A Restaurant on Top: Ecriture

The first time I visited Ecriture I was enamoured, my second visit has firmly cemented the restaurant among my favourites.

On this second occasion in the restaurant, Chef Maxime Gilbert put together a special menu for the afternoon.  I can’t quite remember how many courses we had, testament to the volume (and potentially the excellent wine) but it was certainly 3 hours well spent at lunch.

Ecriture holds pride of place at the top of the freshest building on the Hong Kong skyline “H Queens”. The central hub is home to a myriad of fine restaurants and contemporary galleries, adding suspense as the elevator rises and quick glimpses of art from all over the world peak in.  In this restaurant the creativity of the building resonates, as do the passion and sincerity of Chef Maxime in bringing a one of a kind dining experience to guests.  The attention-to-detail and immaculate presentation is a feast for the eyes.  Notably the crispy beetroot on top of amaebi shrimp fired up my appetite before I had even tasted it.  The plating was exquisite, channeling a euphoric summer image of butterflies surrounding a bouquet.

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The iconic Caviar dish was served meticulously.  The caviar, which had first been cured in rubia gallega beef, arrived next to our table before being carefully placed on top of the bone marrow soufflé.  The surrounding greens were in perfect harmony with the table setting- a better combination would be hard to find.

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Chef Maxime is particularly skilled at playing on French and Japanese ingredients.  In another signature of Ecriture (it would seem there are plenty), a Hokkaido scallop beignet with black truffle and seaweed made for an unforgettable dish.  The crispness of the beignet went flawlessly with juicy, soft yet tender scallop. The seaweed and truffle brought out the umami of the scallop, in just one bite, the flavours and textures danced on the palate.

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After the scallop we enjoyed three more very different fish, one of which was very new to me. Akamutsu, a kind of seabass and ordinarily one of my favourites to enjoy at a sushi bar, was here steamed between fresh kombu and verbena. Nothing else was added, no salt or other seasonings, only topped with Sake. The akamutsu melted quickly on the palate and proved itself to be very special.. both the simple cooking and raw ingredients were a surprise and welcome reminder of the power of simplicity.

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– Sally Wong

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