Given that its name is Above & Beyond, you can’t help but think that Hotel ICON’s Cantonese restaurant must either have amazing views, or amazing food. As it turns out, it has both. Perched on the 28th floor of Hotel ICON in Tsim Sha Tsui East, Above & Beyond’s floor to ceiling windows showcase our city’s amazing skyline – or at least they do on a good night!
I seldom venture over to TST, let alone to TST East. Last Friday evening’s overcrowded MTR journey reminded me why I don’t make this trip often, until we arrived at Above & Beyond and suddenly TST no longer seemed so hectic. With muted colours, wooden floors and round tables overlooking the view, the restaurant is elegant and welcoming, without needing to try too hard.
Much like the restaurant itself, the menu here is elevated, showcasing traditional Cantonese fare with a creative, modern twist. Our specially crafted six-course menu began with Above & Beyond’s interpretation of Kung Pao Lobster. This dish was stunning, both in appearance and flavour, the lobster having the perfect bouncy texture and just the right spicy kick to ignite the taste buds. This was paired with a glass of Burge Family Winemakers Olive Hill Semillon 2010, which had a touch of acidity to counterbalance the lobster’s spice.
The wok-fried giant garoupa fillet with black truffle followed, which was another excellent dish. It was actually quite a meaty fish, which could explain why it was interestingly paired not with a white wine, but with a glass of Churton The Abyss Pinot Noir 2013. This was much more complex than a typical Pinor Noir, with bolder, earthier flavours to complement the fish.
To follow, came wok-fried Wagyu beef cubes with green apple, mustard and wasabi. The beef was beautifully tender, pairing perfectly with the crunchy green apple and vegetables, and I loved the subtle hint of wasabi, which went nicely with the freshness of the Nabeshima Nakakumi Sake.
Although not the most graceful dish to eat, the baked spareribs in tomato sauce and vinegar were also delicious. The sticky, sweet and sour sauce was good enough to drink and the meat fell easily off the bone. This was paired with a glass of Chinese wine, namely Grace Vineyard Tasya’s Marselan 2012. I have never had a decent Chinese wine, but this one was excellent! A cross between Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache grapes, this could easily be mistaken with a rich, full-bodied Bordeaux.
The last of the savoury dishes was braised chicken in Hua Diao wine. Although I appreciated the sweetness and richness of the sauce, this was probably our least favourite dish, as we felt it didn’t quite reach the heights of elegance and sophistication that the other dishes displayed. This dish was not paired with a wine at all, but with a glass of Kavalan Concertmaster, a Taiwanese single malt whisky. I’m normally not a huge whisky drinker, but I enjoyed the smoothness of this one.
We were then served a trio of desserts: a red bean cake that was neither here nor there; a delicious, crumbly almond cookie; and a sweet and incredibly comforting chilled mango sago cream with chunks of pomelo. We washed this down with a glass of Japanese Chateau Lumière plum wine, which perfectly rounded off our decadent evening.
A six-course set dinner at Above & Beyond costs $688 per person, with an additional $380 for wine pairing. I’m now eager to try their dim sum set lunch menu, which looks incredible and costs only $258 per person. This is Cantonese fine dining at its best and makes the trip over to the “dark side” well worth it!
Above & Beyond
28/F, Hotel ICON
17 Science Museum Road
Tsim Sha Tsui East
Tel: +852 3400 1318