Central

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:
Chaky’s Public House (FB page here)
2F Parekh House
63 Wyndham Street
Central, Hong Kong

Phone:
+852 2810 9881

Price:
Appetisers are sub-HKD100.  Mains are around HKD128-138. We got out at around HKD270, no booze/any drinks.

The deal:
Chaky used to be the chef at The Chapel, an Indian Restaurant / Pub in Happy Valley that seems to hold a really fucking fond place in people’s hearts.  I never went but understand that The Chapel fell victim to the usual extortionate rent rises and they had to close up.  I don’t quite understand how this translates into now opening up shop in Central where surely the rents are higher but regardless, Chaky’s Public House has taken over the space previously occupied by CVCHE.  See ya later CVCHE, I for one will miss your ridiculously good value lunch sets.  Given the fiercely competitive HK dining scene it’s refreshing to see a new entrant decide that it’s unnecessary to engage in marketing or publicise its existence.  Chaky doesn’t even have a sign downstairs on street level spruiking their wares.  If it wasn’t for one of my FYN homies alerting me to it, I probably wouldn’t even have realised it was an Indian restaurant.  Yo Chaky’s, there are a shit tonne of Indian restaurants in the Wyndham Street area so you might want to look into that profile raising shizz if you want to let people know that you fucking exist.

Chaky’s is going for a casual, sporting bar vibe but fails on execution, resulting in a dining room that isn’t that aesthetically pleasing and as my FYN homie pointed out, has all the charm of a hospital waiting area.  There’s large screens playing football, easily wipeable surfaces, randomly placed novelty signs, bad lighting and dance remixes of all the latest pop hits blaring loudly that have been lifted straight from someone’s gym workout playlist.  A much more impressive sight was that as soon as we walked in, there was a massive Indian family eating dinner, which was giving me high fuck yeah hopes that shit was gonna be good.  As Chaky’s is less than a month old, they don’t have a liquor licence meaning it’s fuck yeah wallet friendly BYO times.  It is possible to order drinks from their upstairs sister bar, Bar Six, but as our attempts at ordering drinks from there seemed to end in high levels of confusion from our waitress, I’d suggest bringing your own goddamn booze until Chaky’s gets their licence sorted.

We ordered aggressively and our waitress even suggested we move tables because we weren’t going to have enough room on the high bar table we’d been given.  Yeah son, you better believe that’s the kind of ordering badass that I am.  The onion bhaji appetiser was a fuck yeah decent size and fucking great.  Crispy but not over-fried, spiced bang on – if I could be guaranteed onion bhaji of this caliber I’d order it more often.  I just find most Indian places seem to make shitty bhaji where it’s generally too fucking greasy, depressingly flaccid and bland as fuck.  As soon as we finished our bhaji, all of our mains flew out of the kitchen almost at exactly the same time and it was game on for our Indian curry extravaganza.  The waitress even changed our plates and all I could think about was how a casual sports bar serving curry offered a service that those Mott 32 assholes couldn’t.

Every dish we ordered was a solid fuck yeah.  The chicken tikka and the seekh kebabs were both perfectly smoky and still juicy. Fuck yeahhh, cause there’s nothing fucking sadder than a rock hard hunk of chicken or seekh kebab that’s been tandoored to within an inch of its existence.  I could have done with some lemon wedges with my seekh kebabs to give it that acidic punch but I didn’t ask for it either.  The fish masala was solid with the spices doing everything it had to.  But for me, the biggest surprise of the night was the butter chicken, because it’s normally a dish that I find too drearily bland and I was already wary as fuck cause Chaky’s menu claims they ONLY use premium chicken breast meat.  Fuck that dry ass white breast meat to hell.  HOWEVER, Chaky’s butter chicken was A+++ would order again rad as fuck, benefitting from a touch of tomato to keep shit interesting and I dragged my naan to get all of that sauce into my existence.

I gotta make it clear too that Chaky’s are NOT fucking around when they say that their levels of spice are 1) Spicy 2) Hot and 3) EXTREMELY SPICY (their caps, not mine).  We ordered the lamb vindaloo and left it at the default level of extremely spicy. I alway rate myself as being able to eat fucking spicy food (ratemyself.com time, I reckon I’m about an 8 out of 10 on the eating spicy talent scale) and this vindaloo was atomically, absolutely no fucking about spicy. There’s a clear warning on the menu so I can’t claim not to have been warned that this shit is gonna take your fucking head off.  I was shallow breathing and unable to talk at some point and as Chaky’s can’t do lassis yet, I could only feebly try to extinguish the pain that coursed through my mouth by spooning whatever pitiful amount of mint yoghurt I could find on the table.

However, the fuck yeah star of the  night was Chaky’s garlic naan.  ERMAGERD FUCK YEAHHHHH SWEET NAAN O’MINE, TAKE ME AWAY TO A SPECIAL FUCK YEAH PLACE.   I’m gonna make a bold fucking claim and put it out there that I think this is the BEST FUCKING NAAN I’ve had in HK.  Fire up the thesaurus cause I wanna throw as many fucking superlatives at this naan and my ability to intelligently describe this transcendent fluffy cloud-like naan adequately without sounding like a foodie blogging dickwad is definitely on Struggle Street.  Each piece of naan was fucking perfection – with not a single burnt bottom or unevenly cooked piece.  UNFFF I’m too stiff to think or cogently write more, but Chef Chaky please know that your naan game is so fucking tight that I’m actually a bit emotional right now:

whyfeels

It’s early days for Chaky’s and while I can’t say the setting and choice of blaring gym cardio tunes is that pleasing, the Indian food was an epic fuck yeah for a very decent fuck yeah price.  Yo Chaky’s, hope you can sort out your drinks situation and do some fucking promo so you guys get some decent business happening cause fuck yeahhhhh, your curry game is SUPER FUCKING TIGHT.

Verdict:
Fuck yeah, super impressive Indian eats!!  BUT FUCK YEAHHH, DEM GARLIC NAAN FEELS.  ALL DAY, EVERY DAY.

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:
Vasco (fuck yeahhhhh informative and useable website.  Yo HK, isn’t it like 2015?  Why is it even a talking point if a website is useful?!)
7/F Block B, PMQ
35 Aberdeen Street,
Central, Hong Kong

Phone:
+852 2156 0888

Price:
Three course lunch set is HKD389 (+10%)

The deal:
I was getting all nostalgic and shit, reflecting upon the first quarter of 2015 and you know what?  I’ve had some good eats, some shithouse eats but there’s really been very few stand out, fuck yeah ‘fine dining’ times this year.  Not that dem saucy forthright HK restaurants bitches have been shy about charging super high fine dining prices for hit and miss food with patchy service.  Are my expectations so unattainable that I expect that if you’re charging more than HKD400 for a main, your shit has gotta be on point for food, service and ambience?  Out of all the meals I’ve had in 2015, there’s only two where shit was fuck yeahh on point across the big three food-service-atmosphere – lunch at Arcane and a dinner at Penthouse by Harlan Goldstein.  FYN Public Service Announcement: If you haven’t had Harlan’s uni/sea urchin pasta your life is less fucking awesome than it could be.  For real homies, you gotta fucking get on that sea urchin jam pronto.

I’m having a fucking whinge but fuck, as I am living in the first world, these are the kind of heart breaking first world struggles that I’m fucking doomed to have.  Seriously guise, this is my life right now in respect of eating out in HK:

struggleeveryday

So against that backdrop of new restaurant disappointment, I was sceptical as fuck when I booked into Vasco for lunch.  This was despite the big up that Vasco is led by Chef Paolo Casagrande and predictably has worked his ass off at some two Michelin starred establishment (Lasarte Restaurant in Barcelona).  For a start, my eternal fear when it comes to Spanish food is always leaving fucking starving despite the big fucking bankruptcy sandwich you get to reliably snack down on at almost every fucking Spanish restaurant.  Add in the PMQ hotspot of the moment factor and the website wank which included phrases such as bringing “gastronomy to new heights in this stunning restaurant” and my bullshit alarm set to fucking search and destroy.

However, despite the high levels of cynicism, Vasco chipped away at my scepticism so methodically that I gotta give the fuck yeah props.  The Joyce Wang designed restaurant is fucking stunning – exposed metal, wood, curtains of copper and glass everywhere.  Fuck yeah that they’ve considered acoustics too and have added tall, plush banquettes to allow to ensure you’re not just bouncing around noise in a sleek industrial space.  You know my feelings on tablecloths too and fuck yeahhhh that Vasco hasn’t cheaped out on providing linen by claiming that they want to be modern and informal.

In a rare HK occurrence, service was so consistently a fuck yeah from everyone who served us.  One of my biggest fuck nos in HK is that I often don’t believe that most restaurant staff have actually gotten to eat the goddamn food they’re serving.  When I was being talked through the menu, the waitress talked intelligently and passionately about each dish and the ingredients.  Fuck yeah, she even sounded like she genuinely gave a fuck.  I fucking love it when service is so good at a restaurant that I don’t even have to think about flailing about like a waving inflatable tube man to try and get some more water because your waiter homies are just on their shit.

Before our ordered food arrived, Vasco wheeled out four complimentary amuse bouches which were a fuck yeah.  All fancy clams and miniature packets of seasoned pistachios.  Sometimes amuse bouches can just feel like random shit left over in the kitchen but Vasco’s were tiny and beautiful as fuck.  I ate them in sequence per the waitress’s careful instructions and my excitement levels were rising in anticipation of our actual lunch.  However, more decisions had to be made when the bread rolled in, served with five different types of flavoured butter and a selection from five olive oils. I gotta be real, is it entirely necessary that I need to be talked through the flavour profile of five different olive oils before I have some bread at lunch?  Fuck no, but I can’t lie – grassy, creamy and fuck yeah olive oil with fuck yeah bread is always gonna have a place in my gluten filled heart.  OH AND HOLD THE FUCKING PRESS, Vasco served a brioche roll that didn’t want to make me storm the kitchen to pelt it at high velocity at the nearest chef while hysterically sob-shouting “Don’t waste your fucking time on brioche bread if it tastes like a dried out piece of fucking dish sponge”.

Fuck yeah brioche, knowledgeable servers and I’m thinking shit just seems too good to be true.  For my first course,  I ordered the “seared Hokkaido scallops with glazed pigs trotter and fresh pea ragout” and even though I feel that the shaving of black truffles over a dish is sometimes a culinary crutch, I lay down the HKD99 for some of dat luxury fungus shiz.  It arrives all fancy fucking art and delicate placement.  I don’t know if the black truffles added that much more because this glazed pig trotter deal was already a massive fuck yeah.  You better believe I’m writing an “A-Z Book of Nobody Knows the Food Related Trouble I Seen” and under B I’m listing ‘Being Bored of Black Truffles’.  Is that the most fucking obnoxious thing you’ve read today? I sure fucking hope so.

Despite my fuck no feelings towards meat and fruit, I went with the “Iberian Bellota pork fillet with roast pineapple cream, tarragon pesto and espelette sauce”.  However this wasn’t a fruity, red hot mess with the savoury balanced fucking perfectly against a hint of fruit.  The tarragon pesto and espelette sauce (that’s French chillies in case you didn’t know) was dotted and smeared just-so, ready for Instagram glory if that’s your jam. Fuck yeah, pork times!

I was full as fuck by this stage, but as the saying goes, I powered on through pudding cause I’m a hard cunt, ordering the banana cake with coconut ice cream and toffee sauce.  Vasco continuing the fuck yeah art with squares of cake, puffs of ice cream and no fucking surprise, dessert times at Vasco were rad as fuck.  There’s a nice touch with a presentation of some mignardises in some over the top blown glass vessel but my fat fuck pants blew up at this point, which meant I moved into sneaky fuck mode and shoved the nougats into my pockets for later consumption instead of my cavernous food hole.

So, it’s taken me a while to try Vasco cause Vasco’s prices are not for the faint hearted poor fuckers (lolz, why mince words?).  However, lunch was so fucking impressive that I’m seriously contemplating putting down the significant coin to check Vasco’s shit out at the much pricier night time prices.  For the moment at least, I take a moment to inhale sharply before I slide my longing gaze over Vasco’s functional website as an errant finger caresses the HKD980 (+10% service charge) price point listed on their informative, tasting menu PDF.  Or I catch the eye of a pricey as fuck HKD590 main consisting of “oven baked suckling pig with bitter lemon cream, pineapple chutney and mustard sauce” from the a la carte menu.  Instead, I listen to my computer hum to no one in particular except my broke, fat ass.  I ponder the potential for more culinary disappointment as a lonely tram slides by, a melancholy ding whirring into the heavy night sky.  While trapped in this trying and desolate HK experience, I dream of what could possibly be as a single tear rolls down my cheek   A wave of ennui washes over me as I whisper longingly into the ether “Fuck, if only I could get back that HKD1,100 I wasted at Holy Crab“.

Let it be known my homies, the first world can be an unforgiving master cause dis HK dining struggle is real.

Verdict:
Fuck yeah on pay day.  Sure, shit ain’t cheap but Vasco’s lunch set is accurately priced for the overall experience from the restaurant setting, quality of the food and the level of service. Hey Vasco, you can be my number #3 ‘top highlights of 2015’ cause FUCK YEAHHH, QUALITY LUNCH TIMES. 

Where:
Sama Hong Kong
51A Gough Street
Sheung Wan, Hong Kong

Phone:
+852 2191 8850 (despite the fact it’s fucking tiny, you can actually make bookings here.  I won’t be surprised if Sama HK change their mind on taking bookings later)

Price:
HKD300 for two people, no booze.  Curries range from HKD88-108 (+10%).

The deal:
Mr Vegetables told me to go and check Sama out for its Japanese curry, predictably recommending that I should add an extra serve of vegetables.  I love a good Japanese curry but sometimes they can be so fucking disappointing – too watery, too sweet and just low on flavour.  Sama is a Japanese soup curry chain which started in Sapporo and has opened its first overseas branch in Hong Kong on Gough Street.  The HK branch is real fucking cute, cartoon bears, wooden surfaces and mismatched chairs.  I can almost imagine the interior designer being given a mood board with phrases like “modern, whimsical Japanese fairy tale” and “ps. add cartoon bears” pasted across it.

Sama HK ships its curry bases in from Japan and they then reconstitute it in the Kong with HK made chicken stock.  With your dish you choose the level of spiciness, curry base (tomato, coconut or prawn) and then the ingredients such as pork, chicken leg, a hamburger patty or more vegetables.  Your curry will arrive with a plate of rice to add some fuck yeah carbs to your meal or you can pay another HKD10 to have udon or various other additions with it.

Sama HK rates its spice levels from 1 – 30, categorised as Baby Bear (L0-5), Adult Bear (L6-15) and Crazy Bear (L16-30).  I’ve read several reviews online where each reviewer has gone for around Level 10 (ie. Softcock Bear) for their curry and have said shit like it’s “already very hot” or “satisfyingly hot”.  I even saw one review where they ordered a Level 5 curry – SRS GUISE, what’s the fucking point?? What a bunch of fucking pussies.  As I’m totally a badass spicy food baller, I ordered mine at Level 25 and while it was spicy, it wasn’t totally fucking off the charts.  Sama HK has a wall of fame for anyone who finishes a Level 30 curry but I think anyone who can eat spicy food could easily achieve this if they wanted to.  Yeah, you should totally check my big balls out:

michaeljacksonwhosbad

I ordered the coconut base with the beef hamburger patty curry.  Each soup curry is served with a fuck yeah assortment of cooked vegetables – okra, broccoli, cauliflower, carrot, green pepper, eggplant, lotus root and potatoes. Fuck yeah to not cheaping out on the veg and just using cheap ass vegetables like carrots and cabbage.  Sad times though, the half egg which comes with the curry has had the life totally boiled the fuck out of it.  TOO FUCKING SAD.  Who wants to eat a grey, hard boiled egg?  Yo Sama, you gotta get on top of your egg game and get some UNCTUOUS (lolz) soft boiled egg yolks happening.  The actual curry is fucking tasty though with several layers of flavours from the ingredients, coconut base, chicken stock and spice levels.  I fucking enjoyed it with the beef hamburg patty and shit was tight with the rice.  I could have done with it being less salty but that’s a minor point of contention.

The sides at Sama HK were squarely in the category of “ok enough at the time”, which I’m sure isn’t the end goal of any restaurant.  The chicken karaage didn’t taste of much at all and a few pieces of it were dry as fuck.  Fuck no #fatassproblems, I just seem to always be having fucking average fried chicken at the moment.  I also ordered a corn croquette that was edible and fried, but I can’t fucking remember much beyond that.  At least it wasn’t a greasy ballbag of fail like the corn fritters I had at Holy Crab.

Service was efficient and bang on for a casual restaurant.  While the dishes themselves are at a sensible price point (a curry soup goes for around HKD88-108 a bowl), I gotta make a fuck no reference to the prices of drinks.  HKD58 for a fruit lassi??  HKD78 for a Hitachino 300ml beer?  Fuuckkkkkk that’s USD11+ for a small ass bottle of beer in real dollars.  FUCK NO.

Verdict:
Fuck yeah but don’t fucking bother with the sides. Or the overpriced booze.

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