11th February 2021 – (Hong Kong) The Michelin-starred Man Wah at Mandarin Oriental in Central reopened its doors on 1st February. The restaurant which specialises in Cantonese fine dining underwent a major makeover. Diners can now enjoy sweeping views of Victoria Harbour’s iconic skyline while indulging in the dark navy blue theme in the restaurant which exudes contemporary opulence.
A back-lit square grid ceiling covers the main dining room to accentuate the sparkling cityscape, while the walls are decked in dark azure lacquered panels inlaid with brass. Chinese embroidered art panels, framed artwork and delicate embellishments impart a sumptuous elegance to the dining experience. The intricate layers of blue and gold hues in the hand-woven carpet mirror the rippling water of Victoria Harbour. Man Wah seats 92 guests in total, including a private dining room which has the capacity to accommodate 32 and can be divided into two separate rooms.
The dining institution continues its legacy as an exquisite homage to time-honoured Cantonese cuisine under the stewardship of Executive Chinese Chef, Wing-Keung Wong. Guided by Chef Wong’s mission to deepen appreciation for Cantonese cuisine, Man Wah’s new menu features refined classics as well as offering diners the opportunity to discover often overlooked culinary gems and forgotten delicacies.
The must-try list includes Deep-fried Matsutake Mushroom Pudding (HK$ 360 for six pieces), also known as guo-ja, can be traced back to the veritable Qing Dynasty epicurean Jiang Taishi. In lieu of chicken testicles used by the former, Chef Wong has developed a vegetarian rendition, employing highly prized Japanese matsutake mushrooms, egg yolks and corn flour to make an intensely aromatic soup that is frozen and then deep-fried. Presented with a golden but delicate exterior, each bite bursts to reveal smooth and tender redolent custard that has an earthy, pine-like fragrance.
Chilled marinated abalone (HK$148) – Fresh South African abalone is chosen for its milder flavour and braised in a sweeter Shanghai-style spiced liquid(with the addition of dried octopus and pork) to impart an incredible fragrance and enhance the abalone’s delicate freshness. Paired with shredded cucumber for freshness as well as winter melon steeped in Osmanthus syrup.
The most impressive dish is none other than Sautéed Lobster, Superior Fish Broth (HK$ 588) which sees grouper bones boiled for three hours to create a rich stock that enhances the inherent umami of the lobster from Hong Kong. Taking inspiration from the use of freshly shaved truffles in Western cuisine, Chef Wong puts a modern spin on karasumi, Japanese dried and salted mullet roe. French caviar is dehydrated, rolled and frozen overnight, then shaved over the dish tableside for an added delicate brininess while sake-marinated salmon roe finishes the dish with pops of fresh salinity.
The Pan-fried Scallop and Bean Crumb (HK$ 198) features a succulent scallop from Hokkaido, Japan, lightly seared and garnished with sweet, crunchy soybean crumbs from Fujian province in China. This ingredient is often favoured in Chinese fish cookery for its toasty, nutty notes. Drawing influence from the Nordics, a dab of garum of fermented scallop skirts brings complexity to the dish.
A dish often eaten during Hakka celebrations, Braised Pork Belly, Taro (HK$ 168) pays tribute to the dying art of village cuisine. Chef Wong has taken this recipe and refined it for the modern palate. Taro planks are first deep-fried to ensure the root vegetable retains its structure during the braising process. Pork belly is submerged in boiling water for 40 minutes then brushed with soy sauce and dark soy and deep-fried until the skin is rendered crispy. The taro and pork belly slabs are then stacked together, cloaked in fermented red tofu sauce and steamed together to allow the fat and juices of the pork to seep in as well as flavour the taro.
Deep-fried and braised prawn, rice cake, salted threadfin fish (HK$188) – Vietnamese prawns are marinated and stir-fried in a savoury sauce of salted fish, celery, ginger and spring onions to balance the prawn’s inherent sweetness. Korean rice cakes are cooked in superior stock and deep-fried while the eggplants add texture.
For dessert, don’t miss out the Chilled fig cream, seaweed sago, deep-fried purple sweet potato dumpling and red bean rice cake.
Value for money :4/5
Taste : 5/5
Ambience : 5/5
Service : 5/5
Lunch and Dim Sum are served between 12pm and 2.30pm from Monday to Friday and between 11.30am and 3pm on Saturday and Sunday. Dinner is served between 6.30pm.and 10pm daily. For further information and reservations visit the website at mandarinoriental.com/hongkong, call +852 2825 4003 or email [email protected]
25/F, Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, 5 Connaught Road Central.