Opened by The Press Room Group – which is behind other popular F&B dining concepts like The Pawn, SML, and Classified – The Principal at Star Street is a sophisticated and elegant restaurant which promises an epicurean adventure that you will never forget.
The décor is simple and nothing too extravagant. Yet it feels posh enough to sink into the plush seats for a nice dinner. The chef has opted to remove its regular ala carte menu to focus on delivering The Principal experience through its 7-course (HK$890) and 10-course degustation menu (HK$1080). For vegetarians, there is also a 7-course vegetarian menu (HK$890).
We started with ‘Snacks’, which consists of passion Campari, Mieric Peanut, Sesame Dentelle, and Pate Bonbon. Initially, we were skeptical as the starters appeared to be very ordinary. But we were taken by surprise after trying them. The Passion Campari burst in our mouths; the pate bonbon combines savoury and sweet, and the mimetic peanut was pure magic – two icing-coated peanuts unassumingly laid atop a bed of broken peanut shells, and exploded into a mind-boggling peanut butter of semi-glory consistency with every bie.
Next was the Uni – a course of chawanmushi with sea urchin, sake and dates. It was delicately prepared, with the sea urchin being nothing near overpowering and instead, gave a memorable richness in the otherwise all too predictable Japanese comfort food.
Following which, we had the Gnocchi – Parmigiano gnocchi and button mushroom with iberico ham consommé. Submerged in a serving of the addictive consommé, the potato dumplings were so raw and earthy, we never felt more drawn to the core of earth, quite a surprising rendition, though we felt it may not be suitable for the ones with lighter taste buds.
The Mackerel was a dish of mackerel with radish, tomato seed, jalpeno, and a strong hint of lemongrass.
Then the highlight of our dinner – Blue Lobster. An immaculately prepared blue lobster with a smooth, creamy and buttery béarnaise sauce. It was delicious.
Also good was the Oscietre – an egg yolk combined with cauliflower puree, bone marrow and caviar, this dish was presented beautifully and was well thought and showed a real understanding of flavours.
Halibut was served with zucchini foam, puree made from the sauce of halibut, and a black vinaigrette sauce. The fish was prepared flawlessly. My only gripe was that the zucchini foam was more style than substance – it did not add anything to the dish.
The Pigeon was also another dish which we enjoyed tremendously. The Bresse Pigeon was perfectly cooked – not too tough, nor was it too undercooked, with a tinge of redness. Thew presence of bomba rice, cepes soil made of mushroom and hunter’s truffle made this a very well done dish overall. Not to mention that it was beautifully plated.
We are usually not big fans of white chocolate dessert, but the Snowball got our approval. Wrapped in a cocoa butter exterior which gave it texture and crunch, the snowball is a miraculous invention of chilled white chocolate mousse with a surprising passion fruit centre – so smooth, so sweet, so passionate and so much like the mysterious yet fascinating winter; Snowball is indeed quite apt.
The final course was a sweet ending – very addictive gianduja mousse paired with praline, brown butter ice cream and sweet potato.
9 Star Street
Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2563 3444
Nearest Station: Wan Chai
Note: This was an invited media tasting.