[Hong Kong] Chesa at The Peninsula
Too bad it never snows in Hong Kong, but you can still get that traditional Alpine experience at Chesa in The Peninsula Hong Kong with its cozy chalet decor and candlelit mood lighting. It is the ultimate haven for lovers of cheese fondue and raclette along with other Swiss favorites since 1965. Even if you are not a cheese lover, the restaurant also offers a variety of appetizers, fish and meat dishes as well. We were here to celebrate a friend's birthday and due to our group size, we were able to order quite a few dishes to sample and share.
The bread basket came with in a cute wooden bucket but the bread wasn't that hot while the butter was a bit stiff.
Crab Meat Pancake ($320) - with lobster-Armagnac cappuccino, this crab meat pancake was easily my favorite non-cheese dish of the night! The crab meat was fresh and sweet while the pairing with the lobster bisque-like sauce was simply perfection.
Sauteed Escargots and Artichoke ($240) - with herbs butter filled in profiterole. I was surprised at the presentation of this dish as escargots are usually presented in their shells, but here they have been de-shelled and placed on top of a huge profiterole. The escargots were flavorful enough but wasn't sure it went well with the pastry ball.
Assiette Chesa ($240) - with thinly sliced air-dried meat delicacies from Grisons. The variety and quality of the charcuterie was high and quite enjoyable to eat.
Raclette du Valais ($185) - one of the signature dishes here with hot melted cheese and new potatoes, it was amazingly delicious with a burnt crispy top layer and chewy center! To prevent cheese overload, sour pickled onions and gherkins are provided as palate cleansers. The portion size says that it is for 1 person but you can easily split this with another person as well.
Onto the cheese fondues of night. Chesa offers a total of 7 different cheese fondues with traditional, smoked bacon, apple cider, tomato sauce, Champagne, beer with bell peppers and black truffle!
Fondue Montagnarde ($270) - Emmentaler, Appenzeller and Gruyere finished with Parmesan and smoked mountain bacon served with macaroni and boiled potatoes. Most cheese fondues here come with bread only, but this one came with boiled macaroni and potatoes as dips! I really enjoyed eating the macaroni as it was quite chewy to eat. The cheese fondue itself had a rich scent of bacon and low alcohol content which I enjoyed.
Fondue au Brie et Truffle Noire ($330) - Brie and Gruyere fondue finished with black truffle served with baguette. The black truffle fondue was exceptional with its strong truffle aroma which went very well with the cheese here. Highly recommend this!
Roasted Quail ($320) - with goose liver stuffing served with potato risotto and cassis sauce. The foie gras stuffing was the highlight of this dish and turned this otherwise normal dish into something special. I think the stuffing could have been even more flavorful as it was hard to detect at first.
Organic Beef Cheek Pot-au-feu ($360) - with root vegetables and hint of horseradish. The beef cheek was very soft and tender but the portion that I got was a bit dry so maybe a bit of the sauce would have helped.
Finally, we ended the night perfectly with a souffle cake from the restaurant! Most souffles would deflate at the slightest touch but this cake managed to retain its shape after it's been cut up and drizzled with sauce! The souffle cake was incredibly soft and moist - it was almost like eating a fluff of cloud. We tried to get the staff to tell us how they managed to do this but they told us that it was a secret!
Verdict - with impeccable service and unpretentious setting, Chesa is probably the place to go to if you are a lover of Swiss gastronomy with its high quality of cheese fondues and reclette!
Chesa at The Peninsula
Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
Tel: 2696 6769
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