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Jan 21, 2009 03:32 PM

Chef's Table - One Harbour Road, Grand Hyatt

I came across an article about the tasting menu offered to the 'Chef's Table' at One Habour Road. At HK$ 768 + 10% service per person, some of the dishes sounded quite appealing.

The meal started off with an array of hors d'oeuvre that include drunken pigeon prepared in 10 year old 'Fa Dew' wine, Mini crab shell au-gratin, Taro croquette with whole sea scallop stuffing and 'Kwai Fa' deep fried shitaki mushroom.

Main dishes include:

- Steamed egg white custard with fresh crab meat and abalone.
- 'Fa Gau' five snakes soup.
- Poached fillet of 'Tung Sing' Garoupa on vermicelli
- Stirred fry Gai lan with Chinese preserved meat ( lap mei ) with ginger juice and wine.
- Tea smoked soya sauce chicken
- Lotus leaf fried rice
- Desserts

Can any fellow chowhounder confirm the quality of the food? Value for money as well? Sounds like, with the privacy offered and the quality of the food, it would make another nice venue for a chowmeet?! Any idea what's the minimum people required to secure the table?

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  1. yea i had this place b4. its good

    1. I thought it was only for a group of minimum 10 people or more though.

      20 Replies
      1. re: kosmose7

        I called and asked for additional information. There's apparently no minimum 'people' requirement but rather $$ value requirement. For lunch, its minimum HK$3500 (food only), for dinner its HK$7500. So I guess for 10 people, minimum is HK$750 per person. I guess, if one is willing to splurge and feast on 8 head dried Japanese abalone, Braised tiger-shark's fin, Blood swallow nest etc, one can have the whole table to oneself!

        1. re: Charles Yu

          Do you guys want to try this out while you're in town?

          1. re: Peech

            For a few of us, that was our initial intention. However, with only a small group of us showing interest and a $7500 minimum table charge requirement, some of the chowhounders reckon that due to the absence of independent confirmation of the consistency, quality and value for money of the food of this 'unrated' establishment, money can be better spend on food elsewhere rather than as 'premium' for more privacy and better ambience and service. That is why we have started a search for a different venue, may be an outstanding 'private kitchen' instead?!

            1. re: Charles Yu

              There is nothing "unrated" about One Harbour Road. It is very good to excellent, up there with the best of other Cantonese hotel dining rooms.

              1. re: Uncle Yabai

                Ah! But I wonder why it did not get a mention in Michelin? Afterall, almost all the 'top hotel' Chinese restaurants were included in the guide?!

                1. re: Charles Yu

                  Are you being sarcastic or serious? Man Wah didn't either, and it blows (for example) The Square out of the water. Lung King Heen is better than Man Wah (in my opinion) but "3 stars" better?

                  1. re: Uncle Yabai

                    I'm just querying the consistency and validity of One Harbour Road's food thats all. Since I noticed places like Shang Palace ( Kowloon Shangri La ), Summer Palace ( Island Shangri La ), T'ang Court ( Langham Hotel ), Ming Court ( MK Langham ), Golden Leaf ( Conrad ) all received stars from Michelin. With our proposed mini-chowmeet being a one shot thing, I just wanted to make sure the food is really up to CH standard. Your reference to LKH is a fine example. 3* but really mixed review from Chers. If a 3* can be rated as so-so by some real chowhound foodies, how good can a 'no-star' be? Surely, discrepancies should not be THAT GREAT, afterall, we are comparing apples with apples ( ie., Hotel Chinese restaurants with Hotel Chinese restaurants! )

                    1. re: Charles Yu

                      If you want to know my view, is that LKH is the finest hotel Cantonese dining out there. Next down is Man Wah, and after that, a close battle between T'ang Court and One Harbour Road. Next in line would be Shang Palace, Summer Palace, Ming Court, and Golden Leaf, all equally good, and bringing up the rear would be Spring Moon. But that's just me, I am not a critic, I just eat there.

                      1. re: Uncle Yabai

                        you think LKH is the "best hotel restaurant" but questions whether it's "3 stars worthy" then no hotel Chinese-restaurant deserves the top grade?

                        does your ranking take into account pricing, service ambiance or just food ("authenticity" vs "creativity"?)

                        Finally how do you view the chinese restaurants in hotels vs the non hotel ones like Fook Lum and Yung Kee?

                        thanks haha

                        1. re: Sher.eats

                          I don't know if it is "3 stars worthy", it is just that if you are going to give it "3 stars", then other places who didn't make "the cut" should get a star or two (e.g. Man Wah or One Harbour). Also, whatever Michelin, says, I am convinced that service and decor come into play when dishing out stars. Bad service can ruin the best meal, and this is actually a big issue for me.

                          As for non-hotel restaurants, I think that many of them are as good or better than the hotel restaurants food-wise, but where they tend to fall flat (at least in my experience) is in the service. I have had otherwise outstanding meals at places like Yung Kee ruined by the attitude, lack of knowledge about the menu, and the fixation with table turnover that just turns me off, and probably turned off the Michelin inspectors also.

                          1. re: Uncle Yabai

                            mmm I am among the rare few who is in total agreement with that =)

                            views on the ratings for the French restaurants?

                            1. re: Sher.eats

                              As for the French restaurants, still some questions, but overall much less disagreement from my side. At Robuchon a Galera I've eaten the best meals I've had in Asia, period, up there with the best meals I've had anywhere in the world, so well deserved. The others I think are about right with a couple of exceptions. I do have my doubts about L'Atelier though, not enamored with the concept and just too precious and distracting for a proper meal, two stars may be too much. I say the same of the one in Tokyo. Also debatable is Pierre, it can be really flat, or really outstanding, very inconsistent. Surprised Gaddi's didn't make the cut, but maybe not "inventive" enough. The first time I went to Amber (just opened) it was a comedy of errors service wise, but they definitely have gotten their act together, both food and service-wise.

                              On the Italian side, not surprised to see no clear winners. Some good competent places out there, but nothing star-worthy. Fat Umberto at Toscana deserved one, but the building is a pile of rubble now. Same for Japanese, most Japanese food in HK ranges from inedible to feh, to mildly competent.

                              Going back to the OP, he's discussing the Chef's Table. I would assume that the CT would be something special, much better than the main room. I don't have much experience with CTs in HK ("Krug Room" anyone? Sounds like something from the Japan bubble era), except once my wife won a 5,000 HKD certificate for the CT at the Vong, and it was an outstanding meal, much much better than the justly maligned main room. I was also surprised that the kitchen was aseptically spotless, extremely well-organized, and above all as quiet as a cemetery. Very interesting to watch the insides at work.

                              1. re: Uncle Yabai

                                If you don't enjoy L'Atelier's "bar seating" you should have sat inside (the "jardin"), second your comments on Pierre's inconsistency, we still have no clue why Gaddi's didn't make it when Petrus did, I don't think it's the creative side as David's dishes are rather nouveau. Amber has definitely drastically improved since openings and their frequent guest chef program is excellent.

                                I think Toscana could have gotten 2 stars, he's reopening in the new Ritz isn't he? I wouldn't say the best HK japanese is only "competent" (on a global perspective) although the best ones aren't as widely known as the French restaurants.

                                L'Atelier and Caprice both have direct-view-visible kitchens, Caprice also has a private room where one of the walls is simply glass separating the main kitchen. Domani kitchen is literally in the dining room (one can grab the mise en place), BO Innovation's new place no longer sits guests on the chef-bar, Gaddi's CT is actually inside the kitchen.

                                visible kitchens in my view are essential to a successful meal, "modern" foodies are no longer just concerned on what's on the plate but how it got there. it works the other way too, the kitchen can more accurately get a "picture" of the guests, much better than staring at order tickets. cleanness is one of the essential skills of a modern chef and "Hell's Kitchen" noise levels are only...fiction...mostly...

                                One Harbour Road is the only "old style" Chinese restaurant to have a CT though, wonder if it's inside or separated by glass.

                                1. re: Sher.eats

                                  I do hope Umberto is reopening somewhere, he is an excellent chef, and truly dedicated to his metier, always on site, always making sure everything is going well.

                                  On the Japanese food, I spend much of my time in Japan (you can ask Asomaniac), so my view is biased. For perspective, I think there are probably no more than 2 or 3 Japanese restaurants in the US worth going to, and I wouldn't go to them regularly because they are terribly expensive versus the alternative in Japan. I've had enough bleh Japanese meals in HK that I don't see the need to keep trying, when I can just walk down the street and get the real deal.

                                  1. re: Uncle Yabai

                                    haha lucky you!!

                                    my best sushi experience ever was at KameKi Sushi in Sendai closely followed by Sushi Mizutani in Tokyo...yet to visit Masa in NYC (have you?) In HK Sushi Matsudo was unquestionably the best until he left for Korea (, leaving joint 2nds Sushi Imamura, Xenri No Tsuki, Sushi Toku, Kosyu and Sushi Qube...

                                    there are other restaurants that approach japan quality: tonkatsu @ Tonkichi, tempura @ Ten Yoshi, yakitori and ox-tongue @ Sumi Hime, izakayas like Sakaegawa, Kyozasa and Genki Ippai, ramen @ Sapporo and Doraya the tuna specialist....

                                    1. re: Sher.eats

                                      I've been to Masa in NYC. Wildly overpriced and poor value for money, wouldn't repeat the experience, underwhelming for the hype and the cost. Good stuff, but I can fly to Japan from NYC and eat in Japan for probably less.... (and I'm only exaggerating slighlty).

                                      1. re: Uncle Yabai

                                        Masa being "overpriced...underwhelming for the hype" seemed to be the consensus opinion to anyone who has tried the real thing in Japan...

                                        1. re: Uncle Yabai

                                          luckily French products need not be hour-fresh like Japanese does, otherwise there won't be Robuchon a Galeria and Chateau de Robuchon...=P

                                          where's "home" for you?

                                          1. re: Sher.eats

                                            Home is Boston/Japan/Hong Kong, with the weightings depending on the whims of business and the wife. These days is Japan/Hong Kong/Boston in that order.

            2. re: Charles Yu

              Oh, I see. They obviously lowered the minimum $ required to spend then. Years ago I wanted to try there and asked them, then they said it was something like HK$12,000 (not sure about the exact amount, but it was way too high for a 'single' diner who normally travels alone to HK. Considering my stomach capacity, however, I may try the HK$3,500 lunch someday, that is, of course, alone. har...)

              I am not sure about the chef's table, but One Harbour Road's 'regular' foods served at the 'ordinary' dining rooms have always been very good to me. Frankly better than Lung King Heen, IMHO. Besides, their views are far better than Lung King Heen too. Of course, it is another story if you talk about the price-quality trade-off. Yes, they are expensive.

              Thanks for your updates! :)

          2. Hi Charles,

            Sorry for my late post, but I haven't had much time lately to reply.

            I actually ate at One Harbour Road on my trip to HK back in March'08. I was fortunate enough to dine here on someone elses expense account. Bottom line as you mentioned already: not worth the price. You are exactly spot on with your comment "'premium' for more privacy and better ambience and service" - the dining room and ambiance is spectacular, and service is top notch as you'd expect. But is the food really worth it? No is definitely my answer.

            I had a 7-8 course menu, which was around 700-800HKD/pp. Nothing too extravagent, Sharks fin soup, steamed fish, chicken, fried rice etc. but everything was actually executed properly. Don't get me wrong, I actually think the food here is VERY good. There was no bad dish that evening, and actually one stand out - the baked crab shell was amazing.

            Again to sum up, I actually had a pretty good meal here, but if I was footing the bill, I really dont think I would enjoy it as much due to the price. Apart from the Sharks Fin there was really nothing that warrants such a high price. I'm really someone who doesnt mind paying a premium when it comes to food but One Harbour Road is definitely a pass for me on future visits. Unless someone else is paying of course.....

            ps. the mango pudding although 50-60HKD (I think) was actually one of the best mango puddings I have had.. ever!

            31 Replies
            1. re: s0memale

              hi s0memale,

              how's the view of the kitchen in the chef table?

              1. re: Sher.eats

                sorry I shouldve made it more clear, I didn't dine at the chef's table, just the regular dining which is beautiful, especially the window seats.

              2. re: s0memale

                Oh yea, expensive it is. So are all the other starred (and non-starred!) high-end hotel Cantonese dining rooms. It is not hard to drop 800 HKD on a simple lunch meal for two at LKH and similar. That's why 800HKD for the CT may be a pretty decent deal comparatively.

                1. re: s0memale

                  Glad we are back on topic...
                  I'm always curious as to what people think of's one of those restaurants that never excited me much...the food is solid but I can do the same or better at more convenient locations.

                  I haven't paid for a meal there for quite some time. My last few meals there have all been business lunches which are really bleh since the food comes off a production line for set lunch. In fact I was so upset at the quality of the fried rice - and how tasteless it was - that it basically removed any desire for me to return...

                  1. re: Peech

                    Great! I can cross it off my list! Thx!

                    1. re: Charles Yu

                      Oh well, it would go really well with the 1500 HKD off coupon that Gordon Fuller gave me, but thank you for playing!

                        1. re: Sher.eats

                          Feh. Kaetsu is mega-bleh also. I'll end up using at OHR at some point, for free, I'll take a bullet!

                          1. re: Uncle Yabai

                            I would say Grisini ranks higher for Italians in HK compared to OHR ranks for Cantonese...

                            1. re: Sher.eats

                              Could be, but that's just confirming that Italian in HK isn't that hot relative to the high standards of Cantonese in HK. And the reason for that should be pretty obvious!

                              And trust me, OHR is wonderful Cantonese outside of HK. For Italian, I'll wait for the return of Fat Umberto, that was special.

                              1. re: Uncle Yabai

                                I've yet to try Da Domenico, with all its hype here on CH...Aspasia is solid, Sabatini used to be "very good" but is now "crap" since their chef left.Domani is way overhyped. Thing with Italian cooking is, it's all recipe and ingredients, as supposed to French/Chiness' recipe:ingredients:skill, and so it's very easy to cook excellent Italian at home.

                                What we truly lack is pizza napoletana with its 800C ovens and 60sec cooking times,

                                OHR outside HK huh?

                                1. re: Sher.eats

                                  Really? Italian cooking doesn't require skill? I think my grandmothers would want to hear more about that if they were still around.

                                  The only memorable Cantonese meal I've had outside of HK is at the Wing Lei in the Wynn in Las Vegas.

                                  1. re: Uncle Yabai

                                    i really do think so, your GM's "touch" was the her recipe instead of actual "skill"

                                    Tim's Kitchen of Macau?

                                    1. re: Sher.eats

                                      You know in the US when they do jury selection, they try to find the prospective juror's biases and other "skeletons" to get an unbiased panel (in theory) so as to give the defendant a fair trial? So far, I've gone along with the discussion because it has been entertaining/enlightening.

                                      But with that comment about Italian food being all "recipe" and "no skill", you've just disqualified yourself to be taken seriously by me any further. Good night.

                                      1. re: Uncle Yabai

                                        ok, saying it requres "no skill" was over the top obviously, but i stand by the notation that ingredients and recipe dominate skill.

                                        i don't think people post here to "impress" others, we do so because we love food and are willing to share information with others, so it doens't concern at all how credible I am in your book.

                                        we had a nice chat though =/

                                  2. re: Sher.eats

                                    Give DD a try before our March chowmeet and you can spend the whole night talking to our foodie friend 'fourseasons' about their food. Ha! Its his favourite HK Italian joint and he loved their clams and scampi pasta!

                                    As for Grissini. IMO.overprice, mini-portion and over-rated.

                                    1. re: Charles Yu

                                      it's like 500 for 1 pasta dish right? The Fook Lum Moon of Italians? ($$ not hotel)

                                      1. re: Sher.eats

                                        $500 is for the linguini with clams, the scampi version costs MORE! Bad service and a grouchy chef are free though! Ha!

                                        1. re: Charles Yu

                                          how much is the scampi version?...

                                          is it "bad" as in hostile or "no" service (which i don't mind) =)

                                          1. re: Sher.eats

                                            Based on my two visits to DD, the service is actually quite acceptable. One visit is with a couple who is regular clients so that probably explain it all.

                                            I can't remember the exact price of the scampi pasta...I think around HK$600. It is the most expensive pasta I ever had.

                                            1. re: FourSeasons

                                              hey 4S!

                                              could you get the same quality at a different place for a cheaper price? alternatively, if you were given the ingredients could you make it at home?

                                              sorry for weird questions but it is some money haha

                                              1. re: Sher.eats

                                                I have to say that the scampi pasta at DD is really good, I don't think I have tasted the same quality at a different place but Charles had the pasta vongole which he thought the one he had in Tokyo was as good but a fraction of DD price.

                                                Thanks for even thinking that I can cook. Sorry to disappoint you but you would not likely want to eat any food I cook...

                                                The server at DD did say their seafood was airflown from Sicily when I asked why they were so expensive.

                                                1. re: FourSeasons

                                                  haha and they are next to that huge insurance company so pricing is not as much a problem.

                                                  i'm still thinking whether it's so good because of Sicilian seafood, some secret recipe or the chef's skill...

                                                  1. re: Sher.eats

                                                    I am not a chef or a professional food critic but I guess: 70% Sicilian seafood, 15% recipe, 15% skill....try it one day and let me know your expert opinion.

                                                    1. re: FourSeasons

                                                      the % sounds about right yeah....i'm deciding between Cepage (french, new, by Les Amis SG) or Da Domenico....

                                                  2. re: FourSeasons

                                                    Wow! Great memory FS. Didn't I mention the Tokyo Spaghetti a la Vongole to you over a year ago?!

                                                    Hi Sher.eats. Where about is Cepage? How 'fancy' is it?

                                                    1. re: Charles Yu

                                                      Wan Chai, near Star St (epoch, classified mozzerela), it's very fancy...


                                                      1. re: Sher.eats

                                                        Am dying to try Cepage but have heard mixed reviews. Run by the Les Amis people from Singapore apparently.

                                                        I loved my plate of scampi at DD (no pasta, just scampi, thank you very much...) and I would agree that it's good because of the fresh ingredient and not the skill of the chef. But I don't care... coz I probably can't source the same ingredients and won't know what to do with it even if I did get it.

                                                        But we are going off-topic again...

                                                        1. re: Peech

                                                          our sommelier (caprice) said it was "good"...not sure how much staff from singapore they brought over though.

                                                          the longer i have yet to try them, the higher my expectations go.....

                                                          thanks for the ingredients comment =)

                                                          1. re: Sher.eats

                                                            I've never been but I have an Italian friend here who raves about the pasta with homemade sausage at DD. He says it's identical to what he gets in his village outside Naples.

                                                            1. re: koknia

                                                              thanks, i'll see if it's on the menu tmr