Restaurant review: Rech by Alain Ducasse at Hong Kong’s InterContinental is pure class, but how to you pronounce its name?
Now a lighter, brighter space, French star chef’s replacement for Spoon serves delicious, imaginative dishes with a touch of whimsy, and servers are knowledgable and engaging
First things first – how to pronounce Rech? Retch? Wretch? Wreck? All sound horrible, as well as incorrect.
So we asked the French sommelier, who confirmed (politely) that our pronunciations were wrong. He explained that the namesake Mr Rech came from Alsace, a Germanic region of France, hence the un-French sounding name. (The correct pronunciation is Resh, we were subsequently advised.)
Rech by Alain Ducasse replaces Spoon by Alain Ducasse at the InterContinental hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui. The interior looks entirely different from its previous incarnation, and seems lighter, brighter and more casual.
There were whimsical touches. The Bordier butter with purple seaweed and lemon is in the shape of a fish; breads and the amuse bouche (gratinated clams with bacon and breadcrumbs) are presented on stones. All our servers were knowledgeable and engaging, and when my guest couldn’t decide whether to order us glasses of white or red wine, and explained that she couldn’t drink much because she was driving, the sommelier suggested that we both have half glasses of each.
From the “raw” section of the menu, we ordered the mackerel, caramelised belly and shiso (HK$150). The raw fish was cool and refreshing, while the belly, with its soy glaze, was more substantial.
The starter of pan-seared langoustine ravioles with delicate broth (HK$450) had a broth that was, indeed, very delicate, but the plump dumplings were too salty.
Grenobloise-style skate wing (HK$460) was a delicious piece of fish without the slightest whiff of ammonia that it sometimes has. The sauce was buttery and rich, and came with fried croutons and capers.
We also liked the second main course of beef with duck foie gras and truffle (HK$590). The beef was fillet mignon – my least favourite cut – but it was surprisingly flavourful. The foie gras topping it was just fantastic – smooth and perfectly cooked.
We were getting full by that point and considered ordering just the lemon dessert (HK$120) that had confit zest, lemon sorbet and kombu seaweed (although we couldn’t taste the latter ingredient). It was as refreshing as we’d hoped. But the waiter was enthusiastic about the Mr Rech (HK$120), and he assured us that although it was chocolatey, it wasn’t heavy. He was right. He presented us hazelnut ice cream sandwiched between airy meringue discs, then proceeded to drench the whole thing with chocolate sauce. It was delicious and fairly light, and we ate almost all of it.
Rech by Alain Ducasse, Lobby, InterContinental Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2313 2323. About HK$1,250 without drinks or the service charge.
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