All Scandinavian blond wood and bright light, Bacchanalia at its new premises in Hong Kong Street couldn’t be more different to the old, which was all dark panels and rich velvet chaise longues. What is also surprising for first-time visitors is the fact that seats here are arranged like casual deli table benches – a little incongruous with the price of the degustation menus that start at $115.
But the food still delivers. Simply named “Carrot”, the refreshing first course combined the humble root vegetable with dollops of hummus, carrot jam and fresh cream cheese, and a sprinkling of dukka. Beautiful presentation and quality ingredients are clearly the focus here. Case in point: a caramelised onion soup that came in a small, clear teapot, with the chunks of onion, cheddar and rye bread are in a separate bowl.
The staff take great pains to tell us about the origins of the ingredients, cooking method and how to enjoy the dish before every course is presented. In this case, we are instructed to pour the broth and partake of the soup immediately.
Creative they may be, but the dishes are never unfamiliar: a coconut cream risotto brought to mind a warm, comforting congee, while the black sesame almond cake for dessert was distinctly Asian. It is creative yet satisfying fare tat we would gladly brave the hard deli benches for.
The Kitchen at Bacchanalia
39 Hong Kong Street