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The Verandah Restaurant

 

A dinner, or any meal for that matter, at the Verandah, the elegant, colonial-style restaurant in Repulse Bay, is a special occasion to be savoured. Located on the site of the former Repulse Bay Hotel, a historic establishment that was redeveloped in to a luxury apartment/commercial complex and renamed The Repulse Bay, the Verandah commands stunning views of the green lawns and tropical garden below, as well as the vista of the beach and the seas beyond.

The restaurant serves fine continental fare using the freshest and choicest ingredients. The décor of the restaurant harkens back to a bygone era of class and grace; a sweeping grand staircase and its generous foyer add to the grandeur of the place. Its settings are classic yet comfortable: candlelit tables with linen tablecloths as the soft tinkling of a piano sets the ambience. The Verandah is known as one of the city’s top choices for a romantic dinner or to celebrate a special occasion; it’s also frequented by regulars for its English Afternoon Tea ($308 per person and $588 for two persons on weekdays, and $328 and $604 respectively on weekends and public holidays) for its famous scones, savouries and sweets and its variety of Peninsula Tea. It also serves a sumptuous Sunday Brunch – $688 (adult) and $344 (child) – that is also a hit with nearby residents.

Our dinner began with a trio of appetisers for sharing: Alaskan King Crab ($388) avocado cannelloni, Oscietra caviar, citrus salad; the uber fresh and tender Hokkaido Scallop ($288), herbgarlic butter, cauliflower mousseline, crisp potato, and Heirloom Cherry Tomato ($238), Granny Smith apple, avocado, cucumber. A crisp and dry Champagne Louis De Sacy and a 2013 Nicolas Potel Chablis, Burgundy went well with the starters. The soup at the Verandah is also known to be excellent. We collectively ordered three: the richly flavoured Lobster Bisque of Boston ($188), the Oxtail Consommé ($168) and Black Truffle and Wild Mushroom Cream Soup ($188) – all three were more than delightfully tasty.

For the mains, we ordered two to be shared: the Verandah Seafood Mixed Grill ($608) with lobster medallion, Akaroa NZ King Salmon, black mussels, king prawn and scallops with herb butter and roasted ratte potatoes with green asparagus, Bearnaise sauce and Steak Tartare ($428), ground raw lean Australian OBE organic Angus beef tenderloin served with toasted rye bread, green salad and pommes gaufrette. The Steak Tartare was expertly prepared (kneading and mixing) at the table and tasted yummy. A very nice Medoc, 2013 Les Fiefs de Lagrange, St. Julien, complemented the entrees.

We barely had room for desserts but held out for three classics of The Verandah including our favourite Crêpes Suzette ($258, two people minimum), Baked Alaska ($138), and The Repulse Bay Souffles ($138), with several flavours to choose from.

Our dinner at the Verandah was easily one of our dining highlights of the year: relaxing yet elegant ambience, a sense of history and grandeur, excellent food and wine and impeccable service. For a memorable dining experience in Hong Kong, something you can tell of when you get home, it would be hard to better the Verandah.■

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