Soho 8

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 12 November, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 12 November, 2009, 12:00am

Soho 8
8 Staunton Street, SoHo
Tel: 2536 9068
Open: 10am-1am (Friday and Saturday until 2am)

Cuisine: Seafood and meat.

Price: About HK$300 for a starter and main course, without drinks, dessert or the 10 per cent surcharge.

Ambience: The Jeeves and Wooster top hat lampshades above the bar are fun; the five-metre whale on the outside wall is weird. Soho 8 has a prime position by the escalator but, on the ground floor at least, it's a place for drinks rather than dinner, especially on Friday and Saturday evenings. To escape the loud music and buzz, diners can eat upstairs, although claustrophobes may baulk at the low ceiling.

Pros: The location - the human traffic outside provided free entertainment. Service was attentive and the staff were obliging (where music and air-con levels were concerned). Portions were generous and the bread rolls (two round, one cigar-shaped) were arranged provocatively, we think, for laughs.

Cons: The location - partying hordes made us hyper and curbed our appetite. It was interesting to watch my guest's Earl Grey gin martini being flavoured with an Aladin smoker (which adds the aroma of whatever's been burned, in this case tea, to food or drink), but the martini suffered from tasting too smoky.

Recommended dishes: The fire-roasted prawns (HK$118) were succulent and delicious with garlic, coriander and chilli. This time the slightly bitter, singed taste was just right. The tangy, nutty lime-dressed cabbage salad that accompanied the dish was definitely not an afterthought. Both main courses got the thumbs up. My guest's two hefty spice-crusted rare tuna steaks (HK$180), described as being sashimi-grade fish, were tender and juicy. My rack of Australian lamb (HK$238, left) was full of flavour, although we couldn't detect much input from the 'Indonesian spices' it supposedly came with.

What else? Sure to delay dinner or prolong it are the molecular cocktails infused with - apart from the Earl Grey tea version - cinnamon, coconut and salt. The adventurous can try the BLT martini with bacon-infused vodka and the Bloody Mary flavoured with lettuce air.