Maison ES celebrates its third year on Star Street with two unique tasting menus by founder and chef Esther Sham, who owns and operates both private kitchen Ta Pantry and Maison ES. From now until 22 April 2018, guests can indulge in a menu inspired by Japanese flavours, followed by a specially curated menu centred around Shanghainese cuisine from 23 April–31 May, full of tantalising dishes ranging from slow-cooked veal cheek in Chiu Chow soybean paste to wontons stuffed with foie gras.
We recently visited Maison ES to try the six-course Japanese tasting menu ($988) and started our evening with cool glasses of sake margarita ($138), an easy-drinking cocktail thanks to the mild sake.
The first dish of the evening was a delectable Hokkaido scallop ceviche dressed with charred corn kernels on a bed of corn purée. The sweetness of the corn worked beautifully to accentuate the delicate scallop flesh.
The foie gras steamed tamago was both comforting and light, with the foie gras element presented in foam form, which paired well with the sweet nuttiness of the caramelised mushrooms.
The plump fillet of bacalao (salted cod), served in a soothing fish broth, was wonderfully briny with great texture.
We especially enjoyed the uni spaghetti, which reminded us more of a Chinese dish rather than a Japanese one owing to the noodles being dry-fried with plenty of “wok hei” fragrance.
The heavy hitter of the evening was the USDA Prime short rib, which arrived on a mini grill warmed by a hot stone alongside a plate of honey roasted pumpkin, spinach and shiitake mushroom. The short rib was juicy and thoroughly infused with a sweet, garlicky marinade. It had a tender texture that made us wonder if it had been cooked sous vide.
We ended our meal with a delicate strawberry millefeuille.
We enjoyed the meal and thought each dish was well executed, although leaning towards the sugary side. The sweetness reminded us more of Shanghainese cuisine rather than Japanese, but the overall experience was simply delicious.
1A Star Street (entrance on Electric Street), Wanchai, 2521 8011
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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