For those of us still attempting to shift some of the holiday excess, eating out – particularly somewhere a little bit ‘nice’ – is often a major headache. So step forward Café Causette at The Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, whose newly revamped menu features lots of light, organic dishes perfect for healthy dining out without feeling like you’re missing out!
Rach and I rocked up right before Chinese New Year in nervous anticipation of the festive food-fest that was heading our way the following week, making us the perfect candidates to road-test some light, seasonal and most of all healthy dishes.
We kicked off with a warm salad of three types of beetroot, hazelnut and rocket – this dish was both beautiful to look at and delicious to boot! Beetroot seems to be one of those love-or-hate ingredients but I can’t get enough of the purple stuff, so this was the ideal start to our meal with a portion size that was just enough not to be overwhelming.
The ricotta salad with walnuts, figs and tiny pearls of olive oil was a creamy, indulgent-tasting dish that I could have eaten for dessert and been perfectly satisfied, such was the delicate balance of salty and sweet flavours. Also pretty on your plate, this won’t leave you feeling left out, even if everyone else is tucking into a steak!
Next up was the hot and spicy tofu burger, which sadly was the only flat note of the meal. As a lover of both tofu and spice, I was excited to try this combo, and was positively drooling at the thought of harissa fries to add a little heat. Although the crunchy coating on the burger was well seasoned, to my disappointment neither burger nor fries had even the tiniest kick of spice, rendering the dish pretty bland. Unless the MO decide to turn up the heat, this wouldn’t be my personal pick for the future.
Fortunately, up next was a perfectly done fillet of slow-cooked Scottish salmon, served with a fruity Moroccan cous cous salad and molé sauce. Yep, we’re talking Scottish-Moroccan-Mexican fusion here… but the combination really works well, honest! The fish was light and flavoursome and the cous cous gave the meal a little more substance, making this a nice choice for either lunch or dinner.
Last – but never least – was dessert! Team Sassy are all about the afters, and if you’re looking for a way to sate your sweet tooth without busting buttons, check out the yoghurt-based puds at Café Causette. The mango and passion fruit layered cake was served with lick-the-plate yoghurt ice cream and was a fresh and fruity ending to the meal.
However, the real star of the show was the yoghurt mousse, served with raspberry, mint and a crispy caramelised sugar tuile. The tart raspberry and garden-fresh mint combination make this dessert something really special, leaving your palate clear and your stomach happy!
If you are looking to put healthy eating on the menu for the Year of the Horse, Café Causette should be on your ‘lunch with the girls’ radar for plenty of healthy options without a sniff of deprivation! Dull diet food, begone!
Cafe Causette M/F, Mandarin Oriental, 5 Connaught Road Central, Central, Hong Kong
2825 4005 www.mandarinoriental.com/…