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Hong Kong has no shortage of fine-dining establishments. As one of the most vibrant and diverse culinary cities in the world, we Hong Kongers are fortunate to be able to choose between a myriad of cuisines from all over the globe. But one such cuisine that we feel does not always get enough love is Nordic cuisine.
A Taste of Sweden campaign aims to change that. Introduced by The Consulate General of Sweden, this fun and interactive campaign highlights Swedish food and culture in Hong Kong throughout November 2020. One of the participating restaurants is sought-after fine-dining spot Frantzén’s Kitchen. Opened by three-Michelin-starred chef Björn Frantzén four years ago, Frantzén’s Kitchen is led by talented Head Chef Jim Löfdahl, incorporating Asian influences into his dishes yet still remaining true to his Nordic heritage.
The restaurant itself is casual and friendly. Furnished with wooden and granite textures, the earthy tones represent the kitchen’s commitment to high-quality, natural ingredients. We particularly loved the cutlery and crockery, which have a rustic yet elegant feel. The restaurant was reasonably busy for a Tuesday afternoon, and the service was attentive without being overbearing.
Before tucking into our lunch, we sipped on the homemade apple & milky oolong tea ($50), which was an unexpected yet very pleasant and refreshing blend of fruity and milk tea flavours.
While not included in the three and six course lunch menus, Frantzén’s signature French toast can be added on for a supplement (+$125), and we highly recommend doing so. This toast is positively mind-blowing and unlike any other French toast you’ll ever try. The two-bite-sized dish has an enticing aroma owing to the shaved white truffle, and it explodes with flavour, beginning with the sharp 60-month-aged Swedish cheese and ending with the sweet aged balsamic vinegar.
The Norwegian salmon “gravlax” is distinctly more Nordic in its style yet is certainly an elevated version of the traditional starer. Consisting of king crab, Arctic char roe, cress, avocado, horseradish and sour cucumber, this dish is simple yet refined, with a strong emphasis on the fresh seafood elements.
The vendace roe is another dish that appears to be simple, yet upon further inspection it reveals layers of complexity. The oil of the mild roe combined with the full-fat mash was delightfully decadent and creamy, while the addition of dill provided a warm finish.
Asian influences are apparent in the Sea of Japan roasted scallop, which is topped with a yuzu kosho emulsion, served with pickled daikon and drizzled with dashi. The first bite of the succulent scallop was subtle, but soon after, a slight spice was revealed, adding further depth to the gorgeous, comforting main course.
The risotto is a picturesque autumnal plate of earthy tones and textures. From the strong umami flavours of the pickled shimeji mushrooms to the crunchy granola and piquant Swedish cheese, it’s hard to fault this full-flavoured dish.
The milk-poached chicken is not your average skinless chicken dish. Subtle in flavour yet extremely juicy, the chicken is paired with a beautiful roasted Jerusalem artichoke purée, subtly earthy chanterelle mushrooms and a crisp rye cracker.
For a light, palate-cleansing dessert, the blood orange sorbet is a clear choice. The distinct citrus flavours of the sorbet are paired with caramelised hazelnuts for a touch of sweetness as well as olive oil, honey and yoghurt.
While the blood orange sorbet is refreshing, the Spicy Red is a standout dessert of preserved strawberries, pink peppercorns and a sort of vanilla marshmallow. The sweetness of the strawberries coupled with the spice of the peppercorns along with the frozen, fluffy and crumbly textures contrast yet complement each other in a way we never saw coming.
Frantzén’s Kitchen is emblematic of what fine dining should be – unpretentious yet elevated cuisine that serves to showcase exceptionally high-quality ingredients. While still too high priced to become a regular lunch spot, we certainly recommend taking a break from your daily routine to embark on a culinary journey at this impeccable Nordic spot.
Visit Frantzén’s Kitchen before the end of November and you could win a free lunch for two! Find out more here.
This write-up is based on a complimentary media tasting provided in exchange for an honest review and no monetary compensation. The opinions expressed here represent the author’s.
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