Monday, April 15, 2013

An Invitation at Brickhouse

I was at Brickhouse recently for a dinner invitation to taste their new menu. It's been a while since I was last here so I was eager to try some of the newer items Chef Austin Fry has made. It's also good fun to meet up with old friends and new ones at the dinner table who shared the same passion in eating (and blogging about their experiences).

Trio of Guacamole - served with organic stone ground chips
We started off with the trio of guacamole - one done the traditional way, then one with addition of chipotle and one with season fruit, which on the day we went, it's mango, apple and pineapple. I love the variation between sweet (fruit) and spicy (chipotle) favors - and they were all very good that I dipped my chips back and forth (with a different chip every time of course - I am not double dipper!) I personally would love the chips to be with a stronger taste but they were fine when I ate them with the sauce.

Agua Chili - Shrimp, Cucumber Water, Pickled Red Onion, Cilantro, Chili Oil
We moved on to the savory items in appetizer, salads, entrees and sides. Our appetizer was the agua chili ceviche - with shrimp, cucumber, pickled red onions, and so on. It's refreshing and I love its presentation too. Same as the salad with carrot, mozzarella, roasted beets, carrot puree, beet vinaigrette, crispy garlic and mixed field greens. It's colorful and tasty - something you can probably imagine given there were so many ingredients in one dish.

Barbacoa Tacos - Slow Braised Leg of Goat, Queso Fresco, Radish and Avocado Salsa, Serrano-pickled shallots, spanish onion, cilantro, lime, tortillas
After that, we then had 2 taco dishes. First is the bone marrow tacos with deep-fried bone marrows, oxtail salsa chimichurri sauce and epazote roasted tomatoes. The tomatoes were slow-roasted in oven for 12 hours so the result's like a sundried tomato only it's juicier. The second one was the barbacoa tacos with slow-braised leg of goat and other condiments. I usually avoided goat (or lamb) when I saw it on the menu - I am not fond of that "gamey" taste - but I had a bite and found it quite pleasant. Just enough of that "gamey" taste but not overwhelming to the point that I don't like, plus the condiments - the salsa and the queso fresco and the chilis made all the difference.

Grilled Chayote - Squash, Avocado Puree
The side dish of deep-fried chayote was one that stood out in my mind. Just when I thought this is an attempt to play with local produce (chayote - known as 合掌瓜 in Chinese - was a common item in local wet market for use in soup or steamed dishes), little did I know that chayote was actually originated in Mexico and was only adapted and planted in this side of the ocean in recent history. I am not a big fan of chayote normally but I still quite enjoyed this dish. The mushy chayote and the crispy outside made an interesting combination of texture. I also like the other side dishes, which is Rojas con Crema. It's hard to go wrong with melted manchego cheese with fire poblanos and onions. In many dishes different chili peppers were used but it's never too spicy - at least to me.

Coconut Rice Tamale - Coconut Rice Pudding, Goat Milk Caramel, Mezcal Icecream
But I have to say, my favorite of the night was what we had at the end - the dessert of coconut rice tamale. I do have a thing about tamale - more so with savory ones  (think sweet corn tamale from Cheesecake Factory type or those I had while staying in SoCal), but this sweet version uses sticky rice, which was steamed in banana leaf wrapper and came with sweet corn, coconut cream, goats milk caramel and mezcal ice cream (mezcal is a distilled alcohol similar to tequila). Think of it as Thai coconut rice with a kick of alcohol and sweet caramel sauce. It works and it's good for sharing as a fine end to a dinner.

Brickhouse Margarita - Blanco, Damiana, Pineapple Juice, Agave Nectar, Lime, Himalayan Salt Rim
Cocktails at Brickhouse never disappoint. I started with the house margarita as I walked in and settled down, and then followed up with a drink called Diabla as the evening progressed, which was a drink mixed with vodka, hint of jalapeno, raspberries, pomegranate and lemon. I personally love the combination of spicy and sweet sensations. They also do have an okay wine list (not too long and not too focused), a good list of beer (with good selection of Mexican beers and some from other microbreweries), and an awesome list of tequila with no less than 30 choices including some familiar and some not so familiar names.

There's been an influx of Mexican restaurants to town lately (not as many as Spanish restaurants but there are still a few), but I would still rate Brickhouse to be among the best, if not THE. The new items on the menu were decent but I am also glad that some of my favorite old ones - including the Mexican style street corn - were still there. I don't have enough knowledge to judge whether it's authentic Mexican or not but this would be the place to go if I want to chill, enjoy a good vibe and exciting food and drink in LKF, of course provided there's a space for me - this place did get very crowded at night til late.

When? April 8 2013
Where? Brickhouse, G/F D'Aguilar Stret via Brick Lane, Central, Hong Kong
Menu highlight: Coconut Rice Tamale

Note: Meal courtesy of Brickhouse and Maximal Concepts

Here are what other bloggers thought of the new menu at Brickhouse:

HK Love Bites:
為食龍少爺 (chinese):
Chocolate Mui Mui (Chinese):

1 comment :

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