Occupying a few of the globe's hottest (figuratively and literally) destinations, including Bangkok, Saint Tropez and Singapore, CÉ LA VI group is well known for its top-notch food, skyscraping rooftops and vibrant, passionate nightlife. CÉ LA VI Hong Kong, which opened in 2015 to great anticipation and publicity, has retained much of the elements that make the restaurant, bar and club so popular with fine diners and partygoers alike.
Recently, to keep things fresh (pun intended), an all-new spring seafood menu was revealed at Hong Kong's CÉ LA VI, featuring a sea-centred array of contemporary dishes such as Asian-inspired poké, seared scallops and miso salmon. The restaurant's ever-evolving menu is a testament to its commitment to using the finest available produce, even if this means having to introduce new dishes on a regular basis.
Given Executive Chef Phillip Pak (or Kun Young Pak)'s extensive experience and admirable presence in the cross-border culinary community, it's no surprise that we arrived at the penthouse level of LKF's California Tower with high hopes and a great deal of excitement. Having learned of Chef Pak's expertise in the art of sushi (developed from the tender age of 17 at one of Denver's finest sushi restaurants) and training at the world-renowned Nobu restaurants in Vail and Aspen, we were confident that the tasting menu would showcase not only his innovative spirit but also a refined understanding of ingredients (arguably all the more important when it comes to dealing with seafood).
All our expectations were met from the get-go. As we tucked into a plate of thinly sliced tai sashimi ($188), we noticed how the freshness of the sea bream was emphasised by the yuzu soy geleé on top. We also loved how the crispy leek and sesame soy added some texture to the otherwise silky pieces of fish.
This seasonal seafood poké ($148) came with white fish, salmon and tuna – my favourite, by far, was the white fish. Marinated in jalapeño-infused soy sauce and tossed up with a medley of crunchy cucumber, red onion, bell pepper and avocado, each type of sashimi-grade fish was served atop a separate 'taco shell'. We were advised to use our hands for this one.
The seared scallop ($248) was served in a playful coriander vinaigrette and topped tastefully with shaved foie gras 'snow'.
Beating the likes of Sichuan fish-fragrant aubergine and Italian aubergine Parmesan, this Saikyo Miso eggplant ($78) was possibly the best aubergine dish I've ever had the honour of tasting, no exaggeration. Aside from literally melting in our mouths, the lightly sauteéd aubergine pieces achieved the challenging task of balancing perfectly between sweet and savoury.
Another highlight of our meal was the blackened miso salmon ($258). This dish uses sustainably sourced Norwegian salmon that is marinated for six hours and pan-fried before being paired with a rich mascarpone cream folded with roasted seaweed and garlic.
Although the menu signalled that our dessert, the chocolate trio ($118), was gluten free, we could hardly tell from the generous layers of caramel chocolate, calamansi cream, white chocolate mousse and chocolate ganache. We loved the interesting texture created by the 'pop rocks' sprinkled on top of the dish, and the use of 64% cocoa, simple-origin Madagascan chocolate meant that the dessert was decadent without being overly sweet.
25/F, California Tower, 30–32 D'Aguilar Street, LKF, Central, 3700 2300