Amber, The Landmark Mandarin Oriental (Hong Kong)

Amber, The Landmark Mandarin Oriental (Hong Kong)

Hong Kong - Amber Wine Brunch 2 Michelin Stars - Landmark, Mandarin Hotel

When you’re in Hong Kong and you’re hungry, come Saturday morning, what do you do? Visit Amber for their Wine Brunch for that was what I did.

Alright, the sheer convenience of walking directly from my hotel to the adjacent mall, all in the comforts of an air conditioned sheltered above-ground walkway did it for me too.

For HKD$698++, you get to 6 courses (3 of which are desserts) all accompanied with wines selected by their sommelier.

For starters, there is the glass of champagne to accompany the amuse bouche – Jelliedfied melon.

Hong Kong - Amber Wine Brunch 2 Michelin Stars - Landmark, Mandarin Hotel

Paired with n/v veuve clicquot ponsardin ‘brut’ chardonnay, pinot noir & pinot meunier ◦ reims ◦ france ◦ ◦

Other quick bites before the meal started included a Pork croquette with kimchi mustard and;

Hong Kong - Amber Wine Brunch 2 Michelin Stars - Landmark, Mandarin Hotel

Hong Kong - Amber Wine Brunch 2 Michelin Stars - Landmark, Mandarin Hotel

Foie gras lollip rapberry and beetroot

Helming the 2-Michelin star restaurant is Chef Richard Ekkebus who (according to Amber’s website) has trained in the kitchens of Alain Passard, Guy Savoy and Pierre Gagnaire.

From what I hear, Chef Richard personally sees to the cooking in the restaurant – a.k.a, he is not one who just lends his name to the restaurant – he actually physically oversees and (I hear) cooks certain dishes! He is definitely one passionate chef!

I think this paragraph lifted from Amber’s website epitomizes his spirit and passion in cooking.

Genuine delight registers on his expressive face in sharing the most recent arrivals with his diners, from Turkish figs to Japanese sea urchins. He credits his restaurant-owning grandparents with teaching him how to pick the best apples in Fall and berries during Summer, and how to hunt and fish near their seaside Holland home.

While he calls his upbringing “the best apprenticeship”, he also recognizes the Michelin-starred Dutch chefs Hans Snijders and Robert Kranenborg who taught him how to cook, and the French masters under whom he refined his skills. Alain Passard taught him that every ingredient must be purposeful. He bonded with Guy Savoy on the rugby field then learned how to think globally about cuisine. He mastered technique under Pierre Gagnaire, who simultaneously showed him the importance of trusting his intuition in the kitchen. The sixteen-hour days he reminisces, “were not a job, but a passion.”

Appetizer

Hong Kong - Amber Wine Brunch 2 Michelin Stars - Landmark, Mandarin Hotel

Paired with the ◦2008 telmo rodriguez ‘basa blanco’ verjeho ◦ rueda ◦ spain ◦ ◦ ◦ is the hokkaido sea urchin in a lobster jell-O with cauliflower paired with a crispy seaweed waffle on the side.

I love sea urchin and the freshness of it alone pretty much did it for me. A small top up would have included a topping of caviar to the sea urchin, which would have brought this dish up a notch in the ‘luxury’ quotient. However, to me, simplicity is the best, so I chose to do away with the caviar.

I did not really care much for the crispy seaweed waffle but it tasted, for lack of a better word, rather normal, to me.

Middle Courses

Hong Kong - Amber Wine Brunch 2 Michelin Stars - Landmark, Mandarin Hotel

Paired with the 2008 hiedller grüner veltliner ◦ kamptal ◦ austria ◦ ◦ ◦ is the 2nd course – tasmanian salmon confit then smoked served on a bed of avocado, horseradish & granny smith apple.

The salmon was beautifully cooked – pink in the centre and was moist throughout. The technique of smoking the salmon lent a rather alluring smoky taste to the fish.

I especially liked the mixture of avocado, horseradish and granny smith apples – from the seemingly harmonious medley of flavours to the texture of it.

The luscious wine reduction complimented the fish perfectly.

Hong Kong - Amber Wine Brunch 2 Michelin Stars - Landmark, Mandarin Hotel

The third course was a ceps mushroom & carnaroli rice risotto topped with with table side grated mature beaufort cheese. I am by far, no cheese connesieur. But boy, I have to admit that the cheese did lend a very distinct sharpness to the rich risotto. That said, me being me, I would have preferred it to be served without it!

The shavings of the fresh black tasmanian winter truffles were definitely a welcome choice in my dictionary.

Main Courses

Hong Kong - Amber Wine Brunch 2 Michelin Stars - Landmark, Mandarin Hotel

For my main course, I chose to have the tasmanian ocean troute, which was roasted unilateral on the skin, quinoa & wild mushrooms prepared as a risotto, jus de poularde.

Again, like the salmon confit, the fish was cooked beautifully.

However, the quinoa & wild mushroom risotto just didn’t do it. I can’t really say why, perhaps it’s a matter of personal preference and I’ll leave it as that.

The main course was paired with an excellent 2007 nicolas potel pinot noir ◦ burgundy ◦ france.

Desserts

First and foremost, I am not that into desserts, so my opinions may be somewhat bias but personally, I felt, that the desserts were the weak point of Amber.

Hong Kong - Amber Wine Brunch 2 Michelin Stars - Landmark, Mandarin Hotel

Out of the 3 desserts, my favourite has to be the Jasmine fruit prepared as a jello & custard with granny smith sorbet.

I like the lightness of the dessert, with the slightly tard sorbet cutting through the lightly sweetened jellow and custard.

P.S. I heard from that waitress that it was the chef’s first day serving this dessert.

Hong Kong - Amber Wine Brunch 2 Michelin Stars - Landmark, Mandarin Hotel

Lime chiboust in crispy cannelloni, coconut biscuit with pineapple sorbet

This was far too sweet for my tongue and I didn’t finish it up.

That said, I liked the presentation of the dish!

Hong Kong - Amber Wine Brunch 2 Michelin Stars - Landmark, Mandarin Hotel

The last dessert on the menu is the manjari chocolate sabayon on ‘sable’ sugar paste with lemon zest sorbet.

This was okay in my dictionary. Again, like the previous dessert, this just didn’t sweep me off my feet.

Amber Restaurant Central Hong Kong

15 Queen’s Road, The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, The Landmark, Central, Hong Kong

Telephone: +852 2132 0066

Website: http://www.amberhongkong.com


9 thoughts on “Amber, The Landmark Mandarin Oriental (Hong Kong)

  1. Thank you , I’ll have to subscribe your site and read the rest I think. The first date my wife and I had nearly 20 years ago now was a lovely seafood restaurant in Napoli, so I’ve been spending so long trying to rediscover a decent grilled lobster recipe like we had that night – our anniversary is next month so I’m hoping to surprise her!

  2. Thanks, thats quite useful stuff to know! I must admit to being a bit of a failure in the kitchen, but I’m trying my best to learn. Admitting is the first step to recovery right!!? I promised to cook something for my wife this weekend for the first time – very exciting! I found some really simple recipe at this site, seems to be designed exactly for me, which is great! Anyway, thanks, I’ll be sure to bookmark this site to read more later.

    1. Steve — I realize McCain was never an intellect, but it’s the sorts of questions that confuse him and the way he tries to fake it when he’s confused that are so typical of early Alzheimer’s. It would also explain his recent hostility to the press, which started while they were still giving him passes.

    2. at2011-07-14 at 10:01 pmThere’s another new packaging site out there…its similiar information as a few of these but the authors tends to end with their own thoughts or critiques rather than just posting press releases (although they tend to do that also). Anyway, its called Everything Packaged and was statrted by a packaging engineer from MSU (i’m alum so a little partial, haha). Thanks for the list though…awesome!

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