July 15, 2014

Hong Kong - The Penthouse by Harlan Goldstein

It has been a very eventful week for an unemployed person like me. I attended a friend's beautiful wedding, went hiking, and made a few dishes for my blog. Before I tell you about this amazing dinner I had, I want to let you know that I've moved some food-related posts from my old blog to this one. Here are the links!

Los Angeles: Apple Pan, Umami Burger

They are restaurant reviews and recipes from when I was living in Vancouver. Enjoy!

Now back to the dinner I had over the weekend. Friday night was date night, so naturally, I got to pick where we would be having dinner. Midtown Plaza II opened recently across Times Square in Hong Kong, housing many new restaurants and office spaces. Harlan Goldstein's two new restaurants Sushi To and Penthouse by HG were situated on the top 2 floors of the building. Jamie's Italian will be opening soon in the same building. I've heard great things about Penthouse, so I called to make a reservation 4 days ahead and was told that only the 9:30pm slot was available. We arrived at 8:45pm hoping to grab drinks at the bar and were pleasantly surprised to find out that our table was ready. The first thing I noticed was the gorgeous view of Victoria Harbour and the high-rise buildings with neon-lights across the water. Nothing beats the Hong Kong skyline at night. The restaurant was mainly bathed in dark colors but had spots of light directly over the area of the place mats on your table. It was as if they designed it on purpose so we could take well-lit photos of our food! Everything was delicious. The one thing I didn't like was how the servers seemed to be were rushing us. They whisked away my dish right after I had put the last bite into my mouth. I wasn't even done chewing. After we were done with our main courses, our server took away our dishes and immediately put the dessert menu on the table without saying a word. Other than that, I had an enjoyable time at Penthouse.

Bread and pesto: I have mentioned how much I liked the pesto at Harlan's other restaurant Gold before, and this was no different. Fresh and tangy. Scooped up all of it with the warm crusty bread.

Grilled Italian Baby Squid with Chorizo, Haricot Beans & Saffron Aioli: The buttery grilled squid was cooked to perfection. The red sauce reminded me of a Mediterranean stew with the beans and chorizo. It was sweet, a bit tangy, and slightly spicy. The delicious aioli brightened up the hearty dish. Wish they gave us more aioli!

Spanish Red Prawn Spaghetti In My Secret Sauce: This was my favorite dish of the night. The fragrant umami sauce came from using a copious amount of toasted Sakura shrimp, which was a nice refreshing take on the red prawn pasta that is common nowadays on the menu of Hong Kong restaurants. The two huge prawns on top of the homemade al dente spaghetti were cooked just right and the juices from the heads blended perfectly into the sauce. The sauce was slightly spicy and the flavour lingered. It went really well with our wine. I liked how the ratio of sauce and patio was very balanced. The sauce coated every strand of pasta and it was almost like a lo mein (Chinese noodles stirred with a sauce).

Spanish Duroc Pork Ribs Bomba Rice with Chorizo and Piquillo Peppers: This was delicious. Each grain of Bomba rice had absorbed all the beautiful flavors of the broth (I think there was saffron and pimenton in it). The pork ribs had a nice caramelised crust and the meat was falling off the bone. However there was a thick layer of fat under the crust which was just a mouthful of oil. Loved how the fragrant chorizo and piquillo peppers seasoned the dish with their strong distinct taste. I also liked the crunch from the green beans and the crispy rice on the bottom of the dish.

Tater Tots with Blue Cheese Dip: I love tater tots. Ate them all the time growing up. These tots were perfectly fried and not greasy at all. The blue cheese was mild but didn't taste like the gloopy kind from a bottle. There were at least 25 tots per portion and sadly we couldn't eat them all. If you are going with a group, please order these! You will not be disappointed. I also dipped them in the aioli that came with the bomba rice. Delicious.

Verdict: Very pleased with the food. Looking forward to my next visit to try their mac & cheese and steak!

The Penthouse by Harlan Goldstein
Address: 30/F, Midtown, 1 Tang Lung Street, Causeway Bay
Phone: 2970 0828
Website: www.penthouse-dining.com

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