Meat and wine meet in a prime location for pairing dinners

Updated: 2014-07-13 07:07

By Donna Mah in Hong Kong(China Daily)

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Wine with food. It's something that people look forward to - it's more about the company and the conversation that such dinners stimulate than just the food and wine for me.

In a shiny new commercial building on Tang Lung Street that had a little less bustle than some of the main streets of Causeway Bay, Wooloomooloo Prime offers such pairings. The food is Australian and the wine is Penfolds, a popular Australian wine brand in Hong Kong found at many outlets. There is also a gorgeous 270-degree view of the city from the restaurant.

The meal starts with an amuse bouche and continues with six more courses. The amuse bouche on the evening we dined there was ceviche tiger prawns, avruga caviar, pesto mayonnaise and a potato chip. The avruga caviar drew the strongest reactions. Avruga caviar is a smoky-flavored alternative to caviar made with herring roe. Some found it to be too fishy, some loved it and yet others found the texture to be on the mushy side.

The seared Hokkaido scallop and tuna tataki with avocado salsa was paired with an iconic wine from Penfolds, the Bin 144 Yattarna Chardonnay 2009. The large, meaty scallop was served rare in the middle and had the delicious sweetness of fresh seafood. The soft tuna tataki was liberally coated in ground black pepper and was on the spicy side. The chardonnay is an award-winning wine and considered one of Australia's best.

After the seafood dishes, we moved on to a very rich dish of seared duck breast and foie gras with confit apple and balsamic reduction. This was paired with a surprisingly rich Bin 23 Pinot Noir 2009. With lots of fruit and tannins, this wine is meant to go well with game meats. The duck breast and foie gras combination is very rich, and even with the tannins from the wine for balance, perhaps serving the duck breast alone with this wine would have come off better.

The Bin 138 Grenache-Shiraz-Mourvedre 2009 is made from vines that are 40 to 110 years old and is minerally with dark chocolate and star anise aromas. With underlying spicy notes, this is a popular blend for lamb dishes. The wine was paired with a very tender and juicy Australian lamb loin with garlic tomato, fresh-made saffron fettuccine and rosemary jus.

The next match is considered the highlight of the menu with Australian 200-day grain-fed Black Angus ribeye with asparagus and truffle mashed potato served with St. Henri Shiraz 2009. This wine was first commercially released in 1957 and has a devoted following. The premium marbled beef and the bold wine made for a balanced and flavorful combination.

Dessert was a beautiful poached pear with creme brulee inside the pear topped with meringue and mixed berries. Served with a semi-dry Autumn Hill Riesling 2012 with fresh lemon curd and lime aromas, the wine and dessert were both light and lovely.

The meal ends with a farmhouse cheese selection with dried fruits, nuts, apples and crackers paired with Grandfather Rare Tawny Port. I missed the cheese course, but cheese and port are always a lovely way to finish a meal.

The Penfolds wine pairing menu requires a minimum of four guests up to a maximum of 14 guests and is priced at HK$1,950 (plus 10 percent service charge) per person and includes coffee or tea.


Wooloomooloo Prime

(Causeway Bay)

Level 27 & 28 Soundwill Plaza II, Midtown,

1 Tang Lung Street,

Causeway Bay, Hong Kong.


Average cost per person: HK$1,950 ($252) (Penfolds wine pairing menu); HK$800-1,200 (a la carte)

Recommended: The Australian lamb and prime beef. A good place for meat.

Meat and wine meet in a prime location for pairing dinners

The seared duck breast and foie gras with confit apple and balsamic reduction is rich in flavor. Donna Mah / For China Daily

(China Daily 07/13/2014 page7)