Monday, April 17, 2017
PaGA 2017: Day 22 Hong Kong
My breakfast at the Marriott SkyCity was on the lighter side, for I have a Michelin 3-Star lunch planned at L'Atelier:
The Hong Kong transportation options are over the top. The shuttle took me back to the airport, where I caught the Airport Express into Central Station, a roundtrip cost of $13. I could have walked to the MTR mass transit system, but I was advised the best way into town was the AE. It was a 24-minute ride, including two stops. The station is almost adjacent to the Landmark buildings. Here are some scenes when I went around the block:
I noticed a whiskey outlet:
I asked for a Lagavulin, mostly because they specialized in scotch from Islay. However, she said this whiskey is only produced in limited quantities, but had me taste test four different peaty single malts. Well fortified for lunch, I thanked her.
L'Atelier has its very own elevator:
I appeared ten minutes early, but they sat me anyway. Another reason why a cane can be helpful.
I met with Chef de Cuisine Adriano Cattaneo, Chief Sommelier Terence Lun and Restaurant Manager Anthony Fung, who gave me a copy of the latest Michelin Hong Kong / Macau. They have earned 3 stars for three years now, and the place is ten years old:
I might have irritated Terence, for I remarked that the French red he served had a good nose, but an awkward aftertaste. However, I became great friends with Adriano, for he snuck in a couple of extra special dishes. I started with a Kir Royale (I need to avoid this, for this drink cost $35 in both L'Ateliers). Came two amusements:
The first one I don't remember, but the second was a stunning combination of caviar, tempura and assorted other delicacies. Easily, this was the best pre-dish I've ever had in my life.
Next was caramelized frogs legs on creamy spelt (a type of wheat) risotto:
Wow! My best frogs legs ever. The only negative is that every time I have this dish I see in my mind that New Yorker cartoon of frogs leaving a frogs legs factory on those flat carts with four wheels.
Next came another two additions, thanks to Adriano:
A crispy on the outside sea bass, I think, but the artistry, too....and a creamy soup, maybe.
Then a Le Fois Gras soup:
My gosh, these were large chunks of foie gras, each tasting of perfection.
By the time my Le Canard (grilled Challans duck breast) arrived, with mashed potato, I was already supersaturated.
I did remark to Adriano that the duck was a bit tough, but, perhaps, it was my appetite that skewed my attitude.
I still had one more course left, but asked them to please box the cheese with some bread, so I could have it with the bottle of Fortant, a French Cabernet Sauvignon, which the hotel gave me.
After I returned, I took a nap and woke up just in time to make the Executive Lounge cocktail period, where I secured my favorite table protected from the setting sun, but still viewable. I just had a white wine and took this photo:
Here is Queenie, the Guest Relations Manager in the lounge, who was very helpful to me I would place her Executive Club among the very best in the world. In competition would be the Tokyo Westin (Tokyo), Marriott Nagoya, Marriott Marquis (Bangkok), Saigon Sheraton Tower, and....Sheraton Waikiki. The Ritz-Carlton Tokyo Club Lounge doesn't qualify, for you need to pay $800 to stay in one of their Club rooms to gain entrance.
Finally, my in-room dinner:
Tomorrow, off to Seoul on Asiana.