In the interests of preserving heritage buildings, it is a wonderful thing. Taking a 120-year old pawnshop which is an institution in the Wanchai neighbourhood and turning it into a trendy F&B building. The exterior has been given a new life but the interior is what actually turns heads. A lot of attention to detail and a trendy place to dine in.
Given the amount of effort they put into the ambience and decor, I was actually surprised that the food was decent enough to match and not pass as just another great spot to entertain corporate clients!
My reservations host had specifically asked if I would reserve their popular coffee-smoked eggs topped with caviar and flying fish roe. I cleverly said yes and was pleased at the liquid-centred egg lifted by the naturally crunchy fish roe, delivered in 2 different flavours by the 2 fish represented. The coffee-flavour was very faint but overall, a nice twist to the usual Shanghainese classic.
The crispy eel with a modern take of a honey kumquat sauce was delightful. Great with a Sauvignon Blanc in my opinion to take a little of the sugariness off. The Perilla leaf is a nice touch for those who don't drink. The eel was perfectly done and not as deep fried as the traditional thing so you can taste the freshness of the eel.
The sliced beef in a Sichuan chilli oil was a tasty variant and thankfully not too spicy - we did of course request that it be done mild so as not to ruin our entire meal! Beef was tender although there was a tad of cheating wiht the use of corn starch. Might have been a slightly better cut of beef for the price but otherwise tasty.
Our Shanghainese cabbage with dried shrimp in a superior broth was competently done - tender yet retaining a sweet crunch from both the natural goodness of the vegetable as well as the better grade shrimps they use.
The cold noodles served with a bowl of aged sweet vinegar was a refreshing end to our main meal especially with the muggy Hong Kong typhoon summer season. Noodles were nicely firm and caught the sesame-oil laced vinegar well.
Our sweet finale of almond tofu with lychees was an interesting creamier version (akin to custard) and with the more obvious sweetness of lychees in contrast to longans. A good rendition and not-too-cloying end to a decent meal in very cool surrounds.
66 Johnston Road
Tel: +852-2527 6088