December 29, 2014

Hong Kong - Thanksgiving at Cafe Causette

Ooey gooey cheesy bread

San Daniele Ham, Burrata, Beetroot Crisps, Peach, Rye Croutons, Candied Walnuts

Warm Ricotta, Lavender, Honeycombs, Walnut, Wood Sorrel, Figs

Cured Beetroot Salmon, Salmon Caviar, Potato Crisp

Pumpkin Soup

 Classic Roasted Turkey, Stuffing, Cranberry Sauce

Honey Glazed Ham, Roasted, Pumpkin, Potato

Slow Braised Pork Cheek, Mashed Pumpkin, Red Wine, Gravy

Roasted Potato, Creamed Brussels Sprout, Glazed Carrots
Salted Caramel Layer Chocolate Cake

Classic Pecan Pie, Pumpkin Chocolate Tiramisu

Apple Pie, Ice Cream

Review: A non-traditional Thanksgiving meal with my girls - thanks Yuls for picking the restaurant! Thanksgiving isn't huge here in Hong Kong, but a lot of restaurants do have Thanksgiving-themed dinners during that week. Cafe Causette offered a buffet style multi-course meal, served tableside. You can order refills for any dish, which they will bring to your table. We started with warm cheesy bread with pesto dipping sauce. The appetizers arrived promptly. The classic combo of San Daniele ham and creamy burrata was elevated by the warm caramelised peaches and the crunch from the candied walnuts. The beetroot-cured salmon was beautifully presented alongside the ricotta, lavender, olive oil caviar and fresh figs - such pretty colours! All the flavours worked well together. We also had traditional Thanksgiving turkey with stuffing and cranberry sauce, honey glazed ham and sweet potato mash. The turkey and ham arrived at our table pre-carved. The turkey was surprisingly moist, and the honey ham was tender and had well-balanced flavours of sweet and savoury. As for the desserts, I liked the pecan pie with its perfect buttery crust the most. Each serving was very generous and we were too stuffed to order any refills. The leftover turkey and ham (being el cheapo of course I took everything home) made a great breakfast sandwich the next morning. I am thankful for great friends and great meals, as always.

Cafe Causette
Address: M/F, Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, 5 Connaught Road, Central, Hong Kong
Phone: 2825-4005
Hours: Mon-Sun 6:30am-11:45pm

December 2, 2014

Hong Kong - Neighborhood

Wagyu Tartare

Buttered Tagliolini

Food photos are a must!

Bone Marrow Risotto

Potato Gnocchi with Iberico Ham and Parmesan

Cheese Selection

Chocolate Palette

Vanilla Ice Cream

Complimentary canelés to end the night

Review: For our first taste of Alba white truffles this year, Big and Small picked Neighborhood, a newly opened joint by Chef David Lai from Bistronomique and On Lot 10. The quaint and modern restaurant is situated next to a little park and quite hard to find at first. Once we were seated, we were presented with a bowl of "white diamonds" nestled on uncooked rice. We were like little kids at the candy store, so excited to pick our own truffle! Their truffles were HKD 26 a gram and weighed on a digital scale at the table. Our truffle was more than enough to go between the three of us. We were given a truffle shaver set to the thinnest setting and we shaved the truffle on everything except the cheese and chocolate dessert! I was recently told that white truffles are in fact very 熱氣 - you can actually get nose bleeds after consuming heavy white truffle meals! But I guess once a year won't do too much damage.

We liked the al-dente Buttered Tagliolini for its subtle flavours that let the white truffle shine. The Wagyu Tartare didn’t have an overly acidic dressing and the raw yolk brought a great texture to the dish. The Homemade Gnocchi with Iberico and Parmesan was light and fluffy but could’ve had more potato taste. The Bone Marrow Risotto had large chunks of delicious fatty marrow throughout and the herbs cut through the fattiness, but the rich flavours sadly overpowered the truffles. For desserts, we liked the intense and creamy dark Chocolate Pallete and we used the last bits of our truffle on Vanilla Ice Cream, so decadent! They also served a great Fourme d'Ambert.

Overall I think the addition of white truffles elevated the food, but without the icing on the cake these dishes would still be delicious. The portions are small but reasonably priced, great for trying many dishes at once. The vibe is perfect for dates and there’s also a full bar. Their menu changes every week, so I'm looking forward to see what they have in store after the truffle season ends.

I recommend: Buttered Tagliolini, Bone Marrow Risotto, Chocolate Palette

Address: 61-63 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong
Phone: 2617-0891
Hours: Mon-Sat 6pm-1030pm