Given my obsession with eating, I visit a LOT of restaurants. As a consequence, my eating experiences often blend into one… and if someone asks me months later what I ate at one particular restaurant, I cannot for the life of me remember! But then, every so often, somewhere new comes along that totally takes me by surprise. Flint Grill & Bar, a beautiful new restaurant located within the JW Marriott Hotel Hong Kong in Admiralty, is one such place.
Having heard absolutely nothing about Flint until I received an invitation, my expectations were fairly non-existent; I simply read the words ‘chef’s table’ and ‘grilled steak’ and my decision to attend was made!
From the moment you enter Flint, you forget you’re in a hotel – in fact, you forget you’re even in Hong Kong. The space is gorgeous, combining rustic with chic, modern with old, and adding the odd Hong Kong touch here and there. For example, their wallpaper looks like it’s just coloured stripes from a distance; on closer inspection, it actually represents the colourful, high-rise buildings of our city. I also loved the eye-catching antique (yet still in working order!) kitchen scales that line the shelves across the four spaces of the restaurant – the bar and lounge, sommelier’s table, chef’s tables and dining area.
Flint’s mixologist and bartender, Bryson Rivera (formerly at Aqua), is considered one of the top mixologists in the whole of Asia. Watching him make a “Feint Obscurity” (his signature take on an Old Fashioned) was like watching a theatrical performance, complete with smoke, fire and unbelievable aromas.
Once seated at the beautiful wooden chef’s table, our feast (no exaggeration!), prepared by award-winning chef Sven Heinrich Wunram, was laid before us, beginning with amberjack sashimi, house-cured gravlax, burrata salad and tomato salad.
Whilst the seafood dishes were beautifully fresh, being a cheese fiend, it was the two salads that really stood out for me. The burrata was wonderfully creamy, with a delicate yet unmistakeable flavour, whilst the blue cheese dressing on the other salad was out of this world! Knowing how much food was still to come, I had to refrain from scooping up spoonfuls of this dressing and eating it on its own!
The first of the main courses to arrive was the Boston lobster, baked Thermidor-style, followed by a seafood grill including snapper, more Boston lobster, red king prawns, scallops and a pot of mussels. The seafood was again wonderfully fresh and cooked to perfection; I particularly enjoyed the king prawn, and was impressed by the amount of meat on the lobster (talk about bang for your buck!).
The fennel seed-crusted Berkshire black pork chop, served with apple compote, was juicy and delicious, the sweetness of the apple nicely complementing the ever so slightly bitter fennel seed crust. Even better, however, was the Linz Heritage prime Angus sirloin. Cooked on a lava stone grill to a perfect medium-rare, the beef was tender and tasty on its own – but drizzled in Flint’s secret sauce, it was even more spectacular. This sauce, made with 30 ingredients including Madeira and curry powder, was totally different to your average pepper sauce and left a lasting impression.
All of the above were served with crispy fries, creamy mashed potato with chives, creamed spinach, steamed asparagus and garlicky forest mushrooms – each of which deserved more praise than the title of simple side dish.
Moving onto desserts, each of the four we sampled was more impressive than the next. The key lime cheesecake with seasonal berries was perfectly light and fluffy, whilst the candied ginger ice cream gave it a little hint of unexpected excitement. Meanwhile, the meringue layer of Flint’s Baked Alaska gave way to mango custard and raspberry sorbet, again giving it an exciting twist from the original version.
The gigantic s’more, Flint’s take on the classic campfire dessert, was dangerously moreish, yet surprisingly, it was the banana cream trifle that took first prize for me. Creamy dulce de leche, coconut parfait, chunks of banana and cubes of banana rum cake came together to make this dessert simultaneously refreshing yet decadent.
Dining at Flint was more than just a delicious experience. In each and every dish, you could taste the quality of the ingredients and the see the skill involved in making your dinner here a memorable one. Prices for starters range from around $100-200, whilst main courses range from around $180-500. After my first dining experience at Flint, I knew it most certainly would not be my last!
Flint Grill & Bar Level 5, JW Marriott Hotel, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong
2810 8366 www.facebook.com/…
Check out more from Ale on her fab blog, The Dim Sum Diaries!