It should have been April Fool’s Day: it would have been the perfect prank to play on a coeliac.
This time ‘the gluten conversation’ went well: the waitress came across as confident, calm and in command of the kitchen – I could relax, the meal would be safe.
After whisking away my – (it has to be said) – disappointingly unimaginative argula salad, my expectation of the quality of food to follow was flattened. Surprise swiftly followed when a stunningly beautiful plate containing a huge whole fish in all its charred glory was poised ready to be lowered in front of me.
In an instant, a wave of menu choice regret washed over me – the fabulous red snapper wasn’t intended for me. The hint was swiftly taken and the plate landed safely in front of one of our guests, the lady to my left. I was admiring other plates in mid – trajectory when a second hovered over my cutlery.
The staff probably had no idea what was going through my mind, but my husband – who saw my changing expression – definitely did. Was it a breadstick? Was it a calzone – the crimping around the edges made that a definite possibility…?
If a crumb of normal bread could cause damage and lead to ‘lost’ days, I definitely couldn’t eat this. In my confusion the plate landed on the table. I was mentally framing how to politely suggest that this might be someone else’s order when the waiter brandished a pair of scissors. What was going on?
Only when the waiter started cutting the end off the ‘pizza,’ did I get the joke. My seafood and vegetables had been steamed in tin foil which was itself wrapped in greaseproof paper. The greaseproof paper had browned in the oven; inadvertently this had created the most authentic looking “wheat filled” edifice I could imagine.
The only thing that would have made it better would have been if it had happened on 1st April, rather than 3rd May.
Both my sea bass, shown above, and the snapper (dubbed ‘the aquarium’ in honour of its size) were outstanding, as by all reports was the seven layer chocolate ‘cake’. Sadly, the chocolate dessert was not g-f, despite it comprising layers of pure chocolate (including one of salted caramel) rather than sponge. Despite that, chocolate lust was experienced by us all. Unfortunately, despite having been told that a trio of little desserts was g-f one of them was presented on a biscuit base, which meant there was rather more for the others…
As an added attraction, the restaurant has a lovely large terrace serving cocktails and pre-dinner drinks. It is overlooked by tall office buildings, a constant reminder that you are in central Hong Kong, but the effective lighting, bamboo plants and waterfall make it atmospheric nevertheless.
Lupa, 3rd Floor, LHT Tower, 31 Queen’s Road, Central, Hong Kong – Tel: 2796 6500