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Amber shines on Hong Kong

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The first course of the degustation, the signature Sea Urchin, was enough to justify my trip. The presentation made this dish strikingly memorable – a sea urchin shell elevated by a bowl of ice with a shiny caviar spoon on the side. I knew this would be a winner by simply imagining the marriage of creamy sea urchin and velvety cauliflower mousse. Chef Ekkebus further enhanced this combination with a layer of lobster jello before crowning it with a quenelle of caviar and a gold leaf. He cleverly served a seaweed waffle on the side, providing a crispy texture to the dish. Each component had its flair on my palate, but it was the harmony of all these elements that perpetuated in my mind. No wonder this is one of his signature courses!

The fish course brought another dimension to my experience as the confit of salmon was enclosed by smoke! Once the cover was removed, we were surrounded by a sensational smokiness, a lovely fragrance to accompany the Tasmanian salmon, which had a remarkably creamy texture. The meal continued with more signature dishes. Although I usually prefer my seafood to be simple, I was impressed by how Chef Ekkebus managed to incorporate many intense flavours on the same plate without sacrificing the originality of the seafood. The arrangement of red amadai, fennel, orange, and potato with a powerful bouillabaisse sauce, or the composition of scallop, ham, and pumpkin gnocchi with a deep truffle sauce – it was these complex yet well balanced seafood courses that captured the true beauty of Amber!

Chef Ekkebus continued to indulge my taste buds with a rich roasted foie gras paired with an acidic red cabbage coulis finished by a touch of fruitiness from the sweet apple. The meat course consisted of little pieces of tender venison with beetroots and cherries scattered over a bed of onion purée. As Chef Ekkebus uses only the finest ingredients, it was no surprise that all the cheese on his trolley was matured by Bernard Antony. The cheese followed by a chocolate soufflé made from one of my favourite Grands Crus, Valrhona Abinao, an 85% cacao using beans from Africa. A powerful finale to this exceptional degustation menu!