American

Where:
Morty’s Delicatessen
Shop 2-14 Lower Ground Floor, Jardine House 1
Jardine House, 1 Connaught Place
Central, Hong Kong

Phone:
+852 3665 0900.  You can also order your sandwich shizz online – fuck yeahhhh, welcome to the future HK. BUT  WHO WILL WE FAX NOW?!

Price:
HKD148 for the large Reuben sandwich meal.  +10% service charge if you eat it in the restaurant.

The deal:
Hong Kong is the business for so many fucking things, but there is some shit that it is just NO GOOD at.  Such as how to use an umbrella in a crowd, websites, walking in a straight line and bearable humidity levels during the months of July and August.  In this category of HK fails, I’d also add sandwiches.  I don’t know why it’s so fucking hard to get a decent sandwich in HK but I’d heard some good shit about Morty’s, a New York style delicatessen, which has just opened in the lower ground floor of Jardine House.  Sandwich related hope in HK is indeed a bold proposition and seizing upon this tiny sliver of carb related hope, I rounded up two of my best American homies, Ms Two Serves and Ms Siuwaan, so we could get our fill of carbs and stacks of pastrami.

morganfreemanhope

Morty’s is doing some brisk trade and we pulled a time-tested HK move and got there right at 12pm to secure a table.  The menu offers a number of different sandwiches, smoked meat and specialty sandwiches, including all the big bangin’ classics you’d expect such as the Reuben, Classic Pastrami, Club Sandwich and the Grilled Cheese.  I went for the Reuben because if I was gonna judge whether Morty’s had its NY sandwich game on, I didn’t want it to be on some bullshit new age smoked truffle chicken sandwich with grilled shiitake mushrooms, arugula and truffle mayo.

The Morty’s claim is that its pastrami is “cured between 5 & 21 days, rubbed with a top secret spice blend & then slowly smoked with techniques passed on by Morty’s great-grandfather”. The menu also declares proudly in caps that “ALL SANDWICHES INCLUDE HALF PICKLE & FRIES OR HOUSE SALAD”.  I predictably went for fries because fuck me, I ain’t interested in that house salad bullshit.  I did watch half a dozen or so paunchy office workers sigh and choose the limp, uninspiring salad to earn the privilege of being able to report to their over priced personal trainer that they did indeed forego potential spud related happiness for the “right choices”, in a forlorn attempt to stave off their fat fuck destiny that’s written in their desk bound existence in the money mills.

shut up about your diet

When our sandwiches arrive, they look fucking great.  Three layers of bread and a fuck yeah looking slab of pastrami in there, with a pile of fries on the side.  However, once we catch sight of the pickle on the side, our entire table has a flashback to the ALL CAPS menu claim of “HALF PICKLE” and we stare down what looks more like a quarter of a tiny ass pickle.  Ms Siuwaaan is even less impressed, declaring it to be a mere eighth of a pickle.  To add insult to injury, Morty’s not-really-a-half pickle is also entirely lack lustre, a soggy-ass mess with not enough piquancy or brine to make it fucking pop.  For me, I imagined that this is what it feels like when a pickle gives up on life.  One of my lunch comrades went past the existential pickle problems I was imagining and went straight to much saltier territory, declaring that it felt like a flaccid dick in her mouth. Either way you take it, fuck no to limp, impotent pickles.

van-damme-snake

I pile into my sandwich and the menu had described it as “Slow Smoked Pastrami, Swiss Cheese, Thousand Island Dressing & Sauerkraut on House Rye”.  First off, Morty’s pastrami is fucking great.  I got the medium fatty brisket and the spicing and cure on the pastrami is fucking delicious.  Look, I’m sure there’s better pastrami available in the USA but as far as HK goes, Morty’s pastrami is legit.  However, Ms Siuwaaan and Ms Two Serves were less impressed, as they had ordered fatty brisket which looked remarkably like medium to lean brisket.  But this is the thing, a sandwich has to be the sum of all its parts and as I plowed through my gut-buster of a large Reuben Sandwich more and more flaws became apparent.  I started off pretty fucking excited about my sandwich but with each bite, I became less enamoured with what was going down.  Why was the Swiss cheese not melted enough?  Why was the only indication that there was even Thousand Island Dressing on my sandwich was the fact that I could see some pink sauce in there but couldn’t taste a fucking thing?  How come the sauerkraut was much the same, physically there but from a taste perspective it was bland as fuck, with none of the sour, fermented kick you would expect from sauerkraut?  The house rye bread was adequately fine but if you’d switched it out for country white bread, I’m not sure I could have tasted the difference as it didn’t have any of that dense, chewy and deeper flavour that I’d hope to get from a rye bread.  The fries that came with my sandwich were also completely unremarkable, so much so that I even left fries behind.  And trust me, deep fried potatoes with salt should be an easy fuck yeah slam dunk which generally sees me shovelling them into my face until they’re all gone.  All I can think about is that this is a sandwich that has been created to look the part, but no one has thought about it critically as a whole.

So the three of us sit there, our souls weary and Ms Siuwaan looks at us with heavy eyes and heart, stating simply “I don’t even know why I get excited about anything new in HK anymore, because it always ends in disappointment”.  So we sit there in silence with our cold fries and untouched sad-ass looking salads and allow yet another HK sandwich related tidal wave of ennui soak us to our jaded, worn out bones, as the shards of any sort of HK carb related glory lay shattered around our feet.

Verdict:
Fuck no.  Cause as I texted someone later that day – “Sad pickle.  Sad sandwich.  Sad carbs = sad fucking times”.

Where:
Moonshine & the Po’Boys
G/F, No. 4 Sun Street
Wan Chai, Hong Kong

Phone:
+852 2776 2668

Price:
We got out at HKD850 a person with cocktails and the most fucking expensive oysters ever. Don’t make the same ordering mistakes and you can probably comfortable get out at HKD600ish for food and booze, if you’re getting the seafood boil.  Everything else was super affordable so maybe HKD400-500ish for food and booze if you skipped the seafood boil.

The deal:
We roll into Moonshine & the Po’Boys after hearing some promising things around the traps about its Creole and Cajun Southern style food. It’s going for that mismatched New Orleans feeling with its stylish chalkboards, clustered mason jar light fittings, metal buckets of herbs and kitschy boards. It’s not a huge space, probably sitting no more than 30 people, although there’s a second floor which they might get around to opening.  When we ask for our table, we’re pointed towards a table which is already half occupied by other people.  Not that anyone mentioned this little truth nugget when we made our booking. Fuck, I barely like some of my friends at the best of times so I feel that there should be some sort of warning before you’re forced to share a table with total fucking strangers.

We sit and look over the menu which are the most ratchet ass menus I’ve seen in a long time.  Printed on paper and shoved into all mismatched plastic sleeves, the menus are still strangely worn out even though they’ve been tackily tacked into their plastic covers by some raggedy scotch tape.  I’ve heard that the peeps who set up Moonshine & the Po’Boys are ex-bankers and as I try to decipher what to order, I ponder whether they swiped a bunch of used document folders on their way out of their last place of employment. Unfortunately the decision process was not helped by the fact that whoever designed the menus decided to use the tiniest fucking font in the whole goddamn world.  Yeah let’s squint this shit out together cause you know, 0.6pt font – I’M REALLY FUCKING INTO IT:

monkeynewspaper

It’s abundantly clear that service is all over the fucking place at Moonshine & the Po’Boys.  I’m throwing down plenty of thirsty face action in a desperate attempt to try and get someone to take my drinks order.  Waiters keep appearing and offering us the food ordered by the non-related party who we’re being forced to share a table with.  Fuck yeahhh, nothing beats seeing a waiter enthusiastically declare that you’re gonna absolutely love the Tomahawk Steak before you deflate his big steaky flourish by pointing him towards the strangers next to you who actually fucking ordered it.  It’s also really fucking rad when the waiters keep putting down someone else’s cocktails in front of you when you can’t even get the waiter to bring you the drinks menu. We observed a waitress whose sole function appeared to be to spin around in a confused manner around the floor. Finally we get our order in and after about half an hour of waiting, everything appears almost simultaneously.

Ms Two Serves and I mustered all our courage to try the Bayou Bucket, after the horrific fuck no bankruptcy inducing boil we had at the beyond awful and $oul crushing Holy Crab.  The Bayou Bucket is billed as a serving for four and it’s a Louisiana boil which combines a shit tonne of clams, mussels, tiger prawns, blue crab, Spanish scarlet prawns and king crab legs.  There’s also chunks of sweet corn, andouille sausage and new potatoes.  At HKD600 (+ 10% service charge) it’s not cheap but yassssssss there’s premium flesh laden crab and big-ass prawns for days.  There was no need to be polite and just nibble on one crab leg as you share shit around equally pretending that you’ve had enough crab because everyone got to eat their fuck yeah crustaceous fill.  While the menu offered a number of sauce choices, we weren’t actually asked what we wanted and ended up getting served with a fucking delicious Cajun garlic butter sauce and the boil sauce itself was fucking A1 great too.  The only thing that let this boil down were the molluscs – the mussels and the clams weren’t super fresh and consequently a bit bland.  But really, who gives a fuck about bullshit filter feeders when there’s fuck tonnes of crab?

crablikeigiveafuck

Next up was the half fried chicken for the very reasonably priced HKD100 (+10% service charge).  It’s served with a coleslaw which we ruthlessly pushed to one side because it was all about dat FUCK YEAH fried chicken.  It’s one of the best that I’ve had in recent memory, crispy as fuck without being greasy, well seasoned batter and this fried up motherfucker is bringing some serious juicy meat game.  It’s served with a cranberry sauce and this tart bitch helps to provide an acidic counterpoint to all of the fried chicken happiness. It’s at this point that we’re in a blissful fried chicken fugue, which allows us to forgive the abysmal service and the indignity of the mismatched, shabby plastic folder menus.

We had ordered a serve of the gator nuggets (HKD90 + 10% service charge) as a pre-dinner snack but due to the continued ineptitude of the staff, these were served well within the dinner zone.  Served with two sauces – Ranch and a Jack Daniel’s BBQ + Peach Chili puree, these would be great, I dunno, AS A PRE-DINNER SNACK.  Our other side, the Dirty Rice Jambalaya (HKD50 +10% service charge) is a carby fuck yeah, deep in flavour from the stock, sausage and the holy Jambalaya trinity of celery, peppers, and onions.  It was so fucking good that we scraped the bowl clean while one of my homies asked repeatedly if we’d tried the Jambalaya yet because she was super into it.

It’s fundamental to judge any place peddling Southern food on their grits and we ordered the Barbecue Shrimp and Grits (HKD100 + 10% service charge).  I honestly can’t believe this is only HKD100 because you get six huge prawns and normally if you even rub a prawn head on a plate in HK you’re looking at a HKD280 price tag. I was definitely prepared for grit disappointment cause well, Hong Kong, but these grits were fucking rad – creamy and with just the right amount of melted parmesan cheese.  Fuck yeahhh, the Moonshine homies most definitely pass the Grits Test.

We’d pretty much finished all of our food when our oysters finally arrive.  Ms Two Serves shoots an incredulous look at the waiter and says “I thought you’d forgotten about our oysters because we have received every other dish we’ve ordered” while I more plainly take our waiter to task asking bluntly “Shouldn’t our oysters have come at the beginning of the meal??”.  Our waiter sheepishly says he will check with the kitchen and reports back that because the first oyster they opened was bad that’s why the oysters had to came last.  O RLY Moonshine homie, is that what really happened?  Did the responsible kitchen homie open one oyster, discover it was bad and then proceed to take a break to chuff back six cigarettes before cooking five dishes for us and some food for all the other tables before he could find the courage to hold a shucking knife again to shuck six good oysters??

beepbeepbullcrapmeter

With the bullshit explanation out of the way, our waiter apologised and finally agrees the oysters should have come first.  He then pauses to take my sustained angry glare in as my raised eyebrows threaten to come completely off the top of my head, smiles tightly and awkwardly leaves us. Rather than comping us oysters which, FACT, have taken more than an hour and a half to arrive at our table just as we’re starting to think about dessert.

Trying to move past the fact we’re closing our meal out on oysters, I asked where the oysters were from and was informed that they’re  from New Zealand.  They were good oysters, plump and creamy, served with lemons and some sort of a vinegar reduction (I’m not into sauce on oysters, so I can’t pass judgment).  I could have done without the finely chopped spring onions on my oysters because I just want my oysters straight up.  But it’s all a bit of a moot point because after all the strong flavours of the preceding food, I just can’t get into it.  I’ve never finished a meal on oysters and I’ll be quite happy to never ever fucking do so ever again.

However, Oystergeddon doesn’t end here – as the oyster prices weren’t listed on the menu, I’d assumed that they’d be less than the three oyster shooters for HKD300 given that the latter had fancy ass booze in them.  However, this assumption was entirely incorrect because when we check the bill it appears that each New Zealand oyster costs HKD100 (+10% service charge). It’s at this point that our entire table dissolves into seething mess of fucking outrage because as my Choice Bro FYN Kiwi Homies would understand, that is TWENTY TWO KIWI BUCKS (USD14+) PER SINGULAR OYSTER WHICH COULDN’T EVEN BE FUCKING SHUCKED IN TIME TO SERVE BEFORE ALL OF OUR FOOD?? R U for real Moonshine homies?? Kill me in the face with your punitive oy$ter prices and tardy shucking, Moonshine and the NO FUCKING WAY BOYS.

allblacksthroat

For dessert, we split the Order the ebony & ivory (HKD80 + 10% service charge) which bills itself as a “chocolate brownie & cherries with bacon bits and peanut butter sauce”.  It’s served in a miniature cast-iron skillet and sure it’s delicious but despite all the description of cherries, bacon and peanut butter sauce, all I really get is chocolate brownie and vanilla ice-cream. Which is predictably tasty but my Moonshine homies, Y U promise me so many things and don’t deliver any salty bacon or peanut butter feelings?

Solemnly, I decide that I need to get a cocktail to try and blot away the memories of the Grand Finale mis-timed Oysters and order the Aged Manhattan (HKD120 + 10% service charge).  A waiter appears with my drink and sets in down in front of me and fuck me, call the NYPD because I appear to have been confronted with a major crime against one of the most majestic cocktails of all time:

CSImiamimanhattan

Like W T F Moonshine Homies, did you mistake my Manhattan with preparing a post-mix Coca-Cola that you’d get at fucking McDonald’s?  As soon as I see this slushie nightmare slandering the good name of the Manhattan, I ask my waiter what is this fuck no monstrosity in front of me and whyyyy would anyone want ice to rapidly melt into their cocktail to dilute it to all hell? I’m not really given any sort of proper explanation and receive yet another sheepish look, an apology and then another awkward disappearing act.  Rather than actually trying to simply fix shit by getting the bar to remake my cocktail so it’s not a total icey fuck no trainwreck.  I glumly sip on my ever diluting “Manhattan”, wondering whether it’s a watery mess due to the crushed ice or due to the tears of 1,000 NYC bartender angels who are bitterly sobbing from the booze soaked heavens above into my glass of interminable fuck no sadness.

CSImiamimanhattan copy

To be fair as a HK girl in the middle of junk season (ie. really fucking fair), a slick suited homie (who I suspect is an owner or investor) at the very end of our meal came over to ask how everything was and fresh with the horror of my crushed ice Manhattan slushie, I pointed to the watery “Manhattan” dregs in front of me and gave him more feedback.  He did sincerely apologise, offer us another round of drinks and promised that he’d make sure we were looked after the next time. A nice touch but again, why wasn’t my initial feedback taken onboard instead of the awkward to and fro between the bar, the acknowledgment that shit’s not right but doing absolutely jack all to make things better?

So aside from getting stung on the oy$ters, Moonshine & the Po’Boys is pushing out some kick ass food at super reasonable places.  It’d be a shame if they can’t tighten up their customer service to match their fuck yeah food.  Moonshine homies, I’m imploring you to get yo service shit together cause your fuck yeah food truly does deserve the best.

Verdict:
Fuck yeahhhhh cause the food was fucking tasty.  But Moonshine & the Po’Boys are still clearly working their shit out on the service front, so make sure you follow these FYN pro tips so you’re all fried chicken happiness and no bullshit oy$$$$$ter times:

  • Book a table for six so you’re not awkwardly sharing with random strangers.  Maybe if you’re less of an uptight fuck you can skip this one.
  • Be prepared for service to be well intentioned but clumsy.  If they fuck shit up, you better be ready to take the apology and just deal with it cause I didn’t see any efforts to fix things as they happened.
  • In case you missed the three paragraphs above, DON’T ORDER THE FUCKING OYSTERS. If you’re a loaded motherfucker, be very specific that your oysters have to come first.
  • When ordering cocktails, be specific on your ice requirements. Sorry Po’Boys, this ain’t a McDonald’s drive through and I can’t excuse that crushed ice bullshit, EVER.

Where:
Schragels
17 Po Yan Street
Sheung Wan, Hong Kong

Phone:
+852 9730 6727  (whatsapp!!!) or fuck me, you can even email them at bagels@schragels.com.  SHIT HOT DAMN, MEET GEORGE JETSON THIS FEELS LIKE THE FUTURE.

Price:
HKD670 for the Mr Schragel’s Knows Best full spread (a dozen bagels, 300g of cream cheese spreads, 300g lox/smoked salmon).  FYN DISCLOSURE – I totally freeloaded this one.

The deal:
Although I fucking hate being called a food blogger (that’s because most food bloggers sound like fucking morons on a gratuitous adjective abuse bender), I gotta face the facts that I fucking write about food so ipso facto looks like I’m a bona fide food blogging asshole too.  I’m not sure if the broader public realises just how rampant this practice is – that is, if you have a moderately popular food blog, restaurant peeps will offer you free shit because who doesn’t love a bit of publicity for their restaurant with a healthy dose of oh-so-oh-so-oh-so divine to-die-for bullshit tagged onto it.  Some foodie blogging assholes don’t disclose this at all and just write it up like a normal review (this is usually tipped off with pictures of them with the Chef, gushing about how nice and friendly said Chef is and “Oh my! Chef Ballbag was so delightful and sent our way a complimentary symphony of sumptuous starters”). Which we all know is a Mega Deceitful as Fuck Dickbag Move.  Other foodie assholes love to post these long as fuck diatribes in their bio section (normally titled a ‘Manifesto’ or a ‘Code’) about how they aren’t for sale and that they always disclose if they don’t pay for a meal and that their opinion can’t be bought.  Which means they will indicate somewhere in the blog entry that they were there ‘by invitation’.

So while FYN has not been inundated with requests to get my free eats on (probably because who wants to give some foul mouthed cocksucker a free meal only to get pasted publicly as a fuck no), every now and again I get the occasional offer, normally from someone who claims to be a FYN fan (which my vanity can totally get behind).  Fuck no to the PR firm that tried to flush my identity out by offering me a free Cali-mex burrito though. Oh no you didn’t, cause even a greedy as fuck, freeloading wannabe food eating asshole such as myself still has some fucking self-respect limits which are higher than a Cali-mex burrito.

Anyway, because FYN is into ethical shiz and not into a) being a deceptive, cash for comment douchebag b) writing long as fuck blogging manifestos that no one is gonna care enough to read, our graphics team has been slaving away night and day to create a bold and simple graphic that you can always look for if I’ve received a freebie.  Check this shiz out:

getmoneysquirrel

I’d been chatting to Rebecca Schrage (owner of Schragels) on FB (shameless plug, add FY Noms on FB if you want a homie who randomly shows up on your FB to give your statuses a fuck yeahhhhhh.  Like Fuck Yeah Noms on FB if you wanna be rad and show your Tinder matches that you’re into the good shit) when she offered to hook me up with some bagels after professing to her my deep fuck yeah love of bagels with no obligation to write about shit. This sent me into a nostalgic as fuck gluten filled flashback to when I was jet lagged as all fuck in New York and I took it upon myself to be that smug as fuck morning person, setting up outside Tompkins Square Bagels at the ungodly hour of 6:45am before they opened, judging everyone else for sleeping their lives away while carpe diem bitches, my fucked up circadian rhythms allowed me to be the closest I’ll ever get to being one of those Lululemon clad mindful assholes who runs 20km and smashes a green goddess juice before the sun even rises #killingit #namastebitches.

Schragels gave me a Mr Schragel Knows Best selection which comes in a massive fuck off brown paper bag. Twelve dense gluten filled bagels, 300g salmon and 300g schmears (scallion cream cheese and honey pecan cream cheese). Schragels hand roll their bagels and bake each one on its own stone.  There’s a range of savoury bagel flavours – boring ass plain, garlic, poppy seed, sesame and the all in ‘everything’ topping.  I picked up my stash direct from Schragel’s industrial kitchen (delivery facts:  pick up available for a half-dozen bagel order, delivery available for orders over HKD300 and delivery’s free to Central when it’s over HKD800) and I gotta be real, I was so fucking beside myself with excitement that I didn’t even make it home before I got me some bagel action. Mr Noms and I veered off into a nearby park, commandeered a Chinese chess table, rolled our singlets up to reveal our bellies, threw some sunflower seeds on the floor, argued about the horse racing and got our bagel eats on while some old HK dudes gave us The Look for stealing their weekend hang spot. I’m generally a bagel traditionalist – poppy seed or sesame seed bagel with cream cheese, salmon and capers and fuck yeahhhh, my parkside Schragel bagel time was giving me DEM CHEWY GLUTEN FEELZ.  I’m got big love for a chewy dense bagel where a homie has gotta do the chewing work.  A special mention for the Schragel’s large ass piquant, briney capers which were giving me life. But despite generally swinging savoury, I was fuck yeah in love with the raisin cinnamon bagel with the honey pecan cream cheese schmear. Punchy levels of cinnamon which I could totally get behind cause I’m a full on down and dirty slut for cinnamon. When I’m making blueberry pie I usually add 2.5 times the recommended cinnamon, cause fuck that one scant teaspoon bullshit. This cinnamony bad boy would have been rad as fuck toasted with butter, not that I’d ever know cause the only raisin cinnamon bagels that managed to make the arduous taxi journey home were in mah belly.

I did manage to cart back some of the savoury bagels home and I called up my US Super Coach (ie. my homie who made me do multiple drafts of my NYC itinerary before I was officially declared ‘good to go’) to get his ass over and try some bagels to give me some more reputable American opinions.  My East Village homie was impressed enough to say probably the best you can get in HK.  I get it yo, as if anything could ever stack up to a Fuck Yeah Murica though.  So fuck, I know I got a freebie on this one but I’m so fucking down to order again and spend my own ca$h.  Check it out homies and if you think it’s bullshit you should totally call me out on my lemon stealing money grabbing whorish ways.

getmoneybitch

Verdict:
Fuck yeahhhhhhhh, get bagels bitch.  I’m ready for some more of dem chewy gluten feels. For further information, you should check out www.schragels.com.  THAT’S WWW DOT SCHRAGELS DOT COM.

Where:
Holy Crab
3/F, Cosmos Building
8-11 Lan Kwai Fong
Lan Kwai Fong, Hong Kong

Phone:
+852 2110 0100

Price:
HKD1,100 A PERSON.  FOR A NO BOOZE MEAL IN A CASUAL RESTAURANT IN LKF.

The deal:
Ms Two Serves and I decided to check out the newly opened Cajun-Creole restaurant in Lan Kwai Fong, which specialises in crab boils.  A boil involves stuffing a plastic bag full of seafood, spices, corn, sausage and potato before boiling it at a low temperature.  Holy Crab is jiving with this cute nautical theme and they even offer merchandise emblazoned with their cheery cartoon crab logo so you could buy a t-shirt or a beach towel to constantly remind yourself of your love for a random restaurant in LKF.  However, despite the fun vibe they’re going for, on the night we went the dining room was 75% empty, as a palpable air of despair hung in the air.  NOT A GOOD SIGN, but I know Holy Crab has only been open for less than a month so I pushed these paranoid thoughts aside.

Holy Crab’s big selling point is that they fly their live seafood in from the US and you get to personally pick it from their artificial rockpools, before you send your chosen aqueous homies to their death in the kitchen.   HOWEVER what Holy Crab neglects to mention is that they appear to be flying their crustaceans via first fucking class cause fuck me, this live seafood malarky is NOT cheap.  A Dungeness crab goes for HKD1,230 a kilo.  Clams are HKD570 a kilo.  Tiger prawns are HKD520 a kilo. King Crab legs are HKD820 a kilo.  THIS IS BEFORE A 10% SERVICE CHARGE.  We selected a feisty looking Dungeness crab, six large black tiger prawns and a handful of clams before choosing which sauce and level of spiciness we wanted.  Our singular Dungeness crab clocks in at an eye watering HKD1,200. Ms Two Serves and I take a moment to fear for the impending live freighted seafood related bankruptcy that we see looming in our future.

To start, we have the Southern Fried Okra and Tomato Salad (HKD80).  The okra is battered with cornmeal and while shit’s crunchy, it’s completely unremarkable due to a complete lack of seasoning.  Fuck Holy Crab, use some salt, some herbs, just fucking do something.  The salad leaves are browning and wilted, with this fuck no flaccid affair drenched in some sort of ranch dressing which tastes like it’s come straight from a bottle. Holy Crab brought a selection of six sauces to the table and I make a futile attempt to see if the flavourless fried okra can be remedied by one of these six basic-ass ready made sauces. The only part executed well were the bacon bits in the salad but LBR, it takes a fucking special effort to fuck up bacon.

Our side of corn fritters (HKD58) arrive and these greasy lumps of batter arrive in a small metal bucket.  Immediately the warning signs go off, as they look like they’ve spent too long in the fryer, a shade too brown.  There’s barely any fucking corn in the stodgy batter and these cloying fuckers are served with this honey butter which sounds ok but had some sort of weird taste that lingered.  The last thing these greasy ballbags alleging to be corn fritters needed was a butter based dip that added MORE fucking grease.  It’s my normal modus operandi to shove as many fried carbs as possible into my pie hole in preparation for that one day in 2019 when I finally decide to go for that overdue carb-loaded run, but I didn’t even make it through two of these barely corn filled unctuous greaseballs. Fuck noooooo.

FYN note:  While ‘unctuous’ may be on my ‘forbidden’ vocabulary list, I really do mean unctuous in its true literal meaning of having a greasy feel.  Unlike all those other food blogging assholes who think every egg yolk they ever came across should be described as unctuous.

Combine the above two FUCK NO dishes with an almost empty dining room, my gut feeling before our $eafood boil arriving at this point in time was something like this:

starwarsbadfeeling

Our boil arrives and Ms Two Serves and I were fucking excited to spot our crab, despite the incoming bank breaking times.  I also have a moderate amount of understanding that a crab boil is never going to be as cheap as the US cause Holy Crab did have to fly your shit in live and kicking.  But what I can’t forgive is that despite all the LIVE SEAFOOD palaver, the finished dish wasn’t actually any fucking good.  Everything arrives in metal buckets and the crab shows up in one fucking piece.  Cut a patron a break Holy Crab and at least smash up the carapace for me.  The crab meat was good and the clams were ok but fuckkkk the tiger prawns which looked impressive were tough as fuck.  LBR, I DO NOT GIVE A FUCK where the fuck you fly your prawns in from if you overcook the shit out of them.

The biggest FUCK NO though was the seasoning used in the boil.  While some HK Lifestyle blogs are claiming that Holy Crab are using “the most flavoursome herbs and spices” they have clearly never fucking eaten here (or maybe they don’t actually possess any fucking tastebuds) because the herbs and spices used were a fucked up, nondescript wishy washy mess.  We ordered the garlic herb for the prawns, the rajun cajun for the clams and the bag o’ tricks sauce for the crab and all I can remember is the oregano overpowering everything.  The sauce was too watery which meant I gave zero fucks that they served everything in tall metal buckets with a long spoon which made it ergonomically impossible to scoop the sauce out.  Despite the fact we were dropping some serious coin, I couldn’t have given less of a fuck that there wasn’t a slice of complementary bread kicking around cause that watery oregano mess didn’t require any clean up.  Nostalgic wistful memories flood back to the last crab boil I had (Shrimp Daddy in Taipei, yeah I know I should have written it up) where the boil sauce was such a fuck yeah of epic proportions that we demanded extra bread so we could soak up all that delicious as fuck seafood and herb juice, and Shrimp Daddy lifted it to the Greatest of All Time by giving us some next level fried mantou bread.

We also ordered our sauce ‘medium’ spiciness and it was barely spicy at all.  Fair game, I get it – most people in HK are a bag of pussies when it comes to spice so you don’t want to kill most people.  I ordered some extra spicy sauce on the side and while it had a little more heat, it just didn’t taste very good, the chilli in it feeling raw and underdone.

Service was enthusiastic and well-intentioned, however I felt constantly harangued by the waiters who kept asking “Are you finished?”, as they hovered by our table ready to snatch our dishes away so they could presumably wrap shit up and go home.  Ms Two Serves and I flag down the bill and she has this reaction when she checks it:

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OH SHIT SON, HKD2,200 TO EAT SOME AVERAGE-ASS FOOD OUT OF METAL BUCKETS AND THREE HOMEMADE BOOZELESS LEMONADES (holy shit, HKD60 each). THAT’S FUCKING RIGHT HOMIES, H K D 1 , 1 0 0 A PERSON. HOLY FUCKING SHIT, IS THIS EVEN REAL LIFE?! DID THIS RESTAURANT CONTRIBUTE TO HK’S TOP 10 RANKING IN THE WORLD’S MOST EXPENSIVE CITIES TO LIVE IN?!

I know that I’m just a greedy asshole who likes to eat and can use a keyboard,  so I have zero fucking actual knowledge on what it’s like to open a restaurant.  But I can only assume that you’d ask some of your honest as fuck friends what they think about your concept and your price point.  I imagine that before Holy Crab opened they must have had conversations like the below to see if they were in the ballpark of normalcy:

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Verdict:
FUCK NO, FUCK NO, FUCK NO, FUUUUUUUUUUCK NO!!!  JUST CANNOT WITH SPENDING HKD1,100 PER PERSON FOR CASUAL, PEDESTRIAN AS FUCK DINNERS WITHOUT ANY BOOZE.

FYN cannot be any fucking clearer about my views on this restaurant – should ANY of your friends suggest this place to you, FYN recommends the following reaction:

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FYN can say with all certainty that if any of you have any interest in buying a crab boil place in LKF replete with branded beach towels, hold onto your scavenging hats cause there’s gonna be one going out of business in the next year that you can snap up for a couple of coffees and some peanut shells.

Where:
Pololi
35-39 Graham Street
Central, Hong Kong

Phone:
+852-2755-8099

Price:
HKD90 per ‘poke’ / tuna ricey salad bowl

The deal:
Going out to lunch is a goddamn institution in HK, but old habits die hard and I still eat ‘al desko’ so I can save my calorific expenditure for night time and weekend nom adventures.  In really fucking boring news, I normally pack my own lunch (Salad! Lean proteins! Healthy fats!) but then sometimes the shit hits the fan, I’m out late the night before or the meat at the supermarket looks so fucking depressing that I can’t bring myself to buy it and then I’m fucking lunchless and about to endeavour on one of the most fucking depressing missions in Central – trying to find something decent for lunch which won’t leave you hungry in an hour (rules out pretty much all quick Chinese food) or bankrupt.

I don’t like to eat too much wheat, particularly if it’s in the form of sub-standard bread cause if you’re going to eat bread, make it fucking count for something.  So this results in me roaming around Central trying to find something which doesn’t resemble a fucking wheat field, but the options pretty much look like this:

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But you know, I’m trying to be fucking healthy.  TRAIN MEAN, EAT LEAN like that motivational picture I pinned to my fucking Pinterest the night before, next to six recipes for kale smoothies and ‘no sugar’ grain free biscuits (which used a shit tonne of honey and are entirely made from calorie dense almond flour, but no biggie cause it’s NO PROCESSED SUGAR OR GRAINS).  So maybe I should go to Olivers or Great Food Hall and build my own fucking salad.  Except then you’re waiting a fucking eternity in a sea of people attempting to get their health on by also buying a pretty fucking lack lustre salad.

Artist’s impression of FYN at Great Food Hall / Olivers at lunch time:

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Or perhaps I could go to Pret a Manger to get a flat boxed salad, with its flaccid salad greens and utterly depressing proteins.  Yeah that smoked Scottish salmon and potato salad box or that “healthy Skipjack tuna salad” with those sad ass edamame beans, gives me feelings like this:

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I guess there’s always Simply Life – that brown cardboard box filled with some sugar snap bean salad, beet salad, the tomato salad and whatever fucking pathetic, shit boring selection is left if you get there any time after 1pm always excites the taste buds.  No really – not changing your shit ever is really working for you, Simply Life.  DON’T EVER CHANGE, that broccoli salad option is so so rad, you should serve it til at least the year 2050.

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Or maybe I should pay SEVENTY EIGHT FUCKING HONG KONG DOLLARS (that’s TEN US DOLLARS) for a pathetically sad looking tinned tuna salad from NOOD FOOD.  NOOD FOOD, R U FUCKING SERIOUS?  HKD78??? AREN’T YOU MAKING ENOUGH FUCKING MONEY FROM THOSE ASSHATTED JUICE CLEANSES THAT YOU’VE SUCKED HALF OF HONG KONG INTO BUYING?? JUDGING YOU NOOD:

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But seriously, If none of those options work, sometimes I like to go to MX, line up for fucking ages to get some unidentified meat, in some sort of cornstarchy sauce on some rice. LOLZ J/K – YOU TELL ‘EM DOWAGER COUNTESS OF GRANTHAM:

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So today, I finally decided to hike my lazy ass up to Graham Street to try Pololi.  Pololi is set up as a take-away joint with a few counter seats and a dog.  I even saw some customers eating their lunch on the steps outside (so fucking bohemian, amirite?).  Pololi makes “poke” (pronounced “po-kay”) which hails from Hawaiian – taking cubes of sashimi grade raw tuna, mixing it with a dressing/sauce and then serving it with the option of rice, salad or 50/50.

There’s about six different raw tuna options, one scallop option and a vegetarian option – a creamy tofu.  If you haven’t been before, they’ll let you taste all the different tuna + tofu options (which was surprisingly fucking good).  No scallop tasting though – can’t give that exxy shit away for free. Pololi homies, the taste test is a nice fucking touch.  The ahi tuna has options like the Hong Kong style (marinated in soy sauce and coriander), the wasabi mayonnaise with fish roe and spicy tuna.  Raw high protein tuna, salad, plain rice – it all feels pretty fucking healthy, doesn’t it?

You get to choose two proteins for your poke and I predictably went for the “wasabi mayo” and “spicy tuna” ahi options.  Fuck yeahhhh they will add more chilli for fuck yeah spicy times.  It looked like a fuck yeah and I wasn’t even crushed by disappointment when I finally ate it.  I gotta say, it’s been a long fucking time since I enjoyed a takeaway ‘al desko’ lunch in HK without feeling like I’d been totally ripped off.  The tuna was fresh as fuck, the dressing used to marinate the tuna was a fuck yeahhhhhh and mixed in with the rice, salad and the avocado I added in myself, shit was filling and most importantly, fucking rad.

I gotta say though, that Pololi can definitely lift their salad game. Their salad was just adequate with a good dressing but end of the day, it was just fucking boring ass lettuce. If you go 50/50, the salad gets packed right next to the warm rice, so there’s a bit of fuck no wilt going on.  I don’t think it would kill Pololi’s profit margins to shred a carrot, slice some tomatoes, maybe thinly shred some cabbage in there…Spotting this potentially sad salad times, I stopped off at the wet markets on the way back and checked out six different stalls to pick an avocado, my body braced for the constant disappointment of HK avocados.  I actually managed to select one which wasn’t a black fucker inside but it was still pretty disappointing in texture.  HK avos, Y U always break my fucking heart but why can’t I fucking quit you?

So at HKD90, Pololi is NOT super cheap, but as it’s only +HKD12 more expensive than those sad ass NOOD FOOD tuna salads and they use sashimi grade tuna, I can definitely live with their price point. Word of warning though, Pololi have only been open one month and while service was fine for me, I was also the one customer they had at the time. There’s only one very well intentioned girl proving tuna tastings and then making pokes, and shit is time intensive.  This is going to be fine for them if they only have one customer every 10 minutes but if shit takes off for them, shit’s gonna get  real.  Godspeed my Pololi homies, hope your service times don’t end up on Struggle Street when shit picks up for you.

Verdict:
Fuck yeahhhhh!

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