GUESS WHO’S COM­ING TO DIN­NER?

For its first Stel­lar Din­ing Se­ries, The Ritz-carl­ton gath­ered its con­stel­la­tion of Miche­lin stars across four Asian des­ti­na­tions for one epi­curean ex­trav­a­ganza to re­mem­ber. Mary Lim re­ports from Hong Kong

Prestige (Singapore) - - CONTENTS -

vin­cent van Gogh once gushed: “For my part I know noth­ing with any cer­tainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.” And what heights The Ritz‑carl­ton reached with its first Stel­lar Din­ing Se­ries, which cel­e­brated the group’s tra­di­tion and tal­ents in culi­nary ar­ti­san­ship and in­no­va­tion.

The gas­tro­nomic fes­ti­val spanned four des­ti­na­tions in Asia, kick­ing off in Sin­ga­pore be­fore mak­ing its way to Osaka, Hong Kong and Bei­jing. Each leg lasted three or four days, and fea­tured col­lab­o­ra­tive menus dreamed up by Miche­lin‑starred chefs and bar­tenders from the group’s ho­tels across the re­gion.

On No­vem­ber 22, gour­mands de­scended upon the third stop: The Ritz‑carl­ton, Hong Kong, which took the Stel­lar Din­ing Se­ries more than sev­eral notches up – lit­er­ally. Oc­cu­py­ing lev­els 102 through 118 of the 484m‑tall In­ter­na­tional Com­merce Cen­tre ( icc) in Kowloon, it is the high­est ho­tel in the world, with all 312 of its guest rooms of­fer­ing amaz­ing views of the city and har­bour.

TWO HANDS ARE GOOD, BUT FOUR ARE BET­TER

It was at Tin Lung Heen, the ho­tel’s two‑miche­lin‑starred Chi­nese restau­rant, that the 4 Hands Din­ner with chefs Paul Lau and Shin­taro Miyazaki, of Tin Lung Heen and Azure 45 in The Ritz‑carl­ton, Tokyo re­spec­tively, was served. The six‑course menu, fea­tur­ing sig­na­tures from

both, pre­sented the best of Can­tonese and French cuisines.

Kick­ing things off was a dou­ble bill of tuna carpac­cio by chef Lau and steamed pi­geon egg with fresh truf­fle by chef Miyazaki. Clean and ele­gant, they were a match made in gourmet heaven. Chef Lau’s triple tan­ta­liser of bar­be­cued pork with os­man­thus flower honey, fresh abalone sim­mered with sea salt, and deep-fried scal­lop with se­same sauce fol­lowed. Every­one at the ta­ble pol­ished off the last bite while mar­vel­ling at the in­ge­nious bal­ance and jux­ta­po­si­tion of rugged tex­tures and re­fresh­ing flavours.

If first im­pres­sions lasted, they didn’t do so for long, as ev­ery course hence­forth pre­sented fa­mil­iar favourites that de­lighted the palate. Chef Lau sent out his hearty dou­ble-boiled chicken soup with fish maw, served in a baby co­conut husk, and garoupa fil­let with bird’s nest sim­mered in lobster bisque, both of which are must-eats for fans of Tin Lung Heen.

Chef Miyazaki, mean­while, re­de­fined suc­cu­lence with del­i­cate flair. His next two dishes, steamed blue lobster with pear, tonka bean and fin­ger lime, and Ja­panese Wagyu beef fil­let with egg­plant and date vine­gar, kept us busy. We re­quired the least per­sua­sion to give the Wagyu a go – it was so soft, it melted quickly in the mouth. That was easy!

By the time his lovely dessert – mas­car­pone mousse with cof­fee and pas­sion fruit – made its ap­pear­ance, it was past 10pm, but every­one was de­ter­mined to stay put. Light on the lips, it glided down smoothly. “I’m so full, but this is yummy!” the lady op­po­site me squealed. I shot her a look

– not be­cause I thought her be­hav­iour un­be­com­ing at a for­mal din­ner, but be­cause I was try­ing to sup­press a burp. Yes, dar­ling, me too, I tried to say with my eyes.

MIX MASTERS

The Ritz-carl­ton, Hong Kong is also home to the world’s high­est ho­tel bar, Ozone, which oc­cu­pies level 118 of the

icc. And it was there we ad­journed to for Au­tumn Sips, where Os­car Mena, the Mex­i­can master mixol­o­gist helm­ing Ozone, joined forces with Ken­taro Wada, the award­win­ning Head Bar­tender at The Ritz-carl­ton, Tokyo, to present to us a quin­tet of ex­clu­sive cock­tails led by Fly Me To Hong Kong (te­quila, Man­darine Napoleon, mikan, car­rot and yuzu juice, and or­ange bit­ters) and Rit­zolo­gie (jun­mai ginjo sake, Chita whisky, co­conut syrup and shiso).

Adding a dash of artistry to the Hong Kong leg was Masa­tada Hosokawa, the choco­latier from The Ritz-carl­ton, Osaka. At the Choco­late Af­ter­noon Tea at The Lounge & Bar, he pa­tiently demon­strated how to cre­ate his won­drous “zero-grav­ity” sweets. But while we oohed and aa­hed at his craft, noth­ing left us more ex­hil­a­rated than nib­bling at those very-pretty dark squares. Let’s hope the 10 peo­ple who at­tended his Choco­late Mas­ter­class fared bet­ter.

Blue Lobster Roasted, Spicy Sauce, Turnip Abalone Baked In Its Broth, White Wine Cream With LiverLeft: Chef Shin­taro Miyazaki and his team at work for The Ritz-carl­ton’s Stel­lar Din­ing Se­ries.

“Zero- grav­ity” choco­late

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