2-Michelin starred Écriture suddenly closed without warning last month, shocking everyone including even executive chef Maxime Gilbert himself, who wrote a heart-wrenching good-by on his personal Instagram account.
Opened in 2018, Écriture shot to fame with its intricate and luxurious dishes. Chef Maxime Gilbert (formerly at Amber) applied French technique to Japanese ingredients (totally up my ally), using top notch ingredients. The restaurant achieved 2 Michelin stars within a year, and is a favorite among many food enthusiasts.
We had the opportunity to go twice this past year, the first time with friends who know Chef Maxime well. We had no idea what would soon happen . . .
Below is a reflection back on that special meal.
Gougère - Hay cream with caviar
French Mussels Yakitori: charred mussels from Mont Saint Michel, smoked with pine needle
Signature dish "Tartatouille" consists of gorgeous paper thin layers of zucchini, eggplant, and red peppers. Truly an exquisite dish.
Iwashi on French Toast (made with brioche) with tomato compote.
Amaebi "à la cuillére": Shrimp "mousse" that reminded me of a savory creme brulee.
Cucumber Flowers: leek confit, kiwi + cucumber jus dressing, tonka beans, and pickled cucumber. This refreshing cold dish reminded me of a similar Japanese/Taiwanese quick pickled cucumbers my mom makes.
Another signature dish: Caviar and Uni Tart: is a supplemental add-on to the menu. It's made with Roval Caviar Club schrenckii, Hokkaido sea urchin, and celeriac puree in a buckwheat tart. It's delicious, absolutely decadent, and worth trying at least once (though it is very pricy!).
Uni foie gras custard and coffee cooked in a passion fruit shell, "like a chawanmushi".
Jamon Iberico bellota fat torched fish in a consomme of sorts.
Red Mullet, mint, and fresh almond stuffed in a trompette zucchini flower.
A delightfully refreshing dish, tomato stuffed with paper thin layers of summer squash and served with basil oil and another sauce.
Line Caught Turbot: fava beans and "fraise de veau" ragout, concentrated turbot sauce infused with tagette.
This beautiful garoupa fish head was not on the normal tasting menu, but we got to enjoy this special extra course because our friends knew Chef Maxime well.
This next course is made with Brittany crab that has never been refrigerated, thus giving it a very clean flavor. The crab leg meat with served with a spicy peach jam and a Brittany curry sabayon.
Basque Country Milk-Fed Veal Chop roasted in tobacco leaf and served with a potato dashi sauce.
Delicatessen potato (delicious!) served over roasted apricot and verbena. The dish was fantastic, a bit spicy with a sweet and sour kick.
Charente melon, freshly baked madeleines, and several other desserts.
Citrus: Timut pepper meringue and coconut sorbet
Gariguette strawberries and basil panna cotta and Moshida tomatoes
Les Gourmandises: Classic French Flan.
This is what it looks like cut.
Also, a chocolate tart with Miyazaki mangoes (not pictured). Finally, to finish, freshly-baked brown sugar madeleines (So. Good.)
We barely got to know you. Even though the restaurant's been around for 5 years, we just discovered it this year. After this meal in 2022, we went once more for Valentine's Day in 2023. The menu was similar, but with a few changes. Both times it was done very, very well. Little did we know that the Valentine's Day meal would be our last at Ecriture.
I'm sure Chef Maxime Gilbert is not done. I do hope he stays in Hong Kong so that we can continue to enjoy this talented chef's ideas and creations.