At his two-Michelin-star restaurant Ta Vie in Hong Kong, chef Hideaki Sato serves a tasting menu of Japanese-French food. The Nagano native worked at the three-Michelin-star Nihonryori Ryugin in Tokyo, then in 2012 opened its Hong Kong branch, Tenku Ryugin, which quickly gained two stars. He opened Ta Vie in 2015.
Although trained in Japanese and French cuisines, Sato is endlessly curious about the dishes of other cultures. He’s been documenting his attempts at Peking duck and ma lai goh (a Chinese steamed cake) on his Instagram account. When he perfects these, he says, his next cooking experiments will focus on har gau, or steamed shrimp dumplings.
In this easy-to-make dessert, Sato takes the classic French blancmange - a light, delicate milk pudding set with gelatine - and gives it an Asian touch by infusing jasmine tea leaves into the liquid. He then serves the pudding with sweet, refreshing Japanese crown melon, and recommends the type from Shizuoka. Sato says this dessert reflects his culinary philosophy of “pure, simple and seasonal”.
The blancmange needs a few hours to set, so it can be turned out of the moulds. Sato uses individual moulds that hold at least 40ml. You will need eight or nine moulds.