The fourth level of One Pacific Place in Admiralty has always been a tricky spot to pull the punters in. Though it’s home to fancy hotel lobbies – JW Marriott and Upper House sit pretty on this floor – the actual foot traffic for retail outlets and restaurants has always been hit-and-miss. Case in point is the enigmatic space that Domani used to occupy. Many knew it was there. But it seldom seemed to be full of Italian food lovers. Taking over Domani’s space, though, in a bid to buck the trend, is Swire Hotels’ The Continental restaurant. Surprisingly it hasn’t undergone a complete facelift but, rather, a cosmetic touch-up. The ceiling design by Thomas Heatherwick has remained unchanged but the lighting and colour scheme has been tweaked, creating a brighter, airier ambience.
The menu – designed by consultant chef Rowley Leigh – is cheekily self-described as ‘Anglais/French’, with items like fish pie ($165), omelette ($85), choucroute Alsacienne ($225), oysters ($195-$360) and fresh choi sum ($45) – just to mix things up – in the lineup. Chef Leigh said in a recent interview with us that it’s all about the ‘customer experience’ – and it is, down to the extensive beverage list that serves cocktails, bourbons and wines, which perfectly suits the office crowd in search of a tipple around happy hour.
We begin by digging into the griddled scallops with chestnut purée, shiso and lemon ($195). The zesty lemon rinds and shiso counterbalance the rich purée, leaving the briny aroma of scallops on the palate. Good start – but we’re left wishing there was more than just three pieces on the plate. Next up we go for the chicken and goats’ cheese mousse ($125), served with some toasty charred bread. The goat flavour is mild but fragrant and suitable for novices to the combination.
For mains we sink our teeth into the Swiss cheese and bacon burger ($195). We love the brioche bun that holds its integrity even with an extremely juicy, not-too-fatty patty inside. The star of the evening, though, is the snapper with citrus fruits ($225). It’s grilled to a soft crispness and the citrus reduction sitting at the bottom of the plate is lightly refreshing and tangy, working well alongside the fish.
Lastly we plump for the chocolate soufflé ($115), served with a dollop of pistachio ice cream. The waiter skilfully pierces the surface of the cake with the ice cream, letting it melt instantly, and then pours the silky chocolate sauce on top. It’s rich, gooey and ends our meal on a satisfying note.
We like the variety on offer at The Continental. All the dishes are solid in regards to flavour and presentation. They’re not trying to break any new culinary ground here but maybe that’s just what the neighbourhood needs – somewhere charming, easy and effective. We predict an increase in footfall up on level four. Lisa Cam
The Continental Unit 406, L4, One Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, 2704 5211; thecontinentalhongkong.com. Dinner for two: $1,200.
|Venue name:||The Continental|
Unit 406, L4, One Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty