Restaurant review: The Fat Pig, Causeway Bay, a disappointing experience
It speaks volumes when a meal in an establishment specialising in pork dishes is memorable mostly for its salads and desserts. Many of the meat dishes were erratically seasoned, and service was harried
Price: about HK$235 without drinks.
Ambience: hipster-meets-shopping mall.
Pros: service was harried and disorganised – the staff didn’t bring serving implements, we had to ask each time we needed the small plates changed, and we had to wave down a waiter or waitress every time we wanted something because there didn’t seem to be a designated server. This would normally count against a restaurant, but the manager realised this without our having to point it out, and removed the service charge from the bill.
Cons: The Fat Pig is part of The Press Room Group and is a collaboration with British chef Tom Aikens, so we were surprised at what a disappointment it was. We love pig as much as anyone, but many of the dishes were erratically seasoned. Deep-fried pig’s ears with green caper sauce (HK$55) needed salt; a dry, coarsely textured potted pig’s liver pate (HK$65) was dull because it didn’t have much flavour at all. Grilled Cumberland sausage (HK$168) had a crumbly texture and needed more fat, while the mash was too tangy from an overabundance of sour cream or creme fraiche. Ham hock mac and cheese (HK$88) would have been better if it had been made with more interesting cheese, and there were just a few scraps of the listed ham hock – not enough to make a difference. Also, charging HK$5 per person for filtered water is petty.
Recommended dishes: we found it ironic that, at a pork-focused restaurant, two of our favourite dishes were salads – the light, tangy pickled carrots with ham hock and watercress (HK$68), and choi sum with bean sprouts, peanuts and snow peas (HK$40). A generous serving of baked pork meatballs with oregano, parmesan, sour cream and creamy polenta (HK$168) was hot and comforting – the polenta was especially good.
Crispy pig’s tail (HK$180) was fine – the tails had tender meat and a light coating, but just a few bites was enough for each of us, and the accompanying kimchi needed more spice. Other than the salads, our other favourite dishes were the desserts. Raspberry doughnuts (HK$38) were light and puffy, and the wedge of chocolate caramel tart (HK$58) – the single best dish of the night – had a delicate crust and not-too-sweet filling.
What else? The Fat Pig replaces SML.
The Fat Pig, 11/F Food Forum, Times Square, 1 Matheson Street, Causeway Bay. Tel: 2577 3444. Open: 11am-11pm