When FINDS opened its doors in 2004, Hong Kong residents, already spoilt for choice with a wide variety of high-end world food, didn't quite expect what was in store for them. At that time, molecular gastronomy was still a lab theory and multisensory mixology was attempted by a select few. Nordic food was still to become the It cuisine. Cut to 2013. FINDS is a little gem, tucked away in the very Asian crevices of Hong Kong's Tsim Tsa Shui area.
An acronym for Finland, Iceland, Norway, Denmark, and Sweden-the countries that inspire FINDS' menu and modernist decor, the 50-cover restaurant is inside a boutique hotel, The Luxe Manor. It has earned critics' accolades and devoted patrons over the years. The man who stands tall behind FINDS is Finnish chef Jaakko Sorsa.
Jaakko was poached from Helsinki where he was instrumental in the success of a two Michelin-star restaurant, Chez Dominique. He imports fresh produce for FINDS' kitchen twice a week direct from Finland.
Vodka, of course, is the drink of choice here, mixed into signature cocktails and named after Nordic celebs: Björk is a basil-infused vodka with passion fruit, pineapple, and coconut, while the Edvard Munch, is lime aquavit and ginger wine.
I sample the set dinner menu. First to arrive is the splendidly-plated chef's signature salmon in six ways, that features the fish in six different methods in bite-sized portions. So you have salmon cold-smoked, seared, mousse, pickled, gravad lax, golden roe (to be savoured it in that order). Each element on the plate has a distinct character and clean flavour. Seafood lovers will also relish the platter of succulent scallops topped with melted hazelnut butter. For mains, try the pan-fried tender fillet of halibut that comes with a sprinkling of dill sauce and fingerling potatoes. It is a refreshing dish, apt for spring.
The photo-finish to the meal comes in the form of a cracking dessert: a daim parfait. The dish has been on FINDS' menu ever since its opening and is nothing short of a legend. Inspired by the flavours of old-fashioned Swedish candy bar Daim, this dessert comes with chef Jaakko's personal touch-a dash of warm 72 per cent dark Valrhona chocolate sauce.
FINDS is an undisputed non-Asian culinary champion and a source of civic pride for the locals. For visitors to Hong Kong, it's a gastronomic sojourn that stays with you long after your meal.
BT MORE RECOMMENDS
Salmon in six ways; pan-seared halibut
Meal for two (without alcohol) HK$1000 plus taxes .. +852 2522 9318