Christmas is over, presents have been distributed… and somehow it’s already February. Which means, of course, for the lucky (or unlucky, depends how you look at it!) ones in a relationship, presents must be bought all over again and there’s that pressure hanging over us to do something ‘special’ for Valentine’s Day.
Fortunately, us girls tend to be exempt from the planning process as it is usually the man’s duty to book the restaurant, order the flowers, buy the chocolates, create the romance, etc. (Any men who happen to be reading this and haven’t taken the hint, you still have exactly two weeks to get your act together!) We can however, put in ‘subtle’ requests for which restaurant we’d like to go to and hope for the best.
I was asked to test the Valentine’s Day menu at Harvey Nichols Fourth Floor Restaurant to give Sassy girls a chance to drop a few hints before the big day. Having never even known that Harvey Nicks had a restaurant, let alone a fine dining one, I had to accept and put it to the test!
The long, narrow space that occupies the restaurant offers a contemporary design: both the ceiling and the floor are made up of angular red, white and blue shapes to give a bright, fun feel to it.
The special five-course Valentine’s menu, which starts at $638 per person, depending at what time you book your table, offers beautifully presented contemporary European cuisine that puts an innovative spin on classic dishes.
The first starter, scallop terrine with caviar and pepper coulis, is very promising: the sweetness of the vibrantly coloured pepper perfectly balancing the savoury scallop.
However, the second starter of deep-fried crispy soft egg on cauliflower foam, served with Spanish ham and salmon roe, by far outshines the first. The contrasting textures of the soft, perfect egg encased in a light crispy batter, complemented by strings of delicious Iberico ham and bursting bubbles of salmon roe, make for an almost perfect dish. My one comment is that perhaps the salty flavour of the roe is a little overpowering.
After a delicious strawberry sorbet cleanses the palate, you may choose between roasted beef tenderloin and foie gras with citrus and asparagus salad, served with carrot and grapefruit puree, or baked salmon and cod fillet in pastry, served with sea urchin and eggplant vegetable roll. Although a little bland in flavour, the light fluffy fish encased in a delightful crispy crust is interesting, made the more so by the beautiful eggplant and sea urchin roll.
I would personally select the steak option, as it may well be one of the better steaks I have tasted in Hong Kong. The meat is so tender that it simply melts in the mouth, and the foie gras, which is light and not overly rich, adds an extra touch to this perfect dish. Little parcels of pumpkin and grapefruit puree wrapped in ribbons of cannelloni help to cut through the fat of the foie gras, together with the citrus side salad.
To finish, Harvey Nichols’ Valentine’s mousse cake ‘in trio flavour’ served with raspberry ice cream is both aesthetically and (mostly) physically pleasing; the layers of white and dark chocolate are separated by an orange mousse (I personally feel strongly against combining orange with chocolate, but am aware that not everyone shares the same opinion!) and the raspberry ice cream and pistachio crystals are divine.
Complement your meal with some of Harvey Nichols’ own brand wine from a comprehensive wine list, or choose their special Valentine’s Champagne cocktail, which is dangerously fruity and moreish.
If you haven’t tried Harvey Nichols Fourth Floor Restaurant and are at a loose end as to where to go on Valentine’s Day, you still have a fortnight left to drop some hints and get a table booked. Although they look set for a full house on the 14th, it isn’t too difficult to get a table on any ‘normal’ day – perhaps after a tiring day of shopping at Harvey Nicks, just in case your credit card still feels hungry!
Five-course Valentine’s Dinner, $638 at 6-8pm, $738 for 8.15pm onwards
Guests will receive a complimentary bottle of wine per party of four if you fancy double-dating!
Harvey Nichols Fourth Floor Restaurant & Bar 4/F, Harvey Nichols, The Landmark, 16 Des Voeux Road Central,, Central, Hong Kong
Opening hours: Monday-Saturday, 12 noon to 12 am.
Check out more from Ale on her fab blog, The Dim Sum Diaries!