Tried & Tested

Restaurant check: .IZE at Hilton Sanya

1 Nov 2007 by business traveller

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: The striking glass façade of the restaurant complements its contemporary feel and name, .IZE. The outlet is accessible by a granite walkway next to the swimming pool. Inside is glass and more glass, even the flooring which reveals the pond activity below. Continuing the water theme, aquarium tanks serve as walls for the private dining area in the centre of the dining room and make for great conversation.

SEATING: There is capacity for 108 guests. The centre-located private dining room is for eight, while another area holds about 20.

THE FOOD: It specialises in “modern seafood” or “Beach Cuisine”, which is really a fusion of classic and traditional cooking skills. This is exemplified in starter dishes such as the Southern Diver fresh scallop with hazelnut brown butter sauce and avocado ice-cream with hand-picked lettuce and the crab bisque with tempura king crab meat. Ingredients are fresh and arrive gleaming on every dish. The winners for the mains are the Pacific cod fish baked in black sesame crust, wilted spinach, preserved ginger-soy dressing, and grilled Angus beef tenderloin with foie gras, gratinated potato infused with truffle and red wine sauce. You can also request to sample the local Hainanese vegetable called winged beans as a side dish. The chocolate mousse is not to be missed.

THE WINE: Guests can head for the chic Ice Bar located next to the restaurant for pre-dinner drinks and to sample the large wine selection. The house red wine, Tormaresca, Neprica 2004 from Puglia is memorable and complements most dishes, as is the house white wine, Kingston Chardonnay 2006 from Australia.

The restaurant manager recommended the white wine, Baron Phillip de Rothschild Sauvignon Blanc 2005 which titillated our palates.  

SERVICE: Friendly, attentive and competent. The staff was not only well groomed, but also knowledgeable about what were .IZE’s outstanding selections.

PRICE: A three-course meal with a glass of wine costs between US$65 and US$90 per person.

VERDICT: A surprise find that ranks high for modernity and excellent quality of food among the stretch of five-star hotels on Yalong Bay. Dress up for this restaurant as Hawaiians shirts and shorts (especially those picked up from local souvenir shops around the island) will look very awkward there.

OPENING HOURS: Daily from 1730 to 2330 for dinner only.

CONTACT: Hilton Sanya Resort & Spa, tel 860 898 8858 8888, www.hiltonworldresorts.com/Resorts/Sanya/dining_entertainment/ize.html

Lucinda Law

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