Room for improvement at Issaya Siamese Club in Causeway Bay
The original Issaya Siamese Club in Bangkok was named one of Asia's 50 Best Restaurants 2015, which means the new Hong Kong branch has much hype to live up to.
At first glance, the restaurant - with Thailand-sourced décor and alfresco dining - did not disappoint. The signature cocktails, with clever Thai twists on classic cocktails, were delicious. We tried the Pandan Cooler (HK$98), which came with a fresh stalk of sweet-smelling pandan leaf, and the Issaya Mojito (HK$118), which was spiked with kaffir lime leaves, mint and lemongrass - all classic flavours of Thailand.
The food, however, needs a bit more fine-tuning. For appetisers, we opted for the kor moo yang (HK$148), a pork shoulder salad that was made at the table. The pork slices were tender, but the salad dressing was too salty from excessive fish sauce. We also ordered the koi nua (HK$140), a beef tenderloin tartare with northern Thai dried spices. The dish had a lovely, deep and complex flavour, but the meat was minced so finely that it lost its tartare texture, turning out slightly mushier than we would have liked. For mains, we were recommended the mussamun gae (HK$258), a lamb shank curry which we found bordered on being too sweet. All of the savoury dishes could have been more spicy as well, and we have a feeling the spiciness was muted to suit Hong Kong palates.
The meal redeemed itself with dessert. The kluay-kaek (HK$85) was a delicious twist on the banana fritters commonly found on the streets of Bangkok, and it came with a creamy coconut sorbet.
ISSAYA SIAMESE CLUB
25/F, Soundwill Plaza II - Midtown, 1 Tang Lung Street, Causeway Bay, 2154 3048