Restaurant review: maison es, Wan Chai - short on consistency
There are plenty of flowers in the dining room but not much consistency in the kitchen at maison es
A word of advice: don't come to maison es if you dislike flowers. They're everywhere, from the real ones at the entrance to the fake blossoms in the bathrooms and the vase in the dining room; they're on the walls and the deliberately mismatched plates the food is served on. My guest and I like flowers, but felt as if we should be wearing Laura Ashley frocks.
We liked the short menu of six starters, seven mains (including two "for sharing"), six side dishes and six desserts (including a cheese selection). The mes coddled egg on black truffle mash (HK$120) was rich, warm and comforting, and served in a small canning jar with toast "soldiers" on the side. Our second starter was pretty and light: sweet langoustine tails with warm miso butter and corn, decorated with flowers, although we're not sure what the point was of the small chunks of mozzarella, which didn't add anything to the dish.
Seared Hokkaido scallops with spicy prawn on crisp rice (HK$280) needed more rice and spice (we couldn't detect any chilli heat), and the small prawns didn't have much flavour. The scallops could have been seared more evenly, but they were sweet and succulent.
We really disliked the maple-roasted black pork belly (HK$260). The meat was tough, the sauce was too sweet and one-dimensional, and although we love bacon, there were actually too many of the salty lardons.
Desserts were disappointing and expensive. Dulce de leche rice crispy treat with Malibu ice cream was HK$120. The puffed rice treat wasn't any better than you could make at home and the dulce de leche was pale and runny, although the Malibu (rum and coconut liquor) ice cream was fine. My guest complained about the sticky lemon cake with ginger sorbet — "HK$120 for a lemon muffin?" (which is what it resembled once we'd turned it over); and the syrup tasted artificial.
maison es, 1 Electric Street, Wan Chai, tel: 2521 8011. About HK$575 without drinks or the service charge