[Hong Kong] The Ocean

A little background:  In its restaurant THE OCEAN, Le Comptoir Group celebrates the natural wonders of the sea in a magnificent design that spectacularly, and cleverly, represents the finest in life both above and below the water line.

A stretch of floor-to-ceiling windows reveals panoramic sea views, complemented by striking textural finishes that harness the beauty and spirit of the deep blue. From its booths and tables inspired by coral reefs to tailor-made ceramics inspired by oceanic flora, every feature evokes a sense of serene oceanic bliss.

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Space is a luxury, and THE OCEAN’s expansive 10,000 square-foot setting – complete with private dining rooms featuring built-in aquarium walls that house hundreds of hovering jellyfish – was designed to accentuate its size without sacrificing intimacy. The space commands attention with exquisite interior design elements, while maintaining a sense of tranquility under the sparkling backdrop of Repulse Bay.

THE OCEAN sets the standard for luxurious entertaining. A place where design, attention to detail and cuisine meet harmoniously to redefine the ultimate dining experience.

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My visit:  I have always known The Ocean to be a luxurious restaurant where food meets Hermes.  Being the foodie and brand junkie that I am, I knew I had to go check it out for myself and what better time to go than during their collaboration dinner with Tokyo’s Cuisines Michel Troisgras!

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Amuse Bouche

We started off with an array of amuse bouche which was beautifully presented. The fried black cod was slightly crusty outside and perfectly flaky inside served with creme freshe as a dipping sauce. The clams were fresh and had an interesting layer of green apple jelly on top.

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Amuse Bouche

However I found the pastry filled with black truffle cream a bit too soggy and the the Parmesan mousse in the egg with confit of lobster could be creamier.

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[Cuisines Michel Troisgros] Brise Oceane
A masterful combination – tofu, sea urchin and caviar. The crunchiness of the caviar added the salty flavors to the tofu which was smooth and silky while the sea urchin and peas added a fresh sweet flavor to the dish along with different textures.

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[The Ocean] Premiere Vague
The smoked scallop with salicornia texture and girolle mushrooms was a huge miss. The smokiness overpowered the sweetness of the scallop and the powdered vinegar was too overwhelming. The grainy texture of the mushroom purée did not help compliment the dish either.

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[Cuisines Michel Troisgros] Lagon Bleu
Next up was the lobster refreshed with aise flavors.  The lobster was beautifully cooked but my claw was a tad too salty.  However, I loved how the warmth of the lobster contrasted with the cold cream. The apples and cucumbers also added plenty of layered brightness.

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[The Ocean] Barriere De Corail
Since my personal palette is very sensitive to strong flavored fish, I chose seabass instead of seabream in the original dish for a more mild flavor to my liking. Without much surprise, the composition of the ingredients (morel mushrooms, edamame and onion purée) designed for the seabream did overwhelm the mild flavored seabass taste. I can foresee the sharper ingredients used can compensate much better with the seabream. On the unfortunate side, the seabream ordered by my friends were slightly overcooked so we could not taste the true beauty of the dish.

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[The Ocean] Decompression
The pre-dessert was whimsical to eat as it was to look at. The sugar coated lemon sorbet was refreshing and fragrant with a sweet crunch. The balsamic vinegar and strawberries also added a pop of tanginess. It is quite sad that the more successful dish of the night was the palate cleanser.

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[Cuisine Michel Troisgros] Decompression
The chocolate covered mushroom was an interesting combination and surprisingly it worked as the mushrooms brought out the umami in the chocolate. However the ratio of the peanut butter and tamarind sandwich seemed to be off balance as there was more tuile than filling.

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[Cuisine Michel Troisgros] Vue Cotiere
Thankfully the final dessert was a hit. The chantilly cream was light, fluffy and flavored with corn and on the top was a sweet passion fruit curd.  The meringue and popcorn added lots of textures that tantalized our tongues.

As I am writing this, I realized that we never received the mignardises as promised on the menu.

Verdict: While the decor of The Ocean was absolutely stunning and the service was ace, the food just didn’t match up.  Many  of the dishes fell short and sadly they were the ones that were presented by The Ocean. I believe that Chef Augustin has a lot of potential but it just seemed like he was trying a little too hard to be creative and unfortunately it backfired on him.

 

Happy eating 🙂

 

The Ocean
Shop 303-304, Lobby A, The Pulse, 28 Beach Road, Repulse Bay, Hong Kong
+852 2889 5939
http://www.theocean.hk/

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