Diner's Diary

Time for a French twist, as Michelin-starred eateries offer new experiences

Spoon by Alain Ducasse and Seasons by Olivier E. are revamping their offerings for summer

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 09 June, 2016, 4:16pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 09 June, 2016, 4:16pm

Two French Michelin-starred restaurants in town have revamped their menus to entice diners for some gourmet fare. Spoon by Alain Ducasse has a set dinner that offers healthier dishes, while Seasons by Olivier E. offers a variety of flavours for summer.

Chef-owner Olivier Elzer’s restaurant is still going strong after two years, and we were invited to try some new dishes and signature ones.

A new starter, the red prawn carpaccio was a pretty plate: the carabinero shrimp thinly sliced and seasoned, topped with pink radish slices, assorted tomatoes and small cubes of tamarillo ice cream for a subtle sweetness.

This contrasted with a signature abalone dish, a riff on traditional Alsatian dishes where Elzer is from. Here he dices the tender abalone meat,mixes it with sauerkraut and tops it with horseradish foam and truffles for a gourmet touch.

Another nod to his home is morel mushrooms in crispy baguette and sweetbread. He prepares this tableside, explaining that his grandmother would use day-old bread, soaking the slices in the morel sauce to soften them again. It had a rich, flavourful taste.

For a decadent dish, look no further than the blue lobster dumplings with two pieces of foie gras and lobster bisque. The extracted lobster meat was perfectly cooked, and we were quite full after eating half this dish.

The grilled rib-eye for the main course was quite fatty, but delicious, the meat very tender, and prepared with shallots and a red wine sauce.

Finally dessert-wise, the lemon curd feuillantine fits the bill, slightly tart and refreshing with a scoop of yogurt ice cream.

Seasons by Olivier E., Shop 308, Phase 2, Lee Garden, 2-38 Yun Ping Road, Causeway Bay. Tel: 2505 6228

Over in Tsim Sha Tsui, Spoon by Alain Ducasse in the InterContinental Hong Kong has just started serving a five-course set menu that changes every two weeks. The dishes here are hardly heavy and rich – instead the focus is more on healthy ingredients and cooking techniques that will leave diners sated.

We were invited last week to sample the debut of a new menu that is all vegetarian and seafood for HK$888 per person.

To start the amuse bouche of zucchini mousse was light as air, followed by a flavourful chilled white cocoa bean soup that was very refreshing and light.

Next came marinated sardines that practically melted in the mouth, accompanied with confit bell peppers.

Our favourite dish of the evening was the soft and crunchy quinoa, giving the grain a delicious taste and texture, served in a crockpot that was baked with seasonal vegetables such as carrots, turnips, radish and broccoli, seasoned with a herb pesto.

We were almost full when the monkfish medallion arrived. It was slightly overcooked, but we appreciated the freshness of the fish, which came garnished with tomato-girolle mushrooms, and olives to add tartness.

Finally for dessert we had a red sculpture on our plate, a “gariguette” strawberry in warm jus. All the strawberries on the dish were sourced from France, while the sorbet was topped with chips made from strawberry juice, and decorated with strawberry segments.

But that’s not all – Spoon by Alain Ducasse is also known for its home-made marshmallows, kept like long pastel snakes curled up in glass jars. We sampled the two flavours available, raspberry and passion fruit.

Spoon by Alain Ducasse, InterContinental Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. Tel: 2313 2256