I’ll be back: Soul Food’s fiery Thai flavours could leave you hungry for more

Hong Kong restaurant reminds diners of the rich flavours of charcoal-grilled pork and the freshness of bream in a banana leaf

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 16 November, 2016, 10:31am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 16 November, 2016, 12:26pm

Soul Food is Black Sheep group’s 13th establishment in the city. The Thai eatery is the brainchild of self-trained chef Jarrett Wrisley, a former writer who set up his first culinary endeavour, Soul Food Mahanakorn, in Bangkok in 2010. Against all the odds, it became a Bangkok sensation.

The Elgin Street edition looks and feels like a hip, New York-style kitchen - all distressed concrete and contemporary fittings. It doesn’t attempt to look like a traditional Thai restaurant, and this is somehow refreshing.

Friendly staff got us seated and we began with charcoal-grilled moo ping - marinated pork skewers (HK$108) - a reminder of how superior charcoal is to flavourless gas grilling. With this dish, the searing and blackening enhanced perfectly the flavours of the meat and the tamarind glaze. The spicy green mango salad (HK$128) was certainly fiery, but the mango slices were a little rubbery and didn’t exhibit the tart zing I was hoping for. It came with just two, exceptionally fresh, tiger prawns.

We also ordered fish in a leaf: black sea bream (HK$248) grilled inside a banana leaf with lemongrass, dill and lime. The fish was brilliantly fresh and delicately flavoured, but left the larger of the guests wanting more. I wish I’d tried the lamb grapow (HK$128), and I’ll be back to try both that and Soul Food’s famed cocktails.

We finished off with coconut ice-cream (HK$58), with salted palm sugar caramel and peanuts - a cooling, subtly pleasurable end to the visit. David Vetter