FEAST GALA ON CRYSTAL
Yoshihama Dried Abalone in Jian Nan Chun Chinese Liquor, Oscietra Caviar, Preserved Plum Jelly
Inspired by the elegant pieces in our themed room, I use the finest creations of nature, all accompanied by wines chosen by our sommelier and served to bring out the beauty of Lalique.
Executive Chef of Ming Court — Li Yuet Faat
Chef Li Yuet Faat started his culinary career some 20 years ago. In 2017 he was promoted to Executive Chef, Chinese Cuisine, overseeing the Michelin-starred Ming Court and Chinese Banquet operations of Cordis, Hong Kong.
On a lovely afternoon, I arrived at Ming Court, the Cantonese Restaurant located inside Cordis, Hong Kong at 3pm. Walking through a long aisle, I came to a private dining room, where all magical moments began. Plain walls contrasted with the shimmer of crystal swallows, bringing each pair of swallows to life as if they were greeting guests with graceful dance moves. I literally paused over the walls and exclaimed, “Lalique’s crystal creations are so flawless that it deserves the brand plaudits worldwide.”
Upon sitting myself in a chair, I realized the tableware – daisy sauce dish, chopstick holder and wine glass – was also made of crystals. In addition to Champs-Elysées chandelier and other decorative elements, a bespoke makeover of the private dining room successfully dazzled guests with Lalique’s nature-themed collections.
Echoing with the theme of “Nature Sauvage”, French renowned crystal brand Lalique redesigned the décor of one of Ming Court’s exclusive private dining rooms, including furnishings, decorative elements and tableware. Two kindred spirits debuted a year-long collaboration presenting a “Nature Sauvage” night – a themed room with a sumptuous eleven-course seasonal menu specially designed by Li Yuet Faat, Executive Chef of Ming Court.
Fresh Mud Crab Claw, 10 Years Vintage Chinese Huadiao Rice Wine, Winter Melon, Yunnan Ham, Braised
My feast commenced with “Yoshihama Dried Abalone in Jian Nan Chun Chinese Liquor, Oscietra Caviar, Preserved Plum Jelly”. This course was a surefire crowdpleaser. The centrepiece of a Lalique Champs-Élysées crystal bowl was filled with the finest seasonal ingredients: preserved plum jelly coated by blackdiamond Oscietra caviar and gold-foiled Yoshihama dried abalone. Daring, yet its culinary style was a compliment to the nature-inspired theme.
“When I choose the tableware, I barely take my eyes off the Lalique ChampsÉlysées crystal bowl. Its exquisite shape impresses me to create this course; only the finest seasonal ingredients are chosen,” said Chef Li. In fact, as a Cantonese appetizer, abalone cannot be beat.
I continued to feed my stomach. But to my surprise, Chef Li helped me to put the sliced abalone together again into its original form amid the sharing of cooking inspiration. His attention to details commanded admiration. The abalone was impregnated with the rich flavour of Jian Nan Chun Chinese Liquor combined with the saltiness of caviar. The plum jelly extended the merriment with acidity and sweetness. Altogether rounded out a harmony of flavours.
The feast was elevated by “Fresh Mud Crab Claw, 10 Years Vintage Chinese Huadiao Rice Wine, Winter Melon, Yunnan Ham, Braised”. Highlights included a wine aroma, an abstract painting-like plating, delicately cooked crab meat and even the “essence” paired with red dates and hams at the bottom – all without compromising on the authentic taste. “Fresh” was my adjective to best describe this course in summary.
Australian M9 Wagyu Beef, Green Asparagus, Rock Salt, Garlic, Sautéed
A mouth-watering course followed in “Australian M9 Wagyu Beef, Green Asparagus, Rock Salt, Garlic, Sautéed”. The wagyu beef showed up in tender cubes with fried garlic, showcasing diversifying layers of crispiness. Chef Li added, “I try to splash the wagyu beef with black pepper but the flavour is too strong to match with red wine. The Himalayan salt, on the contrary, is good enough for seasoning.”
Coconut Milk Pudding, Aloe Vera, Imperial Bird’s Nest, Chilled
My favourite was nevertheless “Coconut Milk Pudding, Aloe Vera, Imperial Bird’s Nest, Chilled”. Contained in a classic Lalique Champagne coupe, it brought the night to a lovely finish. Such dessert presentation never went out of fashion in culinary arts.
I curiously asked, “personally speaking, this course is a masterpiece indeed. Apart from sophisticated cooking techniques, can you tell more about its creative presentation?” “Before the ingredient selection, I opt for the container of this course. I think the translucency of cocktail glass befits the colour of imperial bird’s nest,” answered Chef Li. As much as the cocktail glass emphasized elegance, the imperial bird’s nest served along with coconut milk pudding and aloe vera symbolized purity, tickling taste buds in every bite.
Chef Li creatively pushed the boundaries of time-honoured Cantonese cuisines in fusing classic and contemporary. At last I looked at the crystal swallows on the walls again. The swallows seemingly weaved around the themed room and said their goodbyes to me along with the movement of a spring symphony.
Level 6, Cor dis, Hong Kong
555 Shanghai S treet, Mong Kok, Kowloon, Hong Kong
(852) 3552 3028