I believe I’ve found the most romantic place to dine in Hong Kong.
The ultimate candle-lit dinner date place, but also host of the homiest and grandest of yuletide celebrations, The Verandah is fully booked months in advance for holidays like Valentine’s and Christmas.
Fronting and part of The Repulse Bay Hotel (from the same group as The Peninsula), the restaurant is of nostalgic old-style colonial architecture; massive arched windows overlook the sea beyond the well-manicured front lawns. Walking up to the white marble front steps made me feel like I was going back in time, or paying a visit to friends with perfect lives in some chalet in the French countryside.
The interiors were even better – you can feel the sea breeze in your hair as you enjoy the fantastic food and atmosphere:
I was there for the Semi Buffet Set Lunch – as soon as I walked in, I immediately regretted the small dress I was wearing as I experienced a strong foreshadowing of food babies following my valiant attack on the appetizer and dessert buffets. I should start getting into garterized waists given my increasing number of food forays in this city. Despite my preparation (by not eating dinner the night before or breakfast that morning), there was no preparing for the amount of yummy food I was able to consume.
Let’s start with the Appetiser Buffet.
What was great:
- Red bean and corn salad with kebab sausage, cumin dressing
- Assorted cold cuts
- Caesar’s Salad (they mix it for you)
- Marinated salmon with lemon, dill, and pink peppercorn
- Roasted beetroot with chives and garlic oil (vegetarian) – I’m not a beetroot person but others would probably like this
- Pasta salad with tuna and olives (the tuna was yum but the pasta felt more like rubbery rice)
I missed a few platters on the buffet, but this is a testament to how much variety there actually was!
A separate appetiser, which was probably the best soup I’ve ever had in my life, was the Bisque of Boston Lobster garnished with a lobster wonton. Rich and creamy, full of flavour and with the perfect added texture and Asian-touch of the lobster wonton…
And then in a master-chef-like show beside our table, the Ground raw lean of Australian OBE organic Angus beef tenderloin was prepared. I’m not a huge fan of eating raw beef, but it was pretty cool to see the way the waiter incorporated the seasonings without cooking the meat. He added raw egg yolk to make the meat smooth and juicier, and then raised and smashed the meat repeatedly to let the meat absorb the yolk. The smashing also apparently removed the moistness from the meat…
If you order this, you have the following seasonings (more or less) to choose from (to mix and match depending on your tastes):
- mustard dijon
- olive oil
- Tabasco sauce
- Worcestershire sauce
The Verandah Seafood Mixed Grill would probably be the best-in-value main course you could choose, what with all these on your plate:
- Lobster medallion
- organic Irish salmon
- fish fillet
- black mussels
- king prawn and scallops on roasted ratte potatoes
- green asparagus
…all on tarragon mousseline sauce
My order was fantastic, but on my already-full stomach, I wasn’t able to fully appreciate the extremely rich Tournedos Rossini:
It was such a shame, but I really couldn’t finish it!! Steak topped with foie gras though… a heart attack waiting to happen.
Seeing as I was bursting at this point, I was only able to nibble on small bits of each dessert:
So what else was in the dessert buffet?
- Fresh fruit platter and assorted mixed berries (the healthy option)
- Raspberry mousse cake (really, I wasn’t expecting it but it was soooo good!)
- Bread and butter pudding
I DIDN’T TRY (TOO STUFFED):
- Black forest cake
- Choux pastry with hazelnut creme patissiere
- Apple tart
And that’s it for my review of The Verandah! Perfect setting, great food – sooo much assortment – a must-go for special occasions. 🙂
Semi Buffet Set Lunch (Wed-Sat)
2/3 Courses at $358/$378 per person
Three courses at $428 per person (Saturday)
Including unlimited serving of souffles (?)