Review: 17-Course Menu at View 62

Once apprentice to culinary maestro, Ferran Adrià of elBulli, Spanish chef Paco Roncero first opened View 62 in June, serving 'nouvelle cuisine' alongside an ever-rotating panoramic view of Hong Kong from the Hopewell Centre in Wanchai.

Roncero returned to Hong Kong earlier this week to demonstrate his culinary skills to a select few who had come to meet-and-greet the celebrity chef and experience his 17-course tasting menu (priced at HK$2,300). Don't be alarmed by the number of courses, as each offering comes in a creatively presented bite-sized portion.

Location

The ever-changing view and rotating floor at View 62 can be a little dizzying.

Finding your way up to View 62 can either be a hit-or-miss trek or a divinely picturesque journey. Your best bet is to take the shortest route up via the Jetsons-like 'bubble elevator' on the outside of the building, which will give you a magnificent view of the Wan Chai nightscape as you ascend.

Food and drink

The evening began with a live demonstration by Roncero, who prepared a slushy 'Mojito Nitro' with lime skin and liquid nitrogen, and an oyster tartar with Iberico pork cones to whet our appetites.

As soon as we sat down, what looked like an in-flight tube of toothpaste was served alongside a small crispy cracker of mixed green leaves. The tube was actually filled with a beautifully fragrant olive oil butter, and this was followed by an egg roll-like roasted corn mixed with guacamole and tuna tartar topped with freshly chopped onions and shallots.


Review: 17-Course Menu at View 62

The tuna tartar was nothing special at View 62.

Although we were slightly disappointed by the disparity of textures and flavours for the avocado canelon and baby corn, this was quickly revived by the passionfruit bombon. Served delicately on a spoon dressed with the foam of coconut 'air', a single mouthful will definitely have your tongue tingling.

Shortly after, we returned to “chemistry class” with syringe in hand; each guest personally injecting what seemed like mayonnaise (it was really the Iberico panceta ramen) into a steaming bowl of broth, vegetables and smoked eel soba. The solidified strands of ramen were light and almost fluffy with each bite but soaked up the flavours of the broth.


Review: 17-Course Menu at View 62

The red mullet was slightly overcooked during our visit.

For the comparatively 'normal' dishes on the menu, we had the red mullet and Wagyu confit. The mullet was a bit overcooked for our liking but its aste of the sea blended well with the dashes of 'manzanilla' sauce and snow pea puree, while the Wagyu, beautifully tender and sweetly flavoured, came in three bite-sized pieces with gentle dabs of pear and coconut sauce.


Review: 17-Course Menu at View 62

The carrot cake was the best dessert out of the three.

The trio of desserts offered included the mandarin sherbet with pumpkin, a serving of carrot cake with cinnamon sponge and cheese and the frozen chocolate bombon with toffee and vanilla. Each dessert was served strategically so as to have our palates gradually cleansed before we finished off on a sweet finale.

Standout dishes

The best dishes from View 62’s 17-course menu were definitely the frozen strawberry of parmesan and frozen gazpacho rock with king crab. Fruit and cheese has always been a great combination but in this case, the simple act of inserting a small ball of parmesan cheese into the strawberry made all the difference (Roncero advised us to finish the fruit in three separate bites to avoid brain freeze and to savour the combined tastes).


Review: 17-Course Menu at View 62

The frozen gazpacho rock was made with liquid nitrogen.

The gazpacho, frozen with liquid nitrogen, was shaped like a rock but thankfully wasn’t as hard as one. Cracking it open revealed fresh king crab in a creamy salad-like mix that blended wonderfully with the crisp shell of the solidified cold soup. 

Verdict

View 62 offers a landmark dining experience with stunning 360 degree views and Paco Roncero's second artistic performance of his avant garde style showcased his creativity and distinctive Spanish flavours.

Although we weren't entirely convinced by some of the overly gimmicky dishes, it’s definitely a unique one-of-a-kind dining experience in Hong Kong that gets you thinking at the table.

View 62 by Paco Roncero, 62/F, Hopewell Centre, 183 Queen's Road East, Wanchai, Hong Kong, +852 2574 6262, www.view62.com

It's all about travel, photography and food in Andy Yeo's life and his monthly credit card bills lie testament to this. Born in Hong Kong and raised in Australia, Andy has returned to his hometown to capture the best that Asia has to offer. What good are weekends if not for short trips overseas to get your taste buds excited and memories well documented? His philosophy is to try everything at least once especially when it comes to food, after all, life's too short to say no! Read more at www.misteryeo.com.