Set sail on an epic culinary journey at The Ocean by Olivier Bellin





When one particular Michelin-star-winning French chef looked to open a new restaurant in Asia, Hong Kong was his preferred location from the off. It is, after all, a city that prides itself on its gourmandry. His instincts proved sound, with his eatery, The Ocean by Olivier Bellin, even bagging a coveted Michelin star in 2018.

The Ocean by Olivier Bellin
Chef Olivier Bellin

Clear as to just what sets The Ocean by Olivier Bellin apart, the venerable chef now says: “Essentially, our team aims to create beautiful products, each highlighting its intrinsic properties, while combining that with the finest traditions of Breton cuisine, which always looks to fuse the very best that the land and the sea have to offer. With each dish, we look to bring out all the most rarefied nuances of Brittany.”

Indeed, sticking to his avowed mission to bring out the best of Breton cuisine, Chef Bellin’s carefully-curated menu serves up a bespoke blend of maritime and earthly delights. Indeed, with our palate aptly piqued, we immediately plumped for the five-course degustation menu…

The Ocean by Olivier Bellin
Chaud-froid of cauliflower and parmesan ice cream

The very first instalment turned out to be the engagingly entitled Ocean Breeze – a chaud-froid of cauliflower and parmesan ice cream, served with squid ink jus. With the crunchiness of the cauliflower complementing the softness of the ice cream, the tone was more than set for the rest of the tasting, with expectations now running high – partly on account of the accompanying Champagne Thiénot Brut N.V., which enhanced each individual flavouring.

Next up, Sea Anchor – a pan-seared coral Brittany langoustine, beetroot and buckwheat tartare and black pudding – exemplified Bellin’s land-meets-sea leitmotif. While the freshness of the langoustine belied sundry maritime influences, the earthy aromas of the beetroot tied the whole dish together in a veritable symphony of flavours – a sensation heightened yet further by the paired Domaine Elian Da Ros, Coucou Blanc 2014.

The Ocean by Olivier Bellin
Brittany langoustine, beetroot and buckwheat tartare

Of the mains, it was easy to understand just how the Deep Sea – a lightly cooked Brittany blue lobster with brioche and pork head veil, curry sauce, apple and grapefruit condiments – has become the restaurant’s signature serving. Testifying to the special place it has in his own heart, the proud chef said: “In the Deep Sea, we have tried to optimise the natural deep flavours of the Brittany blue lobsters by contrasting them with land elements.”

Again blending the chef’s favoured elements with consummate ease, this was a dish that was both mild and complex, a sentiment only elevated by the sweetness of the lobster and then given fresh depth by the accompanying condiments. The full-bodied red wine – Domaine Georges Vernay, Viognier, Le Pied De Samson 2016 – proved to be an inspired pairing.

The Ocean by Olivier Bellin
Brittany blue lobster with brioche and pork head veil

The dessert, by comparison – the somewhat intriguingly designated Decompression – was a relatively simple affair, blending apple texture with vanilla ice cream. What it lacked in complexity, though, it made up for in terms of fulsome flavours. Ideal for those without too much of a sweet tooth, it may not be a wholly decadent affair, but it brought the whole meal to a more than satisfying conclusion.

Aside from the quality of the cuisine, a visit to The Ocean makes one other thing more than apparent – this is not the kind of place to duck into for a quick nibble. No, this is one establishment that you simply have to savour, leisurely working your way through its magnificent menu, while the city buzzes below.

The Ocean by Olivier Bellin. Shop 303-304, L3, The Pulse, 28 Beach Road, Repulse Bay, Hong Kong (to be relocated to Central in early 2019). (852) 2889 5939.

Text: Suchetana Mukhopadhyay