Friday, January 25, 2019

Power Lunch

I rarely sat down for a proper lunch at a restaurant during the week, but recently I dropped by Lobster Bar at Island Shangri-la to check out their surf and turf menu. As one would imagine, just like any other normal weekday, the restaurant was dominated by the business crowd with suits and dresses but the slightly casual setting – more like a gastro-pub than a formal restaurant – made this an excellent venue for something less uptight.

Steak and Lobster was always the one most people think of when they talked about Surf n Turf, but I like the variety the restaurant offers, with each courses combining a type meat and a type of seafood for a sumptuous main course. But before that, we went for a couple appetizers to share, both a slightly different version of the conventional style.

First was the steak tartare made using the exquisite French Polmard beef topped with the equally exquisite tongues of sea urchin added to a touch of creamy texture and umami flavor, and on the side was thin slices of taste, shiso tempura and pickled baby beetroots. The yuzu-kosho dressing was almost un-noticeable but that’s probably because the rich, meaty taste of the beef was overwhelming.

The second appetizer was “Rhode Island Crab Cakes”, with the medallions of crab cakes battered and baked and served with a herb remoulade sauce on the side. Each of them were packed with crab meat and arrived freshly baked just off the oven. Admittedly not done in my favorite “hometown style” but it was tasty.

Next we had three different main course dishes to share. There’s the grilled Joselito pork pluma paired with Galician octopus, then the pan-seared Pays de la Loire chicken breast with Hokkaido scallops and also the slow-cooked Vercelli veal rack and grilled prawns. Individually I did like the veal best with the bone-in piece perfectly done with tender meat in the center and some fatty bit near to the bone, and served with charred baby romaine lettuce, pommes pont neuf and a thick gravy on the side. I was also impressed by the octopus too, with the giant tentacles slow-cooked then grilled to char the surface and served with stuffed capsicum, polenta cake and green peppercorn sauce for a touch of Mediterranean flavor.

I am no expert in recommending power lunch venue but this is one place I can vouch for, despite this being a tasting by invitation hosted by the kind hotel PR.

When? January 14 2019
Where? Lobster Bar and Grill at Island Shangri-la, Pacific Place, Supreme Court Road, Hong Kong
Menu Highlights? Slow-cooked Vercelli veal rack and grilled obsiblue prawn

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