The man behind this new HK resto in Lan Kwai Fong really needs no introduction… Gordon Ramsay is a household name these days and has already conquered the dining scenes of the UK and US, with restaurants popping up in Australia, Canada, South Africa, France, Italy, Dubai and Tokyo too. Known for his fiery temperament and high standards in the kitchen, it was of course with much excitement that Hong Kong welcomed his first venture in our city and in China. I have to admit I was very excited to try Bread Street Kitchen & Bar, as anyone would be. That being said I was a little apprehensive… would it live up to its expectations? I went keeping in mind that this was not one of Gordon’s fine dining establishments – it was meant to be a more casual eatery with a lively atmosphere, which is actually ideal for its location.
As soon as you enter Bread Street Kitchen & Bar, there’s a very warm and welcoming vibe. I liked the comfy looking sofa seating and the open layout of the restaurant, with the ‘interactive’ bar area, communal table and the bustling brassiere. I was quite early for our lunch, but there were still a good number of people already seated… safe to say that reservations are already fully booked for the months ahead! The vintage-inspired décor mixed with modern touches added to the cool and casual vibe, and I loved the unique light hangings. Definitely a nice environment to enjoy a meal!
We began with a selection of starters, including warm homemade bread which I quickly devoured. The Flat Bread with caramelised onions, talggio cheese, cured pigs cheek and basil pesto was a great sharing dish, and the crispy pigs cheek was full of flavour.
We also tried the Sea Bass carpaccio with avocado, horseradish and ginger, which tasted fresh, light and zesty from the little strips of lemon peel. The creamy bits of avocado went well with the fish – the perfect summer starter to share.
The Tamarind spiced chicken wings with spring onions and coriander were also delightfully moreish. I loved the unique sweet and tangy flavour of the tamarind that coated the tender chicken underneath. The Israeli Couscous with sweet corn, cranberries, radish, spring onion and mint was interesting, and the unusual combination of flavours tasted fresh and summery. The couscous grains are much bigger than normal couscous, which makes it feel more substantial, too.
The only starter I found slightly disappointing was the King Crab Cocktail with apple and pink peppercorn, which just lacked the same punch of flavours as the other ones (and I think they could have been a bit more generous on the crab!). On to the mains and we were lucky enough to try a brand new dish that’s not on the menu yet.
The ocean trout with Pak Choy, carrots and chorizo sauce was perfectly cooked and had a meaty texture that went perfectly with the creamy sauce.
The other fish dish we got to try was the steamed snapper with braised leeks, clams, sea vegetables and a shellfish dressing. This dish was again, very fresh and summery, and I particularly enjoyed the creamy leeks and subtle flavour of the seafood sauce.
We were already getting full by this point, but I had to try a piece of the slow roasted dingley dell pork belly with spiced apple puree and apple relish. Usually I find pork belly too fatty, especially if it’s not been well cooked, but the pork was melt-in-your-mouth perfect with delicious crunchy crackling on top. The sweet apple puree tasted divine too. I would definitely order this if you want an indulgent treat!
We also had a bite of the mini Bread Street Kitchen short rib burger with Monterery jack cheese and spicy sriracha mayo. The short rib meat was tender and tasty, especially with the cheese melting into it. I also enjoyed the spicy kick from the srircha mayo, which made this otherwise normal burger a little bit different.
I can’t forget to mention the Shepherd’s pie, which was packed with chunks of braised lamb and covered in a potato puree. It was topped with brioche garlic crumbs. This is the ultimate home comfort food, and I liked the crispy topping over the creamy puree and how it was packed with tender meat. That being said, I’m not sure I would order Shepherd’s pie in a restaurant as it’s so easy to make at home, but I’m sure once HK’s cold season hits, these will go flying out the door!
The spiced honey carrots as sides were absolutely delicious – thickly cut and sweet… I couldn’t stop eating them! The cream corn was an interesting choice, and I liked how the corn had a slightly smoky taste to it that went well with the creamy texture.
On to the arguably the best part of the meal… dessert! The pineapple carpaccio with passion fruit and coconut sorbet was the perfect summer dessert – light, sweet and tart.
The Eton Mess was also delicious, although I would argue that you can’t really go wrong with fresh ingredients and an Eton Mess! The sweet strawberries cut through the thick Chantilly cream and the crunch of meringue added texture.
The best dessert, however, was the banana sticky toffee pudding with Muscovado caramel and clotted cream. Sticky toffee pudding is one of my favourite desserts anyway, but boy, this one definitely hit the spot. The luxurious caramel with the soft cakey pudding is divine, and the banana flavour is subtle. A must try!
Overall, I enjoyed my experience at Bread Street Kitchen & Bar. The atmosphere is casual yet sophisticated, just what everyone seems to be looking for at the moment, and it would be the perfect place for dinner with friends or even for a laid-back date. The food was ideal for sharing and was tasty (especially the desserts!), however with starters ranging from $98-$168 and mains ranging from $148 all the way up to $488, it’s not the cheapest casual meal and is a little pricey for what it is… you are definitely paying for a name, too! That being said, most of the dishes were flavourful and tasty, although I think they could have been a little more daring with some of them.
Bread Street Kitchen & Bar, Mezzanine Level, LKF Hotel, 33 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong, 2230 1800, www.diningconcepts.com/breadstreetkitchenbar