Shane Osborn might be one of our favourite chefs in Hong Kong. He's also Australian, which we are willing to overlook. Whenever he creates a new menu it's worth a celebration, and on Australia Day (26 January 2016), he's bringing out a special 5-course tasting menu at Arcane to celebrate his roots.
Tartare of O’Connor Aberdeen angus beef
Spanner crab & avocado with sesame filo
Beginning with a tartare made with aged beef from Gippsland Victoria that is laced with onion and just the right amount of truffle, this dish is best heaped on to the crusty bread served alongside a South Australian riesling. It's a bit of a show stopper, straight off the mark.
Bringing the focus to a Tetsuya's type dish (and using the very same supplier as the Sydney stalwart, incidentally), the spanner crab is perfect and served with an array of meticulously cut avocado and something of a gazpacho. To reduce the sauce to a gazpacho is a little simplistic, but it's got all the tomato/raw garlic elements of a gazpacho that we saw a resurgence of with finer dining restaurants this summer. It's most welcome in this dish, which manages to be familiar yet imaginative at the same time.
Seared petuna ocean trout
Roast Wagyu sirloin from Mayura Station
2013 Vasse Felix chardonnay from Margaret River
Heralding the weighty courses is a 2013 Vasse Felix chardonnay from Margaret River. It's an exceptional wine pairing with the forthcoming courses.
Heartier dishes begin with the trout (South Australia), which is a beautiful fish that's thoroughly underutilised in Hong Kong. This dish is a victory of expertly cooked trout, salsa verde, cauliflower which rivals the trout for 'most significant ingredient on the plate' and a cauliflower puree which has just a hint of bonito, setting off the flavours of the trout.
Finish with Mayura wagyu, a beef which is fed chocolate for the latter part of its life. We'd be okay with being Mayura wagyu if that was the deal. The result is a fatty, flavoursome meat that when combined with the burnt leeks and chanterelle mushrooms (plus parmesan polenta) is superb.
If any part of these dishes were even a touch off it would have a chain reaction on the rest of the showcased ingredients, but even with a full house, Arcane is able to flawlessly deliver standout dish after standout dish.
Japanese winter strawberries are the stars of the next dish, even though we liked the New South Wale peaches. A creme anglaise type vanilla ice cream is a nice binder for the whole dessert.
Poached peach with winter strawberries
For 5 days (25 to 30 January 2016), these seasonal dishes are available in addition to the extensive selection on the a la carte menu.
3 glasses of Australian wine are included in the 5 course menu which goes for $1118 per person. Australia has never looked so glam.
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