Arcane was one of the first restaurants I visited last year (see previous review here) and, despite it being only February and still having 11 months of reviewing restaurants before the end of the year, it was so delicious that it immediately secured a spot on my list of the top 10 restaurants in Hong Kogn of 2016. Almost a year later, I was invited back to sample the restaurant’s new “Meat-free Monday” menu.
Whilst a vegetarian menu has always been available at Arcane, Chef Shane Osborn has made this the only menu available on Mondays, as a way to help diners who set themselves new year’s resolutions associated with leading healthier lifestyles achieve their goals. For so many restaurants, vegetables often come as an afterthought, whereas here Shane wants to make them centre stage. The menu was initially only planned for Mondays during January, but it has already been so popular that it will be extended to February and March as well.
The seven-course set menu began with the stunningly presented Japanese winter tomato with spiced aubergine, sour cream and a salad of soft herbs. This was incredibly simple, yet the ingredients were all so fresh and flavoursome in a way that each stood out on its own, whilst perfectly matching the others.
After this came crapaudine beetroot with English mustard mayo, pickled black radish, wasabi-na and sherry vinegar dressing. This heirloom variety of beetroot is much sweeter and tastier than your average beet. Paired with the sharpness of the mustard, the tangy dressing and earthy wasabi leaves, it all came together beautifully.
The poached taiyouran egg, on a bed of celeriac, served with broccolini and black truffle was lovely. The rich, naturally sweet egg, with its creamy bright orange yolk was surprisingly light, whilst the accompanying vegetables and shavings of rich black truffle added pleasantly contrasting textures.
One of my favourite dishes was the warm salad of roast cauliflower and watercress with toasted macadamias, gorgonzola and argan oil. The charred flavour of the cauliflower was delicious alongside the delicate watercress leaves and creamy, tangy gorgonzola yoghurt, with a crunch from the toasted nuts.
I adored the butternut squash ravioli, which had a lovely sweetness that contrasted nicely with the slightly bitter cavolo nero and subtle sage and almond butter, topped with yet more of that gorgeous black truffle.
The sixth course was a plate of cheese, namely comté and brie, served with pear chutney and toasted lavoche. Both cheeses were heavenly and the portion size was just enough for a good taste of each, without being too much.
The meal ended with a yuzu and lemon posset, which is one of Arcane’s signature dishes. With mandarin and yoghurt ice cream and Japanese satsuma segments, this was a perfect light and refreshing way to round off the meal.
Arcane’s Meat-free Monday menu is available for lunch and dinner on Mondays and is priced at $750 per person. As always, a wine pairing menu is available, but the restaurant is also offering a juice pairing menu to complement the healthy dishes.
Despite having eaten a whopping seven courses for lunch, I left Arcane feeling comfortably satisfied, not overly full, and infinitely healthier than I normally do after a tasting menu. Yet again, Arcane succeeded at wowing me and I’m sure even the most hardcore carnivores would be humbled by the excellence with which Chef Shane makes these vegetarian dishes stand out.
3/F, 18 On Lan Street
Tel: +852 2728 0178