Newly opened Soul Food Hong Kong, SoHo – Thai-inspired food, casual setting
Dishes are more Thai-influenced than authentic and some lack flavour, but the staff are friendly and the restaurant shows potential
Black Sheep Restaurants continues its expansion with Soul Food Hong Kong, a casual Thai shop in a narrow space with an open kitchen on Elgin Street.
Soul Food claims it “serves up the best of Bangkok fare – a cuisine shaped by hometown recipes and regional dishes brought in from all over the country”, but we found the food more Thai-inspired than authentic.
The fish sauce chicken wings (HK$98) were half wings (cut between the bone), with a cashew and lemon grass salad and a few sprinkles of chilli. While the presentation is pretty, the little meat on the wings was bland and hard to eat together with the garnish.
Next came the spicy green mango salad with tiger prawns (HK$128) which was the most disappointing dish of the night. There were two nicely grilled headless prawns on skewers on a bed of thinly sliced sour mango with dried shrimp and peanuts. All the items were disparate – none of the ingredients gelled together, and the sour mango taste dominated.
Eggplant salad with duck egg (HK$128) was the best of the evening: steamed marinated eggplant topped with dried shrimp and shallots with a slightly runny duck egg that had been sliced in half. We liked the play on textures and flavours of this dish.
We ordered gaeng hang lay (HK$178), a Burmese curry of pork belly flavoured with tamarind, braised with ginger and garlic and served with a large bowl of jasmine rice. The meat was tough – probably not braised long enough – and was cut into different-sized chunks. We liked the flavour of the sauce, although the ginger and garlic were barely detectable.
Coconut ice cream (HK$58), made with coconut milk and topped with salted palm sugar caramel and toasted peanuts, was a refreshing dessert, although with three scoops, it was too large for one person to finish.
The restaurant is in its soft opening phase, and the staff are very friendly, eager to introduce the food and give suggestions to first-time guests, and to change the plates regularly. The restaurant does not take reservations.
Soul Food Hong Kong, 26-30 Elgin Street, SoHo, tel: 2177 3544
Other Thai restaurants on Hong Kong Island: