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Two-Michelin-starred Amber is back, and it’s done away with butter and cream

Written by
Craig Sauers

Big news is afoot in the fine dining world. Amber, which has been of Hong Kong’s hottest tables since pretty much forever, is set to reopen this Thursday, May 2, after a four-month hiatus. And it’s stepping back into the light with a radical new concept.

In a nod to the needs and expectations of today's health-conscious diners, chef Richard Ekkebus has done away with dairy and cut down on sugar and salt. If you were wondering what a French restaurant will do without butter and cream, the answer is by utilising soy, rice, cereal and nut milk in place of dairy; fermentation and products like seaweed instead of salt; and agave, maple, honey and raw sugar in lieu of the white stuff.

Ekkebus has created a whopping 50 new dishes with this clean and natural culinary ethos. “My intention was to strip away artifice or gimmickry and enhance the dining experience by presenting seasonal dishes that are sublime in their subtlety,” he says. That approach in the kitchen is also reflected in Amber’s new interior design, which has been brought to life by New York-based designer Adam Tihany.

Less formal and more modern, the revamped design features warm, neutral colours and organic forms that soften the seriousness of the eating space. At the same time, curving low partitions create little pockets of privacy, so you can have an intimate experience instead of feeling as if you’re packed in with other diners.

At lunch, Amber now offers three, four or five-course menus, including vegetarian options. At dinner, you can choose from five, six or seven-course menus, as well as a full vegetarian option.  

Amber’s reopening isn’t the only thing happening at the Landmark Mandarin Oriental this May. In the middle of the month, the hotel is launching a new eight-seat restaurant called Kappo Rin. Expect a casual counter-dining experience that puts the spotlight on modern Japanese cuisine. 

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