When I heard about Mercedes Me, I assumed it wasn’t connected with Mercedes, despite the identical logo – a reasonable assumption – why would one of the world’s biggest luxury car manufacturers open a restaurant? As it turns out, having now visited the venue, it’s clear that although it is predominantly a restaurant, it is still very much part of the Mercedes Benz experience.
The Mercedes Me concept is a lifestyle extension to their luxury cars, with a myriad of different services and now, by extension the first venue in Asia operated in conjunction with Maximal Concepts – one of Hong Kong’s premier restaurant groups. In case you were wondering, you can custom design a car for purchase while you pop in for lunch and you don’t need to own a Mercedes to enjoy a meal there!
We did visit for lunch, though with no intention for overspending our budget and it’s an impressive space with wonderful high ceilings – perfect for keeping down ambient noise levels. With a luxury car parked just inside the entrance adding a wow factor, it also looks like it would be a great place for evening cocktails as a long marble bar traverses nearly the length of the large venue, while the open kitchen at the end adds a level of activity that creates an enticing dining atmosphere.
The lunch menu reflects a fusion of culinary experiences that you don’t often see, with elements drawn from Japanese, Spanish and Peruvian cuisine and in line with the Mercedes philosophy, high quality ingredients sourced from the best regions and producers around the world. There are no lunch sets available, so this isn’t a particularly cheap place to eat given the extensive competition in the area.
Our first dish was “Organic Tasmanian Salmon” from the Raw section of the menu, which turned out to be our favourite dish of the meal. A true fusion of tastes, colour and texture, it was a delicious blend of premium raw salmon with finely shredded dried seaweed, crunchy quinoa, cucumber, a citrus sesame dressing.
Accompanying this from the Cold section of the menu (though it probably should have been in the Raw section) we had the “Organic 100% Grass Fed Steak Tartare”. You can see from the name of the dish the emphasis Mercedes Me puts on quality ingredients which was evident in the tender texture of the finely sliced raw beef. The beef was blended with a combination of 15 secret ingredients, though it was fairly easy to identify most of the traditional ones. We especially liked the addition of crispy shallots, which added a nice crunch to the dish. It was served with thin crisp bread and topped with small scoops of pickled egg yolk adding a dash of colour. Although the spicy kick was a bit much for my taste, I would still recommend you give this a try if you’re a fan of raw meat.
Organic 100% Grass Fed Steak Tartare
Also from the cold section, we had the “Fresh Burrata” which is a soft cheese made from mozzarella and cream. This was served with a sprinkle of herbs and was accompanied with a cherry tomato sauce served on the side, though recommended for pouring around the side of the dish. The sauce had a light sweet flavour, similar to gazpacho and paired well with the creamy cheese balancing the richness of the dish. Although all dishes are for sharing, some tapas style, with this one in particular, make sure at least 2 of you will be eating it as it’s a bit much for one person.
For our main, we had the “Baby Japanese Eggplant” from the Hot section of the menu and the “Iberico Pork Presa” from the Grill section.
The mini eggplants (Aubergines for those Brits out there!) were glazed with a miso based sauce and topped with crispy garlic and sesame giving a satisfying crunch when biting into the soft texture of the eggplant. While not a substantial dish, the artful presentation and flavours made this a hit.
The Iberico Pork from the Grill was a Pressa cut of the meat with a reputation of being the Wagyu of Pork – and with good reason. This was my first experience of cooked Iberico pork, being more familiar with the cured variety, and it’s incomparable to “regular” pork. Reared on a specialised diet consisting mainly of acorns, the meat has a wonderful flavour, was tender and juicy and was cooked slightly rare – as can be done with quality pork – enhancing the succulence. A rich, savoury sauce and smoked piquillo peppers provided a perfect combination of savoury sweetness to accompany the meat.
Baby Japanese Eggplant
We were unfortunately too full for desert or other dishes on the menu though have our eye on a few to try on our next visit, along with a sampling of the enticing selection of wine, sake and cocktails. The Mercedes Me restaurant clearly puts emphasis on quality, just like with their cars.
Shop C-D, G/F, Entertainment Building, 30 Queen’s Road Central, Central
Tel: 2895 7398
– By Neil Bowen