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August 20, 2010

Kitchen Confidential

You’ve always thought you’d make a rather fabulous secret agent.  The glamour, the danger, the secret codes, the far-flung locations, the accents… it’s a life lived furiously and decadently in the fast lane where reality pales in comparison.  Well if you didn’t quite make the cut at MI5, your time has finally come. Rumor has it there are a select few private kitchens around the city that are getting taste buds excited and senses enlivened all over town.  Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find these secret hotspots and reveal their identity to your closest counterparts. . .

THE LAB by CommuneTHE LAB by Commune

Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes at a restaurant?  Now’s your chance to find out! Set above one of the city’s most thriving hotspots Posto Pubblico, THE LAB by Commune, a unique industrial test kitchen turned private dining haven, has quietly opened its doors and is set to revolutionize the food scene in HK.  Among stainless steel walls and state of the art professional culinary and laboratory equipment, THE LAB presents a chef’s table experience like no other.   Ascend the midnight black staircase and take your seat in the heart of the action, where you will be treated to eight mouthwatering and tantalizing courses that will take you on a journey of culinary innovation and global taste sensations.  In creating THE LAB, Celebrity Chef AJ Bellarosa wanted to highlight his international gourmet experience alongside power players like Jean-Georges and Joel Robuchon, while creating dishes that feature hand selected delicacies from around the world along with locally grown produce from the company’s Homegrown Farms in the New Territories.  The urban, edgy industrial laboratory setting is softened with luxe touches like Bernardaud china and Spiegelau stemware, while the menu offers a range of unique culinary innovations that will take your taste buds on a wild adventure. Each dish offers more than meets the eye with Eggs on Toast featuring truffled scrambled eggs, crème fraiche, chives, and Ossetra caviar, a Kuroge Wagyu Beef accompanied by charentais melon, soy pudding, Sichuan peppercorn and yuzu sugar and a Miso Glazed Sablefish served with ponzu daikon radish, fava bean puree, sambal veal jus, and shiso chips. But don’t forget to save room for the house-baked bread and innovative desserts, which are made from scratch using traditional methods as well as a heaping spoonful of love and attention. The price for this one-of-a-kind 8-course mouthwatering menu is HK$1,488 and can be paired with hand selected wines for each course for HK$1,988. Whether you’re a foodie, a science buff or just love to be where the action is, it’s time you head to THE LAB.  (1/F, 28 Elgin Street, Central, Hong Kong,

Ta PantryTa Pantry

Wish chez toi had a beautiful dining table, adorable outdoor terrace, amazing wine fridge filled with rare bottles and an impeccable state of the art kitchen? Feast your eyes and your tastebuds on a meal at Ta Pantry, your new private home away from home. Former model turned chef Esther Sham (nicknamed Tata, hence “Ta” Pantry) is waiting to tempt your palate with one of five different set menus ranging from succulent Japanese to sizzling Shanghainese to hearty New American.  Her dishes are based upon a love of French cooking fused with a taste for all things exotic.  Her latest menu L’Indochine features well thought out culinary sensations such as Hokkaido Scallop Green Mango Curry Roulé sitting on sea urchin foam, Citrusy Crabmeat Ravioli served in lemongrass scented chicken jus, Iberico Pork Cheek tenderly cooked with star anise, topped with mint infused pineapple and served with sauce de bleu.  A hand created Coco Balsamic Linguine tossed with exotic mushrooms has the wow factor while a dessert of Red Wine Poached Pear Crumble dappled with tapioca and served with tiramisu ice-cream shows this chef’s love and prowess among all things sweet and sumptuous. The various five course menus are priced at HK$500 per person, while the perfect pairing for each course can be chosen from Esther’s brother’s (who’s a wine importer) fabulous international selection, which is displayed right there in the dining room.  Why not reach over and grab your favourite bottle? Aaah, there’s no place like home! (Flat C, 1/F, Moonstar Court, 2D Star Street, Wan Chai, 2521 8121)

You’ve tried, you’ve tasted and you’ve given the seal of approval.  Move over Miss Moneypenny, there’s a new secret agent in town.

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