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

Dakota Prime

THE. BEST. STEAK. EVER. PERIOD.

Yes, it was better than Morton’s Steakhouse.

Yes, it was better than the Steak House at the InterContinental Hong Kong.

Yes, it trumped all my other experiences involving steak.

And yes, the bill also topped the list.

Dakota Prime is not your average Steak and Seafood restaurant. I went there tonight with high expectations (I haven’t had a chance to come back since its grand opening) and the experience had probably exceeded my expectations.

Let’s get right down to business.

We started off with 1.5 dozens of “White Pearl” oysters (I arrived late, so I didn’t make that order and hence, I don’t know where these oysters originated from). They were really fresh … but most importantly, they was paired with a very fruity sauvignon blanc, which the waiter had recommended. I later asked for the bottle (so I can take a picture) and found out it is called Highfield from Marlborough, New Zealand! You can’t go wrong with white wine coming from that region … it almost tastes the same as Cloudy Bay.

Oysters from Dakota Prime

Oysters from Dakota Prime

New Zealand Marlborough Highfield Sauvignon Blanc

New Zealand Marlborough Highfield Sauvignon Blanc

Then came the Dakota Green Salad, which was dressed with the right amount of vinigrette and it also came with fried cheese around it (pictured). Dad had a lobster bisque (pictured). I can’t tell you how that was, but from what he told me, it was damn good.

Dakota Green Salad

Dakota Green Salad

Lobster Bisque at Dakota Prime

Lobster Bisque at Dakota Prime

Dad was on a roll tonight and went for a grilled lobster (pictured) before his steak even arrived. We all dug in and it was really juicy … again, grilled to perfection.

Grilled Lobster at Dakota Prime

Grilled Lobster at Dakota Prime

And finally came the reason why I was there tonight: 21-day Dry Aged New York Strip at 14 oz or 380 g. Apparently, they’re also branded as “Meyer’s 100% Natural Angus USDA Nebraska Beef”, which is “Fully Traceable From Farm to Table, No Hormones and No Antibiotics” (pictured)

21-day Dry Aged New York Strip at Dakota Prime

21-day Dry Aged New York Strip at Dakota Prime

My brother had the “Snake River Farms American Kobe Beef ‘Gold Label'” with Bms of 8-12 at 14 oz or 380 g (pictured).

Snake River Farms American Kobe Beef "Gold Label"

Snake River Farms American Kobe Beef "Gold Label"

The steaks were paired with Cabernet Sauvignon called Unity from Napa’s Fisher Vineyard. Very smoky / oaky, dry and quite smooth (easy to down) and doesn’t leave much of an after taste, which I like.

Wine List (Wine by the Glass) at Dakota Prime

Wine List (Wine by the Glass) at Dakota Prime

We ordered 2 Macaroni & Cheese with Truffle sauce (pictured) as side dishes for our steaks, but we later found out that these “side dishes” are meant to be shared. They came in a pan and the 1 portion is enough for 2 … (at HK$60 for a side dish, they better be!). We thought they’d be a small scope of Mac & Cheese next to your steak. If you are going to visit the restaurant, here’s an advice: Don’t order 2 of the same sides dishes!

Macaroni & Cheese with Truffle Sauce

Macaroni & Cheese with Truffle Sauce

After all that, we couldn’t handle dessert so we called it a night.

It was definitely not cheap, but it was very satisfying. For:

  • 18 “White Pearl” oysters
  • 3 glasses of New Zealand Marlborough Highfield Sauvignon Blanc
  • 2 bottles of Voss still water (800ml / bottle)
  • 3 glasses of Napa Valley Fisher Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 1 Lobster Bisque
  • 1 Dakota Green Salad
  • 2 Meyer 14 oz NY Strip
  • 1 Snake River 14 oz Rib Eye
  • 2 Macaroni & Cheese with Truffle sauce
  • + 10% service charge

The damage came to HK$ 5,600. Ouch. But it was so good.

Siu Yeh Rating: 10/10

Dakota Prime
7/F., LKF Tower
33 Wyndham Street
Central, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2526 2366
Fax: +852 2526 3626
Website: www dot dakotaprime dot hk
Email: info@dakotaprime.hk

Louis Steak House

In general, I think there are 2 camps of “steak houses” in Hong Kong. There’s the “authentic steak house” such as The Steak House at InterCon, Ruth’s Chris and The Mandarin Grill, etc. Then there’s the old-school local steak restaurants, such as Boston Restaurant (波士頓餐廳), and a few others that serve steak on a hot black metal plate where servers pour a copious amount of sauce on the steak and let it “simmer” in front of you (usually, your napkin is then used as a curtain to prevent all the sauce from flying all over the place and leaving a stain on your clothings)

Needless to say, the quality of the beef used in the second type of steak houses is usually sub-par and is known to be prepared with baking soda to make the meat a little more tender. That said however, local steak restaurants have a long history of culture and “style” so we can’t (or I can’t) draw comparisons between the two, because I’ll be comparing apples to oranges. Basically, some people like the first type and some like the second type.

I guess what it all actually boils down to is: Do you like to pour sauce (i.e. black pepper sauce or mushroom sauce, etc.) on your steak?

Anyway, I visited Louis Steak House recently (one of my dad’s favorite restaurants) and this steak house in particular, falls somewhere in the middle of the two camps I just mentioned, perhaps leaning a little towards the authentic steak houses. They meat is served very well, grilled … but if you want, they can prepare a sauce for you too.

This upscale local steak house has a long history (been around for more than 20 years I think!) and their decor and atmosphere has pretty much been the same in the last 2 decades. The decor is a very 1980’s Western restaurant with red and white checkered table cloth and a one-man band playing really cheesy songs from the Beatles, Elvis and hit songs from that era.

Most of the items on the menu are pretty good. In particular, all of their steaks, their fresh oysters, seafood soup, garlic bread, and their fish maw (花膠) … what’s not good, as we’ve recently discovered is their baked seafood rice. This is what we had:

The chefs are very creative in their food … in the traditional sense. Don’t expect them to come up with some new-age Bo Innovation X Wasabisabi-type dishes, but pretty much anything you request that is not in the menu, they can make for you (if they have the supply, of course).

Expect around HKD 500-700 per head.

Louis Steak House
1/F Malaysia Building
50 Gloucester Road
Wanchai, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2529 8933
Fax: +852 2865 1560
Website: www dot louissteakhouse dot supanet dot com