The Ocean

Hong Kong Tatler Best Restaurants (Hong Kong / Macau) - - Editor’s choice -

ince win­ning our award for Best New Chef l ast year, Agustin Balbi has proven that he didn't just have be­gin­ner's luck here i n Hong Kong. The young Ar­gen­tine chef, who has worked with some of the very best names in the busi­ness—among them, Michel Trois­gros and Seiji Ya­mamoto—is set on defin­ing his own way, con­stantly draft­ing ex­cit­ing new dishes for t he Le Comp­toir restau­rant he has been en­trusted with run­ning.

We've been watch­ing Balbi for a while, and we're al­ways in ea­ger an­tic­i­pa­tion of the new dishes he's been prac­tic­ing when they even­tu­ally ap­pear on the menu at The Ocean—among them a but­ter-poached tur­bot hid­den un­der­neath a ‘leather' made from black gar­lic. The dish is pos­i­tively gothic in its pre­sen­ta­tion, but is given a burst of sun­shine by way of bright golden chanterelles and pearly onions. With a keen eye for colour and bal­ance, his plates are among some of the most beau­ti­ful in Hong Kong, if not Asia and the rest of the world—and there are so many ex­traor­di­nar­ily plated dishes that we've seen in the last 12 months.

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