Saturday, December 5, 2009

Nadaman: Prelude to a Meal - The Hotel Lobby Smell

I l-o-v-e the Shangri-La hotel lobby fragrance. Seriously, someone should bottle whatever scent that is and market it. I’d buy it. And I also love the fact that, whenever I smell that particular Shangri-La smell, it’s almost always a prelude to a wonderful meal at the hotel. Be it at Petrus on the Island or, in my most recent case, Nadaman at Kowloon Shang.

Not wanting to think about my order, I went straight for the mini kaiseki lunch option, which my lunch-company also went for. We started with a very artfully arranged set of seasonal eggplant and mushroom with sesame sauce, chestnut with miso paste, pumpkin cake roll and grilled crab meat with and beef rolled with asparagus. Too busy catching up and yammering away about which new movies were worth watching and which new restaurants worth going to, I stupidly forgot to take the lid off the eggplant and mushroom for my photo. Duh, me. Well, at least the pale purple pot it was served in was nice and pretty.

(eggplant and mushrooms in a pot, crab and gingko nuts, beef and asparagus, pumpkin cake, chestnut miso roll)

Next course was a very stomach-warming chicken soup with seasonal veggies. Very comforting – I felt like I was glowing after downing this broth and greens. I was kinda elated when the next dish to come up was sliced seasonal sea bream sashimi. I’ve recently realized just how much I love the sea bream with its delish firm flesh and lovely distinct flavor. I polished off the sashimi like nobody’s business. No joke.

(Hearty chicken soup)

(Sea bream sashimi)

The following course was probably the cutest – deep fried lotus root dumpling with shrimp, dried scallop, assorted veggies and grated radish sauce. A very interesting dish with an interlocking layering of flavors and textures. The deep fried lotus root was actually pulped to a creamy paste and was encased in the perfectly crispy “shell.” The shrimp and scallops provided most of the taste to the dish and rode well on the radish sauce. A dish that took a lot of heart to make, I can tell. This was followed by an Indian-inspired grilled silver cod and mushroom with special turmeric sauce. I love cod, I love mushrooms and I love turmeric so this was definitely a winner of a dish for me, though not exactly “Japanese-y.” The fish was soft and fluffy and the mushrooms were wonderfully fleshy. The turmeric could have been a little more prominent but I guess maybe they didn’t want to overdo it on the spices? Ah well, ‘twas good nonetheless.

(Silver cod with mushrooms and turmeric)

(Deep-fried lotus root "sphere" - cute.)

We finished the savory part of our meal with ochatsuke with grilled salmon rice ball. Again, an interesting dish with different textures and flavors. The perfectly-grilled rice ball was scoring massive brownie points with me (I love grilled carbs of any form). And after a short interlude of assorted pickles, we were brought the finishing course of homemade mango tiramisu. A light and sweet end to long and satisfying meal. And with that, and a mini bottle of sake the good folks at Nadaman let me have, I started planning in my mind, when the next time would be that I’d be back in the flower-scented Shangri-La hotel lobby.

(Grilled rice ball)

(Mango tiramisu)

FOOD: 3.75/5
SERVICE: 3.5/5

NADAMAN ($$$$)
Lower Level 2
Kowloon Shangri-la Hotel
64 Mody Road
Tsim Sha Tsui

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