Restaurant review: Tri - modern Balinese in Repulse Bay
A lot of care is put into the food here, which is complex and priced accordingly. If only you didn't have to use a flashlight to read the menu.
It's easy to be sceptical about Tri, the modern Balinese restaurant in The Pulse.
First there was the fuss over booking: it took several attempts before we were able to lock down the time and date we wanted, rather than at 6.30pm or 9.30pm, and even when we finally got a table for 7.30pm on a Saturday, we were told we would have to be finished by 9.30pm.
Then, there's the price: we're used to eating Indonesian food for less than HK$100 per person, rather than close to HK$400 each. And when we arrived, the dim lighting didn't improve my mood: it was difficult to read the menu, and we had to use our phone torches to see the print.
But it's a beautiful space, and it's obvious that the chef and his team are putting a lot of thought and care into the food.
We weren't that impressed with the first two starters: the jamur squid (HK$190) needed more time on the grill and more flavour in the mushroom and spice paste stuffing, while bumbu prawns (HK$230) were unmemorable.
Sambal tempeh (HK$80), however, was excellent. The earthy, funky flavours of the tempeh (fermented soya beans) were tempered by the addition of smooth and tender cauliflower and a sufficient amount of spicy sambal, while rempeyek crackers added texture to the dish.
The mains were really enjoyable. Duck betutu (HK$220) was a complex dish of different preparation methods and flavours: seared breast, leg meat that had been slow-cooked then shredded, and a refreshing pomelo relish. Even better was the babi guling (suckling pig, HK$350). I tried to count all the different things on the plate, and I still missed a couple: there was crisp skin, a roughly textured farcie in banana leaf, sausage and some confit leg.
We were too full for dessert, but with the bill came a trio of sweets: lemon marshmallow, a moist coconut cookie, and light and crunchy honeycomb.
Tri, shop 302, 3/F The Pulse, 28 Beach Rd, Repulse Bay, tel: 2515 0577. About HK$375 without drinks and the service charge