Food and Beverage
Gordon Ramsey arrives in Hong Kong – a part of the British invasion. After weeks of anticipation, the Accidental Travel Writer finally gets a reservation. He orders British pub grub. Will it pass muster?
That Gordon Ramsay has opened an eatery in Hong Kong is not exactly breaking news.
The British Celebrity Chef, who is as famous for his foul mouth as he is for his mouth-watering food, opened the first Asian outlet of Bread Street Kitchen and Bar in Hong Kong on 18 September 2014.
We are now in November!
The only reason it has taken me this long to review the place is that it has proved so popular with local foodies that Dining Concepts wasn’t able to get me and a dining companion a reservation at a mutually convenient time until early last week.
And then – if you read my Facebook page, you’ll already know this – I had yet more problems with my computer. But I won’t get into that here …
Fine Dining vs Comfort Food
Gordon Ramsay’s earlier eateries, such as the eponymous Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in Chelsea, featured a fine dining concept.
I tried the Tokyo outlet of that restaurant a couple of years ago, and I was not overwhelmed. There was foam on EVERYTHING, and I am NOT a big fan of foam!
If I remember correctly, there was actually watermellon foam on top of beef. All I can say is, “No comment!”
I was therefore not surprised when I learned several months later that the fine dining restaurant had closed its doors.
If Restaurant Gordon Ramsay was all about fine dining goes molecular, Bread Street Kitchen and Bar is more about pub grub goes gourmet
The website describes the menu as ‘extensive’. I don’t agree. I don’t like extensive menus, and I thought this menu was refreshingly brief.
I hate having to wade through page after page of choices. I prefer restaurants that stick to a few good dishes. I like having to choose among a short list of stuff that sounds yummy.
This menu had 7 starters, 4 salads, 6 mains, 4 grilled items, and 8 sides on the lunch menu. When I asked to see the dinner menu, it just had a few more choices.
Just right if you ask me – diverse without being overwhelming! And most of the dishes DID sound very, very yummy!
Here’s What We Ordered
For starters, we had a yummy pumpkin soup and roasted chestnuts with parmesan cheese croutons. This was followed by seared scallops with carrot puree, treacle bacon, and celery cress.
I’m a BIG fan of scallops, and these scallops were perfectly cooked – seared with an ever so slight crust on top, but moist inside. The crispy chunks of bacon on top were paired with creamy pureed carrots underneath, providing an interesting juxtaposition of textures and taste.
A big thumb’s up!
Because Gordon Ramsay is British, I wanted to sample his pub grub – somewhat to the annoyance of my British dining companion, who was hoping to try something more ‘exotic’.
He balked when I insisted we sample the traditional shepherd’s pie, which my dining companion described as ‘a bland dish that is served at school tuck shops’ – a.k.a. cafeterias in the United States.
But we were pleasantly surprised when the dish arrived in a no-nonsense (but very impressive) iron serving dish.
Anything but Bland!
It looked fantastic, and it tasted even better. It was anything but bland.
The crumbled braised lamb was hearty, rich, and pungent. The potato puree (mashed potatoes to Americans) was rich and creamy. And that thick layer of crunchy brioche garlic crumbs on top added both texture and kick.
The fish and chips, another time-honoured British favourite, were served with crushed peas – which I enjoyed much more than the more traditional mushy peas, which I find a bit mushy – and bland.
I actually thought that the crushed peas – which were both fresh and a bit crunchy – went even better with the shepherd’s pie!
If I could make a suggestion, I think they should serve the crushed peas as a side to the shepherd’s pie, which was very, very rich. The crushed peas would prove the perfect balance.
Fish and Chips
I thought the fish half of the fish and chips was amongst the best I’ve ever tasted. This was clearly the star of the show. The fish was both moist and delicate. The batter was light and airy – reminiscent of perfectly cooked tempura.
Our third main was the Bread Street Kitchen short rib burger, which came with Monterey jack cheese and sriracha mayo. It was nothing to write home about.
On future visits, I’ll stick with the pub grub – and I might indulge my dining companion and order some of the more ‘exotic’ offerings – the dingley dell pork chops sound promising!
On my way home, I ran into a friend that had eaten at the restaurant a few days earlier.
“Did you try the desserts?” she asked.
“They were absolutely amazing!”
Alas, we hadn’t tried any. My dining companion and I were too full. We didn’t have room. So we passed on dessert.
As I peruse the menu anew, my eyes land on that banana sticky toffee pudding with Muscovado caramel and clotted cream ….
Now doesn’t that sound yummy? Perhaps a second tasting is called for.
Bread Street Kitchen and Bar, Mezzanine Level, LKF Hotel, 33 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong. Telephone: +852 2230-1800.
The restaurant is situated smack between Lan Kwai Fong and SoHo. From Lan Kwai Fong, enter from upper D’Aguilar Street. From SoHo, enter from Wyndham Street.
The restaurant is within walking distance of the Central MTR station and the Mid-Levels Escalator. It is a short taxi ride from Admiralty, Causeway Bay, the Happy Valley Race Course, the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, North Point, Sheung Wan, Wanchai, and other points on Hong Kong Island.