Pin-ups watch you dine in the Strip House
5/F, Grand Progress Building, 15-16 Lan Kwai Fong, Central
Tel: 2521 8638
Open: Monday-Saturday noon-3pm, 6.30pm-10.30pm (Friday and Saturday until 11pm)
Cuisine: New York-style steakhouse
Price: HK$700, not including drinks or the 10 per cent service charge.
Ambience: on a crowded Friday evening the noise level forced us to shout at each other across the small table. Themed as a 1940s strip house, the black-and-red interior is festooned with pictures of saucy pin-up girls and decorated with empty picture frames on the ceiling and walls. This is not the place to dine if you want to relax.
Pros: service was well co-ordinated. Seeing that our waitress was less than generous with the Torbreck Shiraz (HK$98), her superior topped up the glass before lips even touched the rim. A loaf of onion bread was served gratis.
Cons: no one likes receiving unsolicited phone calls or text messages. Which is why the restaurant should stop sending SMS advertising to diners. And the typos in the menu were annoying.
Recommended: despite its silly name, the "sickest crab cake on the planet" (HK$228) was one of the best we've had dining out. Lobster Cajun sauce, drizzled over the patty, added spice to the sweet, sizeable chunks of fresh crab which held together well. The New York strip (HK$488 for 12oz) was served with just two garnishes: half a grilled garlic rose speared by a stick of thyme. The US beef is advertised as hormone-free and wet-aged for 80 days in a temperature-controlled room. It was perfectly seasoned, tender, moist, and completely worth eating, unlike some steaks that make you wish you had chosen a vegetarian main. (Not that vegetarian is really an option at the Strip House.) The other order, a Colorado lamb chop (HK$488) - a double-cut (with two ribs instead of one) - was moist, although bloodier than the requested medium.
What else? "Women friendly" 6 oz fillets of beef are available and, according to the SMS message sent to my phone a few days after dining at the restaurant, if you book a set lunch for four people in August, "1 eats FREE".