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

Monday, 22 June 2015

Fine Dining Vietnamese @ Quest by Que, Hong Kong

Hubby recently had his birthday, and we celebrated it with a dinner date at Quest by Que, a newly opened restaurant by chef Que Vinh Dang. I'd heard about Quest from my aunt-in-law, who always seems to be well-updated with what's new, hip and happening in Hong Kong. She raved about Quest, said that the food was to die for, and that hubby and I must try it. This lady has good taste in food and I value her opinion, so Quest went on my list of restaurants to try. The restaurant is open only for dinner, so we fed, bathed and put the kids to bed before leaving them in the hands of their nanny so we could enjoy a few hours kids-free. Quest has an unpretentious vibe, putting the focus on what is important: the food. The decor was simple but sleek and classy with monochromatic interiors. The service was attentive and unobtrusive. I was quite pleased when we were seated at a table nearby the open kitchen and bar, where we saw plating action happening throughout our meal. Our meal consisted of eight courses of small plates that touched a little bit on molecular gastronomy. Plating presentation was gorgeous, and the flavours and textures in each dish were fabulous!

Chef Que flashing a smile when he saw me taking a photo. Hubby is certain he recognised the chef as one of the members at the mixed martial arts gym we go to:

The unpretentious decor of Quest. There was a private party happening behind the partition towards the back of the dining area near the entrance:

Our drinks - Dark & Stormy (Kraken Black Spiced Rum, ginger beer, bitters; HK$120) for hubby, and Kampai (glutinous rice shochu, yuzu, bitters; HK$110) for me:

First course was Smoked Octopus with watermelon, pickled watermelon skin, ice lettuce. In my haste to eat, I failed to notice that this wasn't a very good angle of the dish. Nevertheless, the turmeric foam gave a light scent to the smoky octopus which was tender and flavourful and nicely offset by the sweet and juicy watermelon:

Torched Ōra King Salmon with galangal and beetroot jelly, avocado and salmon roe. The salmon was fatty and succulent, beautiful on its own without the other ingredients. The creamy avocado paired nicely with the slightly sweet beetroot jelly, and the gelatinous crunch of the basil seeds gave a lovely textural contrast, though everything else on the plate overpowered its mild flavour:

The chef's version of the Vietnamese sandwich - BBQ Iberico Pork Belly Bánh Mì with chicken liver pate, black pepper chả lụa sausage, pickles. The liver pate was mixed in with the minced pork belly, making this a rich dish:

Bún Riêu Crab Cake with pickled cucumber, cherry tomato pico de gallo. The crab cake was made almost entirely of juicy crabmeat, and crispy without greasiness:

This was our favourite dish of the night - Pan Seared Chilean Sea Bass with crispy vermicelli and sweet shrimp ravioli. The seabass was cooked to perfection, juicy and sweet. The shrimp ravioli had a transparent skin that burst readily in the mouth. This was an excellently executed dish:

Stuffed Quail with carrot purée, pickled romanesco, chipotle nước mam. The quail was beautifully roasted, but seemed like a rather ordinary dish after the sea bass:

First dessert was Strawberry Compote with soursop sherbert, pandan panna cotta and macaroon. I thought there was a lot happening on this plate, both visually and flavour-wise, that it was almost an assault on the senses. Perhaps I would have better appreciation if this dessert was broken down into two or three separate desserts:

Second dessert course - Frozen Vietnamese Mocha with coffee ice cream, condensed milk and chocolate meringue. I really enjoyed this one, and wished for more:

Overall, we really enjoyed our experience at Quest by Que, and our bill came a little over HK$2000 which I thought was quite reasonable for a restaurant of this calibre.

Que by Quest
28th Floor
235-239 Hennessy Road
Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Tel. +85 2 2554 0888

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