Spoon Intercontinental Hotel 18 Salisbury Road, Kowloon Tel: 2313 2256 Open: kitchen 6pm-11.30pm, bar closes at 1.30am Dear Alain Ducasse, Forgive me, for I am about to commit gastronomic sacrilege. Having read about your culinary marvels, your trophy case stacked with Michelin stars and awe- inspiring innovation, I was one of your foodie fans from afar. Yet, dare I say it, I found my recent, much-anticipated visit to your new Hong Kong restaurant on the whole underwhelming. Yes, the spectacular setting on the Tsim Sha Tsui harbourfront is breathtaking. And the funky decor, despite my uncomfortable table, is a suitably upmarket match for the location, and it is a superb showcase of your superb wine list. The concept of your menu, too, which lets diners match any main ingredient with any sauce and side dish, is inspired. But, Mr Ducasse, I went for the food and, if truth be told, it turned out to be a letdown. A very expensive anti-climax. My companion and I chose the six-course Sexy Spoon chef's menu ($750), which is not revealed before it is served, and enlisted the help of an impressive young sommelier to recommend a wine. As he said, choosing a bottle to accompany a mystery taster meal is a nightmare. The Geyser Peak syrah 1999 ($950) he recommended was spot-on, if steeply priced (wines by glass start at $80), but we felt a splurge was justified in the establishment of one of the world's most famous chefs. It wasn't. The first course of asparagus custard with slivers of almond, bacon and bread on top was an indicator of what we should expect - minimalist cuisine - not just in portion size but flavour. Despite undoubtedly top-quality produce, finesse of preparation and fine presentation, it left us cold. The lobster claw salad with a homemade shrimp cocktail sauce had the same effect. But then we were surprised by the highlight of the evening, and we couldn't believe it was such a simple dish: an intensely flavoured pumpkin soup. Turbot with a fine pesto sauce followed. Again, despite the quality of its ingredients, the dish somehow lacked a balance of flavours - perhaps the fish was too subtle for the powerful dressing. The savoury dishes ended with succulent pan-glazed veal medallions with vitello tomato sauce, which we wished we had ordered simply as mains. By then the disappointment had set in and not even a dessert platter of dreamy toffee ice cream, petit fours and a strong mocha torte could improve our mood. Perhaps, Mr Ducasse, my palate is not advanced enough for the subtleties of your creations, but at a cost of $3,000 for two - including a large bottle of Evian ($90) and two glasses of Paul Drouet champagne ($120 each) - I'm not sure that I should have to work quite that hard.