Tried & Tested

Restaurant review: Tiffin, Grand Hyatt Hong Kong

10 Nov 2017 by Tamsin Cocks
Grand-Hyatt-Hong-Kong-Tiffin-Day-Interior

Background

Tiffin is one of nine F&B outlets at Grand Hyatt Hong Kong and has been a staple on the Hong Kong dining scene since 1989 when the hotel first opened. After a five-month refurbishment, the restaurant reopened in October with all-new soft furnishings, new menu items and additional features.

The buffet restaurant serves lunch, afternoon tea, dinner and Sunday brunch – with subtle menu variations for each setting. (For example, Indian dishes are offered during lunch). There are roughly 200 covers and the space can be privately hired for functions.

Where is it?

Grand Hyatt Hong Kong is located on Wan Chai’s harbour front, conveniently interconnected with the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC).

Tiffin does not offer harbour views, however. It is located on the mezzanine floor overlooking the main lobby, accessible via a grand sweeping staircase.

The venue

The “new” look and feel retains much of the former classic European aesthetic. According to general manager and area vice president Richard Greaves, the idea was very much to stay close to the original: “Why spoil a successful formula?” he says. “A super modern interior would not have worked with the rest of our hotel. While the entire space has been completely refurbished – we have tried to make improvements while sticking to the original look and feel as much as possible. We hope guests will experience a pleasurable sense of familiarity when they return.”

Grand-Hyatt-Hong-Kong-Tiffin-Interior-Entrance

The mezzanine setting is a bright, open area, with tall ceilings and an expansive curved wall of floor-to-ceiling windows offering views over Admiralty and the West Garden in the day.

One of the highlights of Tiffin is the live music, which changes subtly throughout the day according to the mood. For the evening service, we enjoyed a smooth jazz quartet, complete with grand piano, clarinet, cello and saxophone.

A key difference post-renovation is the expansion of the chocolatier counter just outside the restaurant. A number of tables and chairs have been added to create a casual café space for event and hotel guests. Additional work has also been put into the selection of confectionary available to incorporate Asian tastes, with creations such as green tea and yuzu cake.

Food

The buffet selection is impressively large, ranging from soups (including a delicious lobster bisque) and salads to fresh seafood, roast meats and classic European dishes such as coq au vin.

Tiffin Seafood station hi res

New to the buffet is the freshly-shucked oyster selection, which includes six different kinds of oysters presented on a bed of ice. Other seafood options includes enormous tasty mussels, prawns and escargot.

Tiffin buffet cold cuts

Other stations offer cold cuts and canapé-style bites including roasted veal loin and home-smoked salmon.

Beef wellington with gravy, Tiffin restaurant

For me, the star of the buffet was the beef Wellington – a rarity in Hong Kong. The tender meat was beautifully pink in the middle and wrapped in soft filo pastry. My sole complaint comes from a place of greed in that my serving slice seemed a little slim. (However, this is easily remedied with round two…!).

Roast lamb was available as a second choice, and both were served with a selection of roast vegetables (including some divine roast potatoes) and a choice of gravy and sauce.

Another dish that stands out, both for presentation and taste is the baked black cod, served in a bag to keep it warm and marinating until the last second.

 

Guests can also order lobster to accompany their meal, which comes boiled, grilled or Thermidor-style. We chose the herb butter grill, which was delicious.

The bespoke crockery, inspired by and named after Princess Diana, also deserves a special mention. The elegant chinaware, exclusive to Tiffin, features a delicate, intricate pattern that is truly gorgeous.

For those with a sweet tooth, the dessert counter does not disappoint. An ice cream counter features up to 10 tempting flavours, all freshly homemade that day. Ice cream cake is also available – the only hotel buffet in Hong Kong to offer this apparently, with flavours including baked Alaska, matcha green tea and s’mores. Made-to-order yuzu chocolate soufflés, crepes Suzette and Japanese obanyaki dessert are also available.

My only gripe here was things got a bit congested when I arrived at the counter. Nothing is self-service (aside from a few macaroon and chocolate nibbles), so there was a queue of about eight people waiting for their dessert and just one frazzled chef trying to make it happen. However, the result was worth the wait.

Drinks

A few bespoke surprises are also to be found on the drinks menu. Tiffin has partnered with an independent tea brand to create bespoke tea for Tiffin. The ten or so flavours are presented in a wooden “treasure box”, where guests can take their time to test the fragrances and choose their favourite. The signature Tiffin flavour offers a definite spa scent, with notes of jasmine, orange and green tea.

To accompany the introduction of oysters to the buffet, Tiffin has also partnered with a French wine company to introduce its own brand of champagne, which was surprisingly good – fresh, fruity and very easy to drink.

Verdict

An elegant setting, excellent food and useful location for anyone with business at the HKCEC.

Opening hours: Lunch 12-2.30pm, Mon-Sat (Sunday brunch: 11am-2.30pm); Afternoon tea 3.30pm-5.30pm; Dinner: 6.30pm-10pm

Price: The dinner buffet is HK$728 per adult (plus 10 per cent service charge). A free flow drinks package is an additional HK$218 per person.

Contact: Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, 1 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong; hongkong.grand.hyatt.com

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