Restaurant Review

Review: Amber

A few days ago, on my birthday, we decided to visit Amber, the two star Michelin restaurant in the Landmark Mandarin Oriental. Chef Richard Ekkebus serves contemporary French cuisine. In June the Landmark menu revolved around black truffles and the Degustations menu combined French delicacies like foie gras with an Asian twist of sea urchin and langoustine.

We decided to go with a la carte dishes, just because we knew that the five or eight course menu would just be too much. We were right, the portions were quite big, plus we had three different kitchen greetings and a big box of petit fours at the end, which really filled us! I don’t know how the people surrounding us managed to eat their way through the menus, but I was so full after our two courses and all the extras, I am glad we did not order more.

We started with a few kitchen greetings. The first two were a set of parmesan balls (light dough, crispy outside, filled with light cream) and a small baked shell filled with a salmon cream. Both very tiny, just to pop into your mouth while you read the menu. We then had foie gras lollipop covered in beetroot and raspberry gelee on a stick, followed by a tiny croquette ball also filled with a nice herbal cream.

For the starters, Patrick had picked the grilled foie gras and it came with little balsamic onions and some leaves. I had a langoustine, which was half-rare and very soft. It was served cold with tomatoes and a refreshing light dressing (I could taste tomato, lemon but there must have been more ingredients). The contrast in texture was perfect, soft fish, and little tomatoes that still had some crunch. All very nicely presented but we did not take any pictures at that stage.

This changed when the mains came out and these were the highlights of the evening. Patrick had a fantastic pigeon, medium-rare. The meat was so soft and it tasted lovely gamey, but not too strong. I had a sea bass with heirloom tomatoes and courgettes, plus some tiny squid pieces. Very light and refreshing again – the fish was cooked to perfection. We cleaned our plates easily!

For dessert we only had a coffee each and then shared the big box of petit fours which included everything from chocolate madeleines to small eclairs, fresh caramel, chocolate, nuts and they were all very yummy. Again, a great mixture of different textures.

Amber
7/F, Landmark Mandarin Oriental, 15 Queens Road Central, Central
Tel. 2132 0066

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