With postcard-perfect views of Hong Kong, Aqua undeniably remains a must-try restaurant, dazzling guests with its open-dining concept on the penthouse level of One Peking in TST. Serving upscale, trendy Italian-Japanese fusion dishes and omakase menus, the space is shared with Aqua Spirit, hovering above the dining space and creating cool cocktails, making you feel like you’re on top of the world.
With the rise of sustainability spreading amongst top Hong Kong restaurants, Aqua pays homage to the green movement, incorporating six dishes filled with a selection of Japanese and Italian herbs. These herbaceous greens are grown in high-tech miniature boxes within the kitchen, with mistuba (Japanese parsley), European oxalis, Italian sorrel and pakuchi (Japanese coriander) used to create an array of of fresh flavours.
Most of the home-grown dishes presented are vegetable forward. For starters, the lotus wood, avocado and fig sushi with home-grown mitsuba ($298) is filled with soft textures, complemented by a crunch from the thin lotus root. The spicy mayo overtook our palates, leading to mild peppery notes from the mitsuba.
The chilled beetroot, champagne jelly and summer fruits gazpacho with homemade oxalis ($228) isn’t a dish made for sharing and is better individually ordered. The presentation of the dish is stunning, showing all the ingredients listed in the bowl including strawberries, black garlic and pieces of cherry. A black-coloured tuile is placed on top, adding contrast to the saturated colour palette. A bright tomato-based gazpacho containing beetroot, raspberry and strawberry is then poured into the bowl. The oxalis elevated the beetroot and summer fruits, making the flavours range from tart, to earthy, to fruity.
Getting to the sharing plates, the pan-fried scallops with home-grown sorrel pesto and crème fraiche ($278) along with the salmon tiradito with celery, cucumber and green apple with home-grown sorrel ($368) are heartier starters.
Delectable and delicate, each piece of scallop contains a tangy taste from the sorrel pesto, while the sorrel in the salmon tiradito elevates the pickled cucumber and the strong flavours of the celery and green apple.
For the finale, the grilled Wagyu sirloin with sea urchin hoba misoyaki with home-grown pakuchi ($628) was the winner at the table and paired well with the red kakiage and vegetable tempura with home-grown mitsuba ($188) as a side dish.
The clustered tempura consists of corn, edamame and ginger, creating powerful zingy and peppery flavours.
For the meat dish, fresh sea urchin is placed atop slices of medium-rare Wagyu with finely chopped pakuchi. Miso sauce, pickled burdock root and crisp, thin garlic slices are placed on the side. Memorable with a sea-fresh taste and creamy texture, the Wagyu provided a melt-in-the-mouth effect with each bite, while the pakuchi gave a refreshing, herbaceous flavour.
Aqua’s new dishes come to life with potent Italian and Japanese herbs whilst encouraging food miles to be reduced by growing these ingredients right in their own kitchen. The talented chefs are also green-fingered gardeners, doing an excellent job in presenting a fresh, delicious menu (with sky-high prices to match the space).
29–30/F, One Peking, 1 Peking Road, TST, 3427 2288, book online
This write-up is based on a complimentary media tasting provided in exchange for an honest review and no monetary compensation. The opinions expressed here represent the author’s.
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