There has been a wave of 5* hotels opening up in Tung Chung. Did this one warrant the price tag? I headed to The Silveri's new 'casual dining' restaurant The Enclave for lunch and this is my lukewarm take...
I saw on Instagram that The Silveri had, after a very long wait due to the pandemic, finally opened its doors; not much point in opening a hotel during lockdowns. I tried calling the number on their website to book on multiple occasions, used the chat bot thing and even powered off some emails, but I didn't hear back. A quick check of their website revealed a set lunch menu for $168 which is on the pricy side, but with my sister in law and her family visiting from the UK, it seemed like the perfect time to try it out, although my wife had to physically go in and book it which is odd.
Once we finally found it (it's tucked away on the top floor of the CityGate extension with a little door next to the food court) I was pleasantly surprised by the decor. It's been very tastefully and thoughtfully designed. There is a perception of airiness and luxury, transporting you back in the decadence of the 1930s and the art deco movement. I really like the use of mixed materials of wood and metal blended with dark duck-egg coloured leather. There is a brushed metal ceiling that for some reason makes me feel like I'm dining on a boat, but look out of the window around and you're transported into a lush jungle garden. I'm looking forward to dining here in the cooler months so I can make the most of the outdoor patio space. If we had sat out there today we'd have melted into the flagstone flooring.
The menu we had booked for was the lunch set menu at $168 which included unlimited visits to a limited salad bar; soup and bread and a choice of main course. It also included a drink but we didn't know that. The soup of the day was a mystery - I had to ask a member of staff what flavour the soup was as there were no labels, and she didn't know either so had to ask the chef. It was cauliflower apparently. Although the soup was smooth and silky it didn't really taste of anything. The accompanying bread was on the tooth-breakingly hard side of crusty but was offered in a choice of granary, white, brown and sour dough. I'm guessing those were the choices, as there were no little signs for the bread either.
The salad bar was fresh and topped up regularly but choices were limited to couscous, cold noodles, salad leaves, onion slices, cherry tomatoes, some cold-cuts and some delicately cut cucumber.
Apparently the menu included a drink, but we weren't offered this at any stage so were content with the water until we had finished our meals and were suddenly offered iced or hot tea or coffee. It would have been lovely to get the drink at the beginning. I needed something to wash down all those cherry tomatoes.
On to the main! Having eaten 4 plates of tomatoes we ordered the mains. I would have made more sense for the staff to request our main choices as we were seated, especially as they took so long to come we ended up eating 2 more plates of cherry tomato and delicately cut cucumber that we weren't that hungry when the mains finally did arrive.
My chicken and polenta main simply didn't arrive.
So after chasing up with the waiter, and waiting another 10 minutes I was finally greeted with a roasted chicken leg on some polenta. That was it. No vegetables were harmed in the making of our main courses. Granted it didn't mention any vegetables on the menu but the plate of food did look like it was dished up by a 10 year old boy - all meat and no greens.
I think The Enclave is buzzing with potential. The setting is gorgeous. The food, although lacking in choice and variation was well prepared and tasty. The missing drinks and food I'm sure are down to new-opening snagging and will iron themselves out soon enough. All the staff were pleasant and helpful. It's the little touches for ambience that were missing - a blues pianist plunking away in a corner would be fabulous or simply turn the piped music up a bit and choose something less 'royalty free'. I appreciate we were there on a hot Tuesday lunchtime but it did feel lacking in character.
Is it value for money? Yes and no. Not for the food or service, but yes for the setting. It does feel high-class and important, but not in a stuffy way. Would I eat there again? I'll probably leave it until the Autumn so I can sit outside and sup comfortably on a cold beer whilst staring into the middle distance pretending I'm on holiday somewhere exotic. I hope by then the wrinkles are ironed out as this could become a 'special occasion' Tung Chung favourite with just a little work on the details.
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