Sunday, August 23, 2009

Kitchen @ W Hotel (Revisted)

The Five Ws are Why, What, Where, Who, When and I ask myself the 5 Ws everyday. Why did I now start this food blog sooner? What cuisine should I try next? Where am I going to eat next? Who am I going to invite next? and When should I start exercising more after eating so much? For this Sunday brunch today, I headed to yet another W! My friend invited me to try W Hotel's Sunday Champagne brunch because she tried it a few months ago and enjoyed it very much especially with the various seafood selection. When I arrived at the Kitchen restaurant around 11:50am, I was kindly asked to wait for another 10mins until noon when the brunch session official starts. Fair enough. For the next 10 mins, I wandered around the floor and took some pictures with the beautiful sunshine flooding in. It was at the same time I realized that the Sunday Champagne brunch has a special theme for today, a New Orleans' Jazz theme focusing on New Orleans' cuisines. (bye bye to the wide selection of seafood!!)

I was the first one to arrive and got assigned a table at the very far end of the dining hall which was good because the center area was pretty noisy based on my previous visit to the Kitchen.

I took the advantage of my early arrival and invited myself to take a look at the buffet area hiding on the other side of the restaurant. There I met (Culinary Director) Chef Curt Saasak who was doing a final check on the serving area. I took this valuable opportunity and exchanged a few conversations with him. The most important information from our brief encounter was that in a month's time, the Kitchen is going to have a Seafood theme for its Sunday Champagne Brunch. Horray !!

Since it was a buffet style brunch, I would only review on selected items which I think are worth mentioning, both positive and negative comments. After my chat with Head Chef Curt, he now knows that I like seafood so he asked one of his sous chefs behind the counter to prepare us some Oyster Rockefeller. It was not as good as I expected. Based on my understanding, Oyster Rockefeller can be baked or broiled and for the Oyster Rockefeller being served, they were more like the broiled style but I think they were a bit under-broiled because the oysters were not heated very evenly. But hey, the special treatment made a world of differences to me.

Before heading back for another round of food, I took a few pictures of the serving area. I like its open kitchen arrangement but it would be tough for the staff behind the counter because it can be pretty stressful with all the customers watching their every move. Oh yeah, I really liked their freshly squeezed juice (without added sugar) in the pretty individual bottles.

I almost forgot to mention about one of the key items of this brunch, the champagne. Not bad at all. It is sightly sweet in flavor and easy to drink compared with the one being served at the Oyster and Wine Bar's Sunday Champagne Brunch at Sheraton. (I think the brand was Mumm's) Not bad at all.

Time to head back for more food. The raw oysters being served were not the best nor the freshest in my opinion. Also, a big thumbs down on the fact (or so I assumed based on my humble experiences) that they used distill water to clean the oyster, washing out the "sea-water" within the oyster shell. It is most often the taste and flavors of the sea-water inside the oyster shell that distinguish or even elevate the savoring sweetness of oysters and give the individual oysters their unique characteristics. Very disappointing on the oysters. As for the shrimps, they were not as big as the cocktail shrimps offered at the Sheraton but they were pretty fresh. Even for smoked salmon which I loved, they have various interesting flavors such as lemongrass and beet roots.

In addition to pre-cooked items, they also offer on-demand / made-to-order items ranging from salmon steak, rack lamb, steak and various other kinds of meat and fish. The way you pick them is to select the actual raw ingredient you want from the open fridge near the juice area and they will prepare it for you right away (and deliver to your table when done.) No worries about getting your hands dirty because the raw ingredients are all individually wrapped / sealed. A nice touch for great interaction. I order the rack lamb and with the current theme, it was made with special New Orleans' sauce which I am still trying to figure out what that is. (I think it is rosemary and mustard sauce, maybe? But what was the orange color came from? ... hummm ) Anyhow, it was very well prepared with a strong rosemary flavor to it. It was cooked medium the way I like it for lamb.

After several more rounds of food, it was time to for some desserts. I was surprised to see that they have Apple Crumble and Bread Pudding, both of which I heart. However, the apple mixture / fillings were too sweet and the bread element of the bread pudding was too "bread-y." Argh, where can I find a good bread pudding (or bread and butter pudding) in Hong Kong? Where can I find good bread pudding? Why is it so hard to find? Who can recommend me a place? When can have taste it? What makes it so difficult to make? The 5 Ws again!

To end the brunch, I order a cappuccino. Interesting use of cup for cappuccino but I guess it matched the decor of the restaurant with various silver wares hanging everywhere. The foam was of the creamy type (instead of the foamy) which I like; but the espresso blend used was rather weak in my opinion. Maybe an extra shot would do the trick.

The brunch was not the best I had before but it was decent enough considering the decor, service and environment. The food selection was rather limited in my opinion, especially in the seafood department. Maybe it was the New Orleans theme that they are doing right now, hopefully the seafood brunch in the coming months would surprise me. In the meanwhile, I think I will stick with Sheraton's Oyster and Wine Bar Sunday Champagne Brunch. (yet to be reviewed on this blog)

  • Champagne
  • Rack Lamb - the sauce was new (although still trying to figure out what exactly the sauce is)
  • the ambiance (because of the amount of sun lights and the background Jazz music due to the New Orleans theme.)
  • Raw Oysters - I think they cleaned them with distill water, the sea water taste was gone!
  • Oyster Rockefeller - rather disappointing, a bit under-broiled
  • Apple Crumble & Bread Pudding - Disappointing! One was too sweet and one was too bread-y
Avg Spending: Above HKD 500

6/F, W Hotel,
1 Austin Road West (Elements)
Tel: 3717 2299


Anonymous said...

A great and mouthwatering blog! Can I ask how much this brunch cost or is that a big faux pas?

Jason said...

Thanks for your kind words! Of course it is not a "faux pas" on the cost of my meal, just that I have not figured out how best to provide the price / cost aspect of it. The Sunday Brunch being offered here is around HKD 590 + 10%. (Some places do offer the option to opt out on the Champagne but not here unfortunately.) =P

Anonymous said...

Hi Jason,

I really like your blog about the food. just a small suggestion, to add on the food and resto, would you mind to write down the price as well?? so at least I know how much I have to prepare to go to particular resto. thank you so much.

Jason said...

Thanks for the suggestion, I am in the process of figuring out how to best present the price, ie: range? exact pricing? or rating?. Should be able to update all my entries with that very soon! Thanks again for your suggestions ;)

Anonymous said...

Hi Jason,

thank you to reply so soon. if possible of course the exact pricing and rating(plus worth to try or not). thanks again.

CoRRecT said...

I really like your reviews =)

I have recently been craving for apple crumbles... BIG TIME!! just wondering... do you know where i can find the best apple crumbles in town?

Jason said...

@CoRRect, definitely not the best apple crumble I ever had because it was too sweet but it was decent enough. I am still in search for the best apple crumble (& bread and butter pudding as well) but I am yet to discover both unfortunately.

Jodi said...

Best apple crumble and bread pudding in town.....I am afraid you have to make it yourself in order to have the best! Actually apple crumble is very simple and straight forward to prepare. No special technique or secret tips required. You can even replace apple with pear, peach, apricot....whatever suit your fancy. Bread pudding, on the other hand, is slightly more tricky (the most difficult part is to find the right bread). Seems like I am preaching the advantage of home cooking again!

Jason said...

@Jodi, finding the right bread is the most important for bread pudding indeed! Most places that offer this dessert often use fresh bread which resulted with a totally different texture and flavors as well. I have to agree with you that sometimes the best desserts are homemade ones because one can play around with the ingredients and have fun doing so as well.

@CoRRect, go try to make the best ever Apple Crumble at home, you can do it!!! :)

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