More than any other restaurant in Hong Kong, Gaddi’s is synonymous with class and heritage. It is one of those last bastions of style, old world formality and elegance that manage to survive and creep on like cockroaches through the haute cuisine holocaust of the past couple of decades. Opened in 1953 in the Peninsula Hotel, it became famed during the days of the British Empire as the best restaurant east of the Suez. That is quite a reputation to live up to, and we frankly feared that the cuisine would be only mediocre, the restaurant now resting on its laurels and coasting on the strength of its name and décor. Quite the contrary, it turns out – Gaddi’s is every bit one of the city’s finest restaurants.
It is certainly one of the most formal and grand. The paneled dining room contains two six-foot crystal-and-silver chandeliers from Paris, gilt and crystal five-light wall sconces, ornate mirrors, a massive Qing dynasty coromandel screen from 1670 (it is part of a pair, its twin residing at the Met in NYC) and a rich blue and gold Tai Ping carpet. Gentlemen must wear jackets, and there is a wonderful live band that plays sets throughout the dinner. The tables are graciously set with long tapered candles in silver candelabra, fresh roses and Bernardaud porcelain and the service is gracious and professional. The closest NYC analogue in terms of ambience and refinement is La Grenouille.
The meal begins with an amuse bouche – in our case a wonderful salmon tartare with cucumber mousse – and the bread basket, the best of which is a bacon-stuffed croissant. The soups are particularly fine, with a decadent and creamy lobster soup and an absolutely spellbinding chestnut soup with partridge dumplings and black truffle. Among the mains, a wild turbot from the Brittany coast, absolutely doused in black truffle, was one of the most memorable dishes of my life. The signature roasted pigeon came with a wonderful Muscovado sugar crust that meshed perfectly with the tender meat.
In one of those bizarre occurrences that make you question not just the Michelin Guide’s judgment but sanity, Gaddi's does not have a single star. They are presumably too busy showering stars like confetti on crappy hole in the wall restaurants in order to curry local favor. But it’s a truly serious omission, one that can’t be explained away by the possibility that they are unaware of the restaurant. We take the view with respect to most cities that, while the Michelin Guide has some serious flaws, it is, like democracy, the least bad option. However, in Hong Kong, they have forfeited all credibility, and shouldn’t really even be a part of the conversation.
Salisbury Road, Kowloon
+852 2920-2888 Mon-Sun, noon-2:30pm, 7pm-10:30pm
- Hong Kong
- Best Decor
- Best Service
- Best Wine Lists
- BYOB Corkage Fee: $400HKD
- Chef's Table
- Live Music
- Private Dining Room
- Tasting Menu
- Zagat : 27 (2008)
RECOMMENDED DISHES See All
- Soupe de homard crèmeuse et médaillons de homard pochés - Creamy lobster soup with sliced poached lobster
- Soupe de châtaigne et quenelles de perdrix perfumé à la truffe noire - Chestnut soup with partridge dumplings and black truffle
- Saint Jacques de Hokkaido pochées, jeunes legumes de saison et jus de bouillabaisse - Poached Hokkaido scallops with young seasonal vegetables and bouillabaisse jus
- Homard rôti en raviole verte, petits pois et cappuccino de crustacés - Roasted lobster in a green raviolo with garden peas and shellfish cappuccino
- Blanc de turbot sauvage des côtes Bretonnes au céleri et truffe noire - Piece of wild turbot from the Brittany coast with celery and black truffle
- Pigeon rôti au sucre Muscovado, sa cuisse farcie et jeunes carottes - Roasted pigeon with Muscovado sugar crust, its stuffed leg and baby carrots
- Plateau de fromages de France affinés - Selection of French cheeses
- Soufflé au chocolat et coulis de griotte, glace pistache - Chocolate soufflé with sour cherry coulis and pistachio ice cream