Found on Gough Street, BEDU brings Middle Eastern cuisine with a twist to Central, and is perfect for causal group dinning.
District: Central, Hong Kong
Cuisine: Modern Middle Eastern
How much: Dips and breads range between $50 and $55; small plates range between $75 and 120; bigger plates range between $115 and $190 and desserts range between $70 and $90
Must Order: Golden Spiced Chicken Manti with Yoghurt and Chili Oil; Set Yoghurt, with Honeycomb and Orange Blossom
The Best For: Causal date night, or a group dinner for four to six people
Sassy Tip: BEDU is currently walk-in only, but will soon be accepting reservations for early tables at 6pm.
There may already be a plethora of Middle Eastern restaurants on the scene in Hong Kong, but Gough Street is now home to one more. Newly opened, and brought to us by the same brother and sister duo behind Brazilian-Japanese street food resto, Uma Nota, BEDU is channeling modern Middle Eastern cuisine, and is a little different from other offerings out there from the region.
The cosy space is found on Gough Street, and although little tucked away, can be easily located due to the stunning mural on the wall outside. Created by the same female artist behind Uma Nota’s famed artistry, the mural is full of colour and life – giving diners a hint at what is to come.
Beginning with the drinks, BEDU keeps things simple with a selection of just five cocktails, a handful of mocktails and a list of all natural wines. The cocktail menu gives the indecisive (and visually minded) diners amongst us a helping hand with cute illustrations giving an insight into your drink. Always lured in by drinks laced with lime, I started the evening with the Vega ($95), a combination of lime, lemon, grapefruit, orange, fresh mint, orange blossom, pavan liquor and vodka. A celebration of citrus, it was refreshing and easy to drink, setting the night out on the right path.
As ever with this kind of cuisine, it all starts with the bread, and here the offering is light and fluffy, with a crispy top that is finished with a sprinkling of za’atar to add extra flavor. We coupled our Homemade Flatbreads ($50), with the Beetroot and Mint Labneh ($55), which was smooth and creamy – and, as someone who is not the biggest fan of beetroot, I have to admit that I was wiping the bowl clean. Alongside the dips, we also enjoyed some Homemade Pickles ($35), which worked well with the creamy dip, though as a pickle fanatic, I would have liked slightly more vinegar or acidity. At this stage it’s good to remind yourself not to fill up on bread, but I could have easily sat there all night with an endless amount of flatbread and dips, and maybe another cocktail or two.
Moving onto the small plates, we sampled the Falafel, with Hummus, Pickle Salad and Tahini ($95). In many of its dishes, BEDU has taken its own approach to traditional dishes, and here the chef has baked the falafel, as opposed to the classic method of frying. This makes for a slightly lighter end result, but I felt that some of the crispness was lost because of this. As well as the falafel, we also tried the Golden Spiced Chicken Manti, with Yoghurt and Chili Oil ($110), which was one of my favourite dishes of the night. A traditional Turkish dish, and something that is sort of like a Middle Eastern ravioli, the dish is made from flattened dough that is packed with heavily spiced chicken, which is then steamed and topped with chili and harissa oil and almonds. I loved the bold spicing of the chicken filling, and especially liked it as it was something new amongst a menu of more well-known dishes.
From the bigger plates on offer, stand out dishes for me were the Charred Broccoli, with Crispy Kale, Chili and Zhoug ($115), along with the Rack of Lamb, with Garlic Lebneh and Za’atar Oil ($180). The lamb was juicy and perfectly pink, and accompanied by the ever-present garlicky labneh, delivered on flavours. The group also loved the broccoli and crispy kale, which is definitely a dish to get the whole table to eat their greens. Presented on a bed of zhoug (a kind of Middle Eastern pesto, made with coriander, parsley and cardamom), make sure to save some flatbread for this dish (or just order some more!), as we were didn’t leave a drop of this sauce.
BEDU has also used traditional flavours and ingredients when it comes to its desserts, offering up three very different options to round off your meal. Naturally, we had to order all three, so sampled the Set Yoghurt, with Honeycomb and Orange Blossom ($85), the Dark Chocolate and Cranberry Clafoutis with Spiced Yoghurt ($95), and the Watermelon, with Almonds and Mint Sorbet ($70). The clafoutis came to the table and brought with it a heavenly aroma or rich chocolate, that was subtly spiced with cinnamon and complemented by the slightly tart cranberries. As a chocolate fan, I expected this to be my top choice out of the three, but I fell for the set yoghurt. Just sweet enough with a hit of vanilla, and topped with bitter honeycomb it was a perfect end to the meal. Before leaving BEDU, do yourself a flavour and also make sure to order a cup of the hot and sweet mint tea.
Although some dishes at BEDU could have done with a little more “oomph” on the flavor front, everything with presented beautifully. Plated on ceramics from local artisan Mariane Chan, all dishes were elegant and full of colour, echoing the spirit of Middle Eastern cuisine, and achieving the same life and energy that Alexis and Laura Offe captured with Uma Nota. With many veggie friendly and gluten-free options available on the menu, BEDU is a great option for group dining. The cosy space is welcoming, and the staff friendly and knowledgeable. Perfect for groups, the menu also offers an option for a chefs selection of dishes to be ordered for the table priced at $370 per person.
BEDU, 40 Gough Street, Central, Hong Kong, www.bedurestaurant.com
Featured image courtesy of BEDU via Instagram, all further images property of Sassy Media Group.