January 30, 2015

Continental Shift

This fall has seen the descent of highly acclaimed British culinary giants making their mark in Hong Kong. Each of them brings to the city their own flavour, from Jason Atherton’s molecular gastropub fare, to Gordon Ramsay’s accessible British delights, to Jamie Oliver’s affinity for Italian, to Tom Aiken’s twist on the traditional. Next up, Swire Hotels and award-winning British chef and Financial Times’ cookery correspondent, Rowley Leigh join this group of esteemed British restaurants and restaurateurs, by introducing The Continental to epicureans in the city.

The Continental sits atop Pacific Place mall, taking over the glasshouse-like venue that was formerly Domani.  As we enter, we are greeted by an elegant bar area, with comfortable seating, which reminds us of a hip New York hotel lobby. As we move past the bar into the light and airy dining room, we see booths with leather seating lining the windows, whilst semi-circular booths rest along the opposite wall. An outdoor dining area under a canopy of lush plants echoes the fresh green palette in the restaurant.

Curated by Rowley Leigh, the menu is impeccable, taking inspiration from the grand cafés of Europe, and is exactly what one would expect from a refined gastropub. Items like “Beef Consomme with Oysters and Shallots”, “Heirloom Tomatoes and Lamb’s Lettuce with Lancashire Cheese and Pickled Onions”, “Fish Pie with Salmon, Smoked Haddock, Prawns and Whiting”, and “Conchiglioni with Short Ribs and Gremolata” give a luxurious take on their traditional counterparts.

The extensive menu also features a variety of fish, meat, and burgers cooked in the trendy Josper Grill – a grill-cum-oven which comes with a front door that closes whilst the chosen ingredient cooks, ensuring that no flavour or taste escapes. The “Boston Lobster with Garlic” tops our list as a must-try dish, with the 28oz. rib of beef and half rack of Australian Lamb with garlic and pepper coming in closely in second and third place.

The Continental takes a bit more liberty with their dessert menu, drawing influences from all over the world. “Creme Caramel” sits comfortably alongside “Rice Pudding with Apricots”, while “Salambos and Chocolate Truffles” find its place next to a perfectly executed “Panna Cotta with Raspberries.” Top of the list are a delicate “Chocolate Souffle with Pistachio Ice Cream” and “Pain Perdu with Chilli Roast Pineapple and Vanilla Ice Cream.”

All of this surprisingly comes with a more-than-reasonable price tag, especially given the restaurant’s luxe ambience, and high quality ingredients. An extensive wine list featuring old and new world wine accompanies the menu, while the bar whips up classic cocktails.

The Continental is open for power breakfasts, buzzy lunches and luxurious afternoon tea, however, it is at night that the restaurant really comes alive with the delightful mood lighting courtesy of Hong Kong’s twinkling skyline.

If you have yet to jump on the British Chef bandwagon, The Continental is the place to start.

The Continental
One Pacific Place
88 Queensway, Admiralty
+852 2704 5211

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