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The Tai Pan

Ever since it opened in 2018, the Murray, a luxury hotel converted from an architecturally famed government building, has been a favourite destination among the city’s elite for business and social gatherings. Its success owes in large part to its dining outlets, including the Tai Pan, the object of our visit.

 Tai Pan is a high-end contemporary steakhouse that serves quality roasted and grilled meats plus a large selection of seafood items, taking advantage of Hong Kong’s ability to source fresh seafood and seasonal gourmet items from the world over. This means a nicely balanced menu of beloved traditional steakhouse dishes such as grilled steaks and roasted beef and lamb with a broader offering of contemporary items.

The restaurant is bright, airy and spacious, helped by tall ceilings and large windows wrapped around the building. The décor is elegant and contemporary. A beautiful and immaculately polished marble floor exudes the luxuriant lustre that nicely frames the sleek furniture and fixtures. There is a large alfresco terrace area just outside on the hotel garden podium, which sits comfortably against the shadows of the building in the heart of the city – a most surreal sight and a real urban hidden pleasure.

For our lunch, we chose à la carte. The restaurant does offer a Set Lunch Menu ($408/two-course menu per person and $512/three-course menu per person). The Daily Carving-usually prime roast beef, which can be ordered à la carte or as part of the set menu-is served tableside from a beautiful silver trolley. A dessert trolley also presents guests with an array of yummy sweet treats.

We started with two refreshing and aesthetically presented appetisers. The first was Hand-Cut Octopus & Scallop ($260), which is sliced octopus, scallop tartar, plum wine jelly, golden leaf, soy, sake and yuzu cream. The dish is carefully and meticulously layered. The umami flavour is nicely accented by the subtle seasoning.

The other appetiser is a house specialty, Jumbo Lump Crab Meat Salad ($285) with mango emulsion, tomato salsa, basil, celery and crispy feuilles de brick. The combination of mango emulsion and the tasty crab meat is a deft touch, with the crispy pastry sheet and the garnish nicely complementing the delicious dish.

For our main courses we opted for Crispy Iberico Pork Belly ($308) honey mustard–glazed, with sweet potato puree, kale, apple sauce, orange & ginger pork jus. The tender pork is excellent – the flavour of the crispy skin and succulent meat enhanced by the glazing and condiments – a real treat.

Our other main was Pomegranate Glazed Beef Short Rib ($430), shaved Brussels sprouts, pumpkin seed, peppercorn and pistachio crust. The rib is slow-cooked and braised to allow the flavour of the juice and the seasoning to soak in, to just the right texture. The potato puree is slightly sweet and velvety smooth – another hit with us.

We also chose Butternut Squash Risotto ($250), Carnaroli rice, crispy chestnut, brown butter, parmesan – a tasty and healthy looking vegetarian dish that we demolished with gusto.

We wrapped up the meal with a dessert from the dessert trolley of seasonal selections. Our choice Mont Blanc Entremet ($180), which is chestnut puree cake topped with icing and cream, well-matched the festive spirit.

The Tai Pan is an excellent place to enjoy a superb meal for a special occasion or gathering in an elegant setting. We highly recommend it.■

 
 
The Murray Hong Kong, a Niccolo Hotel,22 Cotton Tree Drive, Central, Hong Kong
 
3141 8888

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