Arbor is truly one of Hong Kong’s finest restaurants. It was awarded a Michelin star within its first year of opening, and after being open for just over a year, Arbor received another highly coveted accolade – the Foodie Forks 2019 Editors’ Choice Best Restaurant award!
Known for combining premium Japanese ingredients with French techniques, Chef Eric Räty is passionate about creating delicate and flavourful dishes with only the finest ingredients. While most of the ingredients on the menu are imported from Japan, once in awhile Chef Räty will make an exception for a very special product like TE MANA LAMB.
TE MANA LAMB hails all the way from New Zealand, where farmers use natural techniques to raise a breed of sheep that thrive in high-country environments. The result is a lamb with marbling on a micro-scale and a high level of omega 3 – higher than any other red meat.
TE MANA first launched in Hong Kong in 2017, and restaurants soon took notice. In the MICHELIN Guide Hong Kong 2019, TE MANA LAMB gained special recongition as a highlight at Chef Umberto Bombana’s Octavium.
Now, TE MANA LAMB has found a special place on Arbor’s menu. We had the pleasure of tasting “the world’s finest lamb” as the main course of Arbor’s chef’s tasting lunch menu ($888).
This hearty serving of sweet brioche paired with miso butter and fish roe butter was a deliciously decadent way to start. The other courses were relatively light compared to this moreish bread basket.
The amuse-bouche was a gorgeous combination of Wagyu beef and nori. The textural contrasts of the beef and seaweed along with the blend of sweet and umami-laced flavours were the perfect way to whet the appetite.
Next up, the undeniably beautiful Hokkaido amaebi (sweet shrimp) with freeze-dried tomato sorbet and heirloom tomato. We’re not always fans of the sweetness of amaebi, but these were incredibly succulent and paired beautifully with the sweetness of the cherry tomato. While not our favourite course, this was a refreshing and unique dish, and we loved how the colours matched the muted pinks of the restaurant’s interior.
We are die-hard egg fans, and this Taiyouran egg could hold its own amongst any of our Top 10 Egg Dishes in Hong Kong. Chef Räty recommends cutting into this beauty and letting that gloriously gooey egg yolk blend with the corn purée, crisp chicken skin and chicken pieces. From the crunch of the corn and chicken skin to the richness of the egg yolk, we cannot fault this dish.
And now for the star of the show: the TE MANA LAMB. Time to see what all the fuss was about – is this the best lamb in the world? In short, we would probably say yes. The lamb has a clear marbling unlike any other lamb we’ve ever tasted. Chef Räty’s cooking technique certainly plays a role in enhancing the flavour profile of this dish. Crusted with sesame seed and served with a light gravy, the fatty lamb melted like butter in the mouth. The heavenly sides included delicate slithers of carrot and a creamy carrot purée.
Dessert, a tribute to blackcurrant, was another enticing combination of flavours. Thinking about the tasty tartness of the blackcurrant and gooseberries along with the soothing sorbet makes the mouth water all over again. We particularly enjoyed the little white chocolate ball that exploded with blackcurrant filling.
Arbor’s signature madeleines, made with sake lees and lemon and lime zest, are served warm and are unbelievably light and fluffy. The final marriage of Japanese ingredients and French techniques came in the form of green tea and mochi macarons. C’est magnifique!
Fusion meals so often leave us scratching our heads, but somehow Arbor blends it all together in a seamless way that exudes effortless elegance. New Zealand’s TE MANA LAMB fits right into the already exquisite lunch menu as a standout dish without overshadowing the other courses. Highly recommended for a memorable meal!
Note: Arbor does not have an à-la-carte lunch menu. In addition to the chef’s tasting menu, there is a weekday four-course lunch menu ($598).
25/F, H Queen’s, 80 Queen’s Road Central, Central, 3185 8388, book online
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