Sunday, December 27, 2009

Alain Chabanon Wine Dinner at Hotel Nikko (Hong Kong)

We flew to Hong Kong to give moral support and attend Alain Chabanon's wine dinner at Les Célébrités Restaurant at the Hotel Nikko. Alain Chabanon is one of the finest wine maker in the Languedoc region. All his wines are classified organic. Alain was invited by his Hong Kong importer to have the wine dinner so that Alain can meet people who like wines, discuss and explain his philosophy of his wine making and his magnificent wines.

Modelled on a classic French restaurant, Les Célébrités offers European-style gourmet cuisine. The decor is the typical white table linen, fine wine glasses and sparkling silver cutlery. I found the uniforms of the wait staff to be hedious; their jackets were a pine tree green, which totally contrasted with the rooms blacks, whites, purple & beige hues.

I also think the hotel does not know what they want to do with the restaurant. At one corner of the restaurant was a buffet where the guest who are sitting in the hallway (yes, they turned the hallway into a dinning area) come into Les Célébrités to get their food. I thought this was bizarre and out of place in a fine dinning restaurant.

Here is Alain explaining one of the wines that was being served.

Our table with the hundreds of wine glasses and literature about the wines being served that evening from Alain.

The first dish was seared tuna. The tuna was fresh and cooked perfectly and had a very nice taste. I thought the dish was a bit too busy and the green & red poivron tapioca balls were not necessary and did not taste very nice.

The second dish was mushroom rissotto. The rice cooked perfectly, the dish was moist, cheesy and full of flavour. A very delicious dish.

The third dish was roasted duck. The duck was cooked perfectly; slightly still pink, cut into thin slices and were amazingly tender and juicy. The light jus just made the just right.

The fourth dish was beef. Another fantastic dish. The beef was so tender, juicy and tasty. Cooked perfectly to a medium-rare (we were happy it was more on the rare side). A beef jus to add an extra flavour to the beef. Well presented and was very good.

The dessert was deep fried camambert balls. First of all, I have to say, this was the strangest dessert I ever received. It should have been an entree instead of a dessert. On top of that, it was not even good. The dough was too thick and there was hardly any camambert. Very weird!

Overall, a very nice wine dinner. All the wines were drinking well and went well with the food. We all agreed that the food surpassed our expectations; it was very good. Just some hick-ups on the here & there but nothing major to ruin the evening.

72 Mody Road, Tsimshatsui East,, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong - 2739 1111

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