Nov 19, 2012

Mandarin Grill + Bar - Great by high value added!

It's been a while since last time had fine dinning with mom. I chose Mandarin Grill to have dinner with her and hopefully we both could have enjoyable mother and daughter time. Yes, we did.
We ordered soups and main courses. I wanted order desserts as well, but waiter suggested we might decide later. Thanks for the smart advice actually.
For starter, bread basket. There were several kinds of bread in figure size, salty and sweet, soft and semi-hard, even western and eastern style, many options including the sweet Japanese bread which is not common in Hong Kong's dinner table as a starter.
Lobster bisque for mom: Mom eats quite light usually. But I suggested her to try this lobster soup. Indeed, it's creamy, but still can taste the fresh chicken stock. There was lobster meat inside, not very little.
My mushroom soup was pure countryside style, both in presentation and flavor. The small mushrooms in the bottom of bowl was lovely, like grass growing on land. Together with baked grains on the plate out of the bowl, like you were having dinner in a countryside house. The mushroom soup looked very light but smelled and tasted very rich, probably porcini. Poured the soup into the bowl, mixed with mushrooms and grains, very nice. The ingredients were raw, but healthy and full of flavor.
Speaking of main courses, mom got sirloin and mine was spring lamb.
The sirloin was perfectly grilled, pink inside. Under glass surface holding the beef, there were hot wood to keep both temperature and smell, very thoughtful. Mom's satisfied although she prefers fully cooked meat like most old generation in the eastern world. I tried two bites as well. The meat was very tender, seasoned well too. There were some mushrooms and sauce aside,  you can add more flavor if you like.
side dish
The spring lamb was not grilled, like stewed. The waiter explained this to me when I was ordering it. I love lamb, no matter how you cook it, so it doesn't matter at all. The lamb was like a 紅燒蹄膀, but it's lamb leg. It was cooked with bone to get more flavor, and later waiter got the bone out when serving it.  I believe it had been stewed for a while. The meat was so soft and fat was melted into the meat. It's tender and juicy in the mouth, full of lamb flavor. Any lamb fan should be satisfied, like me. There were peas and potato ( looked like cheese) as well. Honestly, the size of lamb was really big, not much space for dishes aside.
side dish
Lastly, we had tea and coffee to finish the meal. No one was waiting for your table there. It's very relaxing to take some time to have a drink and chat, of course digusting the feast as well.
Mandarin always offers best service. The staff were nice and professional. Like before, they called me on the afternoon the confirm the reservation. They were very helpful by giving detailed introduction and suggestions during the dinner. Besides those good qualities, the high value added small dishes impressed me a lot.
First, there were five or six different olive oil choices for free bread. Apart from popular products from Italy and Spain, there's one from Morocco as well. The waitress elaborated us the region, flavor and specialties of each one. Moreover, you can choose multiples to dip bread. Really good olive oil tasting opportunity.
Second, plenty high quality free appetizers. Before serving the soup we ordered, there were three appetizers for free.
Pear shape jelly with foie gras: the foie fras was so smooth in the mouth, could fell the melting. It's good to have it with deep toasted bread perfectly caramelized by honey or maple syrup.
A ball covered by Parmesan: sorry I forgot what's stuffed inside the ball. Maybe I paid too much attention to the Parmesan cheese (sorry for my cheese mania) covering outside which looked like coconut shred. It's a very good creation of western food ingredients presented in a way of Chinese din sum. Even the typical Mandarin food box revealed the smells of Chinese or Orient. Appreciated by the idea and effort they put on.
One bite jelly olive: one bite olive flavor jelly. it's not common, at least for me. The taste was not too much strong, but still refreshed.
Finally, we didn't order dessert. The waiter was right, we were full already. But they offered chocolate, again for free. There are four chocolate balls, two with truffle and two regular. The chocolates were rich and creamy. You shouldn't doubt the quality of Mandarin's dessert. The truffle chocolate got intense truffle flavor, tasted really good. I like it even I'm not a chocolate fan. Not only four chocolate balls, but the cello was eatable as well, a very big one actually. I doubt who can eat it up after having the main course earlier. Anyways, Mandarin is so generous. But I got a concern here. Since few of customer can finish this big chocolate cello, but they probably touch it. How to deal with the leftover? Throw them away? Sort of eco-unfriendliness. Reprocessing? Is that hygienic?

Overall, it's always delightful experience in MO. The food, the service and the atmosphere were all great. The high value added dishes made the dinner even better. I did have a great time with mom that night. Thanks!

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