Aqua: 42 degrees menu
27 Jul 2018
Yeah, it’s hot, humid and sweaty with frequent thunderstorms in town right now. But post-downpour, when the sky briefly clears, what better place can there be than 29 floors up, overlooking Victoria Harbour? That’s the setting for Aqua’s ‘42 degrees’ summer menu. A meal that we would describe as being, like the weather, full of highs and lows.
As the name suggests, the menu is based around almost raw ingredients. We’re not sure if the 42 degrees is in centigrade or fahrenheit.
We kick off with a soya sprout ‘risotto.’ This super light dish is, perhaps, too subtle. Pine nuts and parmesan provide the flavour, there’s supposedly some truffle in there. Blink and you’ll miss it. Next up, a foie gras ‘carpaccio.’ Maybe Aqua’s low-lighting doesn’t do this dish justice, but it arrived at our table looking as if it had suffered a mishap en-route from the kitchen. We’d expect a strong, rich flavour from foie gras, but again, it’s rather lacklustre. Strawberries and raspberries add a nice sweet kick to the dish, but the garnish shouldn’t outshine the main ingredient.
Aqua is only on the 29th floor - surely the altitude couldn’t be dulling our taste buds?
Things improve when another Italian classic with a 42 degrees twist arrives at the table. An experimental take on cannelloni. The cannelloni tube has an ever so slightly slimy texture, but the fresh prawn tartare is spot-on.
The star of the menu is a duck confit casconcelli. The delicate morsels sat on a foie gras cream sauce so delicious we could have eaten a bowl full of the sauce alone, needless to say the plates went back to the kitchen clean.
The service and the setting at Aqua are impeccable. But it’s a shame to see a menu so heavy on presentation and technique let down by little details. The 42 degrees menu ends up as a chilly triumph of style over substance.