Hosting floors of local bars and dark clubs, Tiffan Tower isn’t exactly where one would expect to find a fine-dining French restaurant. But despite its obscure location, Mirror has already become one of the hottest new dining destinations in town. And the man behind the weeks-long waiting list is executive chef and co-owner Jeremy Biasiol, an Alain Ducasse protégé whose culinary street cred includes years of experience working in Michelin-starred kitchens around the world.
Behind a nondescript white door that opens straight into the 40-seater restaurant, this cosy, low-ceilinged space appears more like the dimmed down dining room of a (rich) friend’s apartment. The barriers between diners and chefs have been stripped down, and from the turquoise dining chairs guests can watch as Biasiol busies himself in the open kitchen at the front of the room.
Currently open only in the evenings, dinner at Mirror is set to a five- or six-course degustation menu that changes on a weekly basis. Nightly, market-driven blackboard specials are also available. On the night of our visit, we started with the scallop tartare topped with lemon vinaigrette baby greens and two small blobs of fragrant black truffle oil. The tangy-sweet citrus was a nice foil to the scallops and highlighted the creamy freshness of the sea mollusc.
Following the tartare was a layered concoction served in a martini glass with a small silver spoon. The bottom of the glass was padded with a brightly flavoured tomato concassé (finely chopped seeded, skinless tomatoes) flecked with shreds of crabmeat and topped with a thick blanket of broccoli cream (on a side note, Mirror doesn’t use dairy cream in their recipes for health reasons). There was a slight imbalance to the dish with the aggressive broccoli cream overtaking the delicious and delicately sweet flavours of the tomatoes and crab.
Appetiser number three continued the seafood theme. A white plate was presented before us, studded with three grey-specked pellets, which our waiter explained to be black truffle gnocchi topped with chopped chestnuts. The plate was quickly flooded with a perfectly seasoned and thoroughly delicious velvety shrimp velouté. While the truffle gnocchi added a musky, aromatic depth to the broth, the potato dumplings lacked a much-needed al dente edge that could have elevated the dish to another level.
With mains, we were offered a choice between fish and poultry. We went with the former, opting for the salmon with garlic cream, watercress sauce and potatoes cooked in lobster jus. Flavour wise, the three different liquids all paired beautifully with the different elements of the dish but the lack of contrasting textures made it difficult for this course to really develop in layers. Thankfully, the addition of chewy baby clams atop the salmon fillet added a welcome bit of bite to the course and gave the dish an interesting extra dimension.
Coffee (or tea, included in the degustation menu) and a dessert of poached apples on génoise rounded off the meal. Drizzled with caramel sauce and served with two thick swipes of vanilla cream, the dish could’ve been a potential toothache. But Biasiol reigned in the sweetness perfectly with the génoise, creating a dessert that was a sweet yet palate cleansing end to a full meal.
For a new restaurant, Mirror is still trying to find its niche and the dishes we sampled, though delicious, tasted a little too safe for a man of Biasiol’s talents. If the packed tables are anything to go by though, the restaurant is already on a steady road to success. But with a little more time, we’re sure Mirror will become an even clearer reflection of the team’s true potential.
6/F, Tiffan Tower, 197-199 Wan Chai Rd, Wan Chai, 2573 7288. Mon-Sat 6.30pm-11.30pm. $498 for five-course menu & $598 for
|Venue name:||Mirror (Closed)|
6/F, Tiffan Tower, 197-199 Wan Chai Rd, Wan Chai