Tasteful union: VEA in Central
With Vicky Cheng's successful stint at Liberty Private Works, combined with Diageo World Class Hong Kong and Macau bar champion Antonio Lai's clubbing credentials, expectations have been high about VEA (Vicky et Antonio).
The set-up does not disappoint. VEA comprises a bar on the 29th floor of The Wellington, while the restaurant takes up the 30th floor. Cheng's domain has certainly expanded. There are three gleaming food stations - starters, mains and desserts - and diners have an up-close experience with the chefs.
Like Liberty, VEA offers a set menu of eight courses (HK$1,280), with three beautifully presented snacks to ease you into the meal and petits fours to end the night. Wine or cocktail pairings are available for an additional HK$680. Given Lai's reputation, we decided to try interesting cocktail concoctions such as whisky and mushroom consomme and goji, lemon and vodka.
A crispy-thin fried chicken skin snack was followed by juicy clams and smoked quail eggs. But the first official course gave the explosive start that we were looking for. Tuna topped with Hokkaido uni and a sprinkling of espelette pepper was a burst of flavours that lingered on the palate long after we devoured the dish.
Other highlights were abalone served on a bed of special risotto, goji berries and shirako, while the egg dish balanced a perfect egg yolk with caviar and parmesan, though the fried dough sticks were too oily.
The food menu didn't provide many "wow" moments, especially in presentation (the cocktails fared better), but it was a consistently good meal that offered value for money in terms of quality and entertainment.
29-30/F, The Wellington, 198 Wellington Street, Central, 2711 8639