The Dead Rabbits is a London-based cooking collective of top-tier chefs who’ve united to up their game and inspire each other to take their kitchen creations to the next level. They recently brought their skills to Hong Kong for a four-night stint at Test Kitchen in Sai Ying Pun, serving up a creative array of complicated and delectable dishes.
Test Kitchen is unique in that it always includes a critique card along with the tasting menu for rating each course and comments, which has the effect of making everyone at the table extra observant. The flow of the conversation around the communal table is often about the nuanced details of each dish, a perfect union for this style of meal where each dish is layered with elaborate cooking techniques and ingredients.
Here‘s a look at the innovative plates we tucked into:
The tapioca fried rabbit with carrot kimchi was the opening course and really hit the ground running with this creative take on Korean fried chicken. Full of amazing textures, the succulent rabbit was encased in a crisp shell of tapioca spikes and the spicy carrot ketchup was a master-stroke accompaniment.
This smooth and creamy crab and pork floss tartlet was a flavour favourite: a hefty layer of crab under a soft yet sturdy pastry, with a generous sprinkling of pork floss that was both aesthetically pleasing and texturally abounding.
The hamachi carpaccio was a beauty of a dish with its crisp, clean flavours, from the sliver-thin fish, to the rolls of cucumber, to the fennel, dill and kaffir lime that served as luxurious and multi-faceted palate cleansers.
The Salad 852 was made up that day from whatever the chefs could find in the morning market. Crunch upon crunch, with a panoply of vegetables (from edamame and snake bean to spring onion and mint) and a dollop of crème fraiche over the crispy base.
There was much excitement about this sweetheart of a dish that was comprised of an expertly cooked shrimp roasted with a vanilla pod run through it, topped with white miso and turnip. It was as sweet and creamy as it was surprising – and it was a complete crowd-pleaser.
The saba (mackerel) was the only dish that didn‘t get rave reviews all round. A cold dish, the pops of passion fruit were distracting and not a terrific union with the fish, although the ponzu itself was delightful and the dish a pretty one.
Considered the Wagyu of pork, the Sagabuta pork loin lived up to its reputation, and the accompanying pork belly, dotted with sweetcorn and pomegranate and drizzled in XO sauce, made it a luscious dish.
This next dish was inventive, exciting and incredibly moreish. Crème brûlée foie gras with pineapple and Sichuan pepper is not a combination we had ever considered we would experience. The glazed top, subtle spice and fine melding of savoury and sweet were a skilled introduction to the dessert courses, making for a cool, accomplished dish.
This was another nice play on savoury and sweet, featuring mango, coconut and meringue with tarragon.
A pretty pink finale with a few bites of this tasty Earl Grey strawberry tart.