Fuck No

Where:
Giando
1/F The Fleet Arcade
1 Lung King Street Fenwick Pier
Wan Chai, Hong Kong

Phone:
+852 2511 8912

Price:
Set lunch costs HKD268 (+10%) – three courses plus tea or coffee.

The deal:
Giando is run by Gianni Caprioli, who used to be the Head Chef at Isola.  Not that I give that much fucking weight because that Isola style of two super overpriced agnolottis chilling in some cream sauce, masquerading as a main size serving in a ridiculously huge white plate with a big-ass rim that resembles a comedic ceramic sun hat doesn’t really float my boat.  Giando is going for that casual, elegant dining vibe and claims its focus is on “minimalist, classic Italian dining” using largely Italian produce and was no doubt banking on getting some of that sweet HK harbour view to tempt the punters to their venue.  Unfortunately for them, the foreshore is currently a mess at the moment so instead you get to peer out through the large glass windows at a not-so-scenic construction site.  That’s an unlucky fuck no bummer, Giando.

We sat down and got started on the bag of housemade bread which was a combination of foccacia, bread and crackers.  The staff forgot to ask if we wanted any olive oil or butter but that was the only minor issue with the service during lunch, with Giando’s service staff being largely on top of their shit.  Giando’s bread was ok and not served warm, but it was definitely not that next-level bread game which makes you want to fist handfuls of carbohydrates into your face, throwing all caution about ruining your lunch appetite to the wind.

The lunch set at Giando is a very reasonable HKD268 (+10%) for three courses and a tea or coffee at the end.  Nice touch Giando in not gouging another HKD40 out of your customers for post-lunch coffee.  To start, I went with the Sicilian octopus olive salad.  It was a fuck yeah combination of tender octopus and some freshness provided by the olives, thinly sliced radishes and the lemon in the smashed potato that the octopus was served on. My optimism levels regarding the rest of my meal were fairly good at this stage.

For main, I ordered the black squid ink tagliolini vongole.  The pasta didn’t scrimp on the seafood, providing lots of fuck yeah fresh clams and octopus pieces.  Fuck yeah, I can get behind restaurants which don’t stinge on the quality items.  However the pasta itself was so middle of the road that I’m starting to fucking yawn just thinking about it.  The taglioni was very fine (as it should be) but may have been slightly overcooked, meaning it had barely any texture or al dente bite to it.  The actual flavouring of the pasta was just ok but there wasn’t much going on to bring this dish together.  To be clear, my main wasn’t fucking terrible and I was fine to eat almost all of it but I was just so fucking bored of eating this dish by the end.

Dessert was a pannacotta with a berry sauce which was absolutely inoffensive.  The texture of the panna cotta wasn’t as soft as I prefer but it wasn’t a gelatinous rock hard lump either.  It did the job, qualifying comfortably as an adequate dessert. At least the Americano I ordered was pretty decent, which is a bit of a HK lunch rarity given the shitty coffee you generally get served post meal.

So this is the drum, Giando’s food is fine (I think I’ve used the word fine about 2,368 times in this review) and I’d describe everything as “very edible”.  Which isn’t the highest praise to heap upon a restaurant.  Nothing was a total disaster but shit just wasn’t exciting enough for me to want to come back to see more of what Giando can do and nothing was executed well enough for you to lump Giando’s food into the category of “fuck yeah examples of classic dishes”.  It really was the sort of meal that you eat because you had to eat lunch without being offended, rather one that makes any sort of long lasting impression.

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I gotta note too that Giando is in a super awkward location in the middle of nowhere which isn’t really close to public transport so you’ll probably have to cab there.  That’s not too bad when you’re getting there but when it’s time to leave, you’re gonna be forced to schlep through Wan Chai before you actually find a cab.  So weighing up the inconvenient location and logistical transport issues against an inoffensive meal that has a sweeping vista of HK’s best cranes, tarpaulins and excavated earth, shit just doesn’t stack up for Giando.  Maybe it’s because I was ordering off a set lunch menu but I don’t make excuses for restaurants – cause fuck, if you serve me a mediocre lunch menu I ain’t coming back to give you another chance at dinner.

Verdict:
Fuck no – because I can’t be fucked with sufficing, unobjectionable meals with construction site views.  There’s simply better restaurant experiences in HK at this price point and style.

Where:
Mott 32
4-4a Des Voeux Rd
Basement of the Standard Chartered Bldg,
Central, Hong Kong

Phone:
+852 2885 8688

Price:
Almost HKD500 a person.

The deal:
I finally got my ass in gear and went down to Mott 32.  I’ve heard the hype for goddamn months. “OHHHH, it’s just stunning! ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN! O M G the Peking duck is just to die for!  Of course, you MUST try the char siu!  They’ve used MOUNTAIN HONEY with IBERICO PORK!  That’s where you get Spanish pigs and only allow them to sup on fucking acorns.  I mean, how oh-so-oh-so-oh-so-oh-so sumptuously luxurious!”

The crowds are right that Mott 32’s interiors are all fucking class.  Artificial skylights (cause you’re in a fucking basement), wrought metal, rope, chains, painted facades, mirrors upon mirrors and large globular lights, all contribute to that modern, cool as fuck feel with a healthy dose of “Yeah, check my references to OLD ASIA, mate” such as Chinese medicine cabinets, mahjong rooms, Hong Kong fishing villages and street art renditions of old Hong Kong film stars.  Fuck yeahhhh, historical architectural design references taken from the authentic Orient of yesteryear – MOTT HAZ DEM.

So it’s well known that Mott 32 is charging fuck tonnes for Chinese (predominantly Cantonese influenced) food.  I fucking get it though – those acorn eating pigs from Spain can’t be fucking cheap.  After waiting almost a bit too long, our sixteen cubes of siu yuk / roast pork arrives.  It’s a fuck yeah, but I wouldn’t say it was the best siu yuk of my life.  It’s also a large HKD210 a serve. The assortment of dim sum that we got were also a fuck yeah.  I didn’t push the boat out to obnoxious luxury yum cha town when dim sum are amped up by adding ridiculously unnecessary ingredients like caviar, quails eggs, truffles or bird’s nest.   But if each individual piece of dim sum costs approximately HKD15-20ish EACH, it’s not a fucking unreasonable expectation that of course the quality of the ingredients should be better and therefore of a higher quality than the local joint down the road charging one-third of Mott 32’s prices.

It was after the dim sum order that the wheels started to rapidly come off the Mott 32 service.  While the initial greetings were slick and friendly, the interest level from the waiters was dropping off exponentially.  If you want to bill yourself as this fucking exxy top notch Cantonese dining experience, your waiters should be all over their service shiz.  Why did getting the attention of any staff seem to be such a fucking ordeal?  Why was no one all over making sure my teapot was full of boiling water?  How come no one ever offered to change my plates periodically?  I was reminded bitterly of this callous error when I was snacking down on some decidedly average fried rice which caught a bit of mustard left over from the siu yuk / roast pork that I’d had earlier. If lunch costs over HKD400+ a person, shouldn’t it be part of the service that a waiter will check every now and again whether you want anything or if shit’s going ok?!

While I’m talking fried rice – memo to Mott 32, just cause you top your fried rice with some fish roe caviar this is not a free pass to fuck yeah, next level fried rice cause your shit was bland as fuckkk.  But in a FYN Exclusive, I did manage to secure a copy of Mott 32’s staff briefing for lunch service:

not-give-a-fuck-list

I didn’t get the much raved about char siu cause my homie, Mr Judgmental, had already ranted against how average he’d found it. To be fair, he’d also ranted about the Peking Duck too but I wanted to try shit out for myself.  Just so you homies know, you have to pre-order the Peking Duck because Mott 32 only has limited numbers of ducks per day.  There’s a fuck tonne of culinary wank off regarding Mott 32’s Peking Duck.  Blah blah apple wood roasted blah blah custom oven blah blah custom drying fridge blah fucking blah dry the goddamn duck for 48 hours.  But I fucking love Peking Duck and I love judging the results of an over the top culinary wank session, so shit hot damn my body and judgment glands were more than fucking ready for dem roasted anatidae times.

So after the whole ceremony of wheeling the roasted duck in and slicing it at the table, our chef splits it into three plates – one of just skin, one of meat and one of a combination of meat and skin.  Mott 32’s duck skin was crispy but it was just so fucking greasy. The skin felt like it had been deep fried, taking on this weird-ass puffy, scratching like texture. Let’s be real, I really don’t give a fuck if you’ve air dried your duck for 48 hours by employing a harem of long haired snowy skinned virgins to fan it with a bunch of iridescent peacock feathers and then smoked it with apple wood sourced from the pristine Tien Shan mountain ranges of Kazakhstan if your duck skin is a fuck no greasy mess.

The Mott 32 Duck Atrocities continued with the actual duck meat being so fucking bland and completely unremarkable in every aspect.  Mott 32 weren’t content to just fuck up their duck and the pancakes were fucking abysmal – cracked in parts (despite not having left the steamer) and when wrapped with the duck, the texture was too tough meaning there was no ‘bite through’ sensation. To ensure more fuck no times, there was even disappointment with how they sliced their goddamn cucumbers.  Sure, it might seem small but when I’m paying big bank for a meal, I expect shit to be super tight – so when we get a plate of cucumber sticks and the bottom layer is still ONE FUCKING HUNK of cuke, I’m giving Mott 32 the major side eye.  Not that any waiters saw me because they were too fucking busy not being busy in the business of noticing their customers.  In the final in$ult, Mott 32 gives you barely any fucking pancakes to eat with your super greasy duck skin so you’ll have to order more pancakes for HKD60.  This is when you’ve already shelled out HKD580 for the duck itself!! Beyond fucking outrageous.

I also feel that shouldn’t a HKD580 Peking Duck come with a second course!?  Just boil that carcass up and give me some soup if you’re being that much of a fucking tight ass.  Or throw it in some fried rice or noodles  Just fucking do something you money grabbing assholes to take away the memory of the heinously disappointing duck pancake course you just served me.

So if you’re into fuck yeah interiors, overpriced fuck yeah yum cha, disinterested staff providing super sub-par nonchalant service, generally bland food which have been razzed up with caviar and really fucking disappointing Peking Duck, you should definitely be recommending Mott 32 as an awesome, fine dining Chinese experience to all your homies.  Like srs guise, I cannot fathom how so many people have told me that this shit was impressive (except for the bloggers who dined there ‘by invitation’, yeah I know why you fuckers loved it).  Let’s just chalk this super exxy hypebeast down to:

whiteopinions

Verdict:
FUCK NOOOOO, especially to that super disappointing greasy fucker of a Peking Duck.  Shit might look cool as fuck but just remember homies, you can’t fucking eat a Joyce Wang architectural design or street art renditions of Oriental chanteuses. 

Where:
Mr Korea Chicken
21F Circle Tower
28 Tang Lung Street
Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

Phone:
+852 2849 5688

Price:
HKD120 each (Mr Korea Chicken was giving 20% off at lunch as they don’t have a lunch set).  A serve of fried chicken ranges from HKD158 – HKD178 (+10% service charge).

The deal:
Korean fried chicken has been storming Hong Kong for the last year or so.  While the epicentre of Korean Fried Chicken has been over in TST, a number of places have been opening island side.  Thank fuck, because going to TST is really fucking scary and so far away (lolz j/k).  I think Mr Korea Chicken (offshoot of Mr Korea BBQ in Austin) is only a few months old and after stalking attractive pictures of fried chicken on Openrice, I went to check it out with Mr Judgmental.  I believe he’s qualified as fuck to judge this as I’ve seen this asbestos mouthed judgmental asshole slam an entire four-piece Popeye fried chicken feed with barely a pause for breath before I was even halfway through my two-piece feed.  Fuck yeah to homies who aren’t doing Ultimate Performance and still eat fried foods and high GI carbohydrates.

We ordered some starters which varied in quality.  The kimchi pancake was fine, however the dukbokki (rice roll with a spicy sweet sauce) was weirdly fried and served with what appeared to be the fried chicken sauce.  The highlight was their seaweed roll, which had rice noodles wrapped in nori, before the whole roll was dipped in batter and fried. Fuck yeahhh, carb-on-carb action!

Despite Mr Korea Chicken not being that busy, fried chicken was slow as fuck making its way out of the kitchen.  I’ve got a strong suspicion that they may only have one fryer in there which means they’re definitely gonna have a bad time if their shit ever gets popular.  After a fucking eternity, our two serves of fried chicken finally arrived.  For our table we ordered one serve of half-and-half original fried and sauced chicken and the hot spicy fried chicken. The half-and-half was underwhelming on both flavours with the original fried chicken being totally underseasoned which meant it really was just hot chicken straight from the fryer.  The sauced chicken was covered in a red goopy sticky sauce which had too much fucking sugar in it.  The hot spicy sauced chicken was the best of the three types that we had and while it was hot as fuck, it wasn’t an exceptional example of Korean Fried Chicken.  My key take away from all of Mr Korea Chicken’s sauces were that they were just really fucking one dimensional and shit was just  TOO FUCKING SWEET.  The chicken gods also didn’t smile on me because I kept falling on the wrong side of chicken selection, always ending up with a dried out piece of fuck no breast meat which has most definitely contributed to my lack of fuck yeah feelings for Mr Korea Chicken.

Overall, Mr Korea Chicken may make the bold and unsubstantiated claim that it’s “The Best Tasting Chicken in Hong Kong” but they’re fucking wrong.  I guess “Quite Adequate Tasting Chicken in Hong Kong” doesn’t have the same ring cause while shit was passable enough at the time (predictably, we still ate everything), I ain’t coming back to wait for Mr Korea’s one solitary fryer to slowly cook up some offensively sweet, largely unmemorable  fried chicken.

Verdict:
Fuck no – I wish I could have my calories back so I could spend those bad boys at Jollibees instead.

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:

jerrybill

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:

nononosign

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:
ON Dining Kitchen & Lounge
29th Floor, 18 On Lan Street
Central, Hong Kong

Phone:
+852 2174 8100

Price:
Lunch set for two courses is HKD288 and three courses is HKD328.  For the a la carte menu, entrees range from HKD148 to HKD328 and mains from HKD298 to HKD588. Ordering a la carte, we were out at a hefty HKD1000 a person.

The deal:
ON Dining Kitchen & Lounge is another new restaurant on On Lan Street which only opened in December last year.  The kitchen is headed up by Chef Philippe Orrico, from Upper Modern Bistro.  Aside from the Chef, it’s meant to be a heavy hitting famous four of sorts with Jeremy Evrard (General Manager, former director of restaurants at the Four Seasons), Nicolas Deneux (Operations Manager & Sommelier, former head sommelier at Grand Hyatt HK and Alain Ducasse) and Giancarlo Mancino (Head Barman, ex Bar Consultant of Otto e Mezzo and Il Milione). Fuuuuuuuuuuck, after listing dem credentials out I’ve pretty much run out of space for the rest of this review.

ON Dining is set across two floors – the top 29th floor is for the Lounge and the 28th floor is the main dining room, with fuck yeah views across Central and an outdoor terrace.  I didn’t inspect the terrace for on-trend magical pots of carbon footprint neutralising herbs so sorry homies, I can’t comment on whether On Dining is getting in on that hot as fuck sustainable local herb trade like every other new HK restaurant.  It’s bright and airy, going for a trendy, informal vibe with geometric printed carpets, red velvet curtains, white marble walls and no tablecloths.  I know, I’m all fucking hung up on linen with every single review I write at the moment.  Don’t worry, I got this homies, I’m registering fuckyeahlinen.com right after I finish this FYN shit up.

While the lunch set looked ok, I’m a sucker for slow cooked onsen style eggs so I opted to go a la carte.  I’ve never eaten at Upper Modern Bistro but I understand that this 63 degree Celsius egg shebang is one of Chef Orrico’s signature dishes.  At HKD188 that’s a pretty exxy egg and overall there’s a lot of shit going on with this dish.  This multi-component dish consists of a just cooked egg with a foamy lobster bisque and a touch of yuzu, under all of this is some sauteed mushrooms and lobster chunks, with the whole deal topped with croutons, chopped chives and hey, why the fuck not, finely chopped black truffles.  While I could quite happily live a full and satisfied life where I never ate another fucking foamy sauce ever again, this shit was pretty right even if it was bordering on being too fucking OTT.  I get what they were going for here though – a dish of contrasts motherfucker, crunchy crouton vs gooey egg yolk, acidic citrus yuzu vs creamy lobster bisque and soft lobster vs bitey mushrooms. So clever, amirite?  Should just add some caviar and gold leaf to really make this dish fucking pop.

For my main, shit was right up my alley cause I fucking love to eat tiny birds.  I vacillated on whether to get the Quail and Lobster Pie or the Roast Pigeon.  I’ll be real with you, I might have been so fucking keen on ordering the Quail and Lobster Pie (aka Luxury Pie) because I imagined Chef Orrico devising it in a scene something similar to this (drizzle it, drizzle it):

However, the Luxury Pie sounded like it was going to be rich as fuck, given that it was also stuffed with bisque sauce and piquillos.  I’d also just gotten mah bisque on with the egg so I went with the roasted pigeon with artichokes, baby spinach and lemon chutney.  I predictably went for the whole bird option and HOLY SHITBALLS, a whole sky rat is gonna set you back a very large and in charge HKD398 (+10% service charge).  Sometimes I wonder if the HKD and the prices ending in eights mask just how much shit costs because prices always seem more obscenely eye-watering when I convert that shit to USD and it’s a horrifying realisation that this dish rounds up to SIXTY real dollars (fuck yeah, MURICA).

While the waiter had asked how I wanted it and I followed the Chef’s recommendation to have it ‘medium rare’, the pigeon ended up at medium well, with the faintest blush of pink. The artichoke cubes were an unappetizing fuck no shade of grey – I don’t know if it was because the artichokes had oxidised prior to cooking or maybe the wrong metal utensils were used (FYN fun fact – iron or aluminium will cause an artichoke to go blue, black or grey), but some miniature viola flowers on the side wasn’t enough to distract me from those depressingly grey ‘chokes.  The pigeon was coated in a lemon chutney based sauce and I get it was going for that sweet sour thing (yo Chef, again with the contrasts) but I found the whole thing a touch too cloyingly sweet and by the end, one dimensional.  I imagine that HKD398 + 10% service charge + being bored probably wasn’t the kitchen’s desired outcome.

We also ordered a side of the potatoes with melted Munster cheese and cumin (HKD128) which came topped with some sort of shaved meat. I didn’t think it was possible to make potatoes and melted cheese into anything less than a spectacular fuck yeah but somehow, On Dining found a way.

For dessert, there was a communication mix up and while I’d ordered the fresh mandarin sorbet and tuile biscuit (HKD138!!) the madeleines showed up instead (normally HKD128).  The waiter was smooth as fuck though and even when I said the madelines was fine (as it’d been my second choice), he absolutely insisted on bringing me a second dessert of the mandarin sorbet as I had ordered.  The madelines were warm, slightly crisp on the outside and soft on the inside.  Shit was nice but this is really a bit of sponge, some chopped up apples and cream (even if you fancy that shit up and call it ‘Chantilly’) and fuck no, I can’t jive with its HKD128 (+10% service charge) price tag even if in this instance they comped this, given the order mix up.  The mandarin sorbet dessert was more successful  – the sorbet was refreshing and all that good jazz, accompanied by some fresh mandarin supremes, concentrated tart citrus gels with a touch of real vanilla bean (black specks yo) and a crisp as fuck, wafer thin tuille.  IT ALSO CAME WITH MORE MINIATURE VIOLA FLOWERS.  ON Dining, Y U gotta get floral garnishing all up on my shit? Two out of three dishes is too high in the floral percentiles for me. I just don’t fucking give a shit about garnishing that has NO FUCKING FLAVOUR.

Props has got to go to the fuck yeah heartfelt service level at ON Dining though – all of the hostesses and waiters were totally on their A Game. Waiter homies were gently checking on our shit all the time without being obtrusive and unlike some HK restaurants where you practically have to break out into the goddamn Macarena to get someone to take your order or bring you the bill, you had to so much as raise half an eyebrow and someone was immediately there making shit right. The way they handled the dessert misorder was fucking exemplary and I just wish that I’d found the actual execution of the food to be on par with the fuck yeah quality of the front of house. Too fucking sad.

Verdict:
Fuck no, cause fuck me, if you’re dropping HKD1000 for a boozeless lunch, shit should be off-the-chain righteous and not just enjoyably ok and disappointing in parts. FYN recommends taking it down 25 floors and going to Arcane instead.

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