Chef Shane Osborn’s restaurant Arcane invites you to a modern fine dining experience away from the hustle and bustle of the city with great European flavours
From Italian restaurants and halal restaurants to Mexican restaurants, Hong Kong has never disappointed with its food options. And this time we’re trying European food at Arcane. Psst: if you don’t do meat, check out our review on the vegan menu at Arcane here.
Our love affair with Arcane begins
Upon entering the place, guests are greeted with an impressive 1,200-bottle wine cellar that hints at the wonders to follow. Inside, an intimate 36-seat restaurant comes alive with an energetic open-kitchen and gorgeous artwork by Flowers Gallery London that have been carefully selected by Head Chef/Co-owner Shane Osborn himself. Diners will love Osborn’s locavore vision, including the lovely mini English tropical garden with a variety of herbs, fruits and veggies that also make their way into the menu.
It takes two to tango…
If you’re not already familiar with Pied a Terre in London, Osborn is the very first Australian head chef to lead it to attaining Michelin star status at the tender age of 29. In addition to having a multi-award winning chef at the helm, the wine at Arcane is a main protagonist with the restaurant’s General Manager and Wine Director, Stefano Bartolomei treating guests to pairings that are spot on.
No stranger to fine ingredients, a meal at Arcane is a visual journey as much as a culinary one. Without further ado, we tucked into Japanese fruit tomato with soft goats curd, leek, onion seeds and marfuga olive oil. This refreshing dish goes perfectly with the light Chablis from Burgundy as both were citrusy with a touch of fruitiness.
Hokkaido scallops are another signature offering and are a must for Osborn because of the tender, sweet and creamy flavours. We are big fans of the incredible flavour sensation he accomplishes by serving the raw scallops marinated in apple consommé with lime, jicama and walnuts. The dish is extremely intriguing with a glass of rose Champagne Thienot as the acidity and minerality rounds out the flavour.
The next dish, sauteed potato gnocchi with fresh mousserons, pine nuts and truffle cream topped wild garlic leaves makes a frequent appearance on the menu, and you will totally understand why once you’ve tried this plate of heaven! Its creamy richness pairs well with a glass of Les Folatieres 2002 from Domaine Leflaive, one of the top producers in the area of Montrachet. The intense nutty finish is the ideal match with the black truffle and the nuts in the dressing of the gnocchi making it, without a doubt, one of the best dishes we’ve tried in town!
Sourced through Hong Kong’s premium supplier Waves Pacific, the slow braised wagyu short rib with sweet potato, green beans, confit garlic and pepper sauce was the piece de resistance. This high-quality beef showcases the perfect level of fat and marbling ratio making it soft, tender, juicy and not overly heavy. For a perfect explosion of flavors in the mouth, it needs to be balanced by a big red, preferably a glass of Cos d’Estournel 2008 from Saint Estèphe Bordeaux. This was a wonderful completion for a dish so elaborate.
Like the saying goes, “All good things tend to come in pairs” – Mac and cheese, tea and scones, Netflix and chill – and it’s no different for wine and food. The two generally bring out the best in one another, just like the marriage of Chef Shane Osborn’s dishes with Wine Director Stefano Bartolomei’s innovative selections.
In five words…
Sumptuous food and robust wines
Arcane, 3/F, 18 On Lan Street, Central, Hong Kong, p. 2728 0178, 中環安蘭街18號3樓