Hong Kong’s latest urban wellness oasis has just opened in Rosewood Hong Kong. Overlooking the Tsim Sha Tsui’s Avenue of Stars, the hotel’s sixth-floor health haven offers everything from nail salons to a bathhouse—and now its holistic offerings are complete with the opening of Asaya Kitchen, the marble-clad restaurant catering to the nutritional needs of those retreating in the wellness centre. With a menu focused on nutrient-dense dishes and a sustainability-conscious chef at the helm, Compare Retreats takes a first look into Asaya Kitchen at Rosewood Hong Kong to experience a healthful dinner of plant-based and pescatarian dishes.
Floor-to-ceiling windows open out onto the poolside patio, an extension of Asaya Kitchen which sits just adjacent to the infinity pool and provides panoramic views of the harbour and Hong Kong Island. Designed by award-winning designer Tony Chi, the dining room is flooded with light throughout the day and warmed by soft lighting at night, both which highlight the earthy tones of the grey-white marble, dark wood tables and beige canvas or wicker chairs. It feels very natural—a feeling that pervades from the dining room aesthetic to the service to the menu.
The menu focuses on plant-based dining, with some seafood options. There are two main influences at play here: sustainability and dietary health. Chef Renaud Marin—whose 20-year career has included work at Michelin-starred restaurants, five-star hotels and conceptual dining like London’s Supperclub—has incorporated ingredients that are seasonal, fresh, and responsibly sourced, simultaneously offering a diverse palette of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Asaya Kitchen’s menu is seasonal, and they strive to use local suppliers where possible, like Shun King Fisherman in Sai Kung. Food waste is another area Marin is passionate about, so portions are well-sized and dishes often creatively use foods that may be cast-off or not fully utilised in other kitchens — during our visit, beetroot, zucchini and eggplant both appeared in a variety of forms and guises, all with very different flavours and uses.
While we waited for starters, we enjoyed a mocktail from the extensive zero-alcohol list. The Cypress and Yuzu Fizz was recommended as the ideal aperitif: it was a little sharper and far more flavourful than the gentle infusion I’d anticipated. The Zero % Bellini was an easy-drinking light fruity mocktail.
If you are inclined to enjoy a tipple, don’t be shy about exploring the wine list: the Italian Roero (2016) and French Chénas (2018) were suggested to us, and didn’t disappoint with light, balanced flavours. The wine list has been curated by Rosewood’s Wine Director for Asia, Nicola Deneux, who has selected wines that are produced more sustainably: biodynamic wines that avoid or reduce the use of sulphites, and wines that produced in much smaller quantities to encourage organic farming and a reduction in chemicals and pesticides. Lighter-bodied, these wines feel better for you and are part of a more beneficial eco-systems for our food chain.
Playful Plant-Based Plates
We started with a selection of light bites: we asked the kitchen to provide smaller portions as we were trying so many. The Sea Bream Carpaccio was a solid favourite, a little closer in flavour to ceviche but in thin slices rather than chunks. The zestiness of the lime was perfect and balanced with the earthiness of the butter lettuce and toasted sesame seeds.
For my taste, the Semi-Dried Tomato Tartare could have been more on the ‘dried’ side, but the result was a lighter, more aromatic flavour than the richer one of fully sun-dried tomatoes. The creaminess of the bulgar wheat salad went perfectly with the sweet tomato as a soft spread accompaniment to the crisp mini pitta.
The Warm Petits Farcis was an unexpected delight: laid out like a garden harvest for The Borrowers, an assortment of petite cherry tomatoes, mini red European horseradish and button mushrooms were creatively displayed on a slate serving plate. It’s said that colourful foods are more satisfying, and with bright pink beetroot hummus, peach-toned almond sauce and a vibrant green pesto, this dish delivers on the visuals.
Served with a side of smoked eggplant caviar, it’s a new pop of flavour with every mouthful that creatively turns vegetables into something playful and delicious.
Our starters were accompanied by two salads: the Green Asparagus Salad, and the Autumn Garden, an assortment of raw seasonal root vegetables marinated in a citrus dressing, packed with goji berries, quinoa and more of the delicious beetroot hummus. The asparagus was tender, dressed in high-quality olive oil, and the accompanying tofu was lightly seasoned on its crispy exterior, while still smooth and creamy on the inside.
Fresh Seafood Favourites
As an interim course, we enjoyed the ‘Mushroom Tea’ soba noodle. Our tasting portion omitted the onsen egg, but the flavours of the tea-infused broth was savoury and moreish—a nice balance to some of the sweeter, fruitier flavours of the starter vegetable plates. This dish is the perfect winter warmer, and with the egg would be a filling lunchtime meal.
Our main focused on two seafood plates: the Grilled Octopus and Pan Fried Sea Bream. The octopus was the favourite dish of the evening, with a generous portion of perfectly grilled tender chunks of fresh octopus in a baking dish with smoked eggplant caviar, and slices of grilled eggplant and zucchini.
Served with crushed courgette, which was a surprisingly tasty accompaniment, the sea bream fillet was another delicious and well-portioned dish. The crisp crust was a flavourful marinated breadcrumb of Mediterranean flavours, topped with roasted cherry tomatoes, an ideal contrast to the soft white fish.
To accompany these dishes, we enjoyed a Grilled Kai Lan (Chinese broccoli): served with creamy ricotta, hazelnut and truffle, the grilled greens took on a sweet flavour very different to the other dishes.
Balanced Sweet Treats
I tend to skip dessert unless there’s something triple-chocolate involved, but we were encouraged to try the Rose Petal Rice Pudding—a fragrant, lighter version of the traditional rice pudding with strong floral overtones—and the Roasted ‘Victoria’ Pineapple, which has quickly become one of my favourite dessert plates. The roasting really brings out the richness of the pineapple, deepening the sweet natural flavours with caramelisation. Matched with the slightly bitter flavours of the yoghurt sorbet, the two worked together as a not-too-indulgent sweet treat to round off the meal.
Verdict: The First Meal of Many
It’s safe to say we’ll be back at Asaya again—everything we ate was delicious, from the crispy cracker bread and beetroot hummus at the very start through to the dessert and as the menu changes seasonally, we can’t wait to see what’s in store for winter, spring and summer. While the menu incorporates cheese, eggs, and seafood, there’s an abundance of plant-based and vegan options, and those conscious of their diet will find it easy to pick light dishes that suit their needs. Taking a forward-thinking approach to food, Chef Renaud Marin has done away with refined and processed ingredients, and showcases his culinary skill with a varied and creative menu that offers delicious but healthy dining—you’ll wonder why you ever ate any other way.
6/F Rosewood Hong Kong Victoria Dockside, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong | +852 3891 8732