Cover Left to right: Bâtard's Natalie Eng and Somm's Terry Ho (Photo: Handout)

The food and drink happenings that you should know about this week

As the new school term begins, so do bright additions to two of Hong Kong's most loved restaurants, bringing fresh ideas and energy to the kitchen along with them. Elsewhere, the dining scene is enlivened with Mid-Autumn celebrations, new tasting menus, and tasty sustainability initiatives. Keep reading for more.

See also: Where To Drink In Hong Kong This September 2021

Meet Natalie Eng, Bâtard's New Pastry Chef

A sought-after table at Bâtard has become even more alluring with the addition of pastry chef Natalie Eng to the kitchen team. Joining fellow Singaporean and chef de cuisine Aven Lau, Eng brings her classical French training from Alain Ducasse’s three-Michelin-starred Le Meurice, Singaporean fine dining fixture Sorrel, and San Francisco's Neighbor Bakehouse. Most recently, she was executive pastry chef at Le Pan, working alongside chef Edward Voon.

At Batard, Eng will be introducing pastries that are "focused on technique and unique flavour profiles of the desserts. I very much like working with ingredients that people are not quite familiar with, whilst pairing them with what guests would already know," she explains.

As part of the dinner tasting menu, guests can look forward to a new fior di latte gelato pre-dessert, a Palmito sugar-laminated puff pastry paired with thyme-infused diplomat cream and chestnut honey, and a sphere-shaped, applewood-smoked Paris Brest filled with almond mousseline cream and praline with bitter almond sherbet. The menu ends with new petit-fours by Eng, too. 

Eng's arrival coincides with new set lunch menu at Bâtard, available from Thursday to Sunday and priced at HK$500 per person. To enjoy the full culinary repertoire of Aven Lau and his team, opt for the daily six-course dinner tasting menu, priced at HK$1,188 per person. Find out more by clicking here.

Terry Ho Takes Over As Chef De Cuisine At Somm

Following the departure of Mario Paecke to Margo, Somm has announced the appointment of Terry Ho as its new chef de cuisine. Having cooked in the kitchens of Amber, Taipei's L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, and Arbor, Ho brings a wealth of experience cooking haute cuisine to The Landmark Mandarin Oriental's cult favourite wine-centric bistro. 

At Somm, Ho will oversee menu development in collaboration with Amber's Richard Ekkebus. Slated to debut on the menu are tantalising creations like raw shima aji “kombujime” with cucumber, celtuce and shiso; Isaki “à la plancha” with kohlrabi, wakame and sea grape salad; and dry-aged Challans duck breast, butternut squash, pumpkin seed praline and duck jus.

Related: Where Chefs Are Excited To Eat In Hong Kong: September 2021

Roganic Announces A Month Of Collaborations With Hong Kong's Greenest Minds

Living up to its Michelin Green Star, Roganic will be dedicating the month of October to its Friends of Sustainability series, where a number of environmentally-minded chefs will contribute their talents to collaborative meals to highlight issues of sustainability within the world of F&B.

First up is the Climate Action Luncheon on October 3, where Whey's Barry Quek, Peggy Chan of Zero Foodprint Asia, and Ando's Agustin Balbi will band together with Ashley Salmon of Roganic to present a 10-course menu (HK$1,880 per person) exclusively using ingredients sourced within 160 kilometres of Hong Kong. All profits will go towards Zero Foodprint Asia to address greenhouse gas emissions through investments in carbon farming.

On October 21, Roganic is due to host the Darkside team for a one-night-only eco-conscious cocktail pairing dinner. At HK$1,580 per head, the 12-course dinner will be paired with three "ecoCOCKTAILS" from Darkside that use closed-loop ecoSPIRITS technology—these include a Negroni that incorporates homemade buddha hand liqueur and leftover orange peel bitters; a margarita built using low-waste Arquitecto tequila; and a berry cooler lengthened with locally produced Kuppa kombucha.

Finally, local farms that the restaurant works closely with are the star attraction at the series finale dinner on October 28. This 12-course dinner (HK$1,380 per person) will utilise the harvests of New Age Organic Farm, Zen Organic Farm, Peter’s Seafood, Yi O Rice Farm, and Common Farms, all of whom are making sustained and significant efforts to grow produce that is nourishing for both our health and the wider environment.

For more information and to make your reservation, head to the Roganic website now.

Roganic

Causeway Bay
$ $ $ $
4.5
'rating'

The Peninsula Invites Eugene Pao To Perform At Mid-Autumn Jazz Dinner

The Peninsula will be celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival a little differently this year. On September 21, the historic hotel is inviting famed jazz guitarist Eugene Pao alongside Miriam Ma on vocals, Sylvain Gagnon on bass, and Toshi Horiguchi on keyboards, to perform contemporary Italian jazz numbers at the Ode to the Moon four-course dinner held in The Lobby.

Priced at HK$1,688 per person, the dinner will include an appetiser of akami tuna carpaccio with panzanella salad, a primo of smoked eggplant ravioli with burrata and Kristal caviar, a secondo of US Prime beef tenderloin Milanese with autumnal black truffle or red prawn cartoccio with Hokkaido scallops and monkfish, and a lantern-inspired dolce of coffee ice cream, light mascarpone cream and dark chocolate crumble. Throughout the night, the jazz quartet will perform three 30-minute sets.

For reservations and enquiries, call +852 2696 6772 or email diningphk@peninsula.com.

See also: Mid-Autumn Festival 2021: The Best Mooncakes In Hong Kong

Castellana Rings In Autumn With New Tasting Menu

A new season means a new edition of Castellana's Journey Around The World tasting menu. This September, head chef Fabiono Palombini transforms the best produce that the northern Italian region of Piedmont has to offer into six and eight-course tasting menu, priced at HK$1,280 and HK$1,480 per person, respectively. 

Highlights include the Sicilian red prawn tartare, made using red prawns plucked from Mazara del Vallo, the deepest depression in the Mediterranean Sea; the Egg Emotion Risotto, which combines Carnaroli risotto, slow-cooked egg yolk whisked with crème fraiche and Grana Padano, and a quenelle of pressed Petrossian Caviar; and the Rangers Valley Australian tenderloin wagyu smoked with apple and oak chips, served with a layer of fermented red bell pepper sheets and topped with Petrossian’s Ossetra Tsar Imperial caviar.

Entirely Italian wine pairings are available to add on. The six-glass pairing for the six-course menu is priced at HK$880, while the eight-glass pairing for the eight-course menu will set you back HK$980.

Castellana

Causeway Bay
$ $ $ $
4
'rating'