Beef stew… sausage and mash… apple crumble… we all have our own ideas of what makes great comfort food – and that’s exactly what Chef Harlan Goldstein’s latest venture, tellingly named Comfort, is all about!
Taking over the space formerly occupied by his steak joint Strip House, Comfort is all about relaxed casual dining, with a menu full of tried-and-tested family favourites inspired by Harlan’s international cooking career, and a new light and bright décor to match.
The Wagyu beef bresaola with gorgonzola, walnut and honey deliciously set the tone for things to come – classic flavour combinations executed masterfully. Soft silky beef, creamy oozy gorgonzola and crunchy walnuts drizzled with sweet, sticky honey… come on, what’s not to love there?!
The slow-cooked Spanish octopus with a Turkish tomato salad is one of the menu’s more unusual options, but more than lived up to Harlan’s cheeky caption of “You will love it!” The octopus had been cooked perfectly, and was tender and juicy with a scrumptious smoky char. The “tomato salad” was a nifty addition (despite not looking anything like a salad!), bringing a hit of fresh juicy acidity to the table.
I also enjoyed Harlan’s “Melt In Your Mouth” pork belly bao. The hoi sin sauce is a real winner in this dish; try adding some Yu Kwen Yick chilli sauce for an even more mouthwatering flavour combo!
Despite the multitude of tempting appetisers on offer, don’t forget to save room for mains – not only because they’re delicious, but also because they’re gigantic! The beef brisket curry is a favourite of Harlan’s wife and I can totally see why – generous ladles of thick, moreish curry sauce and beautifully tender pieces of beef and tendon.
However, the standout dish for me was the slow-cooked Spanish Duroc pork ribs. These have to be the best ribs I’ve ever had in Hong Kong – you only had to look at them for the meat to fall off the bone! The accompanying sauce, balsamic syrup cooked up with some special Harlan magic, was also amazing. A bulb of roasted garlic? Even better! Indulgent, luscious and most importantly, absolutely blooming delicious, these ribs perfectly epitomise Comfort’s raison d’être.
Desserts don’t come much more classic than old-school apple crumble, and again, Harlan’s version has to be one of the best in town. ‘Nuff said.
The dark chocolate mousse with amaretto cherries instantly made me think, “black forest gateau in a jar”! The taste of cherries sadly always reminds me of cough medicine (how many colds must I have had as a child?!), but I appreciated the contrast in texture provided by the crunchy honeycomb and popcorn.
Starters are priced at around $80-$100, whilst mains are $150-400 (the more expensive dishes are for sharing), which is about standard for LKF. Comfort is not fancy food or fine dining – but nor is it intended to be… and frankly, don’t we have enough of those restaurants in Hong Kong anyway?! For hearty, tasty dishes in a relaxed environment, you can’t go far wrong with Comfort.
Harlan Goldstein’s Comfort 5/F Grand Progress Building, 15-16 Lan Kwai Fong, Central, Hong Kong
2521 8638 www.facebook.com/…