Potato Head Opens Indonesian Restaurant Kaum in Hong Kong
This week's new and noted restaurants.
If you’ve been rambling around Sai Ying Pun recently, you may have noticed a massive retail and dining space taking shape right across next to JIA Group’s Fish School on Third Street. This month, Potato Head Hong Kong (G/F, 100 Third St., Sai Ying Pun, 9447-4634) is revealed—an 8,000-sq.-foot space encompassing Indonesian restaurant Kaum, the Music Room, which brings in touring DJs and disco nights, an all-day café and bar using ingredients native to Bali, a coffee stand, plus two retail stores selling boutique Indonesian items and PTT Family merchandise.
With its proximity to Fish School, it’s no surprise that JIA also has a hand in the Potato Head opening (the second international outlet from brand-runners PTT Family). We can’t wait to see what unique and authentic flavors the Bali brand has to offer Hong Kong palates. The dining concept Kaum, which will eventually make its way to other countries, is grounded on the idea of reviving and celebrating the traditional cooking techniques and ingredients of Indonesia’s diverse ethnic tribes, highlighting the country’s rich indigenous ingredients and artisanal producers. As far as aesthetics, the interiors of the entire complex have been designed by Tokyo-based architect Sou Fujimoto and incorporate heavy Indonesian accents, including custom-made Indonesian furniture and hand-painted ceiling panels made by the Torajan people of South Sulawesi.
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Instead of chasing down the best wagyu in the city, head straight to the source at Marbling (Shop C, Cleveland Mansion, Fashion Walk, 5-7 Cleveland St., Causeway Bay), the new steakhouse from Elite Fresh Food. The company is the largest Japanese wagyu beef supplier in Hong Kong, so you know you’re getting the best the city has to offer, and the casual yet elegant dining room is a comfortable place to enjoy the king of all beefs. Featuring a wide range of steaks, the meat at Marbling is just what the name suggests—full of intramuscular fat, i.e. those white streaks of fat that are so bad for you, but oh so good. To kick things off, there’s a great selection of classic starters ranging from French onion soup with a splash of sherry and crispy croutons, to pan-roasted foie gras with champagne-poached apples and buffalo mozzarella with tomatoes and arugula.
The seafood platter is also a worthy starter with baby lobster, abalone, oyster, clams, prawns and mussels going for $368—but of course, it’s all about the meat here. You’ll find a range of cuts and preparations, including US wagyu flat iron steak served with burgundy jus, 400-days-grain-fed NY striploin Aberdeen steak, prime beef short rib, 21-days dry-aged USDA prime ribeye, Australian wagyu, and A4 saga wagyu beef—our favorite with a strong, meaty taste and plenty of that delicious marbling. Sides are minimal, but with beef this good, it’s better to go caveman style with nothing but a dash of hot mustard to spice up the meal. If you can’t make up your mind, Marbling is also offering a sampler platter during dinner which features three different cuts: grain-fed New York striploin, saga wagyu and Hanwoo A+ beef from Korea (limited supply) for $568 per person (additional $135 for whisky pairing).
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Morton's of Chicago
We love heading to Morton’s of Chicago (The Sheraton Hong Kong, 4/F, 20 Nathan Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui, 2732-2343) anytime we need a dose of the good ol’ U.S. of A. With their new Ranch to Table menu, which runs through September, Morton's is bringing more mouthwatering additions to the table, including a juicy 8oz American wagyu steak sourced from Snake River Farms, a ranch in the Pacific Northwest known for superb beef. Needless to say, the meat is full of delicious fat and flavor ($680), the detailed marbling placing it in line with premium Japanese wagyu beefs. Also on the seasonal menu is a succulent 14oz bone-in filet mignon ($748)—back by popular demand thanks to its buttery and tender melt-in-your-mouth quality.
In case you’re not a red meat lover, there’s a new olive-crusted Alaska halibut ($418), which is pan-seared with a Kalamata olive crust and served over wilted spinach with a garlic beurre blanc. Whether you go the meat or fish route, Morton’s heart of palm salad ($160) is the perfect main dish accompaniment, with a delicate combination of fresh palm tossed with baby arugula and mango in a honey poppy-seed dressing. The slivered almonds add a textural contrast to the salad, while watermelon chunks provide refreshment. Following a heavy meal, dessert is, well, another calorie bomb (but so worth it): a blueberry white chocolate bread pudding ($135) drizzled with bourbon white chocolate ganache and a large scoop of Haagen-Dazs. Good luck getting home…