Fresh Food is a weekly column that scours the city in search of the latest Hong Kong dining news.
Two important factors in the past couple weeks: the weather’s warmed up and rent prices have started to drop. With diners eager to once again head outdoors, restaurant groups are quickly taking advantage by signing leases and opening up shop. So let’s get down to some openings.
First up, an exclusive we're sure nobody has yet: The Nile, a new Egyptian restaurant that literally popped up overnight on Hollywood Road, has taken over the spot where The Wheel used to be (for all of you who haven’t quite caught on, yes, that mostly awful pub has finally shut its doors).
It comes to us from the folks behind the ever-popular Sahara (77%) in Soho, with a very similar menu of tagines, cous cous and the like. And while it hasn’t quite opened its doors just yet, considering how quickly it moved in (just a week, by our count), expect it to start serving soon.
There’s also a couple new openings from the Gaia Group, who are behind Gaia (75%) and Isola (76%). First, Glasshouse on the rooftop of the IFC – with harbor views and a comfortable terrace, the restaurant will be serving an East-West mix of casual fusion delights: foie gras with tamarind and jam, Phad Thai black ink noodles, etc.
Sounds strange, and we remember what happened the last time they broke free from their standard Italian offerings (ahem, Zelo (62%), ahem), but we'll give them the benefit of the doubt for now. Oh, they're also expanding their thoroughly average Greyhound Cafe (58%) with a new outlet in Tai Koo Shing.
And rounding it all up with yet another offering from Maximal Concepts, the folks behind Brickhouse (69%) and Blue Butcher (75%). They're expanding so quickly, that we’re still waiting for more reviews before adding their last two joints, Fish & Meat and Stockton, into our database.
As rumoured, Mott 32 (above) is their first Chinese restaurant, with a specific focus on Cantonese offerings alongside Sichuan and Beijing influences. The restaurant will focus on farm-to-table eating and, like many of their other joints, will also have an extensive cocktail menu. The grand opening is March 26th, but the restaurant will soft-open from this Friday, March 7 through to that date. It’ll also open for lunch starting March 18th.
Finally, some small bits of noteworthy news. La Vache (76%), that simple Parisian steakhouse on Peel Street, has now opened for lunch. The set is the same – $258 for a salad and steak frites – but also comes with a selection from their dessert cart. We dropped in on the restaurant during restaurant week and have to say, it’s not a bad deal at all.
And a couple of chef visits to the InterCon: Nobu (67%) Matsuhisa will be dropping in on his eponymous restaurant between March 12-13 for an eight-course omakase menu, priced at HK$1,488, with an option $300 extra for sake pairings. Also, Iron Chef Yuji Wakiya will be stopping by Yan Toh Heen (80%) this Thursday, March 6 for a gala Chinese dinner with Japanese dinner – it’s priced at $2,330 with wine pairings, but you better make your reservations quick.
The Nile, 26 Hollywood Road, Central
Glasshouse, Shop 4009, IFC Mall, 8 Finance Street, Central, tel: 2383 4008
Greyhound Cafe, Tai Koo Shing
Mott 32, Standard Chartered Building, 4-4a Des Voeux Road, Central; tel: 2885 8688
La Vache, 48 Peel Street, Central, tel: 2880 0248
Nobu, 2/F, InterContinental Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2721 1211
Yan Toh Heen, InterContinental Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, 2313 2323