RESTAURANT REVIEW: A Sunset Tasting Menu at Mandarin Oriental’s Mandarin Grill + Bar.
It’s no secret that the Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong houses some of the best restaurants in the city. One of the longstanding favourites, the Mandarin Grill + Bar has been on the dining scene for a while now and used to serve as a private club before its modern makeover. LUX Nomade’s contributing writer Faye Bradley tried the Sunset Tasting Menu at the Michelin-starred eatery for a taste of the finer things in life.
Situated on the first floor of the five-star hotel Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong (in Central district), the Mandarin Grill + Bar boasts stylish and sophisticated interiors designed by Sir Terence Conran. The open-plan glass kitchen showcases the chefs at work and the well-appointed servers make you feel instantly welcomed. What used to be dimly-lit and decked in dark woods and leathers (before its renovation) is now a venue filled with natural light and timeless furnishings.
We arrived for a dinner experience—the Sunset Tasting Menu, to be precise—for well, the sunset and an indulgent meal. The staff were very welcoming and introduced us to the set menu as well as the main menu in case we wanted to try any of the restaurant’s other signature dishes during the tasting. With a Michelin star under its belt, Mandarin Grill + bar prides itself on serving seasonally-inspired dishes cooked with premium ingredients. Meats, caviar and seafood are a popular option, unsurprisingly, and the drinks and wine list is also extensive. We tried the Sunset Tasting Menu with cocktail pairing.
The Sunset Tasting Menu
I attended the tasting with my partner so that we could try a variety of the signature dishes at the restaurant. First, we had the Steak Tartare as a starter which is one of my personal favourites (tuna tartare closely following behind in the raw department), and the Mandarin did it as well as I’d hoped for. A flavoursome, slightly tangy dish, the tartare was refreshingly cool at every bite and the softness of the meat complimented well with the crispy toasted bread. Next, we had one of the signature, longstanding dishes from the menu—the House-Made Applewood Smoked Salmon, which was served out on a trolley and sliced in thin slabs in front of us. This was undeniably the best dish on the menu for me, the tender salmon being so subtly infused with smoked applewood made it unique and completely enjoyable on its own (without the need for sides or carbs). The staff were kind enough to allow us to try all three starters on the menu, so the final one was the Traditional Lobster Bisque, which was a bit too creamy and rich for me from the tarragon cream but in small portions, tasted delicious.
For mains, we tried the From “The Trolley” Slow-Roasted USDA Prime Rib Of Beef first. The dish was reminiscent of a typical Sunday roast and was cooked to perfection from top to bottom. Each bite was tender for a melt-in-your-mouth taste and the beef was cooked medium-rare, served with a side of vegetables. We were fortunate enough to also try the Beef Wellington, which is typically sold out within the first hour of dinner time—and understandably so. Playing on the traditional English dish, the wellington came as a hefty portion for two and was also cooked medium rare, with a crispy crust. It worked well with the pommery mustard pomme puree, french beans and musky truffle jus.
Finally, for dessert, we had the light Souffle to finish, a sweet and fruity concoction made with 70% Chocolate, Vanilla, Rhubarb & Strawberry, Ginger and Grand Marnier. We also tried the cocktails from the tasting menu including the MO Gimlet, made from chamomile-infused gin and tonic, and the classic Cosmopolitan. We had an aperitif with our dessert as recommended by our lovely waiter.
Overall, the food was exceptional and the service was friendly throughout the meal. Each course was thoroughly explained and the old-school touches like the wheeling trolleys made the experience feel even more gourmet. The tasting menu was well worth the price and makes an occasion-worthy dining experience for luxury travellers abroad and locally.
The Mandarin Grill + Bar three-course Sunset Tasting Menu (including one beverage) is priced at HK$1,288 per person (+ 10% service charge) and is only available for bookings at 6 pm.
1/F, Mandarin Oriental, 5 Connaught Rd Central, Central, Hong Kong
For more information and bookings https://www.mandarinoriental.com/hong-kong/victoria-harbour/fine-dining/restaurants/european-cuisine/mandarin-grill-and-bar