Travel back in time to ancient China at Viral Fusion for an East-meets-West dining experience

Hong Kong restaurant has an intriguing menu, and the eatery is under the expert guidance of chef Felix Kam

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 16 November, 2016, 11:46am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 16 November, 2016, 4:18pm

Stepping out of the 13th-floor lift made us feel like we had been transported back in time to ancient China. The entrance to the restaurant is through an arch of grey and red bricks leading to a wooden door, complete with brass knockers.

The mix of pop art and more traditional Chinese art offered a precursor to what was to come in the meal. The restaurant touts its menu as “East Meets West”, under the expert guidance of chef Felix Kam, whose CV includes stints at Joël Robuchon restaurants.

After several earlier failed attempts to get a table, we were surprised to find the place empty. Our menu had been chosen via e-mail earlier in the day. There were two five-course choices, one for HK$488 and the other for HK$588.

We picked the latter, which included a starter of glassy pasta with shredded roast duck tossed in sesame sauce paired with a pan-fried foie gras with fresh fig and fig jam on focaccia. The glassy pasta was a refreshing start. However, the foie gras fell short, as did the clam soup. The clams, in their shells and served in a small soup plate, were inconvenient to tackle.

For mains, we had a choice between roast baby Spanish pig or lobster fried in mustard egg sauce. We were glad we picked the latter because it was the highlight of the meal. Beautifully presented, the succulent morsels were amazing with the mustard sauce adding taste without overpowering. We also loved the abalone and unagi fried rice topped with bonito flakes. The pungent rice was fluffy and mixed well with the abalone and eel cubes but was filling after the lobster. We ended with a dessert of cheesecake, macaron and sorbet.

It was a pleasant meal, despite some hits and a few misses. Thankfully, the place accepts bookings for two, something many private kitchens balk at doing. However, we wish they hadn’t cleared the other table settings at 9.50pm and presented us with an unasked-for bill, 10 minutes later.