Le Dôme de Cristal @ Exquisite French Fine Dining In Hong Kong

From Cloud 9 dance club to one of the most exquisite French fine dining restaurants in Hong Kong, Le Dôme de Cristal marks the first Cristal-branded restaurant & bar in the world. Since it is a pre-eminent collaboration between Ambrosia Cuisines Group and Cristal by Louis Roederer, the renowned French Champagne house produces the most luxurious Champagnes in the world and is synonymous with prestige and status. mylifestylenews all dressed up and ready to dine in……We heard so much about this restaurant since it opened in October, 2013 and only gathered not so positive feedback from diners’ experience, be it the food or the service. Hence, we were hesitant to step in to find out more until the recent team came on board and lead by Cédric Kerhir, the General Manager who has a great sense of humor always lighten up the whispering ambience in sophisticated manner together and the young and talented Culinary Director, Charles-BenoÎt Lacour with his newly created contemporary fusion menu, we are ready to dine in this uber-fancy Le Dôme de Cristal.

 Table for two were booked and we arrived on time. Reservation was ticked accordingly and we were being escorted by the hostess to the “old bullet lift” that took us to two levels up to the anticipated restaurant. Mind you, you may prefer to walk up by using the spiral wooden staircase despite the lift could give you some nostalgia mood before entering the restaurant’s main dining area. With high expectation anticipated, even before we entered the spacious DOME passing through the golden sparkling and glittering glass cellar complete with gold pendant highlights showcasing prestigious Cristal limited collection such as Cristal Jeroboam 2002 limited edition and Cristal 1990 vintage for Millennium celebration as well as countless bottles of Romanee-Conti and Chateau Lafite Rothschild. Thanks to the wine storage of the Louis Roederer’s Cristal champagne that takes the center stage. No complaint about that, at least visually. Isn’t it this is one of the reasons we come here for?

The elegant and translucence 10,000 sqf restaurant is inspired by Louis Roedrerer’s mansion in Reims. The main restaurant area works around a central dome and award-winning architect/interior designer, Steve Leung brilliantly blended the contemporary and classic design in rich hues of gold and cream. The unreachable high ceiling dome-shape restaurant maintains an elite status features dark parquet oak wood flooring with rotational seating. There are outdoor alfresco terrace creating the urban escape of the Hong Kong Central’s landscape. It is a perfect party outdoor venue when the mild weather kicks in.  We sat down at one of the half-moon couch, looking all the way back at the entrance and the bar where you can spot any new walk-ins as well as the entire restaurant scene and it was one of the best seats of the house, we must say. The menu and wine list was well placed on our table prior to our arrival. Cédric walked to our table with a great smile with self introduction and guided us through the menu. Of course, the degustation menu is a must try for every first patron here, that including us. With an option of wine pairing from the degustation menu to your choice, the long awaited Louis Roederer’s Cristal champagne 2006 vintage is now offered and poured. Let the air fill with the bubbles.

We have the very first sip of this 40% Chardonnay and 60% Pinot Noir Louis Roederer's Cistal champagne 2006 vintage, it is intense yet delicate, revealing a clean and well integrated mixture of flavours of honey, cocoa and lightly toasted hazelnuts. A typical Cristal that is a savory explosion of ripe fruit revealing red fruit, white chocolate, caramel and Danish pastry. The silky concentrated texture under pinned by an intense, powerful and vinous structure yet retaining its elegance and packed with apple scent flavours and astoundingly long in finish. We're LOVING it! On Cédric’s return, brought him along was the Culinary Director Charles-BenoÎt Lacour who introduced us what’s cooking in the evening. Still in his twenties, Lacour’s 12 years of cooking experience had him worked for French Michelin three-starred restaurant Guy Savoy as well as another two-starred restaurant Le Pre Catelan and le grand Vefour after graduated in 2004 at Lycee Hotelier de Grenoble in the French Alps. Lacour’s heavy French-English accent was rather charming, his suggestion on his new menu creation from the degustation selection with wine pairing by the in-house sommelier, Carolina, we were in good hand. We did spent a minute or two browsing through their unique selection of champagnes and wines, the reinvented brand new culinary direction with a symphony of flavors that pay homage to the luxury, exclusivity, history and prestige Cristal has just begun.

<Arcachon Oyster>
From Europe's longest and highest dune of sand: La Dune du Pyla which reaches a min-boggling 107 meters in height of Arcachan Bay, France. This area is well-know throughout the country for its oyster farms which produce some of the finest farmed bivalves. Served with homemade Japanese dressing and paired with Louis Roederer’s Cristal champagne 2006 vintage.

<Beef & Caviar>
The French raw beef and caviar top with Russian condiment and Oyster dressing, Chef  Lacour replaced the caviar for us by using some of his special spice. Paired with the Domaine de la Roche Bleue Jasnieres 2013 - A very fresh nose of white pear and peach evolving towards pollen white flowers like lime blossom. acacia. It is very lively on the palate citrus (lemon, mandarin) and becoming fat and salt mineral notes on the finish.

This mouthwatering Dourade fish (Bream) from the Mediterranean Sea has captured the imaginations of European cooks for centuries. The shimmering silver skin is lightly grilled and the white flesh remain a rich, succulent meaty flavor. A small fish with big taste. Mind the freshly thin slice celery, it is more like garnish but to enhance any taste of the fish as well as the seaweed consomme taste too close to the just boiling water. Paired with biodynamic Carignan Blanc made from ancient trees. This oxide-free natural wine made from this situation amazed there as well and feel a sens of very high density of wine quality.

<Textures of Asparagus>
This is a delicious creation. The French asparagus cooked in a rich creamy sauce with seasonal morel mushroom and homemade mini one mouth full Lardo di colonnata puffs is a great combination. You may want to ask for more puffs. Paired with Crozes Hermitage Paul Jaboulet Aine from the brambly blackberry fruit with sweet finishing notes of Blueberry and Cassis. Very attractive nose with a hint of oak/wood smoke that knits the nose beautifully together and well balanced by a sappy acidity.

<Brittany Lobster>
This slow cooked Brittany Lobster served with thin sliced radish, cherry and Sakura vinegar. An "egg' filled with homemade mayonnaise sauce is cracked in front of you after the dish is placed on the table. All you need is a tiny hint of sauce to compliment the freshly cooked Brittany lobster. Love it! Paired with Domaine Hubeet Lamy Bourgogne Chardonnay Les Chataignier from a village in Cote de Beaune sub-region of Burgundy nestled between the hillsides of a sub-valley in the Cote d'or escarpment. This is a forward and delightful wine with a nice expression of terroir and the bouquet offer lovely fruits that is fresh and pure with a silky and rich on the palette and nice mineralic impression.

Simplicity is best! This Fois Gras wonton with cabbage is a homage to the local Chinese dining scene and bring this everyone's comfort food to the next level and best served with chopstick and Yes they did it here. Nous aimons ca! Paired with the 2011 Terra Rose Erratica, this American wine from Oregon delivers a wonderful Pinot Noir like nose full of wet forest floor, aromas of red raspberry and cherry, minerals and red current. It is hard to call it a rose at all. This fairly rich and weighty flavors given a twist and plenty of structure by a fresh acidity with a touch of spiciness.

<Organic Egg>
Egg dishes is commonly serve in French gastronomic. The organic eggs served with English pea, onion and Toulouse Sausage is a delight before the entree is brought to the table. Paired with Domaine Hauvette Jaspe 2012 with a fairly intense inner mouth perfume with a mix of floral, herbal aroma and a balance of fruit and mineral.

A common dish in French culinary especially it comes to the hunting season yet not many restaurant or Chef dare to serve the pigeon with the leg laying flat on the plate as though a yoga warm up session was taken place. Grilled to a medium rare perfection and served with beetroots, pink pralines, mashed potatoes and the acidic fruit jus reduction brings the "dead' pigeon back to life. Paired with 2002 Chateau Musar Gaston Hochar, Bekka Valley. This Lebanese wine is sweet on the nose with aromas of cherry and strawberry preserves. It is soft and jammier on the palate and prolong an aeration reveals smoke, vanilla and toast notes and lush with smooth tannins that linger elegantly.

<Australian Wagyu Beef Sirloin>
The char-grilled wagyu beef sirloin is cooked to perfection in Provencal style. Rustic yet extremely tasty service with Provencal seasonal vegetables. Paired with 2010 Cote Rotie Patrick Jasmine. The inky color medium body with complex aromas best compliment the wagyu beef sirloin. The wine is more impressive on aromas than palate with ripe dark fruit, pepper, soft leather as well as  a mixed spice and wood.

<Vilmart & Cie Ratafia de Champagne & Cheese Platter>
A surprise in between dessert Champagne liqueur was recommended by Carolina. This 100% Pinot Noir is perfect companion with cheese with very interesting concoction. Luscious, creamy and sweet and a mild acids yet the sweetness dominant. Very different from any fortified wines and easy to drink and feels like grape juice.

<Champagne Kir>
If you have not gotten enough of the Louis Roederer's Cistal champagne 2006 vintage, the Champagne Kir allows you to sample this elegant champagne once again with the mix berry 'Royale" with much sophistication.

<Le Dome>
Another homage creation to the venue, the dome's shape chocolate with strawberry jam and Earl Grey sorbet is the best way to end such a culinary journey.

Tried & Tested:
Location: 4.5/5
Ambience: 4/5
Design & Decor: 4.5/5
Food & Beverage: 4/5
Service: 4/5

Highlights :
Le Dôme de Cristal

3/F The Galleria
9 Queen's Road Central
Central Hong Kong
T: +852 2116 4688

1 comment:

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