This review is not for the faint-hearted. And neither is Caviar Kaspia’s menu. Before you step foot in this place, be sure you check it out and, more importantly, your bank balance. The Bluebell Group, which owns many luxury fashion brands in Asia, has brought Caviar Kaspia from Paris to The Landmark, where they are trying to capture the hearts and wallets of the same kind of crowd - although I doubted they would have predicted the market crash and the growing trend for customer s to read the prices before ordering.
Case in point: a baked potato with Beluga caviar will cost you $3,024. A duo of Oscietre caviars will run to $6,070 for 80g while a taste of Sevruga (25g) will hit you for $1,892. And then there is the $10,852 empire set menu for two.
Once the initial shock subsides, you begin to realise there is not actually that much to eat here. A few offerings of smoked fish, some egg dishes, caviar by the gram and salads. And that is all. The cool-toned dining room with its dark wood, angular furniture, and white linen looks relatively formal but the open space cries out for casual dining. No one willing to pay these prices would want to be on display for shoppers to gawk at - although the space is exactly built for that purpose. If only logic had followed through.
I was accompanied to the restaurant by two half-blood Russians (I figured two halves made a whole). A blini the size of a grown man’s hand, filled with Russian salmon caviar ($212), was built table-side. First, the warm blini was plated, anointed with a spoonful of clarified butter and then topped with a generous helping of liquid-filled salmon pearls. The Russians told me to fold the blini like a taco and bite. And that is just what I did. It was literally bursting with flavour. The butter rounded out the salmon roe and, at the same time, softened the warm blini. I imagine it would be 100 times better with the Oscietre Royal caviar but then that is 100 times more expensive.
An assorted platter of smoked fish ($392) arrived. Wild Norwegian smoked salmon, eel, sturgeon and tuna were also sandwiched on blinis but garnished with a large dollop of mild horseradish. We ate and ate and ate. It doesn’t sound like a lot of food, but these blinis were filling.
Last to arrive were the Eggs Benedict with imperial Baeri caviar ($840). Hmm. They need a little work on this one. First, a thick hollandaise that looked like it was curdling was poured onto the plate. Second, the bread on which the chef had perched the poached egg was too hard to be enjoyed in this combination. Third, we only counted 12 pearls of caviar on each of the two poached eggs, which could not possibly justify the insane cost of this dish. How on earth can they get away with charging eggs Benedict for $840 in the current climate? It was, however, a perfectly poached egg. The yolk coated the bread, a hard sourdough, and the little pellets of caviar gave it a bit of salt, but not too much.
A realistic price adjustment to the entire menu and some atmosphere are urgently needed; at the moment Caviar Kaspia has the complacent soundtrack of the mall playing inside their open-concept shop. They also seem to be having a bit of an identity crisis. They’d love to be a destination restaurant for fine caviar, but expensive caviar in these times is not enough. The place needs a scene; it needs a crowd to bring in the crowd. It needs soul.
Shop 237, 2/F, The Landmark, 15 Queen’s Rd, Central, Central, 2905 1960. Daily 10am-10pm.
Egg Benedict $840
Assorted smoked fish platter $392
Russian salmon eggs $212
Ten per cent service charge $150
|Venue name:||Caviar Kaspia (Closed)|
Shop 237, 2/F, The Landmark, 15 Queens Rd, Central