Juice up your summer

Weekend Glitz | Cara Chen 30 Jul 2021

Cold beverages, ice cream, and fruit are essential parts of summer, with fruits being the healthier option among the three and an easy centerpiece for the dining table.

At Cobo House in K11 Musea, chef duo Devon Hou and Ray Choi have made pomology (fruits) the theme of their The Knife and Spoon Chapter Five menu, available until August 17. Rarer fruits, such as horned melon, jackfruit, sugar apple and rambutan are interpreted into innovative dishes.

The recommended Jackfruit Three Ways is served in three separate plates that complement each other. Hou adds yakitori sauce to the unripe flesh to create a filling resembling pulled pork for the dainty, bite-sized sesame ball, topping it with a puree made from the seed and serving it with sweet jackfruit jam made from the mashed ripe flesh.

The excess is made into jackfruit pineapple buns, finished with Oscietre caviar on top and garnished with salted egg yolk sprinkles.

Pomelo peel hata grouper takes inspiration from a traditional Chinese dish, pomelo peel cooked with baby shrimps.

Preparing the bonito sauce-marinated pomelo peel is time-consuming, and the chef duo do it the traditional way: air-drying the skin before bringing it to a boil and hand cranking it dry, then immersing it in bonito sauce for a day. The marinated peel goes well with the fish, which is marinated for two days and is paired with oxtail broth, garnished with a faintly bitter and sour Japanese sudachi jelly.

"It is a very special dish to us, because we learned how to make the stock from scratch from our neighbor," said Hou.

The rock oyster is also one of the duo's favorites. Striped jack is aged for two days to get the flavor just right so it matches with the oyster. "We have also made a unique kombucha to pair with it," Hou said.

There are three tasting menu choices: four courses (HK$680), six courses (HK$1,180) and a full eight-course experience (HK$1,480).

Vicky Lau from two-Michelin-starred Tate Dining Room has also devised a fruit-focused menu. The six-course An Ode to Fruits (HK$1,180), available only for lunch on Friday and Saturday, uses seasonal premium fruits to create dishes with Asian flavors.

Each chapter reflects a distinctive category of fruit and the menu is inclusive of wine pairing for six courses, highlighting some of the finest Asian liqueurs and European wines created with fruits.

The meal starts with a selection of amuse-bouche, followed by Aggregate, a savory parfait with Japanese strawberries, marinated sweet shrimps, yogurt espuma and caviar. The Drupe course features steamed grouper with crystal shrimp, salted lemon, okra flower, French beans, and green olive foam, served with olive and avocado focaccia.

Next up is Berry, a combination of yellow plum confit with razor and surf clams, asparagus and Japanese koshihikari rice.

Guests will enjoy the aubergine with Chinese-style crispy tofu and chef's signature kumquat grenobloise sauce for the Pome course.

After that is Nuts, a celebration of nutty and tender New Zealand Te Mana lamb, served with pistachio puree, figs and roselle jam, lamb jus and green pepper sauce.

The palate-cleansing predessert of red date and local longan jelly with goji berry and peach sets the scene for the dessert course, Legumes, featuring a trio of Mexican, Madagascan, and Tahitian vanilla homemade ice cream accompanying crepe suzette with citrus mango sauce and xinhui mandarin peel that has been aged for 30 years.

If you prefer a taster rather than a full meal, Cafe Marco at Marco Polo Hongkong Hotel has a Fruity Weekend Afternoon Tea Buffet (HK$308), which is available until the end of August.

A host of delectable desserts decorated with summer fruits are available - ranging from pistachio raspberry cake and amaretto apricot mousse to lime coconut mango tart and many more. Each guest will also be offered complimentary free-flow fruit juices.

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