The beautiful Miss Lauren took Miss Fong and moi out for a girly lunch one Friday afternoon at Glo, the new restaurant that's opened in the also-new Hotel de Edge in Sai Ying Pun. My first thought when my cab pulled up outside the obscured building on Connaught Road West, two blocks away from my old apartment: Why didn't this open when I still lived here? Sai Ying Pun dining options are somewhat limited. My second thought: Oh shit, you can see my underwear. Connaught Road on a windy day is not friendly to flowy summer dresses.
That flashy moment conquered, we can now move on to the main affair. Decor-wise, Glo is nothing to write home about. Hotel de Edge is not a flashy property, so the fact that it even houses a restaurant is a boon for its residents. Some attempt to make it slick and flashy is appreciated, but it's a very miniaturized version of hip -- the restaurant is small, the tables are small, the chairs are tight.
But don't be deterred by the oddball look or the shoddy laser-printer menu. Glo's fine food more than makes up for its deficiencies in other departments, and that's where it counts. Billed as serving "modern" cuisine, it's really just fancy western food that utilizes modern cooking methods: take the Kobe beef cheek risotto pictured above, with rice that's ready in just six minutes (no word on how long the beef cheek stewed for). I wasn't expecting much (actually, I believe we asked the chef if he was serving us Uncle Ben's minute rice) so it was a real surprise that this was a very decent dish, with rice of the perfect consistency and beef that utterly fell to pieces with the swipe of a fork, it was that soft.
The "modern" side of the menu conquered, I went for pretty safe choices, a mushroom soup and poached-egg carbonara, because I never say no to poached eggs. Both were passable in quality, but when you factor in the price (I think it was $78 for the carbonara?), truly bang for your buck.
More should be written about dessert, and in fact, there should be at least one more photo as well, of the salty chocolate bar, but we devoured it before I could shoot it. Oops. The salt is an interesting juxtaposition to the bittersweet chocolate, and while it isn't the mindblowing culinary pairing that they want it to be, I have absolutely nothing to complain about.
How this post would normally end is probably with a summary of what Glo represents, which is a fine example of upscale western dining in Sai Ying Pun. The restaurant should do well in that up-and-coming district, with smart pricing and positioning. It's no Caprice -- but maybe it could be the Caprice of Kennedy Town, in its own way. I would go back -- if I was in the area. And if I still lived in the district, I'd probably go back a LOT. But instead, here's a preview as well of the teensy rooms at Hotel de Edge:
Adorable, oui? And priced at a rack rate of HK$2000 up only, a mere $18 taxi ride from Central, it's a really good deal. But please, don't let your gweilo friends stay there. It's for Asian customers, and those of a more diminutive size, for that matter. Don't make that mistake like I did, when my folks came to town and stayed in my then-500-sq-ft apt, or you'll be hearing your Irish-American stepfather telling you about how he went to Hong Kong and had to get out of the shower to wash his hair because he couldn't actually stand in it and lift his arms at the same time.