Wednesday, January 30, 2013

To Market, To Market: ABC Kitchen

I'd been wanting to try ABC Kitchen for aaaages, simply because the premise was too good to be true. Hong Kong's first fine-dining restaurant that's been transported and ghettofied into a cooked-food market daipaidong set-up? A must-try for any foodie, on a budget or not. Word is that the kitchen is run by former chefs of M on the Fringe, which closed down a few years ago.

One of the other perks of this situation is that you don't need to get dressed up at all. ABC has made some effort to distinguish its tables from the rest of the riffraff by using checkered red tablecloths, which is sort of a nice touch because then you actually dare to put your elbows on the table. But you could roll up in flip flops and a wife-beater (or probably no shirt at all, really) without anyone caring in the least.

The pricing is obviously pretty good, averaging under $100 for starters and under $150 for mains. The starters should actually be for sharing, considering the mushroom risotto is pretty much a full-sized main, and the crab cake was larger than my fist. Because we are crazy people, we also got a cheese souffle main to share as a starter. A WINNING DECISION, might I add. What would I do without greedy dining partners like my greedy gremlin. Melted cheese x filo pastry x a pesto dressing = yum x 1000.

Suckling pig and beef wellington mains were both pretty well-executed. And I forgot to take pictures, but there was a pavlova that wasn't too shabby either, although I think that occurred mid food coma, so I can't really say for sure how good it was, it's disappeared into the black hole in my brain.

We ended up paying $250 a head, which is ridiculously cheap for this whole affair. I wouldn't necessarily term this haute cuisine, but it's definitely on par -- and in fact, even slightly ahead of -- favorite affordable private kitchens like Le Marron.

Throw in the fact that they do pasta and risotto set lunches for something like $50, and I think I will definitely be returning. Anyway, if you get there and you want something from the other stalls, you can also order from them too, which means you should also stop in for razor clams at the first stall next to the door, garlic naan from the Indian joint, prawns in yellow curry from the Thai place and super dumplings from the last stall across the hall. See, I told you I was greedy.

CF7, 1/F Queen Street Cooked Food Market, 38 Des Voeux Road West, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong. Tel: +852 9278 8227

No booking at lunch, but a MUST at dinner.

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