I recall I was a bit surprised upon my first visit to Table One Wines & Gourmet back in 2012. It is a private kitchen in an old commercial building in Tsim Sha Tsui near Kowloon Park exit, tucked away at the very end of the corridor on 2/F to neighbour with a few Islamic eateries and… a foot massage centre (panic not, it’s a decent one).
Hong Kong is such a packed and busy city, and so you know, dining in a quiet and cosy place with only two other groups of people at most, separately, is simply very pleasant. Helmed by sommelier Teresa and chef Jeff, its menu (for 6 guests or above, priced at HK$398 net per head) changes once a month. Referring to e-mail newsletters, sometimes it offers Italian cuisine, sometimes French, and last week it was Spanish.
We paired Marques de Requena Cava Brut / Marques de Requena Chardonnay Macabeo with a number of welcome tapas, starting off with the tasty Cod Foie Gras with Cucumber Cup. Interesting is both the presentation and the cod foie gras that resembles quite closely with foie gras from poultry, but healthier and less brutal, I hope.
Foie Gras with Toast is alright but yet to be impressive. Creamy texture of foie gras plays well against crunchiness of the toast. A very simple before-dinner bite.
Iberico Meatballs smell delicious with the thick, drool-worthy tomato sauce. The meatballs carry this unique flavour that is only present in Black Iberian Pigs but its texture has not done the dish justice. A more crispy, deep-fried outer shell would make it a lot nicer.
Baked Tetilla Cheese & Iberico Chorizo has this addicting combination of ingredients served again in bite-sized pieces. The cheese isn’t too strong to taste, yet enough to underscore the rich flavours of the ham.
Cheese & Nuts Platter comes in a selection of Cheddar, Camembert maybe, and one more cheese that I don’t remember. This platter of soft to semi-soft cheeses is nice and easy to eat but I’m still more fond of hard ones, particularly Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Before we started with the Chef’s Special (aka. the main), we ordered an extra dish that we always love — Beef Carpaccio (HK$320). Heavenly is the suppleness of the thin slices of raw meat, which are drizzled over with delicious garlic-infused extra virgin olive oil and topped with grated cheese. A must-have. We paired it with the third wine, Marques de Requena Crianza Red that also goes with the main below.
Our noses told us that Grilled Iberico Pork Chop served with Baked Zuchinni, Cheese and Sauteed Mushrooms was before being served before us. Its remarkable scent protrudes even better in this, with nutty flavours released from each bite of the succulent meat. Cranberry sauce tones down the fattiness of the dish.
It was when we were chatting among ourselves with sips of wine, looking forward to the tempting sweet treat, Jeff came out of the kitchen with this extra dish — Baked Eggs with Salumi (price unknown) — in case we have drunk too much. Eggs are perfectly smooth and there are salumi layered underneath. Classic and very comforting.
The meal came to an end with a cup of soothing chamomile tea and also a slice of Mango Mille Crepe Cake, which the layers are too packed, such that it does not feel soft and great against the palate.
Photo on the right is King’s Ginger by Berry Bros & Rudd from the UK, a rich ginger liqueur that is sweet, zesty and wonderful for cold weather (heats up your body in a tick!). It was first made in 1903 for King Edward VII, and my brother says it’s especially favored by elderly people, where they might not know it by its name, but would walk into the store and ask, “may I have the wine that can keep me warm throughout the winter?”
Table One Wines & Gourmet (sells wines and food products too)
208, Haiphong Mansion, 53-55 Haiphong Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
tel. +852 2525 4882