Being a 2 star michelin restaurant, Amber certainly did not disappoint. Amber is located inside The Landmark. Central can be a quite complicated area as all the malls are somehow connected and at times we are not sure which mall we are actually in. Amber is inside Mandarin Oriental hotel and the entrance to the hotel from the mall isn't in a very obvious spot so we gave ourselves some time to find the restaurant.
We visited Hong Kong last Christmas and we decided to try a Michelin restaurant. During Christmas time, malls in Hong Kong always have festive decoration and this was the decoration inside Landmark.
We made reservation for 3 course lunch for $548HKD/ per person. We got seated quick quickly and I have to say the service was impeccable. The menu changes every season.
After we got our drinks, the waiter took our orders very quickly. We were then served by another waiter with various bread options.
Soon after, the waiter brought over several amuse bouche for starter. The first is what looks like a lollipop but it's actually a cherry coated foie gras with a slice of beets. This is their signature amuse bouche. Both of us are not fans of foie gras. It would not be something we would order. To my surprise, the two components actually went very well together. The foie gras inside is mousse like texture and melts in your mouth. The cherry flavour was quite strong which overpowered the foie gras flavour sightly. I still enjoyed it because the foie gras flavour wasn't that strong. I don't like the gaminess of foie gras.
Amuse-Bouche: foie gras lollipop coated with cherry
Then we had this bite size lemongrass crab roll. I really enjoyed this. The crab flavour was strong and the roll was quite crunchy. The lemongrass added another texture to the crab and brought it to another level. It was fried perfectly, not burnt but just right that you can bite into it and there would not be flakes falling out from the shell.
Amuse-Bouche: Lemongrass crab roll
This was a pork croquette. We were warned by the waiter to eat this in one bite as there would be juices coming out. The juices in there were still slightly hot so be careful when you eat this. The breaded shell was really delicious as the shell was not too thick and the shell was fried perfectly. This was a very interesting dish, though I have to say I like the other two amuse bouches better.
Amuse-Bouche: Pork Croquette
For appetizer, I ordered the oysters with green apples, pickled cucumber, greens and yoghurt. First, I have to say the presentation is awesome, there are so many elements in each dish that whenever it is served, Calvin and I took a while to admire the presentation and the elements of each dish.
Vancouver is known for fresh oysters. So coming to HK, I wanted to see what the oysters in HK would taste like in a 2 star michelin restaurant. I have to say I still like the oysters in Vancouver better because it is fresher but the combination of flavours added freshness to the dish with the apples, cucumbers and yoghurt. It was definitely a very refreshing dish to start the meal.
Appetizer: Royal Cabanon Oysters - served over pickled kyuri cucumber jell-O, greek 'hung' yogurt, fresh green apple sorbet
Calvin had the chicken terrine. I am not a fan of terrine so I didn't really like it. I ate it with the bread and it was really good. Right balance of flavours and the chicken jus is just so clarified as you can tell with the picture. The parsley jel didn't have much flavour to it.
Appetizer: Challan corn-fed chicken - galantine over poultry jell-O with italian parsley gel, country bread 'tartine' with chicken jus & virgin hazelnut oil
As I mentioned above, I am not a fan of foie gras because of its gaminess. When I was deciding on which dish to get for my main, I asked the waiter as I wasn't sure what to get. The waiter said he really liked the pigeon, so even though it has foie gras in it, I decided to give it a try. The presentation may not look as fancy as the other dishes, but there is still lots of detail. There are 3 pigeon legs on the apple and the legs were so juicy. The legs were smaller than the ones Chinese people would normally eat.
So this was basically pigeon breast crusted with foie gras and this dish was so good. I never thought I would say this, but this dish made me love foie gras. Because the foie gras was pan seared, it basically melted in my mouth and took away the gaminess I was already afraid of. The breast was obviously very juicy but to me, the foie gras definitely stole the show here. I was savouring the foie gras with every bite.
Sorry for the disgusting picture, but wanted to show what the inside looked like. You can see the breast underneath the foie gras crust. As you can see, I couldn't stop eating and was pretty much devouring the whole dish. I didn't mention the apples in the dish because I didn't care for them after I started eating the breast. I have to mention the jus was really good though, has very strong pigeon flavour and rendered to very clear.
Calvin had the fish. He was debating between the seabass and pollack. Since both of us never tried pollack before, that was what he chose. We both agreed that that was the best fish we've ever had. The fish was cooked to perfection; it was super flaky. The meat just falls off. The skin was super crispy. The four cylinders around the fish were potatoes with leek and parsley. The potatoes added another texture to the dish. They also cooked that to perfection. They were not too hard nor too soft.
Main: line caught pollack - oasted on crispy sour dough bread, organic lemon peel
new potatoes, cockles, leek & italian parsley
After main, we were given this palette cleanser which reminded me of Haagen Daz ice cream bar. It was definitely very refreshing to our palette although the coconut flavour wasn't very strong.
Palette cleanser: Chocolate dipped coconut ice cream bar
Again, great presentation. What caught my attention was the extra virgin olive oil caviar. I never thought to include olive oil in a dessert. I tried the olive oil with the dessert but I couldn't really taste it as olive oil though it was an interesting taste. The pear was poached nicely with the wine and the sorbet complimented the pear very well.
Dessert: William Pear - poached in fragrant spiced shiraz red wine, black current sorbet & extra virgin olive oil caviar
Calvin had the chestnut. The pastry was really flaky and crispy to a point where it was quite difficult to cut through and have a bite. The ice cream was really smooth. Comparing the two dessert, I actually liked the pear better though. I don't think I would order this again though because I didn't find it to be that spectacular.
Dessert: chestnut - ice-cream with a brown rum ‘diplomat’ cream served as a ‘faux
mille-feuille’ with black currant coulis
Lastly, our meal ended with petite four and all of them looked so delicate. They had cream puffs, macaron, marshmallow, etc. It was a great way to end the meal.
Overall, I was very pleased with the quality of food and service at Amber. I will definitely come back if I have the chance. I would recommend this place anyone and this is definitely a restaurant worthy of 2 michelin stars.