Tate, 59 Elgin St., Central, Hong Kong, Hong Kong S.A.R., China
Opening Hours:Tue-Sun 2-7am
Price Range:$$$$ - $$$$$
Ex-Cépage chef Vicky Lau heads this posh space on Elgin, and you can definitely see the influence in the aesthetics of the dishes alone. With high ceilings and light colors, the space is intimate but open at the same time—meaning you can bring a date here just as easily as you could host a rowdy group of friends.
Tate’s food is predominantly French, with just a hint of Japanese influence. When we went in, we were presented with two options: a simpler six-course summer sensualist menu at $680, and a more complicated summer gastronomy menu at $980. We went for the former, and were duly impressed by the fiery flamed salmon tartare with wasabi yogurt, cucumber cream and apple jelly; deliciously addictive sweet corn soup with lime; and a delectably gooey orange vanilla panna cotta with meringue and passionfruit cream.
We were less wowed by the beetroot starter drenched in balsamic—not that it was bad, but why have a vegetable taste pickled when it is clearly fresh and full of potential on its own? The main of honey lavender duck (cooked medium) with orange sauce was another dish that left us confused. The entire dish was very sweet, and the duck skin was removed, so the slices of slightly sanguine, chewy meat got a bit overwhelming after several bites.
Personally, we prefer the taste of fully cooked poultry—duck just ain’t steak. We hear the Kagoshima tenderloin from the gastronomy menu is supposed to be pretty darn good, so it’s too bad we never got to try it.