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Aberdeen Street Social – Jason Atherton’s new Hong Kong restaurant at PMQ

aberdeenstreetsocial dcgThe buzz surrounding Aberdeen Street Social has been tremendous – and rightly so. This acclaimed chef has 14 restaurants worldwide, all of which have gathered a loyal following of customers. 22 Ships and Ham & Sherry have turned Ship Street in Wan Chai into one of the hippest places in town, and we super excited when we were invited to try out his bigger, newer restaurant at the fab design space that is PMQ. Following the same concept as his Pollen Street Social restaurant in London, and with tables filling up every night, this place is already proving very popular. We couldn’t wait to see if it would live up to expectations…

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Aberdeen Street Social perfectly blends a casual, relaxed vibe with a cool, sophisticated design. They already score points with the setting – the architecture and design details of the old Police Married Headquarters create a very unique aesthetic. The atmosphere is friendly and relaxed, especially downstairs which a much more casual, and is the perfect place to come for dinner or even just drinks with friends. Upstairs is a little more fine dining, but still very welcoming…

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Our table was located at the back of the restaurant, in a sort of private room, and we had a cool view of the kitchen as they worked. We began with a couple of cocktails (why not!) and I decided to go for the intriguingly named ‘What The Doctor Ordered’. This little cocktail is presented in a brown pill jar with an accompanying hand-written doctor’s note! The cute note has a different quote every time you order it, and really adds an element of fun to this refreshing and unique-tasting drink, which did have a somewhat medicinal taste about it.

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Time to order, and I had such trouble deciding what to have! It all sounded delicious, but I decided to choose the summer starter of ‘CLT – Crab, Lettuce and Tomato’. This play on the classic BLT really works (you can’t really go wrong with the simple ingredients of lettuce and tomato though!) and is delightfully light. I loved the sweet bites of tomato with the creamy crab… a great start.

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On to the mains, I definitely went in the opposite direction of the starter, opting for the Braised Ox Cheek with Roasted Bone Marrow, Sourdough Crumb, Carrot and Horseradish Mash. The meat was absolutely divine, melting in the mouth, and it was certainly a very generous portion! This heavy, filling dish might be a little too rich for some, but if you’re looking for a satisfying, meaty meal, then you won’t be disappointed with this choice. Indulgence at its finest!

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I was already full but I couldn’t resist trying Jason’s much-loved desserts. Luckily we decided to share… this meant we got to try nearly all of them! I really enjoyed the unique JAAL 75% Chocolate Banana Calamansi Madras Curry, which used an unusual mix of spice, yummy banana, and rich chocolate to create a luxurious (and beautifully presented) dessert.

The Strawberry with Orchids, Litchi, Yoghurt and White Chocolate was also a stunning, light and summery dessert – and very sassy might I add! The Apple Pear with Caramle Toffee, Soy, Brown Butter and Tamarind also went down a treat. The only dessert that we were all a bit confused by was the Blueberry with Lapsang Smoked Tea, Milk Textures, Mascarpone and Maple Whisky. It was definitely a completely original dessert that I don’t think you’d find anywhere else – the overwhelmingly smoky flavour is not for everyone.

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Craving more sweetness? You don’t just have to go for dinner to try one of these delicious desserts… Aberdeen Street Social also has ‘Sweet Social’, a retail shop that sells homemade pastries, chocolates and all things scrumptious. From individual cakes and baked goodies, to gelatos, jams and spreads, this place knows how to do sweets!

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Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my experience at Aberdeen Street Social. The atmosphere is spot on, the food is thoughtful, interesting and most importantly, delicious. I loved how special the ’What The Doctor Ordered’ cocktail was, and I’ll admit I tried the ‘How D’Ya Like Them Apples’ cocktail too which was so yummy! I also was lucky enough to meet Chef Chris Whitmore, who was lovely – so friendly and exceptionally talented (and a huge Sassy fan!).

I would definitely recommend this restaurant for a special dinner – prices are not cheap, but for the quality of food your getting it’s definitely worth it. The A La Carte starters range from $148-$245, with mains clocking in around the $300 mark (unless you splash out on Wagyu Beef Ribeye to share at whopping $1,228). Alternatively, go super casual downstairs and chill out on the terrace with a cocktail and some light bites… the London Cured Smoked Salmon, Broccoli and Ricotta Flatbread sounds delicious, as do the Goats Cheese Churros with Truffle Honey. You can also try out their killer brunch on the weekends that’s designed to share… many a happy hour has been spent munching on Lobster Benedict in the sunshine!

Aberdeen Street Social, PMQ, Ground Fl, JPC, 35 Aberdeen Street, (enter gate closest to Hollywood Road intersection), Central, Hong Kong, 2866 0300, www.aberdeenstreetsocial.hk

lauren

 

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