The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Friday, 30 September 2011

Fine-dining Cantonese @ Cuisine Cuisine, Hong Kong

I am still not used to the idea of eating Chinese food fine dining-style. I grew up eating all sorts of Chinese food at various levels of formality, ranging from the low-brow cheap street-side stuff to the special occasion banquet-style fares, but it was only a couple of years ago when I first ate at a Michelin-starred Chinese restaurant in Tokyo. If anywhere, Hong Kong would be the place to find many of these fine-dining Chinese restaurants, yet I can recall of only one such experience in the past year since we moved to HK. I suppose it's because there are too many other wonderful dining opportunities to be had in this city. I had a Japanese friend and her family visiting HK last weekend, and I wanted to bring her to a Chinese restaurant. She'd mentioned she liked modern restaurants, and Cuisine Cuisine at The Mira fitted the bill quite nicely. The restaurant was recently awarded two Michelin stars, which is a nice boost for a restaurant.

This is a swish and swanky restaurant with a cool and modern decor - definitely a place to come with someone you're trying to impress. The menu is (to quote from their website) "an elevation to traditional Cantonese cuisine". There are pages and pages of dishes, which makes selection quite difficult. I never knew Chinese tea could be so expensive, and have never before seen tea dominate the first three pages of a menu! Service was faultless and suitably professional, and the floor manager was happy to accommodate our boy's allergies (soy, nuts and sesame allergies make it quite challenging to dine at Chinese restaurants).

Check out the high chair the boy got to sit on! It's got to be the coolest high chair design I've encountered yet:

The adults ordered one dish each, and shared in the middle banquet-style. I felt a little pressure from the manager to order appetisers, so I got one that he recommended. That was plenty of food, with some fried rice leftover. I think that if hubby wasn't on his cutting phase, we would have needed to order at least one more dish. All the dishes ordered were labelled as Chef's Recommendation.

The only appetiser ordered: Grilled Eel tossed with Osmanthus Sauce, one of the restaurant's signature dishes. Very tasty with a slightly crispy coating and a subtly sweet sauce:

The grilled eel, bitten into. On the plate, the eel didn't resemble much like unagi that everyone at the table was familiar with, but only one bite was needed to verify that it was indeed eel:

Hubby ordered the Honey-glazed Barbecued pork. Nicely done with plenty of flavour. The meat wasn't too fatty which was a pleasant surprise:

My friend ordered the Braised Seasonal Vegetables with Bamboo Piths and Shrimp Roe Sauce. The 'seasonal vegetable' was spinach, which paired quite well with the silky texture of the bamboo pith. We all expected a dish made with bamboo shoot, not a fungus, but this dish was well received, particularly my friend's 2-year-old girl. I liked it, but hubby thought it was only okay (he may prefer to describe the texture as slimy, not silky, and he isn't a big fan of that texture):

I chose the Deep-fried Mashed Taro Ring filled with assorted vegetables. Yam ring is one of our favourite dishes, but it has been years since we had one. This was a good version, and it was my favourite dish that night. The vegetables were briefly stir-fried and lightly seasoned, so they were crisp and crunchy, and the yam ring was crispy but not oily:

Fried Red Rice with Scallops and Seafood - the red rice grain added a slightly crunchy texture and nutty flavour, and seafood pieces were generously scattered throughout the rice. Quite nice, but I thought the seasoning was a bit too subtle:

I need to get my head around the idea of fine dining Chinese, and a meal at Cuisine Cuisine was a good way to help me. It wasn't as expensive as I'd expected it to be, and the bill came to around HK$300 per person, including some drinks. Tokyo and the playgroup my friend and I were a part of do seem like a lifetime ago, and It was great to see my friend and her little girl again (and meet her husband and her son too).

Cuisine Cuisine at The Mira
3/F, The Mira Hong Kong
118 Nathan Road
Tsimshatsui, Kowloon
Tel. +85 2 2315 5222


  1. That deep fried mash taro ring is truly one of the classic dishes that has been around for so long! A good one is really something out of this world!

  2. Hi chopinandmysaucepan, I agree, and it's a good thing then we live in HK where (I assume) we can get yam ring quite easily :)

  3. The cuisine looked so tempting and mouthwatering! I especially love the presentation of Braised Seasonal Vegetables with Bamboo Piths and Shrimp Roe Sauce. Just by looking at it already gives me an impression of an artsy and appetizing chow! =)

  4. Hi Elnora,

    Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. Cantonese food is delicious, which you ought to try if you get the chance. It should be easy to find Cantonese food in New York :)

  5. The honey glazed barbecued pork looks delicious, huh! And now, here comes my cravings for meat!!! Hahaha! Oh well, when was the last time I ate at a Chinese resto? Uhm, it’s been months! There’s a Chinese restaurant near my workplace and I think Chicken Manchurian would be nice for dinner. I’m excited!! :D