Where design meets gastronomy and wows us all
Cuisine: Modern British Cuisine
How Much: Nine course tasting menu $998 per person (with wine pairing $1,428), a la carte items range from $58 to $398
Best for: Special occasions (or expense account outings!)
Must order: Dashi Custard, Wagyu Steak
If you have an appreciation for thoughtful interior design and enjoy seeing how a space can transform your entire dining experience, look no further than Gough’s on Gough. This incredibly well thought out restaurant is the brainchild of renowned designer, Timothy Oulton, and his attention to detail is totally obvious here. Unlike most restaurants, where the space is often just the background to your meal, this space was the brilliant setting to a fantastic dining experience.
One welcoming aspect of Gough’s on Gough is it doesn’t look like a brand-new restaurant from the outside. It sits elegantly on Gough Street, with a large aquarium featuring Derek the Diver, a deep-sea diver donning a 1940s vintage helmet, facing the street. The staff, led by Restaurant Manager Jonathan Jones, greets you with a warm smile, welcomes as you walk in the door and leads you up the winding cast iron staircase to a space that you wish could be your living room. Gorgeous leather chairs at the tables, black-and-white patterned marble flooring, a glowing bar featuring back-lit Italian moonstone, tufted leather banquettes, cemented ceilings – the list goes on. Before we could even think about the food we needed to take in what was clearly one of Oulton’s masterpiece designs.
While sitting at the bar I noticed a feather wall – yes, I mean a wall covered in large, white feathers. Hospitality Manager Peter Davies explained it was actually a series of panels that could be converted from feathers to seashells to leather, depending on the time of day and meal being served. To illustrate, he took down one of the panels to reveal the seashell wall behind it (for brunch), and flipped over one of the panels to show me the leather side (for lunch).
Like I said, that Timothy Oulton knows his stuff.
Okay, enough about the design (but, really, I could go on and on), let’s talk about the food. Diners can choose between the nine-course tasting menu ($988 per person) and the a la carte menu, and we opted for the tasting one (#treatyoself). We were also asked if we wanted a wine pairing with our meal, and we said yes for a total splurge. And trust me when I tell you, get the wine pairing because the sommelier here knows exactly what he’s doing. He came to us before each dish and explained why he chose the wine he was about to pour, and how its acidity (or lack thereof) would work with the ingredients of each dish. Every glass was just perfect.
Rather than go into detail about each dish, I will say the overall meal, created by Head Chef Arron Rhodes, was great. Portions on the tasting menu were small (they’re larger in a la carte, pictured above), thankfully, because we were able to enjoy our nine courses with wine and felt very satisfied but not overstuffed. Our favourites included the Australian Steak Tartar, which, unlike most steak tartars I’ve seen, was a creation in itself (full disclosure: I would never normally order steak tartar but am so glad I tried it here). Made with grass fed beef, English piccalilli, a crunchy pastry biscuit and anchovy mayonnaise, this was unlike anything I have ever had. The crunch from the biscuit was just perfect with the tender beef.
Another fave was the Dashi Custard. Picture a crème brûlée, but instead of it being a sweet cold dish, it was savory, warm and decadent with shimeji mushroom, trout egg roe and teriyaki sauce. On top was sea urchin that was super flavourful and delicious. The textures, flavours and ingredients blended just perfectly together.
We also really loved the Grass Fed Wagyu Steak, which had roasted shallot, porcini milk sauce and was served with creamed potato. Jones explained how all of the seafood and meat used at Gough’s on Gough was ethically and humanely raised, and the steak’s intense flavours, along with how tender and juicy it was, proved it.
Our favourite dessert (don’t judge – two of the nine dishes were dessert!) was the Lychee, Passion Fruit, Marscapone and Gingerbread. The cool, sweet lychee with passion fruit sorbet went really well with the crunchy and super yummy gingerbread crumble.
Gough’s on Gough has gone straight to the top of our list for special occasion dining or when we just want to treat ourselves to an elegant meal. It’s worth stopping by for just a drink (they’ve got a gin cocktail that is calling your name) just to see it.
Gough’s on Gough, 15 Gough Street, Central, Hong Kong, 2473 9066 www.facebook.com/goughsongough