Cosy vibes and comfort fare
We love a good excuse to head over to K-Town – the fab view combined with (comparatively) less people offers a nice break from bustling Central, making for the perfect escape! Kennedy Town has become quite a hubbub of trendy restaurants and watering holes in recent days, and one of the latest ventures to find a home on the harbour is Praya Waterside Eatery.
Once Kinsale, the owner and team rebranded in September 2016 and opened as Praya Waterside Eatery with a chic revamped space and a modern twist and comfort food.
The candle lit dining room boasts super cosy vibes with half booths edging the walls sporting images of beach scenes and llamas (seriously!). The fully stocked bar to our left was surrounded with a few high tables and guests filling the iron clad seats. The chef was spotted several times throughout the night chatting to guests on the floor. This restaurant radiates modern hip with an intimate yet informal setting. My kind of place! I felt like I was back home in Portland, Oregon – the best feeling.
We started with a house cocktail, the Blackberry Breeze; mint leaves and ginger beer get me every time! However I’m not sure that tequila belongs in that mix.. Nonetheless it was refreshing and beautifully presented.
They’ve got a tasteful list of red and white wines and a surprisingly good list of beers on tap – including options from a few local breweries and selections from the states.
Now, onto the important stuff. We started with the scallops and pork belly appetiser and let me say this, those scallops were plump and pan seared to perfection, served with slightly sweet bites of rich and tender pork belly with a creamy lemon aioli. This was my personal favourite!
Next out was the Yellowfin Tuna Tartar, beautifully presented with mussels, black garlic, radish and pickled cucumber in the mix. The slightly acidic flavours meshed well with the small pieces of tuna and it created a very bright vivid dish, appealing to the eye and the stomach! It was served with buttery crostini which added a nice crunchy textural component that the dish needs.
And of course when we saw fried goats cheese on the menu, we couldn’t resist! This starter came with four fried balls of fresh creamy goat cheese, atop a crunchy salad accompanied by a surprisingly spicy tomato basil chutney. The contrast of the creamy cheese oozing with every bite and the crunch of the salad and tang of the salsa, made this a winner.
And then came the entrees… We opted for the braised roasted lamb rump and the whole roasted sea bass, both excellent and the meat and fish cooked perfectly. We especially loved the sea bass with a dry rub of garlic, thyme and housemade garlic salt resulting in a flawlessly cooked skin – served with a creamy fish sauce, root veg and fish eggs for that extra kick of salt, unexpected and seriously delicious.
We aren’t finished yet! Finally we sampled a trio of desserts, banana fritters with a lime zest dusted with cinnamon and sugar (think banana meets churro) – served with a creamy yogurt and honey, chocolate and mango pavlova and the winner for us, the Apple Cinnamon Creme Caramel cake. With a dense cinnamon apple cakey crust and creamy custard base, it was the perfect – not too sweet – way to end this homely and completely satisfying meal. We weren’t complaining about the drizzled caramel and crushed pistachios either!
For comfort food with big flavour and relaxed cosy vibes, Praya gets the stamp of approval! With a friendly chef and inviting atmosphere, Praya is perfect for after work drinks, a birthday celebration or just a casual family dinner. Aside from delighting your tastebuds, great food should evoke the best childhood memories, and in that, Praya has succeeded.
*Sassy Tip: If you’re a seafood lover, I highly suggest the scallops and pork belly appetiser – but if you just can’t decide from the list of delicious looking apps, order one of everything… Not even kidding!*
Praya Waterside Eatery, Shop 2, New Fortune House, 3-5 New Praya Kennedy Town, Hong Kong www.facebook.com/prayawatersideeatery