This article originally appeared in the latest June edition of Foodie: Jamie's Hong Kong. Read it here!
French Refinement: Le Dome de Cristal opened its doors in 2013 as a collaboration between Ambrosia and Louis Roederer's prestigious Cristal Champagne brand. The circular space in The Galleria underwent a complete transformation under the guidance of award-winning designer Steve Leung. Awash in soft natural tones and plush furnishings, the venue oozes modern European refinement under a soaring domed roof, and is divided between a dining room and a Cristal Champagne bar. The bar, with reasonably priced cocktails hovering around the $60-70 range, is the ideal place to unwind over some tapas for the Central office crowd. The well-stocked wine cellar houses over 21 selections of Cristal's finest Champagne collection.
Photo Credit: Maria Alana
New Chef, New Menu: The restaurant recently underwent a menu transformation with the arrival of chef Charles-Benoit Lacour, a chef whom, despite his youthful age, has worked in several Michelin-starred kitchens included Guy Savoy, Le Pre Catelan and Le Grand Vefour.
After several chilled flutes of Cristal, we sampled key highlights from the new “Concordance Menu”, a specialized composition based around the freshness of spring. We cleansed our palates with a tangy and light Granny Smith apple seaweed granite bathed in a swish of Louis Roederer 2006 Champagne, and dipped creamily sweet Ancelin oysters in a zesty Japanese dressing. The succulent Brittany lobster embellished with wafer-thin daikon and pearls of Earl Grey oozed umami goodness, while the John Dory was buttery in a bed of crunchy sweet peas and decadent Prestige Cuvee Cristal sauce. The highlight of the dish for us though, was the Hainanese congee, which came as a delicate swirl of rice puree flavoured with a blush of ginger.
Next came a halo of smoked hay, in which nestled a dish of perfectly poached egg bejeweled with bacon, pine nuts, walnuts and seasonal vegetables. Not to be out done by the vegetable concoction, the main course of beef ribeye, grilled over charcoal and smoked with the herbs of Provence, was beautifully tender and flavourful. Although a seemingly small detail, we felt that the pairing of briny rich olive with the sweet nuttiness of pine nuts in the dish was genius.
The menu concluded with a refreshing glass of Champagn'Apple, a gingered fresh pineapple and Champagne granite set in Champagne jelly and a dash of Louis Roederer Cristal 2006. And just to make sure we had our sweet tooth absolutely satisfied, we were treated to the signature Le Dome, a luminescent Manjari dark chocolate dome filled with cinnamon, banana puree and vanilla ice cream.
Verdict: A hidden gem. Throughout dinner, we wondered how Le Dome has escaped our radar for so long. Somewhat secluded in the odd space of The Galleria, Le Dome serves out the type of refined French cuisine to rival some of the best contenders in the city. It is certainly worth a visit.