AVA Restaurant Slash Bar
38/F, Hotel Panorama by Rhombus, 8A Hart Avenue, Tsim Sha Tsui
Tel: 3550 0262
Open: 6.30pm-1am (Thursday-Saturday until 2am, Sunday until midnight)
Price: about HK$600 without drinks or the service charge.
Ambience: window-side tables afford dazzling harbour views, although, with the layout as it is, those dining a deux will probably find themselves sharing their alcove with another couple.
Pros: the waiters were attentive and eager to please. Dishes were assembled creatively, including the salmon amuse-bouche, served in what looked like a miniature terrarium complete with a brown-sugar sandy bottom. Complimentary bread, with three varieties of butter - garlic, herb and tomato - was also offered.
Cons: the menu needs attention. Despite promising 'refreshing recipes', it offered, for starters, such mundane items as a solitary poached egg (written as 'free-range egg', HK$128) and romaine leaves (HK$128).
For the small serving of loin, the salt marsh lamb, from an 'exclusive' Welsh farm, was overpriced at HK$468. Accompanying the butter-garlic-and-thyme-enhanced meat, which, although tasty enough required sawing through, were perfect baby potatoes. Disappointingly, the signature ice cream (HK$128), made table-side with liquid nitrogen, was no longer available by the time we were ready for dessert. 'Orange', a crepe suzette flambeed with liquor (HK$128), was an oversweet gloopy mess.
Recommended dishes: the wild mushroom starter (HK$128), lasagne-like ravioli filled with parmesan and ricotta cheese, lived up to its flavour promise, although we would have appreciated a spoon so the delicious sauce didn't have to go to waste. The plump grilled king prawns (HK$168), which we would have liked warm, were served with an appetising black-truffle vinaigrette over baby spinach. Truffles also came to the rescue of the slightly overcooked sea scallops (HK$298), served with peas and mushrooms.
What else? It's a bit of a trek to the Sky Garden on the rooftop, but it's worth the effort for the bracing air and view. The MOR music, played by a DJ from 10pm to 2am from Thursday to Saturday, was annoying and not the way we would have liked to have ended dinner.