Other than sun, sea and sand, does the idea of a trip to the beach bring anything else to mind? A barbecue perhaps? Maximal Concepts, the group behind Brickhouse, Blue Butcher, Fish & Meat, Stockton and Mott 32, has just opened its brand new beachside BBQ restaurant, Limewood, at The Pulse in Repulse Bay.
If you’ve been to Repulse Bay over the past few years, you’ll have noticed an empty building just up from the beach. It stood empty for so long that I assumed it was a failed project and would in fact never open. It has now opened, however, albeit just the first phase, and Limewood is just one of the many beautiful open-fronted restaurants overlooking the beach.
Limewood merges together the cuisines of South America, Southeast Asia, Hawaii and the Caribbean. Admittedly, I was a little concerned about how this would work, but Maximal Concepts somehow seems to fit it all together. The space itself is absolutely gorgeous, with lots of rustic-looking woods and a very relaxing vibe that suits the tranquil setting.
Along with craft beers and ciders, Limewood has a selection of flavourful cocktails that infuse the same key flavours that are in the food. Their speciality Frozen Margaritas would be wonderfully refreshing on a warm day, and we loved the Pomegranate, Watermelon and Jalapeño flavour which had a great spicy kick off setting the refreshing fruity flavours. The Barbecued Pineapple Cuban Mojito is seriously strong, but the charred barbecue flavour really does enhance the overall taste of this very appropriate beach-side cocktail.
Limewood’s guacamole is pretty special, topped with crispy pork skin, salmon roe and sea urchin, giving it little bursts of texture that work perfectly with the smooth avocado.
The spicy yellow fin tuna ceviche had an unusual flavour created by the yuzu aioli, but nonetheless a tasty and refreshing one.
Whilst so many restaurants are offering Mexican-style sweet corn (which I love), Limewood offers a Caribbean version of jerked coconut corn. Smothered in spicy sriracha mayo and sprinkled with toasted coconut, this was hands down one of my favourite dishes of the night, a sentiment I think all the girls agreed with.
I also adored the BBQ king prawns served with a salad of pomelo, coconut and crispy shallots in a sweet yet tangy tamarind dressing.
Perhaps it was because we’d waited so long for serving spoons but the pork neck was a little cold by the time we ate it. It was also slightly lacking in flavour and could have done with a drizzle more of the garlic and tamarind glaze, although it was beautifully tender.
I was a big fan of the sauce from the charred free-range chicken legs. This mild green curry sauce was enhanced by the crunchy toasted coconut and peanuts, which gave it an added depth. However, the chicken itself was a little too fiddly, particularly since we were sharing this dish between a number of people.
The BBQ New Zealand lamb rack was wonderfully tender, but I found the peanut coconut sauce a little overpowering, masking the flavour of the lamb itself.
Another definite favourite around the table was the deep-fried whole snapper. As well as being impressed by the beautiful presentation, we were also in awe of the delicious Thai-style flavours of lemongrass and kaffir lime that could easily make us believe we were eating at a beachside restaurant in Thailand, as opposed to in Repulse Bay.
Upon hearing that dessert was a plate of churros with salted caramel sauce, the excitement around the table inevitably grew. Although I could have happily drunk the salted caramel sauce straight from the bowl, the churros themselves were far too hard and crispy, which is not how churros should be.
The peanut butter and banana dessert fared much better, since, after all, who doesn’t like peanut butter and banana?!
Prices at Limewood are on a par with other Maximal Concepts restaurants, so expect to pay around $1,000 per person for food and cocktails. Service also left a little to be desired; despite this being our Sassy blogger Christmas dinner and the staff being fully aware of that, several orders were forgotten or mixed up. That being said, it was still in its soft opening and for a Wednesday night it did seem to be unusually busy! Hopefully after the mad new opening rush the service will become seamless… especially if you’re in a smaller group.
Limewood, The Pulse Shop 103 & 104, G/F, 28 Beach Road, 2866 8668, limewood.hk