Since its opening in 2009, The Drawing Room has unassumingly established itself as one of the top fine-dining restaurants in Causeway Bay, with a solid reputation, knowledgeable wait staff and a sleek menu.
My first visit, over two years ago, saw it still finding its feet, with some room for improvement in service and a few tweaks needed for a couple of its dishes. But when I returned recently, it was to a smoothly run and confident establishment.
The Drawing Room was Tony Cheng’s first venture into the F&B business and the beginning of a successful partnership with Master Chef Roland Schuller; they’ve since opened AMMO and Le Salon together recently too. Most will have soft spots for their original projects, and one can tell that they’ve not let their other undertakings get in the way of the attention to detail and quality of their dishes.
Rach and I headed to the restaurant in torrential rain, so it was a welcome comfort to step into the carpeted entrance and be greeted by friendly staff who helped me with my now useless umbrella and ushered me to my seat. We settled at the tables on the elevated platform at the front, getting a good view of the rest of the softly elegant space and the art work (provided by MobArt Gallery).
The Drawing Room is open only for dinner and provides four and five-course tasting menus, with each course having three choices to choose from. Our dinner was a signature dish affair, showcasing Chef Schuller’s finest creations. We started with the pan-fried quail and foie gras with hazelnut and cherries.
The quail was cooked perfectly, the skin crisp, the meat tender. Unfortunately, the foie gras was tad overdone, the outside a bit too charred which slightly marred the silky creamy taste within. The cherries were a lovely addition, helping to cut through the richness of the dish.
Schuller’s popular linguine with Canary Island red prawn and crispy artichokes was beautifully prepared. The prawn and its juices mixed in with the al dente linguine tasted sublime and the artichoke slices gave it a nice crunch.
Our third course was the trio of Wagyu short rib, Wagyu beef tenderloin and ox tongue. Consistency was a problem here; the ox tongue was the clear winner of the three with its succulent and bouncy texture. The tenderloin was good and well flavoured, but the short rib was overcooked and a little dry. The Dauphinoise potatoes and the pretty mound of vegetables on the side were pleasing to the eye and to the palate.
To end, we had the stunning pear tart with vanilla Ice-cream. I thoroughly enjoyed the flaky pastry and the pear slices delicately layered on top retained their juices and gave the dessert a wonderful fruity aroma. The ice-cream was scrumptious too, in all its vanilla pod glory.
We were also treated to the divine dark chocolate and hazelnut praline cake with vanilla ice-cream, which delighted chocoholic Rach with its sinful velvet chocolate exterior and rich nutty interior. And don’t forget to leave room for the trolley of pretty petit-fours (mini cupcakes, cookies, macarons… you name it, it’s there!) that comes round to your table at the end of your meal.
The service that night was impeccable. Our waitress was attentive and conversant in each dish and there were no prolonged waits between courses. Rach and I felt at ease and able to enjoy our meal without any rush, ending our evening satiated and warm. Unfortunately for us, we soon had to leave the comforts of The Drawing Room and brave the deluge outside!
The four-course tasting menu costs $760 per person, the five-course costs $930 per person (plus 10% service charge).
The Drawing Room J Plus Boutique Hotel 1/F, 1-5 Irving Street, Causeway Bay
2915 6628 www.thedrawingroom.com.hk
UPDATE: The Drawing Room is now closed.
Check out more food-related writings from Michelle on her blog, Chopstixfix!