If you’re tired from repeated workday cycles and yearning for a short sabbatical (vacation in a faraway place, please!), No chance of breaking out of pesky travel regulations when you walk in and out. get out of town. There is hope, however, in this week’s New Eats selection that travels across various continents for limited-time menus and seasonal services: French pastries at Bastard, Vietnamese feast at JAM Or dinner at Spanish champagne at MOTD, an Australian brunch with ocean views at Teinte and refined Italian comfort in Castellana.
Bastard welcomes new pastry chef Natalie Eng
Meet Natalie ing. The new pastry chef at Le Bâtard has joined forces with chef Aven Lau to recreate the refined and signature French comfort of the restaurant. Also from Singapore, Eng credits his classical French training to notable passages on his resume, including training at Alain Ducasse’s 3-star Meurice before graduating to craft the pastry menus for the modern foodie destination of Singapore, Sorrel and Neighbor Bakehouse from San Francisco. On local soil, she ran the Pan dessert menu with executive chef Edward Voon.
Eng’s pastries are often inspired by the natural world; his delicate creations, minimal and surprising in flavor. As she describes in her own words, “’My approach to desserts is focused on the technique and unique flavor profiles of desserts. I really enjoy working with ingredients that people aren’t quite familiar with, while also associating them with what the guests already know.
At Le Bâtard, she introduces four new items to the menu. Two pastries, first a Palmito, sugar puff pastry, thyme diplomat cream and chestnut honey, which looks like a palm tree; and the second, a reinvention of the classic Paris-Brest. Simplified into a chouquette in one bite shaped like an applewood-smoked sphere, the sweet dome is filled with almond mousseline cream and praline, served over a bitter almond sorbet. Eng is also adding new petits fours –– Caramel Mou and Fleur De Sel –– as well as a new pre-dessert, Fior de Latte Gelato served with fig leaf oil infused 24 hours a day. more to get your way on the Bastard waiting list.
Bastard, 165-166 Connaught Road West, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, +852 2318 1802
“Taste of Vietnam” to Moi Moi
From a previous showcase on Uncle Quek’s Singaporean plates, this time JAM delves into the culinary stars of Vietnamese cuisine with the dedicated Moi Moi restaurant for a “Taste of Vietnam” (HK $ 160 / person) –– available until September 30. It will highlight seven regional dishes, prepared by Chef Dinh Dinh-Tuan, and will include everything from savory dishes from lesser-known regions of the Northern region to sweeter and spicier flavors from the South. Count us for the classics: Thịt Kho, braised pork belly served with egg and rice or Bún Trộn Thịt Gà, grilled chicken rice vermicelli, and certainly won’t miss the crispy crisp of the filleted spring rolls (Chả Giò) or coffee creme caramel pudding (Banh Flan Cà Phê)
JAM, lobby, Nexxus building, 41 Connaught Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2808 1086
MOTD ‘Under the C’ Champagne Pairing Menu by Chef Cam Wong
It’s not a single concept that defines MOTD, a self-proclaimed “private dining and event venue” located in Causeway Bay. Rather, that is the intention of his agenda. MOTD is what its host decides to be; free of limitations or restrictions. So, for a very special first RSRV champagne pairing experience, MOTD invites Chef Cam Wong, a professional fine art artist turned Spanish cook trained at Cordon Bleu, for an eight-course ocean-themed menu. : “Under the C”. It’s a delightful showcase of Chef Cam’s culinary know-how in handling Asian spices and ingredients, skills she has carefully honed in Catalonia, A Side / B Side and Bo.Lan in Bangkok.
With a distinct Spanish influence and obvious nods to its nautical theme, the menu is topped with dishes designed to bring out the natural sweetness of three pairs of RSRV champagne: Blanc de Blancs 2012, Blanc de Noirs 2009 and Cuvée 4.5. Pumpkin smash with cream cheese, sprinkled with Katsuo Shuto finish and garlic; the seared MOE pork collar served with an orange sabayon sauce and the simmered octopus served with an oolong sauce flavored with a hit of Sichuan pepper, are such dishes.
“Under the C” (HK $ 1,280; with additional HK $ 388 for the RSRV champagne pairing) is available September 16-18 and September 23-25. Reservations can be made here.
MOTD, 1 / F, Union Park Tower, 168 Electric Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, +852 2335 5333
Hue Australian Spring Brunch
As we enthusiastically welcome crisp fall breezes and swap richer palates and more hearty meals, Hue, the modern Australian restaurant perched on the edge of Victoria Harbor, basks in light flavors and a fresh spring vibe. Serving up Australian spring brunch alongside the opposing southern hemisphere climates, the menu is a refreshing celebration of the region’s springtime staples. On generous plates to share, enjoy ham and pea croquettes, pan-fried scallops and fresh burrata. Potato gnocchi with asparagus and wild mushrooms. Roasted hamachi with chicory and Te Mana lamp rump served with baba ghanoush, mint peas and dill potatoes. Located in the perfect location for those who are not yet ready to leave the sunshine season.
Hue’s Australian Spring Brunch (HK $ 450 / person; with an additional HK $ 360 for 2 hours of free flow) is available from September 18 to October 24 on Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. reservations can be made on +852 3500 5888.
Hue, 1 / F, Hong Kong Museum of Art, 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, +852 3500 5888
Castellana unveils a new autumn menu “Travel around the world”
Since opening as Hong Kong’s first Piedmont restaurant two years ago, Castellana has remained a staple throughout the city for fine Italian food that prides itself on quality ingredients sourced from Italy’s Piedmont region. Now that the fall season is fast approaching, the restaurant continues its unwavering commitment with a brand new version of its basic “Voyage Around the World” menu starting in mid-September.
Take a six- or eight-course table, with the option of all Italian food and wine pairings, and savor the simple platters of Chef Fabiano Palombini. Tartufo sandwich, a terrine of foie gras, salted egg yolk and pan-fried black truffle with pan-fried homemade brioche. Sicilian red shrimp tartare from the seas of Mazara del Vallo and pumpkin and lobster gnocchi from Hokkaido. An “Egg Emotion Risotto” that transforms the creamy serving into a photogenic disc topped with a dollop of egg yolk whipped with crème fraîche and Grana Padano and a quenelle of pressed Petrossian caviar. And for a nice finish, a slowly cooked “Hasselback apple” poached in Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc and maple syrup served with Varlhona Opalys “snow” white chocolate.
Castellana’s “Voyage Around the World – Fall Edition” menu is available as six (HK $ 1,280) or eight courses, with a wine pairing available at an additional price.
Castellana, 10 / F Cubus, 1 Hoi Ping Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, +852 3188 5028
Header image courtesy of MOTD, “Under the C” by Chef Cam Wong