It’s a bold statement to make but yesterday’s private lunch at Pomegranate may just well have been one of the finest I have enjoyed of late, possibly given the chef’s and my own penchant for combining Mediterranean cuisine with Asian spices but also due to THAT tart...
This was not my first encounter with the restaurant kitchen whose Lebanese owner started a private kitchen in her HK apartment before taking over the current airy space in Wong Chuk Hang for private events and catering services.
We kicked off with an amuse-bouche of lentil, fried garlic and cumin soup in a small cup with a parmesan crisp. I can’t imagine adding fried garlic pieces to such a small cup without it overpowering the whole dish, but this chef clearly managed it. It was flavoursome with no individual spice drowning out the other, and far more interesting to be dipping a cheese straw into it than an every day crouton. The bar was set high.
Next to arrive was a piece of perfectly seared snapper on a bed of lentils, tomato and jalapeno salad. At first sight, the volume of pulses seemed a little on the high side until we tasted them and began to wish that the bowl would never end! Lentils, in my opinion, need some hefty flavouring to render them interesting fodder, and these were both zingy from citrus juices and piquant from the chilli.
Meat followed our fish course with a slow cooked pork loin on a bed of pomme purée in a fiery sauce that was perfectly balanced by the creaminess of the potato, and the added crunch of some chickpea bombs. There was nothing to fault here apart from my dish arriving slightly lukewarm. Others in my position may not have minded however, given that I have been known to consume bowls of soups with the same temperature as molten lava.
Finally, the dark chocolate and salted caramel tart… Last year, as a judge on Battle of the Bakers Hong Kong, I thought that the passion fruit salted caramel tart made by one of the contestants was the definition of culinary utopia. While it still holds a large part of my heart (and no doubt stomach) this one was certainly up there in gastronomical heaven. Given the three preceding courses, I couldn't finish it all at the time so requested a doggie bag to take it home. This was clearly a mistake however as I was then forced to share it with my family. Make sure you finish yours in the restaurant! Thankfully Pomegranate is in walking distance from my apartment, so I may enquire if they will do take out for the tart alone…
This review was written for Sassy, Hong Kong.