New restaurants in Hong Kong: Hunter, Central – for a meaty feast, from bison to quail
- Bison tartare, bison-meat osso buco agnolotti, forest mushroom steak, a sensational s’mores Alaska – Hunter’s food is so good we can’t wait to return
- When we do, we trust the spotty service will have improved
Hunter – the restaurant area of Shore Hospitality’s new cocktail and dining concept, The Hunter and The Chase (the bar is downstairs) – has many service problems common to a new establishment.
To start with they brought us one dish we didn’t order, tried to serve us one dish we had already eaten; cleared my plate even though my guests weren’t done with their meals and, when we finished the mains, cleared the table only partially, leaving behind some empty plates.
But we left the place planning what we’d eat when we came back – because we enjoyed the food.
Having said that, our first dish wasn’t great. Geoduck with yuzu and lime zest (HK$178) was overwhelmingly tart from the tiny pearls of Australian finger lime (not listed in the menu description), which obliterated the sweetness of the raw bivalve.
This was the only dish we didn’t like – everything after that was a vast improvement (although we do wish that fewer dishes had been garnished with raw microgreens/sprouts – they look pretty, but aren’t really that great to eat).
The menu is divided into “first string” (appetisers), “mouthfuls” (mains) and “for sharing” – although we shared everything.
Pan-roasted quail with lemon vinaigrette and watercress salad (HK$138) was succulent and so good all three of us picked up the bones to eat every scrap of meat.
Bison tartare, topped with sliced mushrooms and served with light and crusty smashed potatoes (HK$228) was a generous portion of what seemed to be hand-minced meat, its richness balanced by pickles, pickled shallots and capers.
For our mains, one guest chose the hanger steak with a forest mushroom rub (HK$218). It’s one of my favourite cuts because it has a slightly chewy texture and strong, beefy flavour.
I politely offered the last osso buco agnolotti (HK$168) to one guest, hoping she’d say no – but to my disappointment, she accepted (I wanted it for myself). This was probably our favourite dish of the night – the tender pasta had a filling of shredded bison and bone marrow, and the broth was just intense.
The “Spanish” octopus (HK$218) tasted Korean rather than Spanish, as if it had been slathered in gochujang instead of the stated ancho chilli and roasted garlic. We liked it anyway. It was chewy-tender – not so soft that it was mushy, but was cooked just enough that it wasn’t rubbery.
Three of us shared one dessert: the s’mores Alaska (HK$98). The house-made graham cracker was topped with a large dome of chocolate ice cream, then covered in torched spikes of marshmallowy meringue. Delicious.
The Hunter and the Chase, 3/F-4/F The Place, 139 Queen’s Road Central, tel: 2915 1638.
About HK$425 without drinks or the service charge.
While you’re in the area