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We had high hopes for this place. Mainly because I liked the sound of the name. Wasabisabi! We’re going to Wasabisabi! Yabadabee!
You get the drift.
First impressions were excellent. Dramatic lighting, lit walkway, lamps taller than MichaelJordans laid end to end. But then they handed us the menus, and they were these flimsy cardboard things, completely at odds with the prince’s ransom they were asking for a couple slices o’ fish. Which arrived, again beautifully presented, but didn’t taste anywhere near as spectacular as the price warranted.
Oh yes, the chawanmushi, which we ordered to fill up, was decidedly below par.
Wasabisabi is currently having an Australian wagyu beef promotion. The shabu-shabu set for HK$258 gets 1 mushroom, ’bout 12 strands of vermicelli, a plate of vegetables, and 7 slices of beef.
I don’t think I’m coming back. I had a much better time at Doraya, recommended by Charmaine over at http://tastytreats.wordpress.com/.
By the way, if the management of Wasabisabi ever reads this, please explain to your waiters that when people ask for recommendations, this isn’t a cue to point out the most expensive items on every page.
Grades: ambience: A1, food: B3, prices: C6, service: C6
13th floor, Times Square
T: +852 2506 0009
Tiny, tiny cafe. Blink and you’ll miss it. Doesn’t help that the cafe’s signage is white on a white wall. If you’re looking for it, locate the G.O.D. on Hollywood Road, then walk towards the big Chinese herbal drinks stall, which has a 7-Eleven just beyond it. Bricolage62 is right between them.
Now we’d love to say this place was excellent. Because it’s cosy and it screens art films above its patrons’ heads, it’s precisely the sort of restaurant that would make a great hidden-gem sort of find.
Unfortunately the food was only so-so, and the portion sizes, though not q. miniscule, could definitely be improved upon. Then the waitress informed us that the only dessert available was a somewhat sad-looking cake on the counter.
And so we paid and left.
It’s too bad, though, inventing idiotic dialogue for foreign films is one of life’s great joys.
We say go, but stick with wine or coffee.
Our grades: ambience: A1, food: B4, service: A2
62 Hollywood Road, Central
T: +852 2542 1991
Our recommendation for Lian is to order several appetisers and a bowl of rice. Top of our list are the soft shell crab rolls, which if we remember correctly, come with generous slices of avocado.
Lian might not serve the most authentic Thai or Vietnamese dishes, as many of the recipes appear to have the spice factor reduced significantly. And eating around a table-sized pond might not be your idea of fine dining.
But then again, it might. And the food is really pretty scrumptious, even if somewhat wimpy, chili-wise. We say, give it at least a try once. Particularly if you have a credit card that gives you deals at Maxim’s outlets.
Our grades: food: B3, ambience: B3, value for money (w/ Amex Platinum): A1
Shop 2004, Podium Level 2
T: +852 2521 1117
Never eat here.
Everything we had was a poor imitation of someone’s idea of something Spanish.
El Cid Spanish Restaurant
Our grades: food: F9
Shop C, G/F, Florida Mansion
9-11 Cleveland Street
This joint is tucked away on the 2nd floor of Onfem Tower on Wyndham Street, right across from the Fringe Club. If you’ve forgotten to make reservations and got delayed at work and are heading out to eat in the middle of the Central lunch hour insanity, this is a good option.
Set lunch is HK$128 for 2 courses, HK$148 for 3 courses, not including taxes. An Angus steak will carry a surcharge of HK$30 but is pretty worthwhile. Service is friendly and prompt, the old Indian proprietor will go out of his way to please, so don’t be afraid to ask for things off the menu.
The food is consistently good, if not particularly spectacular. Tables are decently spaced.
The only downside is that for lunch, it’s pretty pricey considering what’s being offered just a little higher up over at Wagyu, Frog Face Fish and Zest.
Rive Gauche Rive Droite
Our rating: food: A2, ambience: A2, service: A2, value for money: B3
2/F Onfem Tower
29 Wyndham Street, LKF
T: +852 2525 1681
The offerings here are fairly straightforward – you have a choice of noodles or congee (porridge), with an assortment of meats – fish, shrimp, pork and pork insides. Mix and match!
Fish congee was excellent – fish was sliced wafer thin and the congee was delicious. For HK$22, a total bargain, particularly for these cold wintry days.
Despite the English menu stuck on the window, they don’t speak any. Happy pointing. Add HK$1 for takeaways (ling zhao!).
Law Fu Kee Noodle Shop Ltd
Our rating: food: A1, value for money: A1, ambience: old HK
50 Lyndhurst Terrace (get off the escalator when you see Dozo and head towards Hollywood Road)
T: +852 2850 6756