Wild Grass (a functional website in HK – spoiler, shame the restaurant is fucked and you’ll never want to use this website ever)
1/F, 4-8 Arbuthnot Road
Central, Hong Kong

+852 2810 1189

We got out for HKD585 a head + wine.  2 courses was HKD280.

The deal:
I hadn’t planned to go to Wild Grass.  I’d planned to attempt getting a table at Chachawan on a Friday night which as a hipster, no booking, hot restaurant of the moment requires a) a small group (less than 4) and b) getting to the restaurant immediately after it opens (6:30pm).  Somehow my intimate planned dinner of 3-4 people was ambushed by factors that spiralled out of control like an Australian bushfire into a dinner of EIGHT plus people not declaring they were ready til 7:30pm which meant that we had to abandon all hope of hipster, no booking restaurant and ended up at Wild Grass which was meant to be good.

BUT don’t be fooled by the glossy pictures on the website or the tagline “This is real food the way it should be – fresh, organic, ingredients prepared simply”, this was one truly fucking disappointing meal and service was awkward, slow and generally, fucked up. The menu touts that the bread is made on premises with organic flour from France – but I guess flying in your organic flour isn’t a magical panacea to make your bread anything more than average.  Ms Two Serves ordered the bone marrow and two bones appear, missing the second half of the joke – ie. the marrow.  She shoved her knife into the bones (which was too big to fit the hole) and desperately tried to extract some marrow to smear onto a piece of toast.  At a later point, when she brought the lack of marrow to the attention of the waiter he shrugged his shoulders and said ‘Well, you should have told me while you still had the bones because there’s nothing I can do now’.  Ok homes, that would have been my fucking response too if I was trying to ensure customer satisfaction.

BUT nothing can compare to the abject horror and anguish that the ribeye steak caused our table. Wild Grass’s website claims that its meat comes from “wild, organic cattle that roams freely, grazing on grass in over 7 million hectares of open pastures in the Australia Outback”.  It’s a shame that this cow spent its life beautiful and free only to be slaughtered into a pathetically fucked up thin cut  ribeye, neighboured by nine of the saddest potato fries I’ve seen.  SRS, HOW HARD IS IT TO FUCKING MAKE FRIES?! To add further insult to the steak, a pat of herb butter sits stubbornly on top of this organic atrocity, with no threat of the butter melting because the steak isn’t even fucking hot.

The waiter swings around and offers us the menu, giving us the option to continue to assault our senses with a dessert which I have no doubt was going to be mediocre.  We just shake our heads forlornly and ask for the bill.  I sign my credit card slip, internally debating whether to add “FU” after my signature – angry and disappointed that I’m paying so much for a meal that was so fundamentally fucked up.

My whole Friday night was a fucking disaster and I sit in the taxi home, reflecting on how bloated, emotional and depressed on how my night went so off the initial plan.  And then I thought of that cow which once majestically roamed the Australian outback who gave his life, to end up half eaten in a trashcan, smeared with cold herb butter and labelled an atrocity by the person for whom he gave his life for. Life is cruel.

The verdict:

Woolwich Pier Hotel
2 Gale Street
Woolwich NSW Australia

+612 9817 2204

AUD20ish for mains.  AUD14 for cocktails.

The deal:
I used to work with a guy who maintained that the nickname for Hunters Hill is ‘Sausage Hill’, because if you lived in Hunters Hill all you could afford to eat was sausage.  I guess he never bought sausage in HK because that shit is expensive.  It’s pretty apparent why the Woolwich Pier Hotel won Best Pub in NSW because aside from the banging hilltop Sydney city and water views, this pub is at peace with doing pub food and is busting out the good shit at higher than average pub food prices but actually matching the quality in a fair and mathematically sound equation.  Cocktails are reasonably priced and aren’t anaemic, watery, over sugared nightmares.  Menu was solid as a rock with a bag of rocks on it, rocking out with its cock out – fish and chips, burgers, lamb shoulder pot pie, crispy pork belly and duh, steak and chips.  I wanted to eat it all  but alas, I’m not a cow (literally, maybe metaphorically) so with my single, lonely stomach scenario I had the fish and chips with mushy peas.  Good news, they didn’t fuck it up.  Then to seal their verdict, they brought around tasting plates with free tastes for all.  Of course, that’s always my favourite price.

Advance Australia Fair motherfuckers, who said this country wasn’t fair anymore?

The verdict:
Fuck yeah!

The Cut Bar & Grill
16 Argyle St
Millers Point, NSW

+61 2 9259 5695

Steaks ranged from AUD40-60.  We got out at AUD130 each including sides, wine and a cocktail.

The deal:

We booked here for four and when we arrived, we watched four people just ahead of us, without a booking, get seated at a table.  Presumably, our table.  Front of house was all ‘Sorry guys! We’re just waiting for a table, do you mind getting a drink at the bar and waiting?’ and my congenial friends were very polite about it and agreed.  I realised that I’d lost that loving Aussie feeling when I would have arced up all HK style ‘Excuse me, but didn’t we have a booking?  And isn’t the point of a booking that you reserve me a table ahead of people who didn’t make a booking? So really, when you took our booking it didn’t really mean much to you on the execution side, did it?’.  Regardless, I bit my tongue and sucked down a Capriniha at the bar while reminiscing that sure, shit in Sydney is expensive (cocktails were AUD19 – AUD28 each) but it could be worse, we could be in Perth!

As my friend pointed out, you don’t come to a steak restaurant and then order the gnocchi or the salmon so we all got to The Main Event.  I’ve given my Sydney trip a tag line of Meatapalooza 2013 and trust me, it’s been a big fucking meatfest since I’ve landed.  I ordered the Wagyu scotch fillet (check this nomenclature out – Sher F1 Wagyu 400-day, Grain Fed Marble Score 7) at a fucking hefty AUD59 each.  WHOA and that doesn’t even include sauce, that’s another AUD5.  Add 3 sides to that for another AUD22 and we are looking at a big price tag here for a steak.  Once I’m paying AUD60+ for a steak it’s got to be pretty fucking spectacular and let’s be real – this steak was ok but it wasn’t blowing my motherfucking mind.  As my friend pointed out later, ‘I’ve had similar quality steaks for AUD30’.  The Bordelaise sauce was too salty (and it wasn’t even included in the large and in charge steak price at an additional AUD5 – HAI The Cut, Y UR sauce not included??).  Sides were ok.  Potato puree (whatevs The Cut, it’s goddamn mash) was white and mashed but not much else.  I guess their shoestring fries were crispy but no shit, I can get crispy shoestring fries at McDonalds.

Highlight of the meal was commandeering the Tinder account of one of our dining companions and making her:

  1. use adapted lyrics from “Sexy Bitch” by David Guetta feat. Akon as opening lines – this culminating in this match receiving “Nothing you can compare to your neighborhood hoe” and him asking ‘What is hoe?’ with us giving him the terse response of ‘It’s a garden tool’. 
  2. trot out unacceptable pick up lines to guys she had no interest in (example:  “I’m eating a steak while looking for meat” – disappointing that her ‘match’ then took 20 minutes to respond with a terrible line.  Even if I allowed him 5 minutes to go and high five himself in the mirror, he should have been all over that like white on rice)
  3. ask guys point blank why they are reaching “for the D” in their profile pics.

Looks like the AUD60 steak had stiff competition, DAMN GIRL.

The verdict:
Fuck no.

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