The Ritz-Carlton Hotel
Level 102 International Commercial Centre, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR
Tel: +852 2263 2270
Overlooking Hong Kong Island from the 102nd floor of the new Ritz Carlton Hotel in the ICC complex in Kowloon is the Italian restaurant Tosca. The restaurant is so high up that one can literally see the entire Hong Kong Island from one's seat next to the window. When I was there for lunch, the sky was clear and I could even see over the island to the sea beyond it. It was quite an experience sitting there sipping champagne while watching private helicopters buzz around like dragonflies below me. Tosca probably has the best view of any restaurant in Hong Kong at the moment.
Not to say that this is the usual hotel restaurant which charges premium prices for nice views but serve ordinary food. Tosca has one Michelin star and from my dining experience there, this is well merited. The dining room is quite large, and the high ceiling and generous adornment of crystal chandeliers and other fixtures lend a luxurious and opulent feel to the place. Service here was formal yet attentive and friendly, and despite dining alone that day, I was made to feel very comfortable, with various members of staff taking turns to come over to make small talk.
Despite turning up after 2pm (with a 2.30pm last order), I didn't feel rushed and was able to pick out my food choices and wine (from a decent wine list) while snacking on a gazpacho and smoked mackerel on toast.
I had the set lunch that day. The langoustine with young leaf salad and crab mayonnaise was quite brilliant. The shellfish was fresh and the dish had flavours and textures which were well-balanced.
The squid ink linguini with cuttlefish and chili was rich and the pasta was perfectly al dente. I was surprised by how spicy the chili oil was but it worked well with the dish.
And the main course was the 'special of the day' and was the leg of lamb, which was more French than Italian because of the thick and flavourful deglaze accompanying it. The lamb went perfectly with the half bottle of Brunello which I had with the lunch.
Dessert was a Tiramisu with limoncello which was competently done but (like most desserts in fine dining Italian restaurants) not particularly special. It was a good meal, made special by the stunning views and commendable service.