ON Dining Kitchen & Lounge by Chef Philippe Orrico | Hong Kong

Rating: ❤❤❤1/2

ON Dining Kitchen & Lounge is the new restaurant from Chef Philippe Orrico of the newly minted 1 star Upper Modern Bistro, focusing on southern European and Mediterranean flavors. Located on the 28th & 29th floor, the lounge boasts views of Central through its outdoor terrace while the formal dining space is located downstairs. Set lunch is priced at HK$288 for 2 courses or HK$328 for 3 courses - not unreasonable but not cheap either. To be honest, I wasn't that impressed with Upper Modern Bistro (previous review here) when I last visited but perhaps ON will prove me wrong?

I'd prefer the lounge more during the day because it is more airy and bright with the open terrace space compared to the dining room. I also like the retro chic decor and casual vibe of the lounge but the dining room looks bright and modern as well with its white, black and lavender color tones.

The baguette was warm and toasty while the butter was room temperature so both passes the bread test.

Foie Gras Terrine [3.5/5] - with red fruit chutney and toasts. No surprises here - the terrine tasted as expected while the chutney was a nice compliment with its tart flavors as a contrast to the richness of the foie gras. 

Tourteau Crab [3.5/5]- with lobster & tomato salad. The salad was very pretty to look at with its spring-like colors. The ingredients were fresh while the tart Yuzu dressing set this dish apart from being just another salad, but we had to send this back when we realized there was a film of dust on the outer rim of the plate. All of our other plates had no problems so hopefully it was a one-time mistake. 

Poached Egg [3.5/5] - with braised veal, mushrooms & spinach. The poached egg was very nicely done with a gorgeous runny yolk but the flavors in this dish were otherwise uninteresting and one dimensional with a heavy mushroom taste.

Roasted Chicken [4.2/5] - with potatoes, mushrooms and truffles. The mains proved to be better than the starters as the chicken was juicy and tender while the truffle jus was aromatic! 

Angus Beef Cheek [4.4/5] - with parsnip puree and red cabbage. The beef cheek was another well-executed dish as the beef was very soft in texture with rich flavors. 

Duck Leg Parmentier [3.5/5] - this was rather interesting as it resembled a shepherd's pie with a fluffy layer of mashed potato on top of stringy duck meat. I loved the toasted crispy top of the potato puree with the crunchy mini croutons but the meat layer was unfortunately too salty. 

Tiramisu [3.8/5] - with mandarin sorbet with cinnamon, nuts and candies. The tiramisu itself was actually very good with a rich mascarpone content while the sorbet was refreshing as well. The various toppings on top felt extraneous though as it didn't add much to the dessert and not well integrated - just give me a bigger slice of the tiramisu!

Set lunch also came with tea or coffee but our coffees tasted overly bitter. I had to add a ton of milk and sugar to make this drinkable. 

Verdict - no doubt the food was solid and well executed but it also didn't leave us wholly impressed or excited either as most of the dishes tasted as expected so there were no surprises. Maybe our expectations were too high? Perhaps it's due to the limitation of the set lunch menu so dinner will have to be the real test of the kitchen. At this point, the verdict is still out but the high quality of the food at lunch gives us confidence to come back and try the food at night!

ON Dining Kitchen & Lounge
29/F, 18 On Lan Street, Central
Tel: 2174 8100

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