Tried & Tested

Restaurant review: Roganic, Hong Kong

21 Feb 2019 by Michael Allen

Background

Roganic, which opened in mid-February after Chinese New Year, is British chef Simon Rogan’s second restaurant in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong. The first is Roganic’s sister venue, called Aulis, which sits directly opposite Roganic within the same unit, offering a 12-seater chef’s table experience.

Roganic’s aim is to give diners a “city-centric take on a farm-to-table dining experience from London”. The Causeway Bay outlet is the first overseas branch of the one-Michelin-starred Roganic in London’s Marylebone. The British-import feel is apparent in the demographic make-up of the kitchen and wait staff which, along with some Asian staff, includes a strapping tattooed British lad and a slender quick-witted British restaurant manager, Sean Oakford.

Where is it?

In Sino Plaza in Causeway Bay, opposite Victoria Harbour (though there are no windows in the restaurant). Exit C of Causeway Bay MTR station is the closest exit. Once you exit the station, turn left then immediately right at the first crossroads you come to. Cross the road and walk straight and Sino Plaza will appear on your right.

What's it like?

Relatively small, but that’s the intention, at least for now. The restaurant’s associate director of marketing and communications, Joyce Ip, says they are starting with 25 seats per night for now, with the view to adding more in March.

The food

When I arrived, I was offered a drink at the bar…

…this was a pinot noir blend, Exton Park, Simon Rogan, Hampshire, England, MV…

After being seated in the main restaurant, the first course was a small tart of pumpkin, nashi pear and bay leaf, which melted in the mouth…

Then came the wafer, fermented mushroom puree and yeast, which also melted in the mouth and had a taste resembling soft cheese…

Then came the cep (porcini mushroom), cured egg, spelt and burnt chives…

And a truffle pudding…

And sea urchin custard with caviar, which was delicious…

Then we were served chicken, young squid and mustard emulsion. I thought the black colour looked rather unappetising, despite the flower garnish to freshen it up. The taste was ok though. 

Next was the onion broth, confit pork, pickled vegetables and herbs…

Accompanied by some tasty soda bread…

…and cultured butter…

Then we had the grilled salad, Westcombe cheese and truffle. I’m impressed that they were able to source all local vegetables from a farm in the New Territories, though the vegetables were a little too charred for my taste. 

The fish course was snapper, black garlic and “5 flavours”…

Then duck with turnip and spiced red vinegar…

I should also note that I had a mocktail pairing with this meal.

The first was a grape shrub, which consisted of grape juice and vinegar, the two ingredients perfectly balanced so as not to be too acidic…

Second was an elderflower and mint tonic, which was also delicious…

Followed by apple and celeriac juice, which was equally refreshing…

The fourth mocktail was actually a hot 2016 cooked pu’er tea. I didn’t even realise this was meant to be one of the mocktails, so neglected to take a picture of it. It’s interesting to mix a hot mocktail into the mix, though it didn’t taste much different to the pu’er I’ve had at local dim sum restaurants around Hong Kong.

The waiter forgot to serve me the fifth cocktail, called pumpkin passion, so I can’t comment on that one.

Once all the mains were done with, we were invited to the eight-seat dessert bar…

Here, guests can order a la carte at HK$108 (US$13.76) a piece, or a set of five desserts for HK$480 (US$61.16).

I tried three desserts, starting with the yellow beetroot sorbet, buttermilk and mint…

Followed by caramelised apple served with juniper ice cream…

…and earl grey, chocolate and cherry cake…

…and, finally, donuts…

Verdict

I preferred some of the dishes over others, but all were tasty and creative. The restaurant manager who served us was affable and funny, giving the meal a light-hearted and fun atmosphere. The restaurant unfortunately lacks a view of the harbour as it has no windows, but the seating is comfortable and the restaurant was not too busy when I visited.

Fact file

Hours: Tuesday to Sunday (closed on Monday); Lunch 12pm-2pm; Dinner 6pm–9pm; Dessert Bar 12pm to 9pm; bar 12pm to 10.30pm

Price: HK$980 ($124.87) for the ten-course Roganic Long Taster Menu; HK$680 (US$86.64) for the eight-course Roganic Short Taster Menu; HK$280 ($35.68) for the three-course lunch menu

Location: Sino Plaza, UG/F 08, 255 Gloucester Rd, Causeway Bay

Contact: +852 2817 8383

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