FIRST SERVED

Newly opened: Something Wild will have camp followers working up an appetite

The servers at this Wan Chai restaurant are happy to get stuck in, there are flasks of hot water and steel mugs, and the menu is a ‘food map’ – welcome to the great indoors

PUBLISHED : Monday, 28 December, 2015, 12:15pm
UPDATED : Monday, 28 December, 2015, 12:15pm

Something Wild in Wan Chai presents a novel restaurant concept – bringing the outdoors indoors, complete with camping gear hanging on the walls, tents set up on the floor and a chart on how to tie knots.

On the table are paper place mats featuring pictures of grass, wood or checked tablecloth, along with thermos flasks with hot water and stainless steel mugs. It’s campfire dining complete with an open kitchen, a “food map” as a menu and enthusiastic servers.

For starters, the seared Pacific prawns (HK$118) came with scallops as well, but unfortunately these were lukewarm on a bed of arugula and garnished with balsamic pearls, though these little seasoning balls were lost in the dish. However, the addition of sliced figs was a nice touch.

We also ordered the camper’s salad (HK$108), a large wooden bowl chock full of mixed greens, diced tomatoes, feta, fire-roasted corn and red onion, with honey mustard dressing on the side. We enjoyed the salad, very fresh and delicious, but it was a lot of salad for two people, and perhaps a smaller portion could be offered.

Presenting a side of whole roast corn (HK$62), a server put on a pair of gloves and used a circular contraption to extract the kernels efficiently, with minimal mess. The corn was fantastic, with a slightly smoky flavour and crunchy texture.

Our main event arrived, a half portion of the chargrilled short rib (HK$238 for 16oz, HK$388 for 32oz). It came on the bone and was very juicy, flavourful and tender. It went well with our side of volcanic mash (HK$58) – mashed potatoes with bits of Italian prosciutto and gravy – though it got cold fast and we asked for it to be reheated.

Another delicious dish is the backcountry wings (HK$88), which are actually like lollipops and come with a blue cheese dip, along with carrot and celery sticks.

Finally for dessert, we were surprised not to find s’mores on the menu – graham crackers topped with a roasted marshmallow and chocolate – a perfect campfire treat. However, the camper bread pudding (HK$68) was pretty good too, but didn’t have much of a custard taste, and the vanilla sauce was on the runny side.

For drinks, get a healthy kick from a mocktail called Something Wild (HK$45) – celery, spinach, lemon, apple and honey – or warm up with a lemon and ginger hot drink (HK$35).

Something Wild, Shop 101-104, 1/F, Emperor Group Centre, 288 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai. Tel: 2997 5233