A carnivore’s delight
District: SoHo, Hong Kong
How much: Mains range from $130 to $210, with a tasting menu available for $420 per person
The Best For: A meaty feast, perfect for small groups
Must Order: Bone Marrow and Iberian Porchetta
As Hong Kong’s first (and much anticipated) “meat-bar”, the buzz around the opening of Pirata Groups’s new restaurant has been getting us excited for some time. Now officially open, we tried out MEATS for ourselves, and it didn’t disappoint. Don’t let the name put you off, this may not be the place to bring your veggie friends, but it’s also not gauche or overkill by any means. Although 100% meaty, the dishes are refined and perfectly executed, and it’s apparent that all of the meats used have been shown the same respect. The cooking styles are simple, letting the produce speak for itself, with only sea salt and an exciting range of marinades used to draw out the excellent flavours.
Stepping into the restaurant, it has a distinct cool and laid-back vibe. Not dissimilar to fellow Pirata Group resto, Pici, MEATS is sophisticated, yet not intimidating – perfect for a group dinner with friends. Though with the no reservation policy, we recommend going with a group no bigger than four, and opting for the tasting menu so that you can try as many of the delicious dishes as possible! Priced at $420 per person, the tasting menu will get you two starters, three meats, two sides and one dessert – meaning you’ll leave more than satisfied.
Made to share, all dishes here are served to the table family style, so get ready to get stuck in and not hold onto airs and graces. We began our meal with appetisers of Chicken Croquets, with roasted garlic mayo ($90) and Chicken Liver Pâté served with toasted brioche ($140). The croquets were perfectly crispy on the outside with a creamy, cheesy filling, and the pâté was smooth, rich and flavoursome. Topped with PX vinegar balls and cocoa nibs, it all went together beautifully for the perfect bite atop the toasted, sweet brioche. We also tried the Beef Tartar ($150) and Bone Marrow ($120). Always a favourite of mine, the Bone Marrow at MEATS is utterly delicious. I recommend spreading it liberally onto the charred bread, along with the salty anchovy butter, for a buttery and umami rich flavour. I definitely went back for more, and could have been happy devouring the whole plate. The Beef Tartare also had a lovely, rich, yet fresh taste. Mix with MEATS’ hot sauce (a secret recipe which includes kimchi) for a spicy kick. I loved it served with the salty beef tendon crisps.
We then tried several of the meats from the main menu. Favourites included the falling apart Beef Cheek with bordelaise sauce and button mushrooms ($210), along with the Iberian Presa ($170). A cut from the shoulder of Iberian Black Pork, the meat was served simply with black garlic and miso butter with Szechuan crackling. Both of these paired beautifully with the Ugly Potatoes ($75), an indulgent side dish, cooked in chicken juices to form a sweet and sticky gravy, flavoured with garlic and thyme. Alongside the rich meaty mains, the veggie sides of Heirloom Tomatoes with pickled cucumber and mint ($95), and the Iceberg Wedge Salad with ranch dressing and dill ($75) were a lovely fresh contrast.
A must-try main at MEATS has got to be the Iberian Porchetta with green herb salsa ($180). The juicy and tender meat was cooked perfectly, and served with a tasty green herb salsa. Another favourite of mine was the Hanger Steak ($160), with Korean BBQ jalapeño relish. The steak, along with the side of Slightly Spicy Fried Rice ($65) was amazing. The fried rice with chicken, beef, sriracha mayo and an oozing fried egg were a match made in heaven, especially when paired with the juicy and flavoursome steak.
Thinking you’ll be too full for dessert after all of that? The sweet menu at MEATS is sure to catch the eye of any dessert lover out there. With a tangy Coconut Lime Pie ($80), a rich and creamy Caffe Mocha ($75), and a classic Pear Tart Tatin with a bourbon caramel twist ($90) completing the line-up, the real struggle here is to not order all three…
MEATS, GF, 28 – 30 Staunton Street, SoHo, Central, Hong Kong, www.piratameats.hk