Focused previously on Chinese heritage and cuisine, 1111 ONES’s new eight-course dinner tasting menu (HK$1,800/person; +HK$788 for 6-glass wine pairing) incorporates a broader selection of Asian ingredients under newly appointed chef Chris Chan. Expect to see a variety of European and Asian cooking techniques displayed throughout your culinary journey, with the goal of preserving the natural flavours of the ingredients used.
Chef Chan began his career at celebrated Italian restaurant Da Domenico, before honing his skills at various well-known restaurants around town including The Pawn. His most recent roles were Group Executive Chef for Classified Group and Group Corporate Chef for Il Bel Paese.
The first amuse-bouche of unsweetened white chocolate is popped with just one bite, bursting with the flavour of Earl Grey tea with its strong bergamot aroma.
The rest of the amuse-bouche are laid out on a long wooden tray. The deep-fried quail egg is surrounded by spaghetti-thin pastry, playing around with different textures, while the white asparagus panna cotta has a creamy texture and mild flavour – but unfortunately, both are a little off. I felt they could use a touch of salt to accentuate their flavours.
One amuse-bouche I did enjoy was the thin, crispy chicken skin – a savoury cracker complemented by dotted flavour blasts of sweet coconut cream and mild Thai green curry.
The menu kicks off with toro sourced from Spain, topped with a piece of sweet Hokkaido sea urchin. The clear tomato consommé jelly adds a refreshing touch of umami.
Prized Chiu Chow crab ravioli is wrapped in daikon, crowned with a dollop of Oscietra caviar. Daikon is a risky choice because it’s often bitter and overpowering, but here, its flavour is enjoyably earthy. Its crunchy texture complements the soft texture of the sweet crabmeat. The horseradish “snow” adds a welcome pungency, however, the leek consommé is a bit too briny for my liking.
The langoustine it roasted over a Japanese charcoal grill and accented with Thai flavours including lemongrass, toasted garlic and bird’s-eye chilli.
The smooth, velvety potato cream holds a Japanese onsen egg sprinkled generously with black truffle. The egg adds a further creamy element to the dish and complements the porcini mushrooms hidden throughout. I like this dish’s focus on soft textures, with the potato component tying all the ingredients together.
Moving on to the heavier plates, the cod is one of the highlights of the menu. Piping-hot onion consommé is poured into a shallow bowl containing steamed Cantonese-style cod, along with crispy puffed rice and lily bulb. The soup is light and mildly sweet, and the puffed rice adds a lovely nutty, toasty element.
I’m not a huge fan of the texture of fish maw (+HK$460), but I love its smoky aroma. This well-seasoned fish maw sits atop a creamy lobster bisque-like sauce, with puffed rice again adding a nutty element.
The main course is Hida Wagyu (or you can opt for the carabinero and maitake risotto). Surrounding the beef is celeriac in two forms – thin, charred ribbons that have a slight crunch and a dark, smooth purée – giving a nutty, earthy edge to the dish. A dollop of citrus chimichurri further accentuates the dish’s earthy flavour profile.
The dessert places the spotlight on sesame – an essential ingredient throughout Asia – here given a modern European twist by Chef Chan in the form of milk chocolate and black sesame ganache and sesame tuile. A scoop of toasted coconut ice cream is plated on top of some crumble, with dots of passionfruit sauce adding a sour element. Delicious!
1111 ONE’s new tasting menu is delicate on the palate, featuring mostly mild flavours and soft textures. Even though this menu isn’t filled with a ton of punchy, intense flavours, Chef Chan does an exemplary job showcasing a variety of Asian ingredients via European cooking techniques. Admittedly, some of the dishes could use a tweak or two to up their flavour profile.
Where: 11/F, 18 On Lan Street, Central
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.