Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Pierre. Pierre Gagnaire in Hong Kong

In these past couple of trips to Hong Kong, my family and I have come back to the Mandarin Oriental.  This is sort of a nostalgic place for myself and my family.  This was the first hotel I stayed in when I first traveled to Hong Kong in the late 90s.  And, in its 50 year history, both my grandfather and mom are loyal MOHK (Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong) "fans".  So it's a special place for me as a third generation MOHK fan.  

One benefit in staying at a nice hotel is the access and proximity to the hotel's restaurants.  At a place like MOHK, you can't go wrong with any of them because they are all top notch.

Because of summer rains, we opted out of our dinner at Cataluyna and were more inclined to stay indoors and nearby.  With the help of the concierge (which is another fantastic perk of higher end hotels because of their professionalism and connections), we managed to get a table at the hotel's French restaurant.

Pierre.  As in Pierre Gagnaire's restaurant on the 25th floor of the MOHK.  After years of being spoiled in San Francisco, NYC, and Europe with rich meals from French chefs, I tend not to be inclined towards classic French cuisine.  But, this time, I was eager to check out Pierre because for this particular weekend Chef Gagniere himself was in town to introduce his Summer Tasting menu.  In fact, prior to ordering he came out to personally great all the tables.  At our table he graciously shook our hands and more than willingly accepted our request for a photo opp.  Such a nice guy!  And because of that, we proceeded to order his Summer Tasting Menu.

The tasting menu is not for the faint of heart.  And I mean that quite literally.  Wow, it's such a rich indulgence course after course.  I haven't felt that heavy after a meal in a long long time.  Classic French food...  If I were to order a few of the courses a la carte, the meal would have been easier to handle; but all 7 including the grand dessert was a feat.  I woke up the next morning feeling hungover from all that butter and cream.

The overall experience is a real indulgence.  You start the night with some amazing champagne paired with a fun display of amuse bouche courses across the table.  The individual dishes were all spectacular with the presentation and the execution.  But all together, with cream courses after butter courses after foie gras courses, was insanely rich.  If I were to come back, I would take it easy on my heart and go a la carte.

If you can't see the slide show here, check out my Flickr album: Pierre HK

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