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

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Meat and potatoes @ Atelier Vivanda, Hong Kong

This visit to Atelier Vivanda took place a few months ago, the week before I gave birth to #3. We went on a double date with friends who was expecting their second child, and since the other pregnant mother had huge cravings for meat, Atelier Vivanda was quite the appropriate choice. Atelier Vivanda is the brainchild of Michelin Two-Star French Chef Akrame Benallal, who already has three outlets in Paris. It is located next door to Benallal's eponymous restaurant, and the menu is all about meat and potatoes (and delicious desserts too). I personally am not a steak person, but that might be because I've never had a good steak! If there was a place to convert me to be a steak-lover, then Atelier Vivanda would be the place. Service was friendly and attentive, and the atmosphere was relaxed and casual. Atelier Vivanda offers a set-course menu: a choice of entrée, meat main, and dessert with bottomless potatoes and salad for HK$448. Excellent food quality, lovely presentation and great flavours. We all enjoyed the potatoes, and our favourites were the pommes dauphine, gratin dauphinois and mashed potatoes. The desserts were really good! All-in-all, the four of us enjoyed the meal and the company, and I felt sad when it was time to go home.

A view into the kitchen from our table, where young and good-looking chefs are working their magic:

The dining space:

Guy friend ordered the signature duck terrine wrapped with cabbage for his entrée, which looked great:

Hubby got the potato soup with smoked haddock and old comte - a great warming soup for the cold winter night. Can't go wrong with ham-and-cheese combination:

Girl friend and I got the soft boiled egg with cottage cheese mayonnaise & woods perfume. I loved the presentation, and the woodsy earthy flavours of the mushrooms complemented the egg very well:

Egg yolk food porn:

The Black Angus Persille, which the other three selected as their meat course. Well-marbled with a smoother mouth-feel than my flank, this is a good choice for beef-lovers wanting to indulge in a fattier cut with a beefier flavour:

My Black Angus Flank, the leaner cut that was succulent and tender:

The potatoes sides - sauteed potatoes, gratin dauphinois, mashed potatoes, pommes dauphine and pommes darphin. I may have indulged too much in the pommes dauphine - I could not get enough of the crispy fried potato globes:

Four desserts were on the menu, so we ordered all four to share. They were all good, and I cannot pick just one that was my favourite.

Crème brûlée - fantastic hard caramel contrast with the creamy smooth custard:

Traditional French custard with vanilla ice cream - the texture of the custard was more cake-like than silky smooth, which is not a bad thing, and I liked that it wasn't too sweet like custard tarts can be. Loved the ice cream:

The caramel profitoclaire with chocolate tonka dessert was innovative and very well executed. The light choux pastry was with vanilla ice cream and drizzled with caramel and a sprinkle of hazelnuts:

The 100% chocolate moelleux with green citrus went down very easy, and a quarter portion was not quite enough! A good choice for chocolate-lovers:

I loved our experience at Atelier Vivanda, and I hope for the opportunity to revisit.

[Price quoted above does not include 10% service charge.]

Atelier Vivanda
9A Ship St
Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Tel. +85 2 2109 1768

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