy top, you’ll hit the baked chestnut custard pudding with sweet pieces of chestnut and chewy little tapioca pearls (sago). It was honestly so delicious I wish I could have this for dessert at the Chinese restaurants instead.
The Mignardise trolley was a spectacle in and of itself. The massive custom-made chest of drawers gets wheeled up to your table, and when the doors open, you see all the little sweets on display. I can never usually finish petit fours at the end of a fine dining meal, but Tate’s menu was thoughtful to the point that it made sure we wouldn’t be bursting and uncomfortable by the end of it.
An exquisite meal, and one I highly recommend for those looking for something special in Hong Kong. Not only is each dish so beautifully presented (thanks to Chef Vicky's seasoned eye as a past designer), but the cuisine also evokes lots of nostalgia with the re-interpretation of dishes we grew up enjoying from childhood.
TATE Dining Room & Bar
Tel: +852 2555 2172 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Address: 210 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday, 7pm – 11pm