In Causeway Bay, there are shopping and dining options everywhere you look. Locals and tourists alike are spoiled for choice, and it can be hard to sort through all the options.
If you’re searching for a new “treat yourself’’spot with a view, note that The Park Lane hotel just celebrated its 45th anniversary by launching SKYE GastroBar. Recently, we had the chance to preview the spot before it officially opens this September.
SKYE GastroBar is located on the 27th floor and is inside SKYE (the restaurant). It takes the space of the former private room and looks over views of Victoria Harbour and Victoria Park. The design is ideal for guests who enjoy interacting with chefs and perhaps learning a little something too. I like the fact that some of the produce used is from the rooftop garden and that some of their herb pots have QR codes that explain who planted it and how to use it – pretty cool stuff.
The brains behind the GastroBar’s design and concept is Chef de Cuisine Lee Adams. Chef Adams has been leading SKYE for a few years now and is passionate about constantly improving what they offer as well as creating seasonal menus and innovative dishes.
As we sat and sipped on our French 57 ($160) and Global Bartender ($140, pictured above) cocktails, we eagerly anticipated what he and the team would whip up. There are a dozen items on the menu, and they’re mostly beautiful, luxurious bites.
To me, the organic heirloom tomatoes with smoked burrata ($210) screams summer. The tomatoes were super fresh (with some being from the hotel’s rooftop garden), as was the cream-smoked burrata, and the homemade basil oil and vinaigrette were lightly zesty complements. Note that, perhaps owing to the smoking process of the cheese, the texture of the burrata is more firm than runny.
The French coastal oysters with Meyer lemon ($300 for 6) were gorgeous. They didn’t really need the dry ice, but we enjoyed the presentation.
The hamachi ceviche ($160) had a lovely vanilla-pod-infused yuzu dressing.
My favourite dishes of the meal were the Australian MB8+ Wagyu neef nigiri ($170 for 3) and the seared foie gras on toast ($180 for 2).
Underneath the torched Wagyu slices were light dollops of horseradish cream, and some black-pepper alcohol was dropped on top prior to eating. Originally, I was expecting raw or rawish beef and was a little worried that these were cooked through. But I shouldn’t have worried. This melted in the mouth in the best way, and the natural flavour of the beef shone through even with the fragrant accompaniments.
As for the foie on toast, just look at these juicy pieces. They’re indulgent, so the fermented Chinese cabbage is a nice touch as it keeps the dish from feeling too heavy. The team also added some foie-infused sauce on each bite, and this was finger-licking good (quite literally).
We ended our meal with a slice of Chef Adams’ famous gianduja hazelnut opera cake ($90) and a bowl of SKYE fries ($110), because who says you can’t have sweet and savoury for dessert? The cake slice was small but made for some satisfying bites. And the fries were probably the best I’ve had all year. They aren’t your average fries, featuring sea urchin emulsion, shichimi togarashi seasoning and nori flakes. The texture was perfect, and the emulsion was generously poured over the fries, which meant that there was loads at the bottom of the bowl for dunking.
I’ve been to another restaurant at The Park Lane and honestly wasn’t impressed. But SKYE is a different story. The prices are on the higher side but are on par with other hotel restobars with a view. And what Chef Adams’ and the GastroBar team are doing with the food is impressive. There’s a lot of creativity, yet its done with a light touch and in a sophisticated manner. Count me in for another round of bites… especially the nigiri, foie toast and fries.
27/F, The Park Lane Hong Kong, 310 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay, 2293 8888, book online
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.
For more reviews like this, like Foodie on Facebook