Creative European-inspired food at The Continental

The Continental has taken over one of the best restaurant locations in Hong Kong atop Pacific Place or where Domani used to be. Here, British Chef Rowley Leigh introduces a European cafe-inspired British menu and some of the dishes here were just unforgettable – creativity mixed with generally great execution.

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Raw tuna with ginger dressing *must order*

The raw tuna was delicately thin, shining light on the tasty ginger dressing, making this dish much more interesting than the usual tuna carpaccio you see on other restaurant’s menu. “Ginger dressing” is really a humble understatement of what the sauce here really is. The flavours were really interesting and quite complex; the ginger taste was pleasantly not overriding.

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Parmesan custard with anchovy toast *must order*

The mention of “anchovies” on a menu is usually an instant turn off for me. But I had forgotten that these were in the toast on my first bite; the anchovy taste was very subtle, albeit detectable after two bites or so. It was more like sea salt seasoning rather than fishy flavour, which I liked very much. But the highlight of this combo has to be the parmesan custard. The texture of the custard is like a very smooth creme brulee (it even has that burnt layer on top) and it tasted mildly cheesy.

Chef Rowley did emphasise that this was his signature dish and I would enthusiastically be the 100,000th person to attest to that claim.

Unfortunately, at the time of writing, this dish was served as a special for the tasting menu and is not on their usual a la carte menu.

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Griddled scallops with chestnut puree, shiso and lemon 

Everyone at the table loved the scallops. They were definitely cooked just right to perfection – overcooked seafood is so common and a let down, right? The execution was excellent, but the chestnut puree was a little tasteless and un-special to me. Though I guess that’s partly because the scallop flavour is usually quite an attention seeker itself.

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Norweigian skrei cod with clam chowder

I love the taste of cod and this one was cooked very well – juicy and soft. However, it must have been the clam chowder that was a little overriding and made the dish a little salty and perhaps too flavourful for my liking.

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Rib eye steak (English, grass-fed) with chips and bearnaise sauce

Rib eye steak with fries is such a classic. But the big hidden twist here is that they use English grass-fed beef and you may be surprised at just how much of a twist it actually was. The taste of the English beef vastly contrasts the USDA ones we usually have. The meat is definitely leaner and the taste is intensely stronger, partly a result of the good quality of meat used too.

Plus, the fries and bearnaise sauce were super popular at the table; refills were ordered!

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Chocolate salted caramel tart *must order*

Intriguingly delicious desserts

All the desserts we had that night were delicious and I loved how intriguing some of the options were. The weirdest of them all must have been the chilli pineapple – it’s probably not for everyone. It’s not as chilli or weird as it sounds though and was a surprisingly good combination with the french toast and vanilla ice cream. But I have to be boring and recommend the chocolate salted caramel tart, which was the still the most memorable dessert of the night for me!

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Passion fruit pavlova

imagePain perdu with chilli roast pineapple and vanilla ice cream

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Great dinner place for casual dates and small group gatherings

The atmosphere is vibrant (not too quiet) and perfect for casually romantic dates or small group gatherings. The menu is unique and I loved how they serve standard popular items (like the rib eye or chocolate tart) and also a variety of interesting options too (tuna, chilli pineapple).

I heard they do afternoon tea and I’m sure the bright day time experience will be a completely new one – will definitely check it out soon!

The Continental is located on Unit 406, L4 One Pacific Place, Admiralty, Hong Kong. 

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