Tuesday, September 20, 2005



Alain Ducasse.

After have the great fortune, due to the kind generosity of my boyfriend's parents, to have dined at Louis IV in Monaco (an Alain Ducasse restaurant and voted one of the best restaurants in the world), we decided, as a special treat, to try Spoon in Hong Kong.

Of course, not enjoying the prospect of paying buckets of money, we found that they had a Sexy Sunset menu comprising of 4 courses and a glass of champagne for $450 + 10%. The caveat was to order between 6 and 7pm. This we found reasonable so a reservation made and we rushed in just in time.

We were seated and asked if we would like water, to which we assented and was asked for still or sparkling. Fearing that sparkling would fill me up (I'm a very well trained Chinese eater), I ordered still and some Antipodes (special water from New Zealand apparently) was presented. I mention the water as it is important later on.

I found it curious and a bit disconcerting that this was done as soon as we were seated, leaving us no time to think of what we'd like to drink and giving us no cocktail menu but I chalked it up to my fussy nature and moved on.

We were given little shooter glasses of sea urchin custard while we perused the menu. We naturally chose the Sexy Sunset Menu (especially after a quick peek at the high prices on the A La Carte menu) and ate our sea urchin custard. Very rich but flavourful.

The first starter was a foie gras mousse. This was good but a bit too rich for me, especially after the sea urchin custard. As the boy remarked, there's something really decadent about whipping up something like foie gras into a rich mousse.

For the second starter, the boy had seafood soup and I had the canelloni de salad with veal reduction. The other choice was melon with parma ham. The soup was good, rich and pungent....I wish I had the soup. My canelloni was average. I could taste cooked spinach and arugula but little else. Hmmmm. Was starting to get impatient with all the fancy small and unsatisfying foods.

My main came and I almost laughed. It was 2 small medallions of pork with chooped peppers and tomatos (high end salsa on top). The boy had cod, very tiny child's fist portion sized. Oh dear. This had better be good. I cut into the pork and it was very very tender so I was quite excited, thinking that it was going to be meltingly good. I put it in my mounth and the boy said he couldn't tell by my expression if it was good or simply awful. It was awful...but mostly because the soft pork I cut? It was a huge piece of fat. The food was not awful but was not good. I cut half of a medallion for the poor boy and cut all the fat off of the rest of the pork, which left me with about 4 mouthfuls. The bamboo salad? I don't even want to get into. The cod seemed ok.

By this time I was disappointed and a bit annoyed. Dessert was good. I had raspeberries (all 3 of them with a cut up half a strawberry!!) with lemon sorbet and fresh cheese, the boy had mango chocolate finger with vanilla ice cream.

So? As a conclusion? Not worth it. I'd rather pay about the same and go to other restaurants (Chez Moi comes to mind with superb food) at a similar price point. It was a deal for Spoon but I wouldn't go back and wouldn't recommend it. In Hong Kong, there's bound to be better restaurants in a similar setting.

A note on the service. The waiters/waitresses were friendly enough but lack of polish. They whisked away our plates as my boyfriend was still chewing, tried to take the plate from under me as I was drinking and served neighboring tables 2 courses as we sat waiting. The tables are closer together than I would have expected at such a nice restaurant. A much better option is The Derby House at the HK Jockey Club in Happy Valley whose service is impeccable but at the same time very warm.

Ah, the water. It cost us HK$140 + 10%. More than the glass of Chablis.

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