SML in Times Square (Part 2)

Here’s what we had at SML at the trial dinner:

There were just too many dishes and our table was a little cramped and busy, so I had forgotten to take photos of the grilled prawns / chilli / garlic, meatballs / spicy tomato sauce. Whoops.

My favorite dish? (MUST GET)

  • classic lasanga al forno
  • meatballs / spicy tomato sauce
  • crostini / anchovy mayonnaise
  • veal escalope / sage-caper butter

My favorite dessert? (MUST GET)

  • citrus panna cotta / pink grapefruit & orange slices
  • caramel profiteroles / butterscotch sauce

Note: Here, “MUST GET” = just get it, I’m not even going to bother explaining. Its that good 🙂

Needs just a little improvement

  • Risotto – the braised ox-tail was terrific, but the risotto was a little too raw (I know its supposed to be little bit hard), a little too liquid and a little lacking in flavour
  • Gnocchi – also lacking a bit in flavour, definitely didn’t taste 4 cheese

House red were Moulin de Gassac Cab and Syrah (2007) and the house white was also a Moulin de Gassac Sauvignon Blanc (2007). But like I said, once they’re officially opened (today actually), I’m sure they’ll have a much more extensive wine list.

We had a LOT of food and wine, so even though the meal was complimentary, we wanted to see what the damage was. It came up to about HK$1,350 for 2, but I reckon we’d be pretty full eating just half the stuff we ordered (i.e. don’t use us as a reference. It isn’t HK$ 700 per head … unless you go completely nuts like we did. I’d say HK$ 400 per head is reasonable?)

So is it worth going to? Definitely! I think there’s still half of the menu I haven’t tried.

Note: Photos taken with BlackBerry Curve 8900

Siu Yeh Rating: 8.5/10

SML Bar / Restaurant / Patio

11/F., Times Square
Causeway Bay
Tel: +852 2577 3444
Email: info (at) smlrestaurants.com

Su Casa

Following my less-than-satisfied experience at Meet Lobo, I was offered another chance to try out another private kitchen, Su Casa. Before I go on, I should probably explain that my definition of a “private kitchen” is any dining area open to the public in old residential buildings (and usually not ground floor) and is run by a family … sort of.

But Su Casa is slightly different. They fall somewhere between a private kitchen and a real restaurant. Their operation is slightly bigger, meaning they have more (hired) staff, seats more people than a private kitchen and operate like a small restaurant. What’s more is Su Casa has a sister restaurant over in Henry House called Casa Fina and together they form the Casa Group.

Hmm … not quite so private I think.

Anyway, this gem of a restaurant is my latest find (recommended by my brother) that has a comfortable ambiance, has an attentive staff team, excellent (I don’t use this word lightly) food and most importantly, reasonable prices (perhaps even borderline cheap for what it is).

I almost don’t want to share with you, but judging from its fine food, I’m sure it’ll pick up and thought if anyone should tell you, it’ll be ME!!! Okay, we had for 5 people:

  • 2.5 X dozen of Oysters (buy 1 get 1 free, which ends up being something like HK$17 each, which is unheard of in HK unless you go to buffets dinners)
  • 2 X Escargots
  • 1 X Fish Soup
  • 2 X Caesar Salad
  • 2 X Moscato D’Asti (at HK$350 each)
  • 2 X Grilled Razor Clam
  • 2 X Foie Gras Linguine
  • 2 X Half Lobsters

And I’ll try to describe each in a little more detail.

15 Types of Oysters to Choose From!

15 Types of Oysters to Choose From!

Oyster Platter 1

Oyster Platter 1

Oyster Platter 2

Oyster Platter 2

I can’t quite remember what we got, but I think it might’ve been Utah Beach, Coffin Bay, Scotland Pearl and something else. Regardless, these oysters are extremely fresh … and, well I guess they taste like fresh oysters. I can never, for the life of me, describe different oysters like I do with wine. I guess I’m not quite there yet. (Btw, I had a really bad experience with oysters at Louis Steak House a couple months ago, just thought you’d know).

Escargot at Su Casa

Escargot at Su Casa

These escargots weren’t bad … but they’re – and I believe this for all escargot – they taste the same everywhere you go whether the restaurant is fancy or not, whether its expensive or not. Is there only 1 way to make escargot? I don’t think so, but this is the “safe” way to make them … jab them into a bed of mashed potatoes, put a chuck of butter and minced garlic and spice on top of each escargot, shove it in the oven and you’re good to go.

Wine List from Su Casa

Wine List from Su Casa

We chose the Bersano Moscato D’Asti, which was a little sweet for me but turned out my family loved it and thought it went well with the oysters.

Caesar Salad from Su Casa

Caesar Salad from Su Casa

I thought the Caesar Salad was done just right with the right amount of dressing (not too much), right amount of bacon bits, Parmesan shaves and large croutons. I love large croutons.

Foie Gras Linguine at Su Casa (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!)

Foie Gras Linguine at Su Casa (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!)

Next up is the foie gras linguine! I’m a huge fan of foie gras and pasta separately … imagine what this must’ve been like for me!

This dish kind of reminds me of the Sea Urchin Spaghetti I had at Robuchon a while ago … not quite as thick and creamy, but comparable in satisfaction and cholesterol level. Quoting my friend Vince who also had a similar dish in Thailand, “… foie gras pasta, which was just a hunk of nicely seared foie gras on top of the pasta … but I took my knife and fork and mashed up the foie gras to incorporate it into the whole pasta …”, only here, they mashed up the duck liver for you already (including generous amount of mix mushrooms),  giving ample time for the linguine and mushroom to really absorb the juice, fat and oil for the foie gras.

I highly recommend this dish to those of you who decides to visit.

Grilled Lobster at Su Casa

Grilled Lobster at Su Casa

The last dish was a grilled lobster (or rather, half a grilled lobster) which is quite fresh and was cooked just right. Definitely not tender or dry – in fact was quite the opposite. The dish also came with broccoli mashed potatoes, broccolis, cauliflower and asparagus on the side.

And the bill came up to HK$2,550 (or thereabouts). The restaurant does not charge an extra 10% service charge and they only take cash (Perhaps, and I’m only speculating, a reason why they’re able to offer you such good quality at such competitive rates? A little grey area here and there? … Maybe? I’m guessing, I don’t know.)

If it weren’t for the 2 bottles of wine, the bill would’ve only been HK$1,800 for 5 people = HK$300 each for oysters, escargot, razor clams, foie gras pasta and lobsters?! Mi Casa, Su Casa 🙂 Oh, don’t worry, I’ll make myself at home alright! No problem!

Note: Photos taken with a BlackBerry Curve 8900

Siu Yeh Rating: 9/10
Special Remarks: Very reasonable prices, courteous staff team, comfortable environment, decor is average

Su Casa
2/F., No. 2 Sun Wui Road
Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2805 7031

Also …

Casa Fina
13/F., Henry House
42 Yun Ping Road
Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2504 2928

Meet Lobo

Last week, I was invited to a friend’s birthday dinner, which was held at a private kitchen called Meet Lobo. This place is situated right opposite Times Square in Causeway Bay inside one of those older buildings (Entrance is between Body Shop and Emperor Watch and Jewelry).

View from Meet Lobo 1

View from Meet Lobo 1

To the left ... you'll see Maid Date, Hong Kong's first maid cafe

To the left ... you'll see Maid Date, Hong Kong's first maid cafe

As a side note: To the left of the porch where I was standing, there’s the famous (or infamous) Maid Date (Hong Kong’s first maid cafe). My mediocre phone camera wasn’t quite up to the task of zooming in, sorry about the poor resolution  … I still haven’t been there, but I wouldn’t mind going and “try out their food”.

Maid Date - Hong Kongs First Maid Cafe

Maid Date - Hong Kongs First Maid Cafe

Anyway, back to Meet Lobo. This private kitchen’s been around for over 3 years now and apparently, it received fairly positive feedbacks in OpenRice, which is why my friend decided to go there for his celebration in the first place. I’ve been to a couple private kitchens before, most of them are bunched up in Wanchai (Star Street) or Sheung Wan (around Bonham Strand) … so visiting a private kitchen in the heart of Causeway Bay felt a little awkward.

I don’t know about you, but I have extremely high expectations from private kitchens. Because why would I pay to eat inside a stranger’s “home” (even though most of the time, it really isn’t … maybe their place is like 1 floor up or sth). But you know what I mean? Private kitchens don’t rely on a nice view, nice decor, nice ambience, advertising or anything that a proper restaurant is. What is boils down, especially for private kitchens is good food and that alone should take care of your viral marketing campaign.

Crispy Prosciutto Rounds with Tartar Egg White & Salmon Caviar

Crispy Prosciutto Rounds with Tartar Egg White & Salmon Caviar

So! First dish of the night …

Unfortunately, this was a pretty bad start to the meal. The “crispy” prosciutto wasn’t really crispy, but was rock hard and cold. It was almost like the chef deep-fried it a while ago and it was just left to cool and became solid. The Tartar Egg White also turned out to be diced egg white with a lighter version of Kraft mayonnaise. The best part of this was the “Salmon Caviar” which, in any Japanese restaurants, they would just called it “Salmon Roe” rather than make it all fancy by calling it “Caviar”.

Presentation-wise, this was also a pretty bad attempt. My first impression was just like … “What is this? Is this what I ordered?”

Seared Scallop with Fennel & Pernoid Sauce

Seared Scallop with Fennel & Pernoid Sauce

A friend sitting next to me had the seared scallops which apparently wasn’t bad, but wasn’t anything to write home either.

Soup of the Day - Tomato and Pepper Puree Soup?

Soup of the Day - Tomato and Pepper Puree Soup?

Then came 1 of 2 soups of the day, which was the only HOT dish of the night. It was a tomato and pepper puree soup, which I actually thought was alright, but some friends questioned my judgment and my profession as a food blogger when they said it actually tasted like Campbell Soup.

The other soup was a mushroom soup and that’s got some pretty positive feedback.

Seared Foie Gras (Goose Liver) on Baby Spinach & Toast in Meet Lobo's Signature Sauce

Seared Foie Gras (Goose Liver) on Baby Spinach & Toast in Meet Lobo's Signature Sauce

Oh man, right about here, I think I was about to give up and have something else across the street. The Foie Gras was only warm on the outside and even felt a little cool in the center. The “Meet Lobo” signature sauce was also a little too sweet, nor was there anything inside the sauce which I haven’t tasted before, and definitely nothing to justify it’s own name.

Presentation again looks half-assed and didn’t help make the dish any more appetizing. A friend who’s been here a couple months back described her experience then as great, where the food was cooked deliciously and they even used bigger dishes + better presentation. This night, it almost feels like they were using saucer plates.

Australian Lambrack with Traditional Red Wine Gravy

Australian Lambrack with Traditional Red Wine Gravy

Finally, when the lamb rack came, I honestly wasn’t expecting much from it, but luckily this also turned out to be the best dish of the night for me. Again, it was only warm. To be fair though, I think poor Lobo was the only chef in the kitchen preparing meals for 18 people so I understand its almost impossible with limited resources and equipment to make sure everything’s perfect. The lamb rack was cooked medium-rare to medium and was still very juicy so I was pretty happy with that. The mash potato and zuchinni was not bad so I clear that also.

It was a 6 course meal (I only talked about 4 courses). 1 course, I can’t remember whether it was before the foie gras or before the lamb rack was a sour lime sorbet to open up your appetite a little. And then I didn’t stay for dessert and tea which was the last course.

Alas, Meet Hobo Lobo failed to meet my expectations. From what I’ve been told, it feels like they’re capable of so much more, but they didn’t deliver what I was looking for that one night I was there. Private kitchen experiences have always been very pleasant for me … until this time. I did end up meeting Lobo that night and he’s a nice, courteous gentleman. Maybe he wasn’t feeling his magic that night.

Note: Photos taken with a BlackBerry Curve 8900

Siu Yeh Rating: 3/10

Meet Lobo
4/F., Room B, Tak Fat Building
50-52 Russell Street
Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 6438 3363
Website: www dot meetlobo dot com
Email: info (at) meetlobo.com

Agnes b cake buy 2 get 1 free!

Thought you might be interested?

Agnes B Cake Promotion - July 1 - 31, 2009

Agnes B Cake Promotion - July 1 - 31, 2009

Trial Runs at The Drawing Room

Edit: Thank you everyone who corrected me on the price. The set dinner of HK$ 350 + 10% is only for the trial runs. This price will be revised.

Disclaimer: Tony Cheng, owner and chef of The Drawing Room, is a friend of the author of this blog. Siu Yeh would like to emphasize our promise to keep our opinion impartial … heck, if there’s anything we don’t like about his restaurant or food, we wouldn’t hesitate a second to tell that to his face 🙂

Here’s a bit about The Drawing Room and the concept behind it.

Not only is it a “Contemporary Italian Restaurant”, but it is also an art gallery. There are 17 art pieces from local contemporary artists Man Fung Yi, Sarah Kohjonen, Cornelia Erdmann through MobArt (the gallery is the brainchild of Anne Cheung and Steph Chung), which complements the space and design inside The Drawing Room. The name of the restaurant is also aptly named to reflect a “modern interpretation of the classical drawing room—a place to receive and entertain guests in one’s house”*. Guests are welcome to purchase the art work at the restaurant through the gallery. This concept reminds me of Art Salon on Nanchang Road in Shanghai, by the 2 brothers. Credit should also go to Joyce Wang from MICA Design Studio who was able to skillfully blend the interior design with the art pieces so flawlessly.

*(I stole this line from MobArt’s website)

Anyway, without further ado … here’s what will greet you first as you walk up the stairs to the 1/F.

Weaving Intimacy by Man Fung-yi

Weaving Intimacy by Man Fung-yi

Here are the stairs leading up to the restaurant. Very classy, no?

The Stairs Leading up to the The Drawing Room

The Stairs Leading up to the The Drawing Room

Interior by Joyce Wang of MICE Design Studio

Interior by Joyce Wang of MICA Design Studio

The interior took on a very “earthy” tone; warm and cozy colors such as beige, light & dark brown and green (on the chair with suede fabric) are used but there’s also a twist of gold and purple in some parts of the room … which (and I’m not trying to be all artistic and abstract here) is a good reflection of the food: rustic Southern Italian cuisine … with a twist.

More Pieces by Man Fung-yi Through MobArt Gallery

More Pieces by Man Fung-yi Through MobArt Gallery

Here are some more art pieces separating the dining area and the kitchen. Immediately behind the purple glass is the area where all the pastries are made! And if you look closely, you’ll see the area where all the chef’s busy at work.

Fresh Baked Rustic Italian Rye and Garlic Thyme Bread

Fresh Baked Rustic Italian Rye and Garlic Thyme Bread

Enough about the decor … the food matters more!

They’re quite generous with the bread. What you’re seeing in the photo above is for 4 people … we had two of these on our table. The Garlic Thyme Bread was slightly on the harder / crunchier side (maybe that was intentional?) but I do prefer slightly softer versions of this. It was lightly salted with quite a good balanced between the garlic, thyme and even the baked tomato on top of each Garlic Thyme Bread.

The big loaf you see in the middle is the an Italian Rye bread (I think) … and it was just the way it should be. Hard on the outside and extremely soft on the inside … and it was almost perfect for dipping and absorbing the “Manzella E Iannello’s Olio Extra Vergine di Oliva 2007” and vinegar. I think I could’ve taken a shot of this olive oil because it was so fresh.

Set Menu at The Drawing Room

Set Menu at The Drawing Room

For the trial runs, TDR is only offering set menus so that the folks in the kitchen can get their groove going. This is not because of an inexperienced kitchen (I mean, have you seen their line-up?!), but this being a new environment, setting and some new staff … they gotta get their chemistry right before they’re happy to go the next step. But come official launch, I was told that they will have an a la carte menu.

And at HK$ 350 + 10% per head in Hong Kong? Done. I don’t remember how much Da Domenico would charge for something like this.

We Began with Cauliflower :)

We Began with Cauliflower 🙂

This was a complimentary dish and I was so busy talking, I didn’t listen to what the server said. Was this quiche? I believe it was … anyway, it felt like really really soft Cauliflower quiche topped with pepper and parsley and a dab of olive oil.

It wasn’t filling at all and that’s the way it should be. The toppings was actually quite the appetizer (in its literal meaning … i.e. stimulating my appetite), although the cauliflower mixture sort of lines your stomach a bit. It was a good teaser.

Hokkaido Scallop, Pumpkin and Foie Gras with Fresh Greens

Hokkaido Scallop, Pumpkin and Foie Gras with Fresh Greens

Next up: Hokkaido Scallop, Pumpkin and Foie Gras with Fresh Greens.

You see that cup on the top right corner? That’s pumpkin sauce and you’re supposed to spoon it onto the scallop and foie gras before consumption. Was it necessary? Nope. I think they could’ve poured the sauce on the parameter around the scallop and foie gras. But was it a nice touch? Yes.

The scallop was incredibly fresh – flown in on the same day from Japan … and the foie gras was one of the tastiest I’ve had. But also the smallest piece of full foie gras I’ve seen. There didn’t appear any sign of cut anywhere too … it was a FULL piece of foie gras … that duck might’ve been really small. But it was so good on its own … I almost didn’t want to mix it with the scallop and pumpkin … but I did so anyway just to see how the 3 would go together. And the verdict was: I think I can do with either. I can pile the scallop, foie gras and pumpkin together or eat them separately and it’d be as good. I know, I’m so descriptive.

Linguine with Mazzara Red Prawns and Zucchini

Linguine with Mazzara Red Prawns and Zucchini

I didn’t have this, but I was told this linguine dish was really well done.

Mascarpone Ravioli with Duck Ragout and Red Wine Reduction

Mascarpone Ravioli with Duck Ragout and Red Wine Reduction

Really good ravioli, although I can’t quite taste the red wine reduction. Here, I tasted more the duck (which, I thought was beef) … but in any case, this was a pretty good dish. The portion could be a little bigger though!

Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe with Pear and White Asparagus

Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe with Pear and White Asparagus

This was my favorite dish of the night … and probably the simplest. Simple is good. But simple is also harder to make good. Al dente was expected and it was. What is harder to see from the photo was that there was basically cheese lined on every strand of spaghetti. What’s more was that there wasn’t too heavy pear and asparagus flavour … it was a mild sort of flavour, which matched the cheese because that wasn’t too overpowering either. This dish did it for me.

Sea Bass on Braised Baby Leek, Olive Oil, Citrus Sauce and Sancho Peppers

Sea Bass on Braised Baby Leek, Olive Oil, Citrus Sauce and Sancho Peppers

This sea bass, like the scallops also flew in from Japan (I think) on the same day. I don’t think it can get any fresher that that … it was cooked just right. You can see a bit of the caramelized edges on the side topped with a good amount of salt and pepper. The red stuff on the side isn’t tomato, but they’re grapefruit bits which adds a hint of sourness to the dish. I’m not food chemist, but I’m guessing that sort of balances out the caramelized bits of the sea bass, which in itself is quite fatty, so as not to make it too filling?

Colorado Lamb Rack with Artichoke Puree, Baby Tomato, Thyme and Black Olive

Colorado Lamb Rack with Artichoke Puree, Baby Tomato, Thyme and Black Olive

I didn’t try this so I can’t tell you what its like. But in retrospect (and if you’re talking about presentation and portion), I wouldn’t gone for this lamb rack!

Wagyu Short Ribs, Wagyu Short Tenderloin and Ox Tongue with Whipped Potato and Red Wine Sauce

Wagyu Short Ribs, Wagyu Short Tenderloin and Ox Tongue with Whipped Potato and Red Wine Sauce

The only thing I tried from this dish was the tenderloin which very soft and juicy (you can taste a bit of the marbling too) … but from what I gathered, the Ox Tongue was extremely well done. I think I’m going to go for that next time!

Pan Fried Brioche with Goat Cheese Ice Cream

Pan Fried Brioche with Goat Cheese Ice Cream

The Goat Cheese Ice Cream was new to me. It was sort of like vanilla ice cream, but it was 酥酥地, you know that gamy smell? Yes that’s right. It was like gamy vanilla and cheese ice cream which I thought was totally bizarre but its soooo good.

Pear Tart with Vanilla Ice Cream

Pear Tart with Vanilla Ice Cream

This was very similar to an apple pie, but why I like this dish so much is because its not as sweet as an apple pie. The pastry was thin and wasn’t too sweet either, but it was buttery. Mixed with vanilla ice cream and your senses will send you all of the signals at the same time: hot, cold, mildly sweet, vanilla, caramel, pear, butter …

2007 Pio Cesare Moscato D'Asti 2007

2007 Pio Cesare Moscato D'Asti 2007

and then you take a sip of Moscato D’Asti and you’ve got honey as well. As Nick put it ever so eloquently, this dessert wine tastes like “Dong Ling Mut” (凍檸蜜 or Lemon Water with Honey)

Château Pichon Comtesse de Lalande, Grand Cru Classé Pauillac 1994

Château Pichon Comtesse de Lalande, Grand Cru Classé Pauillac 1994

Finally, thanks to Nick for this ’94 Chateau Pichon Comtesse de Lalande. I always enjoy a good wine … and to Anne and Steph for bring their wine as well.

So do I have anything bad to say about the restaurant? Well … I would’ve preferred if the portions were a little bit bigger (maybe like 10-20% bigger). If you’re just talking about the appetizer and main course, I was about 50-60% full? But the dessert and the copious amount of wine / dessert wine we had definitely put me closer to 70-80% full.

Otherwise, I think service, quality, plating, decor and taste score full marks. If The Drawing Room keeps up with such an impressive start (and there’s no reason to believe why not), I’m positive they’ll become one of a few Italian restaurants worth going to … and at reasonable prices too!

Siu Yeh Rating: 10/10!

Note: Photos taken with a Ricoh GR Digital … that’s falling apart.

The Drawing Room
1/F., JIA Hotel, 1-5 Irving Street
Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2915 6628
Fax: +852 2915 6618
Website: www dot thedrawingroom dot com.hk

The Drawing Room Restaurant – Open April 13th

Remember a month or two ago, I kept referring to my friend as “TC”? I referred to him here, here and here. Well, I kept his name under wrap because we wanted to keep his identity and the name to his new restaurant hush-hush … until everything is in place. Now, its time to let the cat out the bag … his full name is Tony Cheng and I’m extremely proud to present to you, a restaurant he’s been working incredibly hard on for the last couple of months …

THE DRAWING ROOM (www.thedrawingroom.com.hk) – what you’ll see is a temporary landing page, until their full website is completed within the next week or so.

There’ll definitely be a full write-up on the restaurant soon, but for now … here’s a little more detail about the restaurant:

ABOUT:

There are moments in dining that you can immediately identify as one of the peak gastronomical experiences of your life. At The Drawing Room, we want you to experience that moment over and over.

Seeing ourselves as a modern interpretation of the classical drawing room—a place to receive and entertain guests in one’s house—The Drawing Room is the City’s new face and statement of casual fine dining. We serve contemporary Italian cuisine influenced by new techniques. At The Drawing Room, our goal is simply to become the finest Italian restaurant in Hong Kong, one that will make you feel excited to come but also personally connected to because we care about your experience here.

We are located on the first floor of JIA Boutique Hotel in Causeway Bay. In addition to the main dining room which can accommodate up to 36 guests, there are two private dining rooms and an adjoining bar and lounge area for cocktails.

OPENING HOURS

Monday to Saturday: 6.00pm – 12.00pm
Closed Sunday.

PEOPLE:

Bombana Umberto – Culinary director and Owner

Previously the Executive Chef of Tuscana Restaurant in the Ritz-Carlton HK, Bombana is arguably one of Hong Kong’s finest Italian chefs. He looks to bring his legendary status as “the truffle guy” to The Drawing Room and satisfy his hungry customers who have been craving his cuisine since the close of Tuscana in 2008.

Roland Schuller – Exective chef and Owner

Formerly the Head Chef of Don Alfonso 1890, a restaurant which is considered one of the best Italian restaurants in Italy, Roland is excited to be opening his own restaurant in Hong Kong. Before The Drawing Room, Roland was also the executive chef at Chez Roland, Roland’s Terrance and Aspasia.

Tony Cheng – Chef de Cuisine and Managing Director

Tony’s passion for cooking began at the age of 14 when he roasted his first chicken at home. His desire to become a professional chef led him to leave the financial field to join the kitchen of Michelin star chef, Riccardo di Giacinto, of All’Oro Ristorante in Rome. Upon returning to Hong Kong, Tony teamed up with Chef Roland Schuller, his mentor and friend, at the kitchen of Aspasia.

Tony’s philosophy towards cooking is simple – happiness. “There is no better moment for a chef than to know his food has sparked the table with ‘wows’ upon the first bite of his food. That is where my motivation and strive for perfection comes from. I work so hard in the kitchen to ensure I can create that moment again and again.”

Tony graduated from the University of College London and also attended Le Cordon Bleu in London.

Jeffrey Mui – Executive Director and Owner

Jeffrey graduated from Cornell University with a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management. In pursuit of his degree, Jeffrey focused on culinary science and restaurant management. Jeffrey further refined his hospitality skillset by working for Grand Hyatt Hong Kong and Allan Zeman’s Lan Kwai Fong Group, where he learned about the intricate working dynamics of prestigious F&B establishments in the city.

Jeffrey also took advantage of the world-class restaurant scene in New York City over the several years he had spent abroad. Jeffrey’s favorite restaurant there is Mario Batali’s Babbo, where he is most impressed by reinvented classics such as the Warm Tripe “alla Parmigiana” and Gnocchi with Braised Oxtail.

Drawing inspiration from the Big Apple, a true culinary melting pot, Jeffrey is eager to share his vision of fine dining with his hometown.

Kenneth King – Exective Director and Owner

Having spent seven years in the U.S., Kenneth knows all about the buzzing culinary scenes around the Bay Area where he studied and worked. Kenneth’s most unforgettable dining experience was at The French Laundry in Yountville, where his favorite dish was the Snake River Farm “calotte de bœuf grillée”. Kenneth also enjoys queuing up for a casual dinner at cozy street-side restaurants in downtown San Francisco like Delfina and Bar Tartine. Returning to Hong Kong in 2008, Kenneth’s ambition is to reinvigorate and innovate the local dining culture, and to bring about new culinary experiences to the region.

Kenneth went to St. Paul’s School in New Hampshire and attended Stanford University in California where he earned a B.A. in Economics and a M.S. in Management Science.

LOCATION (Please refer to website above for Map and exact address)
Our front entrance is at Irving Street (伊榮街) opposite the Regal Hotel.

By Car – I would suggest parking at the Regal Hotel parking lot on Irving street (on the right hand side of the street). Once you exit, you will be able to see the huge “The Drawing Room” light box.

By Taxi – Tell the driver to drop you at Regal Hotel, Irving Street, Causeway Bay. Once you get there you can’t miss the huge light box. If you do you need glasses.

By MTR – Take exit F at Causeway Bay station and once you are out look straight for Jardine’s Bazaar. Walk along Jardine’s Bazaar for two minutes and you will see our lightbox straight ahead.

Steak Expert (扒王之王)

Welcome to my first “Recession Special”, where my friends and I experience food that is … well, affordable but good … like cheap steak and umm … baby foods.

Cheesy Beef Propaganda!

Cheesy Beef Propaganda!

“Health Information shows that beef is nutrient dense containing: Zinc and Heme Iron” Hmm … what they don’t tell you is how bad red meat is to you if you eat too much of it. But anyway …

Below was what a friend of mine had … it was just the metal plate (铁板) steak with black pepper sauce pour on top of it. I didn’t get to try it, so I can’t tell you what its like. Sorry!

Metal Pan Steak with Black Pepper Sauce

Metal Pan Steak with Black Pepper Sauce

The boys ordered the Canadian AAA Sirloin set (below), which was going for HK$ 148 before the recession. Now, the restaurant is offering the same thing … for HK$ 128! Wow!

Some Canadian AAA Sirloin

Some Canadian AAA Sirloin

The set we order came with a Borsch (or Borscht) soup, a warm and soft bread + butter (probably one of those Sweet Round Buns from Garden Bakery) and finally, the steak dish with sliced carrots, fried potato wedges, a few slices of zucchini, some beans and a black pepper sauce on the side.

The good news is, I asked for medium to medium-well (which is like 60% cooked) and it was pretty much spot on. The quality of the steak isn’t bad at all … I mean, as long as you don’t expect gourmet steaks from the InterCon or BLT Steak. The side dishes were pretty okay too … all in all, it was a very filling (and somewhat satisfying meal).

The only bad experience I had that night was the house red. I remember visiting Steak Expert once before and had order a house red, which was alright. This time, the red wine was borderline undrinkable. I mean, I’m not expecting some top-tier Chateau from Bordeaux. I was expecting decent, every day, cheap table wine. But I can’t drink this one. Granted, a glass cost HK$ 25 … I’ll bet that entire bottle cost about the same.

Dinner came to about HK$ 600 for 4 (or HKD 150 each). Worth going to? For dinner, yes. For lunch … don’t go, unless you order the normal hundred-dollar steaks (and above). Otherwise, if you get the HK48 lunch sets, which includes the steak … well, you can imagine how good that piece of steak can be. It was like rubber.

Note: Photos taken with an iPhone

Siu Yeh Rating: 4/10 (Maybe its a 5/10 if you take into consideration the price you pay)

Steak Expert (扒王之王)
銅鑼灣謝斐道483-499號1樓
Tel: +852 2573 2711
Opens 24 hours now …