Sunday, October 3, 2021

Late Dinner at Neighborhood

Let’s just say more often than not our dinners at Neighborhood ended up being eventful ones, whether that be the sheer amount of food served by Chef/Owner David or something else. And this time it’s a little bit of both when we came as a big group on one Friday evening in September. 

We opted for the second dinner seating at 8:30pm and with the restaurant fully packed it meant it’s close to 9 by the time everyone was seated and settled. First it was the wedges of watermelon topped with caviar and thin slices of lardo, quickly followed by the bloc of foie gras terrine with golden raisins. Love the flavor of both, especially the watermelon with a nice combination of mineral, sweet and smoke. There were a couple seafood dishes, including the baby yellow croaker done with a nice smoky flavor, and the sardines, simply dressed with olive oil, vinegar and chilies. The tomatoes which served with charred Padron peppers were not as sweet as I have thought, but they were refreshing and light. 

From that point on we moved onto something richer. We almost had to fight for the roast bone marrow with black truffles though we had 4 big portions served across our party. The cockles were done a la escargot, sauteed with the rich parsley oil and plenty of other herbs. The giant squid was another one everyone fought for, breaded, deep-fried and served with Rouille on the side. Chef David’s signature bouillabaisse made its appearance in a giant casserole filled with all kinds of seafood you could think of and all the intense flavors that went into the broth. 

The seasonal and local virgin mud crabs were served simply baked with a gentle seasoning of salt – I am not a fan of the slightly mushy meat (which is typical of the young crabs) but the roes got great, delicate flavor. The porterhouse steak was said to be coming from a steer and went through long aging process for the intense taste, but what we loved most was the tripled fried potatoes on the side with the crispiest crust. We thought David was joking when he said we got salmon as main course, but at the end that’s exactly what we had when he brought over our salmon rice in a huge shallow pan. In it was chunks of Japanese wild salmon and salmon roes cooked in a soupy rice and plenty of herbs. Reminded me of a hybrid between a Chinese soupy rice and a Japanesse zosui with great seafood umami taste. 

We came here for a birthday celebration and no surprise we got plenty desserts at the end. Apart from the Tarte Tatin made in-house, there’s the cake, the best kouign amann in the whole world, and some caneles. And plenty of laughter, gossips, and just about everything you can imagine. Of course, someone didn’t stay sober enough til the end to remember all these with endless bottles going through the evening which I was too tipsy to keep track at the end. 

When? September 17 2021
Where? Neighborhood, 61 Hollywood Road Back Side, Central, Hong Kong
Menu Highlights? Local Steer Porterhouse Steak with Fried Potatoes
Drinks? ... too many to remember

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