Newly opened Bayta in Sheung Wan – well-presented Mediterranean fare

Set meals are a little pricey, but the flavours and presentation are imaginative and refreshing

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 05 May, 2016, 12:01pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 23 June, 2016, 2:44pm

Bayta, the new sister restaurant to French bistro La Cabane,is at the end of Hollywood Road, in Sheung Wan, in a space that has an organic feel thanks to the green interior.The restaurant serves Mediterranean food, and ordering is straightforward – choose a starter, main and dessert for HK$650 excluding service charge, although we think the pricing is on the high side. We were lucky to go to during the short two-week soft-opening period so the menu was half price.

The starter of green asparagus cannelloni is a beautiful dish. The green stalk is shaved lengthwise and rolled around a filling of fresh peas and finely diced asparagus. It’s an ideal summer dish – refreshing and light – and served with strawberry jam that had hints of rosewater.

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Another appetiser is the “marinated sardines tin”. While they didn’t come in a metal tin, the sardines were served in a crunchy edible shell. The fish were laid over a thick red pepper purée so that the top notes were sweet, followed by the saltiness from the sardines to balance it out.

With this course we were served a dry, bland house-made chickpea bread with olive oil.

We enjoyed both mains. The vegetarian couscous was rustic and cooked with a vegetable broth, with beetroot, carrots and merguez spices. The dish turned out to be quite filling.

Another good choice is the raspberry vinegar deglazed tuna, and veal wrapped in vine leaves and garnished with caramelised red onions. While we loved the taste of the tuna and the veal, the presentation was slightly marred by the tuna slices that weren’t cleanly cut.

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For dessert, catagnaccio, a chestnut flour cake, was presented in two long sticks with a scoop of rosemary ice cream,and the two needed to be eaten together to appreciate the flavours. The dates square was actually a roll on top of a milk custard infused with cloves and 85 per cent dark chocolate on the bottom. It was quite chocolatey and not too sweet.

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One annoying bug was the lighting, which seemed to have a mind of its own and kept switching from high to low.

Bayta, 252 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, tel: 5597 9939