Pro­gres­sive din­ners

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel & Indulgence -

EX­EC­U­TIVE chef Uwe Opocen­sky, for­merly of Fer­ran Adria’s El Bulli, is hav­ing the time of his life. To cel­e­brate the ho­tel’s land­mark year, he’s cre­at­ing retro dishes that are fun, funky and oc­ca­sion­ally ut­terly mad. They in­clude steak diane and prawn cock­tail that in no way re­sem­ble the clas­sics and, in an homage to Ju­lia Childs, an in­ter­pre­ta­tion of her 1960s beef bour­guignon.

As an ex­am­ple of Opocen­sky’s He­ston Blu­men­thal-like za­ni­ness, take his de­con­structed baked alaska of ‘‘rasp­berry, vanilla and snow’’, which comes with a minia­ture po­lar bear crouched on sprin­kles of frost and con­tem­plat­ing an igloo of ice­cream, or his savoury take on the mul­ti­coloured Froot Loops break­fast ce­real, in­tro­duced by Kel­logg’s in 1962.

Opocen­sky pre­sides over the Man­darin Ori­en­tal’s 10 restau­rants and bars (the topfloor Pierre is the pre­serve of Miche­lin mae­stro Pierre Gag­naire, who jets in from time to time), but his most ex­clu­sive do­main is the Krug Room, sep­a­rated from the kitchen by a long glass panel and fea­tur­ing a high ta­ble for 12 din­ers who perch be­neath a chan­de­lier of sus­pended bud vases and cups and saucers, and gaily sip cham­pagne matched to all cour­ses — the ho­tel has the largest cel­lar of Krug bub­bles out­side France.

There is no menu and Opocen­sky typ­i­cally serves 10 to 14 cour­ses based o his play­ful ‘‘pro­gres­siv gas­tron­omy’’ — the 19 theme will pre­vail all y The Krug Room takes book­ings Mon­day to S and is tucked be­hind th Chin­nery bar where, w breath­tak­ing irony, ba mash is the or­der of th washed down with a pu (Hi­lar­i­ously, the bar di ad­mit women un­til 199

Uwe Opocen­sky’s baked alaska, top, and the Krug Room

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