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Hong Kong budget eats

Restaurant review: O'Casa serves up a taste of Taiwan in a modern setting

Beef noodles, bubble tea and three-cup chicken among the favourites at O'Casa in Sheung Wan

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 16 September, 2015, 12:01pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 16 September, 2015, 12:17pm

With Taiwan being such a popular destination for Hong Kong people who usually spend a large part of their time there eating, it is a mystery why there are not more shops here where we can satisfy our cravings without having to travel. Fortunately for us, O’Casa, which opened in late June on Gilman’s Bazaar in Sheung Wan (with another branch that opened last month in Mong Kok), offers homey Taiwanese fare.

 The two-storey restaurant has a simple, modern interior, complete with vintage light bulbs and raw concrete walls. The menu features a range of familiar Taiwanese street food including giant crispy chicken chop (HK$36), restaurant dishes such as three-cup chicken (HK$56), and a good selection of fruit teas and bubble milk teas (HK$22-HK$32).

 Our favourite dish is the beef noodles (HK$52), which comes in two versions – five-spice or hot and spicy. We opted for the former and the broth is delicious and beefy, and served with tender chunks of flavourful beef shin.

The fried salted chicken (HK$38) is addictive bites of briny chicken which are crunchy outside and juicy inside.

The sweet and sour tenderloin with pineapple (HK$62) looked suspiciously similar to the Cantonese version, but tasted quite different. Thanks to the generous use of some very juicy pineapple, the bone-free tenderloin strips – instead of ribs – are very appetising and fragrant, with a tangy fruitiness.

We also like the braised pork rice with soft-boiled egg (HK$52), which is moist and rich. The preserved vegetable adds crunchiness and balances the richness of the meat sauce, while the egg is done just right. The grilled sausage (HK$38) was a serious disappointment, though. It is rather bland and there’s no hint of it being grilled.

 O’Casa, 26-28 Gilman’s Bazaar, Central, tel: 2503 2032. Open: 11.30am-10m (Friday and Saturday until 11pm). Branch at 4/F, 215 Portland Street, Mong Kok, tel: 2321 5131