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Exquisite Food, Breathtaking Views!-POPINJAYS

POPINJAYS

The Murray Hong Kong, the new luxury hotel in the heart of Central, has been the talk of the town of late. Popinjays, its recently opened rooftop bar and restaurant, is certain to add to the hotel’s burgeoning reputation as an upscale hotspot.

Popinjays features a stunning layout – a spacious open terrace dotted with couches, lounges and high tables encircling the large, all-glassenclosed restaurant. The terrace provides sweeping 360-degree views of Hong Kong Park, the Botanical Gardens, and the magnificent cityscape – making it an ideal spot for evening drinks and cocktails.

Popinjays, which means parrots, takes its inspiration from the Cockatoos still found in the area. Its airy interior décor features a palette of grey, gold and blue with artfully adorned walls, creating a sense of contemporary luxury and elegance. Birds also inspire Popinjay’s cocktail range, dubbed the Aviary Collection. We chose Popinjays Punch ($130), a blend of Hennessey VSOP, Michter’s Bourbon, Darjeeling, baby pineapple, clove, coriander seeds and clarified milk and Cockatoo on the Rocks ($130), which is Johnnie Walker Black, elderflower, yuzu, finger lime, Manuka honey and Angostura bitters. The refreshing and citric cocktails were very welcome.

Under Chef Didier Quennouelle, Popinjays offers a modern European-inspired menu drawing on traditions of French cuisines with the chef’s own distinctive Gallic influence. In addition to its à la carte menu, Popinjays offers a four- and six-course degustation menu from Tuesdays to Thursdays, new each week, while every Friday and Saturday a “Birds of a Feather menu” features a selection of shared dishes and free-flow cocktails. Quality champagne and wines from a well-stocked cellar complement the menu.

For our dinner, we chose à la carte. Following the customary amuse bouche and a basket of excellent assorted breads, we shared two appetisers – Tomatoes and Philibon Melon ($220) – almond, mozzarella di buffala snow, vanilla oil and Hokkaido Scallop and Sea Urchin Carpaccio ($260) – yuzu yoghurt, nashi pear, wakame emulsion. Both appetisers tasted light and delicious and were immaculately prepared.

Our entrees of choice were Seared John Dory ($420) – quinoa risotto, clams, fennel, aioli and Roast Challans Chicken ($420) – carrot, baby corn, turnip, truffle gribiche sauce. It is clear to us that Chef Didier’s emphasis on a healthy menu underpins his selection of ingredients, even as he ensures they remain packed with flavour, which we appreciated. That was certainly the case with the fish and chicken – both tasted tender, and the meats’ flavours were fully brought out by their complements.

Two desserts, Caramelized Golden Apple Cheese Cake ($130) – calvado’s agar, vanilla gelato with the apple brandy nicely flavouring the cake; and Guanaja Chocolate Affogato ($160)– raspberry compote, coffee, coconut – a nice creamy dessert – rounded out our meal.

Several excellent wines accompanied our dinner – a 2017 Dominique Portet Fontaine Chardonnay from the Australia’s Yarra Valley; 2015 Domaine Jean Fournier Bourgogne Pinot Noir from Burgundy, and Antico Podere Le Miccine Riserva Chianti Classico from Tuscany – each nicely complemented the food.

Popinjays, with its combination of refined cooking and stunning ambience, is destined to garner a cult following as word spreads. An early visit would be a high point of your gourmet agenda. ■

 

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

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