Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Restaurant Review: Mandarin Grill

Location: Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Central
Type of food: grill
Rating: ***** (5 out of 5)

Mandarin Grill is hands down my favorite restaurant in the city. It is the perfect “special occasion” restaurant to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries. A meal there will blow a hole in your wallet. To give you an idea, an entrée sets you back around $700 and even a bottle of Pellegrino costs $100. Be prepared to spend at least $1,500 per head even if you order the cheapest bottle of wine and skip dessert. Other than the heart-stopping price tag, however, it is all good.

Sophisticated staff serving in a sophisticated environment

Mandarin Grill is one of the very few restaurants in Hong Kong that gets everything right. Well trained, non-intrusive and knowledgeable about the menu, the all-male staff serve to please and are pleased to serve. The décor, with its wood paneled walls and lush carpeting, is tasteful and nostalgic. The restaurant has a dress code but they are relaxed about it, especially at dinner time when they don’t need to keep up the "power lunch" appearances.

Dramatic appetizer: The Book

For appetizer, order “The Book.” The selection of steamed vegetables is arranged in the form of a miniature spring garden inside a porcelain cookbook. For entrée you must try their signature roast beef. The meat is cooked to perfection, so tender that it literally melts in your mouth. It also goes well with any full-bodied Bordeaux, even the cheapest one on the wine list. The waiter will roll the serving cart to your table and slice you a piece from the loaf depending on your preference of rareness. The restaurant is generous with the portions and so don’t hesitate to ask for as big as a piece as you like. By the time you finish that hunk of red meat you likely won't have any room left in your stomach for dessert. That’s why I suggest that you skip it altogether and simply enjoy the free petit four: dark chocolates infused with black truffles. It is delicious and unlike anything you have tried before.

Black truffle-infused chocolates

So next time you have a reason to celebrate, treat yourself and your loved ones to Mandarin Grill. You are guaranteed great food, great service and a great time. You won’t regret it.

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