The owner of the reknowned 3-Michelin starred restaurant in Paris has an outpost in the Mandarin Oriental hotel that I stayed in and I just knew that I definitely had to pay Pierre (which it is called) a visit.
His inventive and gastronomic cuisine definitely delighted my tasted buds while I was there for my Express Lunch; Trust me, the restaurant holds true to their word when they call it an Express Lunch; The 4 course meal took no more than 45 minutes to complete, with each course seemingly appearing right after each plate was cleared, served hot no less.
And it was relatively affordable, considering its Michelin starred status (Of course, in terms of affordability, this does not compare with Tim Ho Wan, which I will blog about soon). A 2 course lunch would set you back HKD$360. Pierre offers you the freedom of choosing the number of courses for your lunch, with each additional course at only an additional HKD$80. Talk about affordability!
Warm bread is served here. I had quite a filling breakfast before this and thus, left this pretty much untouched.
Further nibbles can be found in waffer sticks to keep that mouth busy.
This was an amuse bouche of sorts. Unfortunately, I didn’t really take to the cheese and (I’m assuming here) tomato combination.
Frankly, it didn’t serve its purpose of wheting one’s appetite.
The first course was one of Pierre’s signature – the Foie gras soup with amontillado, citrus and chilli sorbet, black pudding.
This came highly recommended by the Assistant General Manager. Recommendation well deserved, I say. I was hoping for the soup, to be really rich and indulgent and that was exactly what I got! No complaints there!
The piece of foie gras was perfectly seared, resulting in a somewhat crispy exterior and a wobbly center.
A citrus and chilli sorbet that was served on the side, helped to cut through the richness.
For the second course, again highly recommended by the Assistant GM, was the 63° egg, like a cocotte, langoustine emulsion and avruga.
In case you were wondering, and yes, I did some Googling. The supposed best temperature for poaching an egg is 63° which would result in the egg whites being just-set and the yolks with a “pudding-like” consistency.
On a sidenote, I am really tempted to buy a thermal immersion circulator and vacuum pack, to try out this whole idea of sous vide. Add that to the fact, that I will be done with my National Service obligations very soon, it is opportune for me to buy the relevant equipment and get my hands dirty!
(Reference: http://www.inuyaki.com/archives/2345 and Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc at Home)
I spied the grilled beef tenderloin on the menu and wanted to order it as my main course.
However, as fate would have it, my dining partner for lunch would order a Grilled beef tenderloin, portobello with burratta cheese and spinach purée.
Frankly, I would have thought this was a pretty safe dish,
Not wanting to be bore and order the same dish, I opted for the Pan-seared sea bass, aloe vera, green mango, fennel, and coriander leaf.
The sea bass was pretty good, not a second over cooked. I like the lightness of the dish; the herb-ed aloe Vera and green mango salsa was a refreshing accompaniment to the fish.
P.S. The white cubes that you see above, are boiled tofu.
The dining partner ordered a Pierre lemon tart, Lemon granité.
I remember that she mentioned that it was great and was excellent company for the bitter coffee that she was having.
For my choice of dessert, I went with the recommendation of the manager again and ordered the L’éclair Paris Hong-Kong, Peach with rose water mousseline.
It provided for a sweet ending to the meal, without it being too outstanding.
I think my lunch at Pierre exceeded my expectations. The first 2 courses were definitely stellar, while the mains were somewhat on the safe side. Desserts, on the other hand, were definitely a let down.
That said, Pierre enjoyed brisk business and even so, I experienced exemplary service from the wait staff – nothing short of what I had come to expect from the Mandarin Oriental. From what I had, I am confident that the full tasting and dinner menu would certainly be much better in terms of choices and execution of the dishes. I would strive to return to Pierre, should I return to Hong Kong again.
Pierre by Pierre Gagnaire
25/F Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong
5 Connaught Road
Central, Hong Kong
Telephone: +852 2825-4001