Witty, mischievous and unexpected, this triple-storey restaurant brings great steak, fine seafood and a soufflé to die for to Quarry Bay.
Text by Mandy Li
Mr& Mrs Fox is nothing if not eye-catching. Located in one of the tallest buildings on the Quarry Bay block, the 12,000 sq ft restaurant sprawls across the bottom three levels of Swire’s 28-storey Taikoo Place Apartments. The ground floor features a wine and snack bar (Mrs Fox) with a keg room and alfresco seating extending towards the pavement. On the first floor is a European-style, wooden dining hall (Mr Fox) where cheese and dessert carts roam, while the second floor houses a private dining room (the Den) hidden behind a secret door disguised as a bookcase. The entire space channels a mischievous, fox-like vibe that is sure to enchant customers.
Willem van Emden, general manager of Swire Restaurants, says the project’s long lead time meant they had time to get the details right. “We had the privilege to start the project 18 months ago, while most other restaurants in Hong Kong have to finish everything in a few months,” he said.
But it’s not just for the design savvy. The menu is equally intriguing. Helming the kitchen is Joey Sergentakis, former chef de cuisine at Café Gray Deluxe (also part of the Swire group), who was entrusted with the project a year ago.
“My cooking has always been ingredient-centric – once I nail down the perfect produce, I can do whatever I want,” Sergentakis says. Taking pride of place on his menu is the dry-aged 100 per cent Black Angus beef from Rangers Valley, Australia.
“It’s one of the best steaks in the world,” Sergentakis says. “It has great marbling rarely found in Black Angus. The farm rears them so lovingly that it can only produce a limited quantity. We are the only restaurant to be able to get hold of this beef in Hong Kong. It’s definitely the item to go for if you are a first-timer here.”
Once you’ve tried the beef, other dishes at Mr Fox include raw oysters, charcuterie, meat and seafood dishes and sides for the steaks. At Mrs Fox, the food is similar, but instead of main courses it offers more combos and small plates such as burgers, Reubens, salad and soup.
“We are here to serve the community, the [serviced apartment] residents and the 40,000 professionals working at Taikoo Place. We want them to enjoy the experience, come back and tell their friends to come – this is how we define success,” van Emden says.
We ordered the largest of the three sizes available and received a tower of seafood, mostly from sustainable sources, including oysters, mussels, lobsters, crab legs and spot prawns. We particularly enjoyed the oyster for its agreeable brininess and the natural sweetness of the crab legs. The only let-down was the lobster, which had an unwelcome bitterness coming through towards the end. However, that little flaw didn’t spoil our mood and we couldn’t wait to try other dishes.
The neatly arranged cured hams were a heartwarming sight. The line-up included Parma ham, chorizo, dry sausage and capicola, but our favourite was the speck, which was moist with a robust yet light flavour and just the right amount of fat. A special addition was foie gras terrine – flavoursome and substantial in texture, although perhaps a bit salty. Sergentakis inherited the terrine-making skill from his mentor, Daniel Boulud, and plans to make more when the facilities are ready.
BBQ Duck Consommé & Poached Foie Gras
Sergentakis likes to absorb new ways of cooking on his extensive travels and he has put this knowledge to good use in this consommé. He gives the soup an Asian touch with shiitake mushrooms, water chestnuts, ginger and lemongrass, and briefly poaches the foie gras in a Chinese master stock so the liver tastes complex while retaining a melt-in-the-mouth texture. We found the soup pleasingly herby, and we couldn’t get enough of the foie gras.
Rangers Valley Bone-in Striploin
We had been looking forward to the steak all night and it lived up to expectations. As meaty and tender as it gets, the bone bestows a strong, gamey flavour to the meat during the 28-day dry ageing process, giving it a rustic, masculine taste. It carried a pleasing grilled aroma, but we’d prefer more intensive charring for a crispier crust and more contrast in texture to the juicy meat. We tried all the sauces provided, but returned to the naked version.
72% Araguani Chocolate Soufflé, Passion Fruit
Our meal ended on a high with an exceptional soufflé. Worth every second of the 20-minute wait, it arrived at the table perfectly risen and golden. We dug through the fox face decoration right to the bottom of the ramekin and from the first spoonful experienced a surge of sophisticated chocolate flavour in the mouth. The thick passionfruit juice on the side is sweet and tart, a dollop added zing to the dessert and took it to the next level. We’d come back just for this.
Mr & Mrs Fox
23 Tong Chong Street, Quarry Bay
Tel: 2697 8500
*Featured in Crave’s October 2015 issue