Casual

Where:
Catch on Catchick (O M G, website is actually useful and the menu is almost up to date.  PRAISE BE)
G/f 93 Catchick St
Kennedy Town, Hong Kong

Phone:
+852 2855 1289

Price:
HKD600ish per person including wine.  For the food, it was about HKD335 per person.

The deal:
I was stuck on a Sunday night trying to find somewhere casual for dinner that wasn’t going to break bank or make me weep salty bitter tears of disappointment into some overpriced, fuck no bistro style dish.  I also decided that in the interest of not being the most predictable fucker in the world I should perhaps actually try somewhere new.  You wouldn’t think finding a casual restaurant with straight forward food is a difficult ask but fuck, as I started to sift through the new restaurant sections of various HK publications I started to rapidly lose faith in humanity that no clickbait article was gonna be able to restore. Like seriously, I’m not even fucking kidding when I say there’s a new restaurant in Central called Kettle Black which is focussed on presenting dishes which are black in colour, including a black truffle, porcini mushroom with cordyceps flower pizza.  Thank fuck, because I’ve always wanted to have a restaurant where I can reliably get black themed food and surely this concept will never lose its novelty ever. No really.

kanyenope2

I took my despondent self to my FY Noms FB account (yo add me if you ever wanted a homie who’s gonna read your FB drivel and give you a fuck yeah when you do something rad) and after an appeal for suggestions, a singular homie suggested I check out Catch on Catchick.  I was slightly hesitant because I’m not normally the biggest fan of Kennedy Town.  I know it’s come a long way since the MTR opened a station there and everyone’s getting onboard the party train to K-Town but I’ve just had so many ‘just ok’ meals with shitty service in Kennedy Town that I sometimes think people just get their judgment all screwed up because they’re really fucking proud that they’ve gotten out of Sheung Wan or Soho for a meal.  However Catch on Catchick’s menu looked like it was well thought out and full of fresh seafood which sounded like a fuck yeah idea on a balmy hot as fuck summer HK night.

Catch on Catchick is not large, with less than 10 tables.  We got jammed into a small table right by the accordion style door and we were bitching about it amongst ourselves when a conscientious waiter homie overheard us and asked if we’d like to move to another table. WAT, IS THIS REAL LIFE? AM I STILL IN HK?  I hadn’t even bothered to ask if we could move because I was imagining that we were going to have that HK argument where waiters won’t let you sit at an empty table for whatever arbitrary reason they’re peddling that night.

After reading Catch on Catchick’s menu, one thing that hit me was that it was giving me some strong Australian feels with the way they were presenting their ingredient combinations.  Not to say that Australians have the intellectual property rights over combos like soft shell crab and chipotle mayonnaise or barramundi and eggplant purees, but it felt like it was doing that Australian thing of taking shit from a bunch of different cultures, relying on fresh ingredients and mixing it into fuck yeah dishes.  Or maybe it’s just that Aussies like to throw a bit of chermoula or haloumi around to fancy up shit *cue Curtis Stone staring at you with his dead, dead eyes*.  I have since half-heartedly googled Catch on Catchick to see if I could find more background on the chef / owner, but I’ll confess that I lost interest and decided to rely on my own fairly baseless assumptions that there must be some sort of Australian connection given the prevalence of Australian and NZ wines and the use of ‘Stickys’ to describe the dessert wines on Catch on Catchick’s menu.

We asked our waiter homie how much we should order and he gave thoughtful, well thought out answers even giving guidance based on what specific dishes we wanted.  My homie and I decided to share everything because the menu had so many things we wanted to get involved with.  For a starter, we split a baked goat’s cheese and spinach spiral for a very decent fuck yeah price of HKD108.  I’m sure some restaurants are charging that for steamed green bean sides.  The baked goat’s cheese and spinach filo pastry spiral was fucking awesome, but I guess warm goat’s cheese and buttery pastry is a combo that’s hard to fuck up.  The strong goat’s cheese paired really fucking well with the salad, managing to keep its shit interesting with the slightly bitter endives, the acidic dressing, crisp as fuck apples and some crushed roasted hazelnuts.  This fuck yeah combination of tart Granny Smith apples with goat’s cheese made me have a vivid flashback to when Sir Crunchalot aggressively stacked on the kilos when he decided that he fucking loved eating cheese and apples right before bed to induce cheese dreams and decided the appropriate cheese quantity for this nocturnal ritual was about 500 grams to one apple. EVERY NIGHT.  Eat, cheese, sleep, repeat. Eat, cheese, sleep, repeat.

treatyoself

For mains, we got the dukkah crusted salmon (HKD198) and the Jamaican jerk chicken with coleslaw (HKD168).  Fuck yeahhhh, I love dukkah.  For those of you not down with Egyptian spice blends to use on bread or to coat meat, dukkah’s a crushed up fuck yeah combination of spices and nuts like hazelnuts, macadamias or pistachios with coriander, cumin and sesame seeds.  Catch on Catchick served their dukkah salmon with cumin spiced lentils, a bit of yoghurt, raisins and pomegranate.  Yassssss, these sweet, earthy Middle Eastern flavours were fresh as all hell and most def a fuck yeah.  This dish just felt like perfect fuck yeah HK summer food because shit was tasty as fuck without being too goddamn heavy or hot.  The Jamaican jerk chicken was fucking great too – grilled so there was a bit of char with it using a citrus-based slightly spicy marinade and then served with some solid fuck yeah coleslaw.  It’d be a decent sized feed for one person but it’s not fucking crazy, probably checking in at just under half a chicken.

Given our order of a starter and two mains,we weren’t fucking stuffed to the gills so we both ordered the cardamon panna cotta (HKD68).  I’m an OCD asshole so I involuntarily twitched when I saw our panna cottas arrive in two different size containers.  I know it shouldn’t make a difference but I also prefer my panacottas to be released from their moulds, rather than scooping them direct from their container.  Petty foodie asshole preferences aside this panna cotta was a fuck yeah, delicately spiced with cardamon which was offset by a berry compote and a toasted coconut crumble.

Ultimately, I really fucking enjoyed Catch on Catchick because they just got all their shit right and it feels like it’s such a HK rarity to be able to have a no fuss meal which is still in a relatively decent restaurant but isn’t boring as fuck either.  It was also a fucking dream to receive such bang on service with not a single waiter leaving us wanting for anything.  The food was relying on fresh ingredients and flavour combos were pulled from different sources without being awkward or obtuse.  Prices were on point and thanks to the Kennedy Town MTR it’s not even too fucking hard to get there.  WTF, is this what complete satisfaction feels like?!

Verdict:
Honestly, this shit’s a HK rarity, a casual restaurant with fuck yeah service at an appropriate price point with interesting fresh dishes and not a dumbass trendy dish in sight.  Fuck yeah!

Where:
Up 9
Unit H, 9/F, Winner Building
27 – 37 D’Aguilar Street
Lan Kwai Fong, Hong Kong

Phone:
???? – it’s on the bottom of the menu, but I didn’t take it down. Sorry homies, but I doubt you can book this place.

Price:
Dishes range from HKD30-60, we got out at HKD80 a person.

The deal:
Up 9 is also known as the ‘secret’ Nepalese restaurant in LKF.  Allegedly, it’s where the formidable as fuck Nepalese bar and hospitality staff get their late night, post shift eats on.  It’s also where every hipster foodie asshole who actually knows where this place is gets all fucking weird and defensive about actually disclosing its location.  Lucky for my lazy ass one of my homies did the hard yards on finding its exact location by haranguing his regular Nepalese bar homie.  Like WTF foodie hipster assholes, just cool your fucking jets on how special you think your discovery is because guess what, I found Up 9 referenced on Mario Batali’s blog, so it’s not like you’re blazing the shit out of the HK’s ‘secret’ underground food scene.

I was given a thorough briefing before I went, being warned that Up 9’s interior is pretty ghetto, with the bulk of their business done via take out / deliveries.  I asked whether it was more or less ghetto than your average Chungking Mansions restaurant, and my homie likened it to eating in a room from Saw.  As in Saw the horror movie where people get dismembered and fatally fucked up in grimey rooms with flickering fluorescent lights. OHHHH SHIT SON, with a pre-amble like that, I made a careful selection in who to go with, rounding up Ms Little Yak (if you don’t read her fuck yeah travel photography blog, you really fucking should) and one of my Antipodean homies who was visiting the Kong who actually gets a bit hot and heavy for authentic, ghetto cheap eats.

cartmanintheghetto

So you’re gonna need very specific details on how to get to Up 9 as it’s totally unmarked.  Up 9 is on the ninth floor of the Winner Building (near Al’s Diner) and it’s the first door on the left when you exit the lift. There’s fuck all signage, just a “9H” on the doorframe, a door bell towards the top left corner of the door and a few bags of styrofoam containers outside.  We stood a bit dazed and confused outside what we thought was the restaurant when a kind Nepalese homie passing by assured us we were in the right place.  When we were let inside, it felt like we’d crashed someone’s apartment for dinner.  At this stage, my hot-for-ghetto-eats Antipodean homie was noticeably giddy as we sat our asses down at one of the foldable tables covered with printed plastic sheets, amongst the styrofoam takeaway containers piled up to the ceiling.  Despite being warned about the Saw inspired interior design, shit wasn’t quite that grim in there – there’s even air-con but fair warning, don’t take your prissy as fuck besties here cause it ain’t going to go well for you. Or them.

We are given a one page laminated menu and a super sweet Nepalese waitress takes our order.  I’ll be fresh with you, my knowledge of Nepalese cuisine is coming from a very low base, essentially limited to “It’s kinda like Indian food but not exactly” and momos (a type of steamed or fried Nepalese dumpling).  Yeah, I’m making space on my mantle right the fuck now for that James Beard Foundation award that I’m totally gonna win this year with such a solid expertise in global cuisine.  Regardless, we hit our waitress homie up for some recommendations and the following hilarious conversation ensues:

Team Ghetto Eats (TGE):  We’ll have the chilli momos.  What else do you recommend?

Super Sweet Nepalese Waitress (SSNW):  Chilli momos.

TGE: What else do you like to eat?

SSNW:  Steamed momos.

TGE:  Ok, we’ll get the steamed vegetable momos.  Anything else you like to eat?  What do you eat from here?

SSNW:  *awkward pause* I don’t really eat here.

OHHHH, that’s not the best sign.  However, this turns out to be a bald faced lie cause we saw our SSNW eating her dinner there later. Regardless of the miscommunication issues we may have had, our lassis arrived.  Which were actually lassis from a carton which proudly declared to have “Natural, Natural Identical and Artificial Flavouring Substances”.  I toasted to #cleaneating and #eatrealfood2015 and unfortunately, I gotta fuck no this artificial mess but LBR, WTF do you expect from lassi in a carton??

No biggie cause the real stars starts to arrive.  The chilli momos are fried thick skinned dumplings covered in a thick, red piquant fuck yeah sauce.  I think the sauce is a combination of hot and sweet chilli sauce with tomato ketchup, but for all my knowledge deficiencies re: Nepalese chilli momo sauce, I can definitely tell you that they made me really fucking happy.  The steamed vegetable momos were slightly less exciting except for when you added the achar sauce.  ERMAGERD that bottle of achar sauce left on every table was a fuck yeah of epic proportions, a mysterious mix of ginger, tomato, coriander and chilli which I wanted to guzzle straight from the bottle.  This achar sauce sent straight from the gods of oh-so-oh-so-oh-so-fucking deliciousness was also a motherfucking treat with Up 9’s fuck yeah vegetable pakodas (Nepalese for pakora).  Crispy and light, these delicious as fuck vegetable fritters were fried to fucking perfection, ensuring that any vague nutritional benefits from being a vegetable were battered away to oblivion.

However, the fuck yeah highlight of the night (if not my whole goddamn month) was the panipuri (heads up yo, these aren’t actually listed on the menu).  Panipuri comes from two words – pani meaning water and puri meaning bread.  This dish consists of crispy fried hollowed out spheres made from wheat, which are filled with a lightly spiced mix of potatoes and onion and a sizeable chunk of fresh red chilli (with seeds).  Our SSNW had warned us that it was very spicy and she wasn’t wrong.  A bowl of tamarind infused water is served, which should be poured into each hollowed out sphere.  Due to my Nepalese Noobness, I used a spoon to get that sour, salty soup into my puri but I noticed some Nepalese homies just using their puris to scoop directly from the soup bowl. More importantly, these delicate fried puffs were a monumental fuck yeah of contrasts.  Sour versus spicy, the crispy shell versus the soft potato and then the tamarind soup brought it all together.  Given the fact I had homies with me, we shared a plate but fuck me, I’d totally be down to smash a plate of these fuck yeah panipuris all on my lonesome.  These were so fucking good that I even provided unsolicited advice to a table of lost looking Asian dudes that they should add a serve of panipuris to their order of “chilli mamas”.

So Up 9’s shit is not fancy but if I ever need quick, cheap late night eats in LKF with homies who don’t give a fuck about aesthetically pleasing dining rooms, I’m definitely gonna get my panipuri, chilli momo fuck yeah eats on again.  But next time, chatpate (Nepalese chaat – a mix of spices, crunchy shiz , puffed rice and tomatoes), imma coming for you.

Verdict:
Fuck yeah to Nepalese cheap eats!  Just steer clear of the boxed lassi and start the fuck yeah panipuri and achar sauce dreaming.

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:
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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