We’re always trying to think of the best restaurants for group dinners – with the packed spaces available in Hong Kong, it can be hard to decide where to go if you are with a large group of friends. We’ve been meaning to check out SML in Causeway Bay for a long time, but embarrassingly, the fact that we find it so hard to get ourselves out of Central has stopped us until now! SML is owned by the Press Room Group, which means it’s in the same family as The Pawn, The Press Room and Classified. SML is definitely a real departure from the others as the whole concept is about sharing – all dishes come in either Small, Medium or Large sizes, so you can order a bunch of small dishes for a tapas-like experience, or on the other end of the scale, some large dishes to share family-style. The restaurant is in the Times Square mall, but it’s pretty easy to forget you’re in a mall as the decor feels more like a loft-space with high ceilings and long rustic tables. Don’t be put off by the idea that you HAVE to share your dinner table with complete strangers if you don’t want to though – there are smaller tables for groups of 2 to 4 towards the back of the room. There’s also (and this will be great in summer) a huge terrace where you can eat al fresco. Those pesky HK licensing laws prevent service outside though, so it’s self-service a la RED ifc.
SML invited us to try out their new Mexican range (full disclosure – they gave us a free meal!) which we were excited about because we LOVE Mexican food, and because the options in Hong Kong for Mexican are mainly so woeful (Izote aside). We had the opportunity to chat with some people from the Mexican consulate who were also invited, which was pleasantly surreal – they confirmed our feelings that there’s not a huge lot of great Mexican in HK, but recommended we try out the famous Taco Truck in North Point which we plan to do soon!
The Mexican menu items at SML range from spicy quesadillas with sour cream, guacamole and tomato salsa, to a delicious smoked tomato and chipotle soup. The dish that I couldn’t stop eating though (slightly horrifying my more restrained dining companions) was the sizzling fajitas with chicken. To wash this lot down, we loved the special “Maya Magic” cocktail, containing Vodka, pineapple, galliano, triple sec and cranberry, as well as the Cool Mexico mocktail with ginger beer. We’re not going to say it’s necessarily authentic – it’s more Tex-Mex than Mex, but it’s tasty, fun and perfect for sharing!
11/F Time’s Square, Causeway Bay