When I heard we were eating lunch at Aubergine at the Fort I did some online research on the restaurants’ reviews. There were as many rave reviews as there were negative rants. So I was a bit wary on what to expect.
The place was bigger than I expected.
private function room
the huge impressive open kitchen
modern glass wine cellar
butter and olive tapenade
I ordered the 5 course degustation menu. I loved it! From the appetizer to the sherbet all the way to the coffee. Unlike some reviews that said the portions were tiny I felt they were just right and in the case of the entree it was generous. The food was at par if not better than some of the French restaurants I ate at in Hong Kong. Even the presentation was excellent.
The degustation menu (P1,950+) starts with this teeny weenie mozzarella cheese w/ tomato. Despite it’s size it was tasty due to the olive oil infused with herbs.
I’m not a seafood lover but I wiped out this entire plate. The lobster tail was grilled to perfection. The chef in charge of grilling is a master in timing. Everything was simply divine.
seafood appetizer with grilled lobster tail, prawn, scallop & smoked salmon roulade with salad greens tossed in raspberry dressing
The foie gras was delicious and a generous size. I liked the sauce of Gourmand’s foie gras better. So in my book this is the 2nd best foie gras in town.
Most of the dishes were decorated with foam or froth. I guess they have a foamer and they want to maximize it’s use. I personally don’t like foam. I don’t get it. Sometimes it distracts your view from the actual dish. And it reminds me of the foam my dogs emit when they eat too much grass. Eeew.
pan seared duck foie gras on celeriac-apple mousseline in Madeira reduction
At this point I was already full! Shhh don’t tell Oprah but I ate some whole wheat roll with the yummy tapenade. Isn’t the teapot a cute container for the sherbet? There was dry ice inside so when this was brought to the table smoke was coming out of the spout.
strawberry mango sherbet
You get to choose either the lamb chop or the sea bass for your main course. I had the lamb chop which was one of the best I’ve ever eaten. It was perfectly grilled and all the juice and flavor of the lamb was locked in. It was a tad too salty though. The lamb loin was a bit tougher but still good. The polenta was so smooth and creamy I thought it was mashed potatoes. I didn’t taste any blue cheese.
oven roasted Australian lamb loin & grilled lamb chop served on creamy blue cheese polenta w/ vegetable cassoulet & carrot-cumin jus
I had a bite of the sea bass. It was ok. It wasn’t as good as the sea bass I had in Caprice. The texture wasn’t as smooth and silky. The risotto was very rich.
grilled Chilean sea bass on saffron risotto w/ bouillabaisse froth, green asparagus & semi dried tomatoes
Finally the last course of the degustation menu – dessert. I was so so disgustingly full I gave away my dessert. No I didn’t have a fever.
There were 13 of us during lunch and only 4 of us ordered the degustation menu. Here are what the others ordered. They all said the food was good except for the pasta which the kids didn’t like.
US Angus beef rib-eye steak (330 grams) P1,550
US Cornish game hen two ways P690
full sized grilled Chilean sea bass P1,100
prawn tagliolini P620
I forgot to take a picture of the dessert menu!
warm lava cake (i think)
free petit fours macaroons and chocolates
I can’t find fault with the food so I’ll nitpick about the service. As some online reviews mentioned the service was indeed slow. We were there for Sunday lunch and there were a total of 4 tables with ours being the largest group. Only one waitress took everyone’s order and the food took some time to come out. Water was never refilled until I asked for it. The waiter serving bread was good though. He kept coming back and offering everyone bread. We were there until 3:30 pm. We noticed it getting warmer and warmer so I called the manager. Instead of coming straight to me he kept looking left and right to send someone instead. I asked him if they turned off the aircon. He said no but in a few minutes we felt it getting cooler again. Nothing really bad. I’ll surely go back again.