Newly opened: Atelier Vivanda, Wan Chai - meat and minimalism
Also newly opened is Kennedy Town ice cream parlour Ice Monkey
Michelin-starred Akrame Benallal has opened another restaurant on Ship Street, this one more casual and meaty, called Atelier Vivanda (tel: 2109 1768).
We visited on the third day after opening and the eatery is on the right track, although the round tables are on the small side. The cosy space is minimalist, with lots of wood, metal and mirrors. The format is pretty straightforward: choose a starter, main and dessert for HK$448 per person.
To start, the thinly sliced veal carpaccio was more cooked than raw, but the passion fruit gave it a refreshing twist. The beetroot risotto was too salty from the cubes of smoked haddock.
The Iberico pork rib was fantastic, very juicy and cooked just right as it wasn't tough. The Black Angus flank was on the rare side of medium rare, and very tender. A tossed green salad is provided, and unlimited sides. The gratin dauphinois featured layers of potato slices with cream, chives and leeks, and we loved the pommes dauphine so much we ordered more of the crispy potato puffs.
For dessert, the chocolate fondant had a nice hint of citrus flavour, but the large portion of crème brûlée was not seductively smooth, and had a thick layer of caramelised sugar on top.
Just in time for summer, Ice Monkey (tel: 2362 0822) has opened in Kennedy Town, offering creative ice cream treats.
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