Ones to Remember: Award-Winning Interiors and Divine Dishes Ensure a Blissful Evening at 1111 Ones
Upscale Italian and French food becomes the food of the angels at 1111 Ones, the Central restaurant that checks off all the requirements for a pleasurable modern European dining experience – superb cuisine, chic and opulent interiors, top-notch beverages and more – then daringly elevates them to a higher plane.
Named for an angel number that celebrates new beginnings in life’s journey, 1111 Ones draws on the vision and direction of Chef Chris Chan, a culinary specialist with more than two decades of expertise and a prestigious background at a two-Michelin-starred restaurant. The unhurried interiors are reminiscent of the much-photographed Antelope Canyon in Arizona. Undulating waves of the high vaulted ceiling and warm, rusty colour tones are further highlighted by a wooden floor, straightforward wooden chairs and tables and accents of grey rock formations.
A bar with a marble countertop grounds the area, and its line-up of Italian liqueurs waiting to be served is another of the many unique touches in this dining room. All of these elements made the restaurant an overall winner of the 2022 International Restaurant & Bar Design Awards.
“It is said that those who continuously see this angel-number sequence will have great things coming their way. We are dedicated to providing a tranquil environment with divine food, where guests can forget about their life qualms and truly feel at peace,” proclaims Chef Chan.
Just as the interior features aim to seduce the old and new guard, the menu also succeeds in pleasing both. A fresh ingredients plate presenting the key elements of the tasting menu is provided before diners start their culinary trip so the mind can be primed for the gastronomic offerings ahead.
Chan personally selected the French Oscietra caviar for the first course. The second appetiser sees toro – the fatty underbelly of Japanese bluefin tuna – uniting with Hokkaido sea urchin and the fresh tomato consommé jelly.
The next dish features monkfish liver, cooked using the same technique as foie gras to achieve a similar texture and flavour. Morel is another luxurious creation, with the prized scented French mushrooms prepared in a method borrowed from Asian-style kitchens. It is stuffed with cuttlefish paste and served with squid on the side.
Amadai urokoyaki – tilefish grilled with its scales intact – is a standout among the main courses. The flavour of the fish is enhanced by the crispy scales and further highlighted by the accompanying onion chutney. African yellow croaker fish maw is another prominent dish, presented on top of a French-style lobster soup and rice crispies, giving the combination of tastes a distinctive twist.
The meat main of Hida beef – a supreme wagyu from Japan’s Gifu prefecture – is served with fresh parsnip and asparagus as well as a purée of pumpkin and black garlic. Alternatively, the Spanish deep-sea red treasure of carabinero is grilled on binchotan (Japanese white charcoal), presented with tom yum- infused puntine and augmented by roasted straw mushrooms, dried lime slices and Thai basil emulsion.
Desserts, of course, are not to be missed. The beetroot sweet is served with Granny Smith apple chunks and jam and topped by a French-style baked meringue. The second dessert melds chestnut and chrysanthemum – rich chestnut paste wrapped around vanilla mousse and served with smooth and sweet chrysanthemum ice cream and tangy dried fruit.
The chef will offer guests a yuzu sake jelly that resembles a Daruma doll at the conclusion of the meal, in a nod to the angel number.
While those of us who venture here for a rare night of dizzying culinary bliss will return back to earth to our go-to comfort food, whenever we sit down to a European meal, we will be reminded of 1111 Ones and all we have been missing.
1111 Ones Restaurant & Lounge, 11/F, 18 On Lan Street, Central, Hong Kong. Tel: +852 2910 1128, 1111ones.com
Text: Joseff Musa Photos: 1111 Ones Video: Jack Fontanilla