Review: Restaurant Petrus at the Island Shangri-La Hotel, Hong Kong (1 Michelin star)
There’s a lot we can appreciate about our current, slower pace of life. But that doesn’t mean our desire for adventure and new experiences has gone away right? I don’t know about you but lately I’ve seen this manifest in an increased desire for fine dining experiences. A three-hour escape with multiple courses in a lucious atmosphere is perhaps one version of a 2021 ‘vacation.’
With this in mind, I was really excited to visit Restaurant Petrus at the Island Shangri-La (one Michelin star) to try their new seasonal set menu. I’d visited once before for an event about three years ago, but had yet to experience dinner as a guest.
In my opinion, fine dining is about the experience as much as the food. In this respect, Petrus (and the hotel overall) really shines. Service was kind, attentive, knowledgeable but also proactive in a gentle way. They noticed how you were doing and tried to cater to your needs. If you’re looking for a special not snooty experience, this is a good spot.
The new seasonal set menu
Petrus may have a classic vibe but the food is thoroughly contemporary. Since 2019, the kitchen has been helmed by Executive Chef Uwe Opocensky (who oversees all of Island Shangri-La’s culinary offerings) and Chef de Cuisine Romain Dupeyre. Chef Uwe may need no introduction, having been in Hong Kong for years first as Executive Chef at the Mandarin Oriental and most recently at his now-closed eponymous restaurant Uwe. Chef Romain is a newer arrival, coming for the job at Petrus after having cut his teeth in fine dining establishments across Thailand, France (including being part of the opening team at Shangri-La Paris), Australia and Ireland.
What have Chefs Uwe and Romain come up with for spring? My friend and I each ordered the five-course menu ($1,588; three and four courses are also available) and chose different options for each course so we could try more dishes.
Before diving in, we start with a lovely breadbasket filled with mini baguettes, slices of sourdough, olive oil brioches and, my favourite, laugen rolls.
Then came the amuse bouche: a beet tart, a scallop stone, and a mimolette and truffle-stuffed ‘wine cork’. Nice being hit with a combination of fresh, sophisticated and home-y tastes right from the start.
Norwegian king crab with cauliflower mousse and caviar (supplement $288) on waffles
We really enjoyed the curry flavours in this dish and spooning such lucious ingredients on a humble waffle.
Langoustine with kumquat and leeks (supplement $488)
This dish had quite a hefty supplement but if you were looking to splurge on a dish make it this one. The langoustine was perfect - cooked but maintaining a raw, fresh, wobbly texture. Loved the unusual combination of bittersweet kumquat and buttery leeks adding dimension but not overpowering the sweet flesh.
Endive salad with radicchio, truffles and smoke
A beautiful salad served two ways: braised and fresh! Lots of rich, umami flavours including the addition of a chicken truffle cream.
Grilled Spanish red prawn (supplement $200)
This dish is one of Petrus’s signatures. The head is grilled to well done but the body is kept medium rare. It’s served with some fermented red prawn paste and some grilled sourdough for mopping up the juices.
Turbot served with boudin noir, celeriac whip and curry saffron sauce
The boudin noir (homemade black sausage) was very buttery and mild, allowing the turbot to shine.
Lobster ravioli with spinach and truffles (supplement $188)
A beautiful Brittany lobster was chargrilled, its claws becoming the centre of the ravioli. If you’re a fan of sauces, you’ll enjoy this as it comes with onion puree, chicken truffle lobster sauce and lobster espume. It all complemented each other and resulted in some otherworldly bites. Not an easy dish to create - worth the splurge.
When our mains came out, I realized we probably should have gone lighter for the earlier courses. Because these stunners were rich.
Beef with Cafe de Paris, swiss chard, bone marrow jus
The cut is the calotte or cap (top of the rib eye) which was tender but surprisingly sinewy. The braised beef cheek-stuffed swiss chard with parmesan was an unexpected indulgent side as was the bone marrow candle melting all over the garlic, thyme and breadcrumbs - a unique take on Cafe de Paris sauce from Chef Uwe.
Pigeon with foie gras, chicken mousse, pigeon truffle jus
Back to the sophisticated home-y dishes. A delicious combination. The most tender pigeon.
The pear tart is very light and fresh, with fresh pear atop a buckwheat tea biscuit and banana sponge base.
No matter how full you might be at this point, don’t miss this Hokkaido cream cheese cake. It’s soft and runny, almost like a pudding and incredibly addictive. It doesn’t need the blueberry ice cream or oat tea biscuits but both are delicious - have them with the cheese cake or alone.
Our meal ended with some petit fours: canele, passionfruit chocolate, jelly square, and a madeleine.
Petrus’s decor may be a little dated (elegant but dated) but don’t let that stop you from visiting. The food is truly top-notch - inventive and expertly crafted. Those into strong flavours and unusual combinations will especially enjoy the experience. Also the J.L Coquet Limoges porcelain used is really beautiful. We visited on a weekday evening but think it would be an especially good choice for a celebration meal - choose your dishes and then let the kitchen and staff whisk you away.
Level 56, Pacific Place, Supreme Ct Rd, Central, 2820 8590