Date night #goals
The Continental is an elegant restaurant inspired by the sophisticated charm of Europe’s grand cafés and contemporary design. If you’ve got a big date, special occasion or celebration coming up, I’d definitely recommend it for an incredible dining experience in a relaxed and beautiful setting (start dropping hints to your S.O.’s now, girls!)
Read more: Hong Kong Dining: Date Night Spots
The restaurant is spacious yet intimate, with perfect “not-too-dim” lighting. Upon arrival, my eyes were drawn towards the beautiful (and well stocked!) bar area in the centre of the room. The overall impact of the teal leather furnishings set against the wooden walls and leather topped tables instantly evokes the feeling of laid back glamour, setting the tone for the evening.
The Continental has a serious bar menu, filled with old-school classics, but they also offer up a huge selection of their touchstone spirit, Absinthe (yep, it’s not just the furniture that’s green here!). Although tempting, we started off our dinner with the two special Movember Cocktails; both whiskey based and with $20 from each going towards the Movember Foundation, we couldn’t say no!
First up was the Very Berry Smash ($90), with Michter’s American, Port wine, lemon, rosemary and raspberries; you could certainly taste the whiskey, but the fruity flavours made for one very tasty (and very drinkable!) cocktail. Next up was The Palio ($120), a mix of Michter’s Bourbon, Faretti Biscotti, Cocchi di Torino, lime and Angostura bitters – a must try for big whiskey fans. The cocktails were a lovely, fun start to our meal, but the real star for us was Sommelier Eric’s wine pairings which accompanied every course…
To kick off our feast, we were presented with some delicious and soft, salty focaccia, paired with thick, sticky and sweet balsamic. After just one bite my expectations for the meal were beginning to soar and we’d been seated for less than 10 minutes!
Following on from the focaccia, we enjoyed an incredible Foie Gras with Bee Pollen, Honeycomb and Citrus Segments ($175); along with Australian Black Angus Beef Tartare, served with Persillade and Fresh Horseradish ($175). The two dishes were designed to be shared and were immaculately presented to us with perfectly toasted sourdough and white toast triangles (crusts removed, of course).
Eric chose an Austrian Sweet wine to accompany the Foie Gras, an unusual choice which we loved! The wine was sweet, yet crisp and citrusy, cutting through the dish and marrying perfectly with the smooth Foie Gras. The orange segments were jammy and sweet, making for a rich yet delicate starter when paired with crunchy honeycomb.
The Beef Tartare was served with a Pinot Noir, which was light and delicious, complementing the subtle peppery flavours of the beef and the spicy horseradish. The dish was yet again presented perfectly, on a bed of burnt leek “ash” (taking 24 hours alone to create!), exemplifying the sheer effort and precision that goes into every item on the menu.
For our first main, we had Oat flake crusted Dorade roasted in Brown Butter with Wild Mushrooms, Fregola & Toasted Almonds ($275). The fish was cooked perfectly and the earthy flavours were delicious when paired with the light Chateau Musar, which Eric had chosen for us.
Then came the real showstopper of the meal; the Roasted Brittany Blue Lobster Thermidor, with Lobster Risotto & Tarragon Gratin (make sure to pre-order 48 hours in advance!). The sweet succulent Lobster Thermidor was served whole with creamy risotto, al dente veg and a sharp white wine, cutting through the richness of the dish. The whole thing was incredidble, certainly one to try for a special occasion!
Just as we thought we couldn’t possibly eat another bite, the two of the most beautiful desserts I have ever seen (and eaten!) arrived. We sampled the Noisette, a Chocolate-Hazelnut Gâteau with Brown Butter Ice Cream ($135), that was rich and ideal for chocolate fans.
The second dessert was a Vietnamese Coffee Flavoured Bombe Alaska with Frangelico Ice Cream and Caramelised Bananas ($110). The gooey Italian meringue of the Bombe Alaska was insanely good, not to mention the ice cream and caramelised bananas, as a dessert lover, I was in utter heaven! Both desserts were paired with a Canadian Ice Wine, which was sweet and fruity, complementing the puds perfectly.
After our desserts, we were also presented with an extra special treat of Petit-Fours, which rounded our meal off beautifully. We enjoyed the most gorgeous lemon macarons and the daintiest mini lemon meringue pie – the ideal end to an indulgent meal.
With a menu containing so many lavish and rich dishes, Executive Chef Joey Sergentakis makes manages to ensure none of the dishes feel “too much”. Not a single thing was too heavy, and although we did leave full and satisfied, it was probably because we couldn’t bear to leave a single mouthful of any of the impeccable dishes! Along with each faultless course, the knowledgable and attentive Sommelier Eric suggested interesting wine pairings, which really made every dish sing.
For an occasion dinner, I would highly recommend The Continental. We even spotted a wedding reception a few tables over from us, so it’s definitely a place for celebrations! To top it all off the incredible food and wine was coupled with seamless service, making for an unforgettable evening.
The Continental, One Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Hong Kong, www.thecontinentalhongkong.com
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