Asian Fusion restaurants are a dime a dozen in Hong Kong, and as such, it takes a truly special mingling of flavours and ingredients to tantalise the tastebuds and keep diners coming back for more. A nice view of the city skyline doesn’t hurt, either.
Located on the rooftop of the California Tower in Lan Kwai Fong, Cé La Vi has managed to do both. The restaurant, which opened in Hong Kong about a year-and-a-half ago following the success of its Singapore and Bangkok locations, just unveiled its new spring seafood menu. Ideal for sharing among friends, each dish is elegantly plated and made from the freshest ingredients. There is also an emphasis on healthy ingredients, including more gluten-free dishes.
These innovative creations come courtesy of Korean-American executive chef Kun Young Pak, who trained as a sushi chef from the age of 17. He finds inspiration not just in Japanese dishes, but also in Korean and modern Asian cuisine.
Here are a few must-try dishes from the spring seafood menu:
The Tai Snapper, or sea bream, is the star of the show in this dish. Sliced impossibly thin, the fish is so succulent it seems to melt in the mouth. Chef Pak used techniques he learned while working at Japanese restaurants to create this flavourful dish, which is topped with a yuzu soy gelée, and served with crispy leeks and sesame soy.
Seasonal Seafood Poké
In what resembles an Asian-inspired taco, slices of fresh fish are mixed with a medley of vegetables, which can be scooped onto a crunchy cracker and eaten with your hands. The type of fish varies from month-to-month, but the poké (raw fish salad) often includes farm-raised Japanese tuna, salmon and white fish. This dish is light and refreshing, but far from boring.
Blackened Miso Salmon
This delightful dish was inspired by chef Pak’s memories from Louisiana, a region renowned for its Cajun and Creole cuisine. The Norwegian salmon is marinated for six hours, coated in a mixture of paprika and spices, and pan-seared just long enough to give the top a thin black layer, giving it a deepened flavour. The blackened flavour pairs perfectly with the garlicky mascarpone cream served on the side.
Gluten-free diners (and chocolate lovers) rejoice: This dessert is completely safe to eat. But for those who shrink away from any mention of ‘gluten-free,’ fear not – it’s just as delectable without flour. This sponge cake contains Madagascan chocolate with caramel chocolate, vanilla and white chocolate mousse. Calamansi cream lends a refreshing citrusy flavour to the dessert, and the cake is topped with chocolate ganache.
Text: Emily Petsko