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The Ocean by Olivier Bellin

The Ocean by Olivier Bellin, the acclaimed French chef, has been high on our desire list since it opened in Repulse Bay and was shortly awarded a Michelin star – a singular claim on Hong Kong Island’s southside.

 

The Ocean occupies a 10,000-square-foot space in Pulse, which stretches along the beachfront. Its décor is artfully designed, the aquatic theme thoughtfully reflected throughout in its colour motifs, table settings and marine features. The restaurant’s ambience exudes a sense of hushed opulence, and we know we are in for a special treat.

 

The Ocean serves up premium fare from Bellin’s native Brittany, a coastal region of northern France known for its fresh seafood and seasonal ingredients. We were invited to try out the special degustation eight course menu, and were only too happy to accept.

 

Each course of the dinner is themed with an element of an oceanic journey and we set sail with amuse bouches and a delicious breadbasket. The first appetiser, dubbed Ocean Breeze, was chaud-froid of cauliflower with parmesan ice-cream and squid ink jus, in which the reduced sauce adds a nice flavour to the cheese-based cream.

 

Sea Anchor, or fresh green asparagus, burrata, smoked haddock milk foam, was new to us. The burrata is soft and with just the right amount of chewiness and the milk foam adds to the asparagus flavour. First Wave, which is pan seared coral Brittany langoustine, beetroot and buckwheat tartare and black pudding, is another delight. The pan-seared lobster meat is tender and well complemented by the tartare and pudding.

 

Deeper into this ocean journey, and we meet Blue Lagoon, comprising Japanese sea urchin, oatmeal foam, ginger and butter sauce. The delicate sea urchin quivers with a range of flavours. Another exquisite dish came next, Great Reef, which is Brittany blue lobster lightly cooked, brioche and pork head veil, curry sauce, apple and grapefruit condiment. The dish’s delicious flavours are well matched by its colourful presentation. The sea journey is coming to an end, and that means one more seafood dish before desserts, which was Deep Sea, or confit Brittany monkfish, gnocchi, seaweed, audouille crisps and parsley extract.

 

Dessert dishes should wind down a good dinner, and we chose Decompression, or buckwheat texture and carazin ice-cream and Coastal View, or Strawberry tart version 2018, which did the job nicely.

 

The storyline of this compelling meal is simple: the best and freshest ingredients from Brittany and elsewhere, artfully presented the French way, and impeccably served. At $1588 per person ($778 additional for a wine pairing of six glasses) for such a first-class meal, it’s definitely a worthwhile endeavour. We also sampled two seasonal dishes that were on offer and which we highly recommend: Plounéour-ménez pigeon with duck liver cooked in puff pastry, potato tartlet and periwinkle juice ($718) and Poached duck liver, flower crabmeat and ginger consommé ($488). Both taste special indeed.

 

Overall, we were most impressed with The Ocean. If you want an exquisite dining experience before you return home, head down to Hong Kong Island’s quieter side and give it a try.

 

Shop 303-304, L3, The Pulse, Beach Road 28, Repulse Bay

2889 5939
 

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