A Michelin-starred Revival and Rhoda Opens in Sai Ying Pun
This week's new and noted restaurants.
If you’ve been a fan of tapas bar 22 Ships in Wan Chai, you’ll want to book a table at JIA Group’s latest venture Rhoda, helmed by executive chef Nate Green who was previously manning the kitchens at 22 Ships and Ham & Sherry. With minimalist raw metal, wood and copper interiors designed by Joyce Wang—a longtime collaborator with JIA Group—Rhoda is all about celebrating the chef’s honest, “waste-not, want-not” style of cooking, with the charcoal grill acting as the centerpiece of the open kitchen and diners sitting un-fussily around communal wooden tables. Hot off the grill you’ll find a mix of veggies, seafood and meat, including slow-cooked octopus with cucumber, mint and pickled shallots ($138), clams with sweet corn, a slow-cooked egg and katsuobushi ($128), and salted king prawns with smoked eggplant ($168). Larger plates include free-range chicken with spring onion and ginger dressing ($498) and the pièce de résistance—12-hour slow-cooked Hawke’s Bay lamb shoulder with a medley of seasonal vegetables ($948, pre-order 48 hours in advance).
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The Drawing Room
After a two-year hiatus, The Drawing Room—Drawing Room Concepts’ first Michelin-starred concept—is back, taking over the lofty PMQ space previously occupied by Vasco. Although we’ve heard the shift happened to make the restaurant more accessible and affordable, the tasting menu seems to be similarly priced, at $798 for four courses and $998 for five courses. The food has shifted from Basque-inspired to Italian, bringing back The Drawing Room’s old hits such as red prawn linguine with fresh tomato and chili and grilled quail with foie gras mousse. Although we missed Vasco’s signature fresh bread and five-butter tray, the rest of the tasting menu retains the essence of chef Gabriele Milani’s style of cooking, with fresh seafood and well-cooked proteins highlighted with just a few modern cooking techniques and supporting seasonal ingredients. Chef Gabriele seems to be as confident with Italian ingredients as he was with Spanish ones, with two of our favorite dishes being the creamy risotto with sweet lobster and white asparagus folded through, and the Italian red prawn linguine with al dente pasta packed full of briny prawn flavor. The beef was a standout at Vasco, and luckily not much has changed at The Drawing Room—the roasted black angus tenderloin is cooked beautifully with just a smear of potato purée and a dab of mustard to bring out the flavors.
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With our minds on salads and smoothies in this sticky Hong Kong weather, we got down to Tivo to try out their new Superfoods menu, which champions ingredients such as Brussels sprouts, kale, beetroot and banana blossoms. This is definitely healthy fare you can feel good about—although far from rabbit food, with each dish presented boasting hearty, hefty portions and flavor-packed seasonings to keep the plate from feeling stale. Start off the nutrient-packed meal with the roasted cauliflower hummus ($78), given a Middle Eastern bent with smoked paprika, turmeric and ginger, and fluffy pita on the side. We loved the crunchy texture of chopped cauliflower bits, lifting the dish from an average hummus dip to an entrée that could stand on its own. The superfood starters include baby carrots roasted with cumin and garlic ($78), and beetroot two ways ($88)—baked to a soft consistency and freshly pickled on goat cheese. And the slow-cooked egg that normally shines in pastas and risottos? It works its magic here in Tivo’s summer brussels sprout salad ($78), with the raw lemony shaved sprouts coated luxuriously in a smooth and creamy yolk.