Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Miscellaneous Food: Hong Kong Part 3

Later in the weekend, there weren't any real dining plans, but after swimming, it seemed fitting to take a stroll down to Soho and check out this steak place that I'd been told was very good.

The whole area at Soho has been quite rejuvenated, I was loving the new furniture stores and art galleries and there are all the newer clubs and drinking holes, like Mint, the Publishing House and Tivo.

Wagyu is a fairly sizable, slick and trendy establishment. The restaurant has a clever set up of a folded glass street frontage that can be rolled back when the weather gets cool and comfortable pod seating that puts diners at ease. The owners are rumoured to be the Jaspa Group and the manager is Australian, however, the restaurant falls slightly short of being friendly (or maybe that's just because I wasn't Australian) and I thought the service was curt (plus they forgot my appetizer entirely). I wasn't entirely upset, the other appetizers weren't that special, one was a bowl of steaming mussels, which Colin reported were fishy and the other was a plate of minced meat with lettuce leaf wraps, which, while more authentic then I had expected, was way too salty.

They offer all the usual cuts in sizes 8, 10 and 12 ounce sizes, and a selection of other kinds of steak including Black Angus and Filet Mignon. They offer Wagyu and a Wagyu burger, though expect to pay the same kind of premiums!

The fish is flown in daily from Australia though it is also grilled Aussie-style (ie. crudely) and served with that nauseating, irritatingly 'fusion' staple spelling of "Bok Choy" (sorry, I get this absolutely Asian-pride cringe when I see that on, especially, an Aussie menu).

The next day, I was swamped with meetings but got to take a break at lunchtime to have a quick bite with a friend at the IFC Mall at H1 or Harlan's. The owner and chef is Harlan G from New York, who was lately from the Aberdeen Marina Club, and the restaurant was chosen as one of the 10 hotspot restaurants of 2004. The restaurant comes with chef's table and wine cellar and all the other trappings of a chef to the rich and famous.

The menu is very extensive and the culinary style is modern America. The signature dishes are slow cooked Wasyu beef cheek with cipolle gravy and spaghetti with a half lobster. What I liked best was the dining room's bold colours and stunning harbour view, this is definitely one of those places that looks better and sexier at night. This is also one of those places where, if you know what I mean, you look better and sexier at night.

It was telling that this was one of the only places in Central that we could get a last minute reservation at and realistically it was also crowded, but I think the high prices turn off most of the lunchtime crowd. At dinner, the H One Tasting Menu is priced at HK$580.00 +10% tax per person and is available between August 1st and August 31st 2007.

We had a lamb kofta with mint and hummus and I had a burger. Both were passable, the kofta more so than the burger, which had juicy but somehow flavourless meat.

Wagyu G/F Shop 3,
The Centrium, 60 Wyndham Street
Central, Hong Kong

IFC Mall, Shop 2075
(852) 2805 0566

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