1/F, 48 Peel Street, Central
Tel: 2810 1098
Open: 6.30pm-midnight (until around 2am on Friday and Saturday)
Price: about HK$450 without drinks. There's no service charge.
Ambience: the restaurant is discreet, and the only sign that it exists is the logo above the Makumba Africa Bar Lounge on the ground floor. The stairs next to the Makumba bar lead up to the restaurant, which doesn't even have a sign on the door. Fridge is tiny, with much of the space occupied by the open kitchen. It seats about 10, although more could probably sit outside on the terrace, which was closed on a rainy weeknight.
Pros: our waitress, who also doubled as the cook. She was knowledgeable and friendly. The quality of ingredients is very good. There was an excellent oyster selection of nine varieties ranging from the tiny Kumamoto to Gillardeau. Apart from the oysters, the starters and mains are quite limited.
Cons: the prices seem high for some of the dishes, with a US prime grade Angus rib-eye selling for HK$450. There's no faulting the quality of my guest's Welsh lamb rack (HK$238 for a half-rack, or HK$428 for a full one), which was sweet, tender and succulent, but it came rare rather than his requested medium. It was done perfectly to his liking after the waitress/cook seared the ribs.
Recommended dishes: the ham and cheese platter (HK$168) showed the quality of ingredients, with very fine Parma ham and salami, plus brie (less ripe than I like, but still flavourful), a pungent munster and Comte. The carbonara pasta (HK$108 for a small portion) had a rich, very cheesy sauce that coated the al dente spaghetti. My main course of Australian grain-fed premium pork with blue cheese (HK$268) was a huge portion of perfectly cooked (I requested it slightly pink), tender and moist meat (I suspect it was brined). We were too full for dessert.
What else? One wall is lined with shelves of wines from places such as France, New Zealand and Chile. Our by-the-glass selections (only one choice of red or white) were very food-friendly.