The dynamic duo of Ben Orpwood and Michael Hoepfl delighted diners with a Japanese-inspired 10-course menu at the Test Kitchen February pop-up.
Text by Iris Wong
It is always a pleasure dining at Test Kitchen. This unique pop-up dining concept has been drawing renowned chefs from all over the world to Hong Kong since 2014. The Sai Ying Pun location has an open kitchen that makes for an excellent stage for chefs to showcase their culinary artistry, while the communal table and welcome bubblies had us mingling and making new friends in no time.
While there were plenty to rave about this dinner, what stood out most about chefs Orpwood and Hoepfl’s tasting menu was the sauces: the ponzu emulsion in the reinvented maki roll with smoked beef tartare, the seaweed sauce that went with the smoked raw bonito, and the roast pigeon dish’s warm, earthy smoked emulsion. The onion & duck egg was easily our favourite dish of the night. This Eggs Benedict with a clever twist was made by soft poaching a duck egg at 60°C, then topped with an apple miso butter reminiscent of Hollandaise sauce, as well as leek ash and flax seeds. The result was hearty, surprising and memorable. The Yorkshire rhubarb playing with different textures of rhubarb and coconut was a refreshing end to the meal.
The consistent and unapologetic use of Japanese techniques to create delicate dishes with big flavours was appreciated to say the least, and thoroughly enjoyed, to be exact.
Spending: $1,380pp (includes wine pairing)
Highlights: smoked beef tartare, onion & duck egg, Yorkshire rhubarb
What else: Corney & Barrow did a fantastic job with the wine pairings
Shop 3, 158A Connaught Road West, Sai Ying Pun