Do you remember the MLA Black Box Culinary Challenge, Win Win and I were invited to a few weeks ago? 🙂 It was definitely an eye-opening experience for me to see so many hotels competing against each other ~ however, because there were so many teams I wasn’t able to try all the dishes. That’s why I was thrilled with Mercury called and said Ritz Carlton would like to invite me and Win Win to their Lobby and Bar Restaurant to taste the menu they created for the competition.
I was super excited because Ritz Carlton was the first runner-up in the challenge and they were the only team that made a carrot cake for the dessert 🙂
It was my first time going to The Lounge and Bar restaurant ~ it had a nice relaxing environment with smoothing music playing in the background. Unfortunately, the weather was quite foggy so we couldn’t really see the view of the harbour which was a shame. We did catch some of the ‘A Symphony of Lights’ sound and light show that’s on every night ~
Lamb in two ways, roasted with plum sauce, pan-fried with X.O sauce with mixed fruit salad
Broccoli cream soup with crispy cheddar cheese
Braised Waygu beef topside, mashed pumpkin, stuffed mushrooms with red wine sauce
Carrot Cake and marshmallow with carrot ginger ice-cream
These are exactly the same dishes that Ritz Carlton used to enter the MLA competition ~ I’m really sorry about the photo quality, it was a pretty dark environment which made it a little difficult to take photos of the food. I promise to practice 🙂
We started the meal with a bread basket 🙂 I wanted to save room for the main and dessert so I only had tried the baguette, while Win Win really enjoyed the round bun which had raisins in it, saying it was really soft and fresh ~
Even though I’m not really a ‘lamb’ person, I still tried this dish and surprisingly it wasn’t gamey…as a matter of fact, if I didn’t know better I would’ve thought it was just ‘beef’. Even Win Win had a bite which is pretty amazing considering the fact she doesn’t eat any lamb ~ having said that the pan-fried lamb using XO sauce had a much stronger ‘lamb’ taste.
When the soup came I was a little confused at first and thought it was awfully thick and chunky to be a soup hehe but thankfully, the chef’s came and explained it to us. This was just the base of our soup which is pureed broccoli with a piece of brioche and cheddar cheese ~ yum I really like this combination.
The second part is when they pour the actual soup 🙂
I thought the soup was probably the best dish of the menu 🙂 It had the perfect mix of broccoli and cheese ~ It wasn’t too rich or filling either. I particularly liked the pureed broccoli which gave the soup some more texture. Win Win isn’t a fan of broccoli so she didn’t like it much, you see she’s a very picky eater 😛
The chefs were so kind to explain every single dish to us, this wagyu topside was braised for 12 hours. The meat was so soft and tender, you don’t really need to chew it much 🙂 I liked the red wine sauce too as it wasn’t too overpowering and accentuated the beefs flavour. It may seem a little strange to pair it with some Asian greens ‘choy sum’, but that was the ingredient included in the Black Box, so they intelligently used the choy sum leaves and wrapped it around a piece of mushroom.
Now to my favourite part 😀 Dessert!
The chef (sorry forgot his name) said he wanted to do something different, and that carrot cake wasn’t a common cake you can find in HK. This is very true ~ so far this is only the second carrot cake I’ve had in HK and the other one was at Pret A Manger. I think it’s because HK people associate carrots as being a ‘savoury’ vegetable and not something you can make a dessert out of. The carrot cake was very moist with a nice cream cheese icing 🙂 However, I think they’ve accommodated it to HK peoples preferences because it wasn’t very sweet ~ But that’s just once again me and my HUGE sweet tooth 😛 I couldn’t really taste the ginger in the ice-cream, instead it had a nice cinnamon taste to it.
You can check this menu out at The Lounge & Bar from 23rd February to 17th March 2012 for $680HKD($83.20AUD) + 10% service charge per person.
Overall, it was a very lovely dinner and considering the young chefs only had one hour to come up with this menu and it was their first culinary competition, they have done very well and should be proud of themselves.
Once again would like to say Congratulations to Ritz Carlton for receiving the first runner-up award 🙂 and thank you very much for inviting Win Win and myself.
Win Win and Daisy@Nevertoosweet dined as guests of Ritz Carlton Hong Kong and Ringe Marketing.
Ritz Carlton Hong Kong
1 Austin West Road
Kowloon, Hong Kong
PH: (852) 2263 2263