Hong Kong restaurant reviews

New & noted: Rare in Central – a selection of simple dishes done well

Chef Ryan Yang’s uncomplicated menu didn’t have a real show-stopper, but the dishes were tasty, with the semi-dried cherry tomato fettuccine a stand-out. The friendliness of the staff guaranteed a pleasant meal

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 22 November, 2017, 12:48pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 22 November, 2017, 7:31pm

The fact that we were the only customers in Rare seemed ominous. It has what seems like a great location – an open-fronted space on Lyndhurst Terrace, but while passers-by looked in curiously, it seems we were the only ones who entered.

We were originally offered seats in the downstairs restaurant space, but opted to sit upstairs on the high stools around the counter/bar space.

The staff were super nice and friendly, and very eager to please, going out of their way to help a customer who came in after us.

We began to feel a little more hopeful about the meal when we saw on the wall the framed certificates from organisations that chef Ryan Yang belongs to, including the Chaine des Rotisseurs and Commanderie des Cordons Bleus de France.

The one-page menu offers six starters, six mains, three dishes with house-made fettuccine, and one dessert.

We started with the semi-dried cherry tomato fettuccine (HK$108). It was simple and delicious, with a sauce that lightly coated the toothsome pasta, sweet tomatoes, baby spinach leaves and a mild cheese that seemed freshly grated.

Truffle and porcini risotto (HK$118) was another dish we enjoyed. The rice was almost completely hidden under a blanket of the same cheese used for the pasta. The chef didn’t overdo the truffle paste (at that price, you can’t expect real truffle), and the rice was creamy without being heavy.

New Zealand lamb rack (HK$168) was cooked to our requested medium-rare, and was tender with a mild flavour. It was served with classic French accompaniments of ratatouille and tapenade, as well as mashed potato fritters.

None of the food was particularly creative or revelatory, but they were all simple dishes done well.

For dessert, the mango millefeuille (HK$68) had delicate, crisp layers of puff pastry that had been lightly caramelised to add crunch. The blueberry sauce served with the dessert was unnecessary, though.

Rare, 9 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, tel: 2333 0186. About HK$230 without drinks or the service charge

While you’re in the area

New & noted: Beet restaurant in Central – balanced, creative and beautiful food

Restaurant review: Gough’s on Gough, Central – good food with charming service and decor

Restaurant review: Spiga in Central – good seafood and great desserts, but avoid the pizza