November 11, 2016

Not-so-light lunch before the feast

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I had scheduled lunch with a friend today long before receiving an invitation to attend a feast tonight.  Thankfully we had picked Mercato as our lunch venue, and I figured we could go easy and have a light lunch.

It's been more than a decade since I last stepped foot in a restaurant under Jean-Georges Vongerichten - when Vong occupied the top floor of the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong.  I haven't spent as much time in New York in the last decade as I would have liked, and for one reason or another have prioritized other restaurants on my visits, so I never found myself at a table at Jean-Georges in New York.  And since I usually focus on Shanghainese food in Shanghai, I've also never given any business to Jean-Georges in that city, either...

So I was kinda looking forward to lunch today.  I even did some homework and checked out Hong Kong Tatler Dining's review, which led me to salivate over the pictures...

Burrata with lemon jam and basil - OK, so my friend laughed at me for ordering this after announcing that I wanted a light lunch, but to be honest not too many of the starters really piqued my interest.  I was curious to see how good the burrata would be.

Well, it wasn't as liquid as I had hoped, but still pretty decent.  Nice and creamy.  But the real star was the lemon jam - which turned out to be more on the tart side with a nice amount of bitterness.  This was a very nice way to balance the richness from the cheese.  The toast sticks were good, too.

Black truffle, three cheeses and farm egg pizza - I wanted to try this after seeing the picture from Tatler's review, and I was imagining the combination of black truffle shavings, cheese, and runny egg yolk.  So I kinda did a double-take when this arrived at our table...

Where was the black truffle??  OK, I realize that for HKD 278, I probably wasn't gonna get the same amount of black truffle shaved on top of my pizza as Da Jam had gotten on his... but come on!!!  What we got was some black dust on top, and maybe the kitchen used some truffle oil or maybe a small amount of truffle paste.  No truffle that I could see.  For the price I was charged, I expected better.  I'll stick to the delicious pizzas at CIAK - In the Kitchen from now on - which taste better AND cost me less money.

Well, in the end the lunch wasn't bad, and I found my hunger satiated without stuffing myself.  I'll be attending a very special dinner in a few hours, and it was time to go home and dress up...

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