Monday, June 30, 2014

Review: Ho Lee Fook

I had been keen to try out Ho Lee Fook which has been making buzz around the foodie community, not only coz of the name but also for Chef Jowett Yu who counts a number of my friends as fans. The resto was supposed to open in April and after numerous attempts to check it out (well ok, three times but in HK that's a lot of effort when restaurants are opening every minute!) we finally got a chance to try it. Mental note to self, just go when photos of food start flooding my feed as opposed to actually venturing over to see if it had opened yet.

As for the food, if you are a fan of spice, you've come to the right place. The food is a lovely mixture of Chinese dishes with sharp bursts of flavours that requires an ice cold beer which unfortunately, ours just weren't cold enough. The Wagyu tartare Yunan style had a beautiful crunch and kick to it. One of the staff actually admonished us for not mixing it up before digging in so keep that in mind if you order it. The easiest solution, of course, would be for their staff to actually mention it as they lay down the dish but service is still obviously going through teething problems as we had a couple other issues throughout dinner such as having a waiter stare blankly at us with a dish in his hand and standing there unmoving until we made the initiative to help shuffle all the dishes in front of us to make room for his dish or checking the bill and finding that we were overcharged for something and when protesting, were told that the beer was a 'large' size which wasn't available in the menu and so the price we were looking at is incorrect. It was just the day after its opening so these things happen and hopefully in a few weeks, it will all be sorted.

Little quibbles aside, the food itself is worth coming back for. In addition to the tartare, we tried Mom’s mostly cabbage a little bit of pork dumplings (which was our least favourite and quota should be saved for other dishes), shredded chicken salad, lettuce heart, cucumber, Sichuan pepper and strange flavour dressing (awesomely spicy and the strange flavour dressing totally isn't strange at all and was a beautiful mixture of South East Asian flavours) and the highlight of our meal; the Roast Wagyu short ribs, jalapeño purée, green shallot kimchi with a soy glaze. Be forewarned that the portion of the short ribs are quite large and we would happily munch on it all if we weren't so full. The texture of the meat was just right while we loved the little crunchy bits which I think were the meat between the ribs. It created a lovely duality to the dish. We finished off with a passion fruit sorbet, lime and coconut marshmellow, pomelo and roasted rice dessert by which point we were ready to be rolled out of the resto.

Ho Lee Fook g/f - lg/f , 1 elgin street, Central District, Hong Kong

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