Chef to Celebrities – Harlan Goldstein’s Gold

Posted: December 1, 2014 in dinner
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I had the chance to dine at a fine dining restaurant last week, outside the norm of this blog’s usual street food and affordable eats.  Harlan Goldstein is a celebrity chef based in HK.  I find the gentleman more of a Chef to Celebrities than a celebrity chef.  I have yet to see the guy carry a tv show or horde limelight like the other narcissistic HK celebrity chefs.  Big expectations this time around.  I get off on paying $100/person and eating at gems.  This time my bill would be $600/person with the help of the Entertainer Hong Kong book.

Food starts off quite normal for fine dining, bread to line the stomach.  I can only imagine the tiny plates yet to arrive.  I am already gearing up to go eat at a normal restaurant after this meal.  It might be time to try the Green Lantern burger at McDonalds except I swore off McDonalds for the month of November.  The Foccacia arrives warm.  It’s going to be a decent night.  I love the strong herb taste.  Pesto for dip.  I would have preferred a simple balsamic vinegar and olive oil rather than pesto.  Pesto is strong tasting so it can hide the flaws in the bread.  I want simple foods as I am only a simple person wanting to compare the food I make at home to one of higher more exacting standards.

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focaccia bread with pesto dip – FREE but at high end restaurants it’s complimentary.

The only highlight was the eggplant appetizer.  It’s similar to lasagna but sub out pasta with eggplant and this is the result.

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I was told the slow cooked meats were done via sous vide.  Sous vide style of cooking was made famous by Chipotles.  I was anxious to try the sous-vide style of beef short ribs at Gold.  The meat was tender and easy to break apart with just a fork.  The meat would have been great inside a taco or burrito.  $388 for two small chunks of beef? I don’t think so.  No sides.  I refuse to be NA pricing for HK food knowing full well everything is cheaper over here.  $90 draft Asahis?  I should have taken the Asahi mug home.  Gold makes Ritz Carlton’s restaurants affordable without the spectacular view.

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slow cooked short ribs $388, no sides.

I hate order truffle anything at restaurants but the only pasta dish to pop out at me was the one with lots of mushrooms.  Truffle oil provides all the flavour but most people know truffle oil does not get the taste from truffles.  The aromas arrive in truffle oil through chemicals and artificial flavouring, there is no truffle in the actual truffle oil; which allows the oil to be very pungent.  I had no choice.  $300 for a tiny plate of pasta.

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whit truffle mushroom pasta $300, white truffle in name only as the truffle flavour comes from the oil.

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steak. Restaurant messed up the order and all the steak lovers were served meat not cooked to their satisfaction.

Dessert was ice cream using liquid nitrogen.  Nothing to write home about.  I was waiting for the little pellets of ice cream to burn a hole through my innards.  Did not happen.

My friends ordered the set dinner so I got to experience the wonderful plates of luxury food meant to shoot out the kitchen door en masse.  This food is not for me but it did taste different than the food I have grown accustomed to loving.  For the price you expect the pay, the restaurant is very accommodating and the staff quite attentive.  We never went without drinks and the restaurant allowed the group to order a burger to satisfy pregnant lady cravings.  Burgers are only available on the lunch menu and not during supper service.  If this was my restaurant I would lower prices across the board by 25% to drive more traffic into the venue.  The restaurant was not nearly half full on a Friday evening.  There should be a real emphasis on trying to drive the legions of white collar workers in with emphasis on low priced drinks so I forget about dinner plans and end up eating supper here.

No restaurant in LKF has an excuse to be not bursting at the seams on a Friday night.  You are paying sky high rents to locate in one of the most convenient locations for partying.  The restaurant is located on the second floor of LKF Tower, the location is central to nightlife but terrible for everyone else.  It’s in the heart of the nightlife district but there are only 2 elevators serving a high end hotel where the first 6 floors are devoted to fine dining.  You have to chase an elevator going up to ensure room to go down.  It’s always a pleasure to be inside elevators with the nightlife crowd.  Ladies in short skirts flaunting their youth leaving nothing to the imagination while at the same time hoping that age will not catch up to turn them into bowling balls.  As a guy, I can do noting but smirk knowing full well Father Time will not be kind.

Would I come back? Not if I have to pay out of pocket.  Expense accounts at this restaurant is a pre-requisite for dining.


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