Wow. The Principal BLEW my mind.

I was invited to a tasting at The Principal, a place I have always really, really wanted to try. Its always been on my to try list..and finally I was able to cross this jewel of a place off my list. But, dear Principal ….I will be back, because before I began…I had such an enjoyable time. The atmosphere is simple and elegant. (Brick detailing, soft lighting, wood ceilings and beige/ copper accents made the restaurant feel sophisticated yet home-y.) The service was splendid. 🙂 And most importantly, the food blew my mind. 

I was invited to try the ‘The Expedition‘ degustation menu and wine pairing, which featured 10 courses….but felt positively perfectly satisfied without feeling too stuffed: The amount of courses and food you get makes this tasting menu MORE than worth it. So impressed by Chef Jonay Armas. Price as follows:

The Expedition: 10 courses $1180; Wine pairing $600
The Excursion: 8 courses $990; Wine pairing $500
The Outing: 6 courses $850: Vegetarian: 8 courses $890
Amuse Bouche: 
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OOOOOh such pretty flavours, colours and textures! I was starving and I could NOT wait to dig into these mini starters which resembled a garden! 🙂
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Pina Colada Cocktail Balls w/ a coconut rum filling and coated with a crisp layer of cocoa butter and coconut flakes. This was a nice refreshing burst of flavours that made me feel like I was on a tropical beach.
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Parmesan Tuile with the creamiest parmesan cheese filling, and a light lemon zest and basil leaf garnishes….Okay, this mini popper was so delightful. I think this was my favourite out of the amuse bouche’s….it was so light, slightly crisp and ….that parmesan cheese filling! YUM
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Smoked Quail Egg w/ a carmel coating and sprinkled with a Japanese togarashi chilli powder..quite interesting, the quail egg was nice and firm.
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OH wait…This Tapioca Crisp was REALLY good too! It had a smoked eel cream as well with a light dill and seaweed powder. Nice, light and crunchy!
1) Street Food
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Mexican Taco, sashimi over a nice crisp taco wafer. Along w/ a brioche styled Chinese Bun full of flavours.
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Noodle-laden laksa w/ eggplant | Oh wow! I loveeeeeed this crispy rice cracker type of noodle strips with an eggplant cream and it tasted EXACTLY like what laksa would!! It was REALLY goooood.
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Hot Brioche Bread w/ Black Truffle w/ whipped butter | YUM! But don’t eat too much! We still have 9 + courses to go!! SO much good food awaits!
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Our first wine pairing…. 🙂 A nice sharp Chinese wine to go with the next course!!
2) SEA
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Uni with caviar, calamari, sea cress, and quinoa…OMG! This was fabulous. The texture, cream, sauce, balance, uni…caviar…that bursts in your mouth! Absolutely mouthwatering goooood, if only this was bigger! I could have easily ate 10 of these!
3) CRAB
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Crab flower, leek, chive, horseradish snow. Very refreshing with plump crab meat. The radishes and soup add nice soft balance to the dish making it a nice light beginning course before the heavier dishes come out! And, look at it: its sooooo pretty! <3
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A nice glass of Sauvignon Blanc…. to go with the previous crab dish!
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Still another glass of White Wine, some Riesling  to go with…
4) “Poie” Thai
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Steamed Foie Gras,  Thai Consomme, Radish, Sea Grapes and Butter Mushrooms...OMG! I normally don’t like to eat foie gras, but this tasted absolutely heavenly. I couldn’t help eating everything up. The Thai consomme helped lighten the strong foie gras taste! Sooooo lovely.
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A glass of Tokaji Furmint to accompany….
5) CARABINERO 
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Red Prawn, Black Rice, Allioli, Essence...Good gosh, do the dishes get better and better, or what? This was simply so breathtakingly good! I loved the semi raw red prawn and black rice paella….which was creamy and flavourful with a strong allioli taste! YUM
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SO MUCH WINE……but each wine paired perfectly with each course…enhancing the taste and flavours of each dish.
6) Garoupa
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Grilled Garoupa, Balinese Marinade, Smoked Coconut and Sambal Mentah…Hmmmm, so simple, yet so good. I’ve liked loved every single dish…The garoupa’s meat was so succulent, flavourful and juicy with the most subtle hint of smoky coconut…Mmmm 🙂
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RED WINE! A glass of Justin to accompany the meat courses…
7) LAMB or Wagyu (+80) 
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LAMB, which I had a taste of was EXCELLENT! I didn’t order this but Oh my GOODNESS…the lamb shoulder, with masala, yoghurt and okra was the perfect combination of amazing and deliciousness. Haha! The lamb was so well executed. Smoky, juicy, tender and the sauce was absolutely perfectly fitting!!! This is a MUST TRY!!! <3
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Wagyu, burnt onion, water cress, maxim potato...now don’t get me wrong…I REALLY liked my wagyu beef too, but still drooling over that lamb shoulder. The wagyu beef practically evaporates in your mouth. The buttery, fatty wagyu beef was sooooo soft and tender…I completely devoured every bite. I loved the pretty pieces of burnt onion and the maxim potato helped balance the fatty wagyu beef.
8) Babybel
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Babybel, Brillat Savarin, Truflle and Beetroot coating...I’m a huge fan of cheese…and this did NOT disappoint. The brillat savarin was soooo creamy and sharp, but the creamy beetroot coating helped balance the sharpness of the cheese. NICE!
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Some homemade rye crisp bread to help accompany the babybel!
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A simple lime sorbet palette cleanser!
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Sweet Dessert Wine to, you guessed it, go with our desserts! This was the only wine I didn’t finish!
9) Violet
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Violet ice cream, rose meringue, Goats yoghurt. I loved the color combination of this dessert. Those different pink skittle looking things…were awesome foamy crisp candy that melts into your mouth! And the violet ice cream was so light, creamy and refreshing!!
10) Gianduja
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Praline, Sweet Potato, Brown Butter Ice Cream…I’m a fan…just read the description of what this is! I loved the different combinations of brown colours, flavours and textures. Great finish! I’m beyond full by this point…but somehow not overly stuffed-believe it or not!
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Petite Fours! ….

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THANK YOU The Principal! I had suchhhhh a great evening! I’ll be back for sure! I’m so glad I conquered ‘The Expedition’! 🙂 AMAZING tasting menu! This for sure is on my list of one of my BEST MEALS in 2014!!!! Can’t wait to go back!! 😀 MUST TRY!
The Principal | 9 Star Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, Tel: 2563-3444
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<3 Always, Jess