Sunday, June 17, 2012

VIEW62 by Paco Roncero opens in Hong Kong's Hopewell Centre




Paco Roncero, one of Spain's most influential chefs and a Michelin starred chef and S. Pellegrino world's best A-lister for his Madrid restaurant La Terraza del Casino (managed by Ferran Adria of El Bulli, at the Casino de Madrid) and his  tapas bar Estado Puro, finally opened his Hong Kong outpost yesterday.

The opening of his restaurant, called VIEW62, was one of the most anticipated events this weekend for Hong Kong foodies, and I'm sure that VIEW62 is destined to become one of Hong Kong's hottest restaurants as well as an iconic Hong Kong landmark.


A WINNING COMBINATION

It's really a winning combination. Paco Roncero comes from a long line of chefs and he himself has a storied pedigree that includes stints at Zalacain, the Hotel Ritz in Madrid and with Ferran Adria's team. He became famous for his avant-garde cuisine in Madrid and for his contributions to “nouvelle cuisine” and food innovation. And today he's quite a celebrity chef as well, appearing on the covers of magazines and hosting or cooking for all these A-list events all over the world. It certainly helps that he's easy on the eyes, so he's pretty good cover material.




Meanwhile, VIEW62 is as compelling for its views as for its food. It's located on the 62nd floor of the Hopewell Centre, making it Hong Kong's only revolving restaurant offering a complete 360 degree turn, and therefore offering unrivalled views from Victoria Harbour to The Peak.

At the moment, no other restaurant in Hong Kong can offer this full view of Hong Kong, although of course you have so many fancy restaurants with harbor views.

In Hong Kong, as in Madrid, Paco is dishing up avant-garde cuisine that merges the latest culinary technology with outstanding creativity for unforgettable textures and flavours. It just opened yesterday so it's too early to do a proper review on the food -- this is certainly a great reason to plan another trip to Hong Kong in the next few months -- but I think that going forward, guests can expect truly unique out-of-the-box dishes that will leave them with a lasting memory and a desire to return.




CHOICES FOR DINNER

Evening diners will have a choice of two Chef Tasting menus: 14- and 16-course dinners respectively, each consisting of four-stages; snacks, tapas, main and dessert. Additionally, two set dinner menus are also available with soup, tapas, a main course and dessert.


You can expect that some of the things that made him such a success in Spain will find their way to the Hong Kong menu. I already had a peek at the regular tasting menu for the opening, and they had the revolutionary XXI Century Omelette which Chef Paolo became famous for.

It features slow-cooked onion as the base and a middle layer of creamy egg yolk sabayon that is completed with potato foam and olive oil. There was also a Chilean sea bass with green bean sauce and Iberico air, served with sautéed green beans and anchovies.



Spanish olive oil is also central to Paco’s cooking. Of course, make use of something you have in abundance. His olive oil-based dishes include olive oil butter, lobster with olive oil soup and grapefruit, beef shank with potato purée and black olive oil and orange sorbet with Arbequina olive oil, passion fruit and Pedro Ximenez reduction. Yum. I'm going back as soon as I can for a proper meal here.


For lunch, diners can enjoy two set lunch menus as well as an afternoon tea menu. The Chef Tasting Menu is priced at HK$1,400 (14 courses) and HK$1,800 (16 courses) per person++.


DESIGN'S NOT BAD EITHER

Complementing the ground-breaking, elegant menu is the restaurant's equally impressive contemporary interior, designed by renowned restaurant designer Ricky Hung Wai Lung of UN Design.

VIEW62 actually has a bar lounge with a DJ booth and an eight-meter black marble bar embossed with mother of pearl. Meanwhile, its main dining area has a most fascinating cloud-like ceiling created from 50,000 hanging wooden sticks. Can you imagine that?

The rest of the modern-classic fixtures and furnishings feature cozy lighting, retro black polished chrome, dusky purples and faux lizard skin. So you might see that it's a one-stop entertainment center.

Meanwhile, I'm sure the bar will soon be known for its extraordinary cocktail menu which mirrors the inventive creations of the kitchen. One of its signature cocktails is called Ladies’ Choice: basically a variety of flavoured liqueur pearls are served along with champagne. You simply pop a pearl in your mouth and chase this down with champagne to create a popping, flavoursome experience with every sip. Absolutely delicious.



Another signature cocktail is called Fruity-tinis. They're absolutely delicious and come served with a liqueur flavoured string to enhance the experience.



VIEW62 by Paco Roncero aims to introduce the art of “Nouvelle Cuisine” to the city for a memorable culinary experience for Hong Kong foodies. I'm sure lots of foodies from all over Asia will soon find themselves here as well.

And with so many wonderful things happening in Hong Kong over the last two days, you can imagine what a wonderful weekend it was. Just another couple of days in a never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.



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