— February 17, 2015 —

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Best Bet- One Thirty-One

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Valentine's Day may have had many couples searching for the best restaurants in the city, but whether or not your choice was excellent, here's a restaurant you should definitely try or revisit if you've dined there before. Trust us, it is worth the drive!

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A deep red village house that leads to the Three Fathoms Cove in Sai Kung, is a tiny French restaurant that seats a maximum of 20 people. Ambience: Perfect. Service: Exceptional. Let's go straight to the most exciting part: the food.

The tasting menu is changed monthly, dishes include organically grown herbs picked fresh from their sprawling garden. The chef comes out to explain every dish.

We started off with Amuse bouches to tease our palate.

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Amuse-bouches, literally translated as "mouth amuser" are different from appetizers in that they are not ordered from a menu by patrons, but, when served, are done so free and according to the chef's selection alone. These, often accompanied by a complementing wine, are served both to prepare the guest for the meal and to offer a glimpse into the chef's approach to the art of cuisine. The amuse-bouches were definitely amusing, that includes drinking from a tube.

Next we had the Tuna tartare with caviar, carrot, and avocado. The flavours and freshness of this dish was simply delectable.

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This is followed by Scallop with radish, mushroom, and black truffle. This was light, but warm and hearty- quite soothing. Any epicurean would love this one.

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Next we had a juicy Carabinero (shrimp) with bone marrow, fennel, brussel sprouts. Mouth watering and superb flavours in just the right portion.
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Fish was next! We had Brill with romanesco, sun choke, pied de mouton- a type of mushroom. Sun choke is also known as the Jerusalem artichoke. Despite its name, the Jerusalem artichoke has no relation to Jerusalem, and it is not a type of artichoke, though both are members of the daisy family. We found this dish very intriguing because of the choice of ingredients and a bit weak on flavour.

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The Prime tenderloin flavoured with onion custard, salsify, and sweet bread was phenomenal. It was wonderful and done to perfection. The ingredients complemented each other and came together superb.

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This meal was like a delightful gustatory journey. The desserts weren't plain sweet or chocolatey. The dessert which was raspberry with white chocolate had bit of sour component which we guess might be because of verjuice. This dish is the perfect mix of tangy and tantalising. Just right not to make one feel heavy and guilty after a meal.

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As famous epicure and gastronome Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (also a French lawyer and politician) said: “Dessert without cheese is like a beauty with only one eye.”

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Coffe/Tea, petit fours follows.

In summary, One Thirty-One is an excellent restaurant which covers everything you need for a special dining experience. We love it! Just make sure to book in advance (months) and arrive on time, it's a long way from Central if that's where you're coming from so calculate travel time.