[Hong Kong] Arbor - Innovative French Cuisine with Japanese Ingredients

Rating: ❤❤❤❤1/4 (4.25/5)

I finally have an answer now when someone asks me if I have tried any good new restaurants in Hong Kong lately, and that is Arbor - the sister restaurant of 1* Epure that is located on the 25/F in the new H Queen's building in Central. At the helm is Eric Raty, formerly of Cafe Gray Deluxe, who aims to deliver innovative French cuisine with premium Japanese ingredients. Given the chef's background in Finland, you can also expect to see some Finnish influence in the food as well. Inspired by nature, the space is designed with warm earthy tones and the private room we were dining in was tastefully decorated with trees painted on the walls along with views of Central through its floor-to-ceiling windows. Set menus are offered at both lunch and dinner; the 3-course lunch starts at HK$468 pp while the 9-course dinner starts at HK$1488 pp. 

Our first bite was this appetizing Hokkaido Uni infused with sea buckthorn sauce served with wasabi and cornflower on a sourdough cracker.

Next up was some delicious house made bread served with two types of butter - anchovies and bonito - with the latter being my favorite of the two. 

The Ebisu Oyster with French buttermilk, pickled cucumber, horseradish, plankton and sudachi zest was a refreshing combination of sweet and acidic flavors. 

Lightly grilled on the outside, the Langoustine was still raw in the center whilst delightfully paired with Japanese fruit tomatoes, candied Kombu and tomato water.

The Foie Gras emulsion with sauternes wine was rich and smooth while the rhubarb chutney and umeboshi started growing on me towards the end; and the crunchy texture of the toasted buckwheat was just cherry on top.

The Green and White Asparagus with miso Hollandaise sauce and finger limes was another delightful dish. Both asparagus were superb and the sauce successfully tied the entire dish together. 

The Wild Seabass with broth made with fish bones and heads, green chilies and pickled mustard green takana was the only dish that I didn't like on the menu. The seasoning of the fish was too salty and as a consequence the broth tasted salty as well.

Luckily the Kumamoto A4 Wagyu Beef Tenderloin with Indian malabar pepper sauce picked the meal back up with its irresistible flavors. The pairing of the crispy purple potato chips and mashed Japanese yellow sweet potatoes infused with yuzu butter on the side was fantastic as well. 

Chef Eric Raty used to be a pastry chef as well so it came as no surprise when this creative dessert became the crowd favorite of the night - Crispy Yuba baked with honey and butter served with soy milk ice cream, black beans marinated with Kowloon soy sauce, salted duck egg yolk and roasted white chocolate crumbs. The sweet and savory flavors came together in perfect harmony and reminded me actually of the Chinese dessert 腐竹糖水.

The next dessert paid homage to the chef's background in Finland with Pine Shoot (a common ingredient used there) with 
organic chocolate infused with licorice root served with pine shoot sorbet, creme and fresh pine shoots.

The meal ended as strong as it started with this delightful Citrus Madeleine with lemon and lime zest.

From the creative dishes we had throughout the night, the chef demonstrated that he has great potential and I look forward to seeing more from him.

*By Invitation

25/F, H Queen's
80 Queen's Road East, Central
Tel: +852 3185 8388

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