Within the world of Hong Kong F&B, ON Dining Kitchen & Lounge is fairly young — it opened its doors in 2015 as a French restaurant with a Mediterranean twist, and since then, it’s become one of the few eateries to get a Michelin star, and has made a name for itself as one of the city’s more popular fine dining establishments.
So, our expectations were pretty high when we first went into the restaurant to try its white truffle and game meats set menu.
The place itself feels like an haute cuisine kind of spot. It’s in Central (of course it is) — close enough to the hustle and bustle of Lan Kwai Fong, but a far enough away from it to be considered quiet once you’re inside. Its 29th floor location helps. The view is not too shabby, even if half of it is obscured by commercial buildings, and you can just about make out the silhouettes of people working overtime in the offices across the road.
On to the food. We started the meal with some a dish called “Le Caviar”, made up of king crab, lobster jelly, caviar, and sea urchin. This starter had a nice, fresh, salty seafood taste from the caviar, and the sea urchin was perfectly balanced out by the soft and flaky crab meat.
It was the right portion size, although if we had to be picky, we could have done with a bit more sea urchin to balance out the caviar, which just about reaches the “too much salt” mark the minute you reach the last mouthful.
Next up, we had the Le Carpaccio de Saint Jacques, which was a scallop carpaccio served with white truffle and lemon. The delicate texture and taste of scallops are easy to obscure, but the combination of truffle and lemon flavors worked very well here.
We were more excited about the game meat items on the menu, but before we moved onto that, we had the “Le Black Cod”.
This was served with shiitake mushrooms, small cubes of daikon radish, miso, and langoustine bouillon. The cod skin had a bit of sweet miso paste spread on the skin, which was a nice contrast to the bouillon, which had a salty and earthy taste.
And now onto the game meat dishes. First up there was La Biche, a wild fallow deer tenderloin served with a slice of pear, and smothered with a warm sauce grand veneur, and a side of cep mushroom risotto.
Hands down the best dish of the night — a tender piece of deer meat that went really well with the sweet pear and a warm, meaty sauce. The mushroom risotto was light and flavorful, just creamy enough to not tip over into heaviness.
Another game meat item on the menu was the “Le Lièvre A la Royale”, basically a hare’s liver. Before we tucked into our portion, we heard gasps around the table. Then we understood why: We took one bite, and there’s only one word to describe this dish. Intense.
Everything about this dish was intense. There was a very strong, meaty taste — a very clear and potent liver flavor, but in a nice way. (For those who like liver, anyway.)
It was soft to the bite, and just a tad grainy, as you’d expect from this cut of meat. After having several lighter, delicately seasoned dishes, to have one that had so many intense flavors was a bit of a shock to the system.
The side of spätzle, chestnuts and grapes that came with this dish, though, was a nice, light, sweet, and crunchy side dish that complemented the liver well.
We were told the hare is marinated for a week before it is stuffed with black truffle and a few of the chef’s secret ingredients, and the dish is finished off with “a rich and buttery sauce “au sang” (French for “blood”).
Then, the “La Chataigne” dessert to finish: chestnut yuzu mousse, mandarin jelly, and passion fruit chantilly. We particularly liked the passion fruit chantilly, but we couldn’t really taste a lot of passion fruit in this one. The chestnut yuzu mousse had a very strong chestnut flavor, but it did overshadow the yuzu flavor in the mousse.
The white truffle and game set menu will run throughout November, and all of the items featured in this review are available as part of a set menu.
You can get three courses for HK$790, a tasting menu comprising of six courses for HK$1,280, and desserts cost an additional HK$99, which is what you’d expect for a fine dining Michelin-star restaurant (Takumi by Daisuke Mori, for instance offered six or nine-course tasting menus costing between HK$1,680 to HK$2,080.)
We would recommend ON Dining on a normal day, and we do recommend this white truffle and game meat set menu, but only if you happen to be having a very special occasion some time in November, or have a business client that you really, really want to impress.
ON Dining Kitchen & Lounge is at 29/F, 18 On Lan Street, Central
Reservations: +852 2174 8100 and email@example.com
Mon-Thur, 12pm-12am; Fri-Sat, 12pm-1am; Sun, 11:45am-12am
MTR: Central (approx. 5 minute walk)