7/F Landmark Mandarin Oriental, 15 Queen's Road, Central Tel: 2132 0066 Open: noon-2.30pm, 6pm-10.30pm Cuisine: Modern European Price: $1,000 per person for a three-course dinner without wine. Ambience: Sophisticated but comfortable. Long, bronze tubes swaying gently from the ceiling are the main focal points of the room. The clientele - at least at night - is a mixture of solo diners, business- people, couples and groups of friends. Pros: The food. We'd been warned that portions were small, but this no longer seems to be the case. Cons: The service. It's competent, the servers are friendly and helpful, and we got almost everything we needed - but nothing was done with finesse or forethought. Our main courses would have gone wonderfully with wine, but nobody asked if we wanted any. And when my guest asked for a hot towel after the chocolate in her dessert spilled on her hand, the waitress brought packets of 'moist towelettes' - the type given at fast-food places. Recommended dishes: The meal gets off to a delicious start with the amuses bouches. The waitress provided simple descriptions of the trio - 'poached lobster, Belon oyster and butternut squash soup with black truffle oil' - in contrast to the lengthy list of ingredients on the menu. I ordered watermelon with vine cherry tomatoes and matured goat cheese ($175, above) to see how good the seasonable produce could be in January. The combination was stunning: a great mix of colours, textures and salty-sweet-tangy-sharp flavours. My guest's starter of yellowfin tuna cubes with crispy chicken skin and soy and maple syrup reduction ($210) had large pieces of bland fish, but was saved by the chicken skin crackling. The waitress warned me that the 11-hours poached Kurobuta pork belly with five spices and shiitakes was fatty, but I didn't think so. The two large pieces of meat were succulent, with a delicate crunch from the thin layer of skin. We also enjoyed the tender Margaret River Wagyu beef with red grape must and mustard condiment ($580). Our desserts - rose petal macaroon with raspberry (which had too much jam), rosewater marinated lychee, pink rose sorbet and iced tea granitee ($135) and crispy Manjari grand cru chocolate and gold leaf samosas, iced pandan leaf sabayon, ginger ice cream and cashew brittle ($135) - had lots of elements that complemented each other. What else? Whoever writes the menu descriptions loves capital letters and sometimes uses non-traditional spellings.