Gold by Harlan Goldstein

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 24 February, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 24 February, 2011, 12:00am

2/F, LKF Tower, 33 Wyndham Street, Lan Kwai Fong, Central
Tel: 2869 9986
Open: Monday-Saturday noon-2.30pm, 6.30pm-10.30pm (until late on Friday and Saturday)

Cuisine: contemporary European

Price: about HK$700 for a three-course meal, without drinks and the service charge.

Ambience: gold (in hues of yellow to amber) warms the interior (right), which features a flashy bar made of sculptured glass and a ceiling resembling rippled chocolate. Outside, there is a 30-seat terrace with greenery and a gentle waterfall.

Pros: the bread, provided gratis, was fresh and tasty. Noticing the basket empty, our waiter offered to bring more. The no-nonsense menu is of a manageable size, with signature and vegetarian dishes. An extensive wine list groups selections under headings such as 'unique and playful, medium bodied'.

Cons: instead of giving us a good table, as we had requested when making the reservation, we were offered sandwiched banquette seating, which didn't seem necessary on a slow night. We didn't fare much better when moved to a different table, where a speaker above our heads leaked tinny music. My guest's Hokkaido sea scallop carpaccio (HK$188) was topped with truffles, which, although delicious, overpowered the scallops so they provided texture only. A dessert of 'exotic fruits' on ice (HK$78) turned out to be a less-than-exciting scoop of berry sorbet added to a few blackberries, strawberries and raspberries.

Recommended dishes: the Tuscany seafood soup (HK$138), which came with clams and plump prawns, was intense and rich with the goodness of the sea. Also deserving of its special 'G' mark was the lobster spaghetti (HK$338, right), an unpretentious dish dominated by half the crustacean on a bed of pasta. Although my guest was not partial to his lamb ribs (HK$388), saying they were too pink and soft, I begged to differ and enjoyed the delicate, juicy meat. Too full to try the richer desserts, I chose two scoops of gelato (HK$78): blackberry and five-spice. The fruit flavour was nothing to write home about but the latter was memorably sweet and spicy.

What else? If chef and owner Harlan Goldstein isn't around, you can check out photographs of him on the wall near the private dining room, which seats eight.