Hipster

Where:
Kaum at Potato Head
G/F, 100 Third Street
Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong

Telephone:
+852 2858 6066

Price:
We got out at HKD750 for food with a shit tonne of cocktails.  If we were more sensible patrons who didn’t drink so much, food came to around HKD400 per person.

The deal:
Given my Strayan connection, it’s no fucking surprise that I’ve been to Bali approximately 3,214 times and hung out at Potato Head in Seminyak in all my tattoo sleeved glory, while admiring my hot though trashy Cashed Up Bogan wifey with her rock hard, perky bolt-ons, peroxide blonde hair, Pandora charm bracelet and Coach handbag.  I’ve got plenty of good memories of Potato Head Bali and have spent many a languid afternoon casting my gaze over Kuta beach, toasting the riches bestowed upon me for double clutching my way through the iron ore mines and riding out that sweet ass commodity boom.  But hard times homies, China (or as we say in Straya, CHOINA), is no longer lapping up the iron ore with the same reckless abandon which means that I’m now reduced to foregoing my Bintang singlet Bali Chill Timez in favour of checking out the HK outpost of Potato Head in the painfully hip Sai Ying Pun.  OMG GUISE, THAT SPECIAL MIX OF OLD HK MEETS NEW HK, JUST LOVE SAI YING PUN.

Potato Head HK has been brought to HK by the PTT Family and Yenn Wong / the JIA Group.  It’s a massive space featuring bar, restaurant, cafe and retail shop – right next to Fish School.  They’ve shipped in Sou Fujimoto to get his architecture on and in conjunction with the PTT Family crew, they’ve done an A1 rad job on the interiors.  There’s that perfectly balanced mix of modern cool shit (ie. hanging mirrored plant boxes), mismatched chairs and carefully weathered Indonesian antiques which is gonna be cool shit catnip to all the HK masses.

While we wait for all of our gang to arrive, I get my cocktail on with my sole, reliable, punctual homie.  Potato Head HK has shipped in the Potato Head Favourites from Bali and they range from HKD120 to HKD145 (+ 10% service charge), which isn’t super cheap but I think fair considering how much attention and care goes into each one.  It’s good fucking times, with some highlights being the Potato Head Mojito (Nusa Cana and Myer’s rum, mint, bar-made spiced syrup, lime and cane juices, crowned with mojito foam and a chewy sugar cane stick) which can get it all day, all night and the Pisang Manis (spiced Nusa Cana rum, milk, banana, lemon juice and palm syrup).  They most definitely pass the Fuck Yeah Noms FUCK YEAH cocktail test which is when you know the drinks are strong fuckers but they’re so delicious you can’t help but throw consequence to one side and smash five of the fuckers.  But really, the Potato Head HK WINRAR is without doubt the Kopi Martini, or as I now refer to it – KWEEN KOPI.  Coffee bean Ketel One vodka, Mexican coffee liqueur, double shot house coffee and mint sugar – I had a sip of this one pre-dinner and was dreaming all meal about getting my dessert on with KWEEN KOPI with all of her beautiful roasted coffee tones and her strong as fuck, alcoholic arms around me.  My dining homie didn’t show such restraint and just chain-smashed five of them back-to-back. YASSSSSSSSSS KWEEN!!

thorthisdrink

The Indonesian restaurant at Potato Head HK is called Kaum (meaning ‘tribe’ or ‘clan’ in Bahasa Indonesia) and sits at the back, with the open kitchen running down one side and a long table running down the middle.   However, despite everything looking sleek and shiny, Kaum is an acoustic nightmare because every sound is bounced around from surface to surface.  Sure, the hand-painted wooden ceiling panels by the Torajan people of South Sulawesi are beautiful as fuck but with all the wooden furniture, bare floors and stainless steel in the kitchen, Kaum is not killing the acoustic game.  For this reason, I’d recommend that the primo table number at Kaum is four people because if you’re an old cranky fucker like slutguts over here, you probably aren’t going to be able to hear much at all.

canthear

Kaum’s menu is split into a few different sections – Small Plates, Soup, Bamboo, For Sharing, Sambal, Vegetables and Rice Courses.  I like that it’s not overwhelming and because I fucking love Indonoms, I’m excited as fuck by this stage. Our waitress is friendly and fully across the menu, which I always give major props for a new joint.  We order a mix of small plates and larger dishes, with the intention of sharing everything.  One thing that I notice across almost all the dishes is that there’s a good level of spice and flavour in each one.  If you don’t swing spicy, make sure you check with your waiter homie because I know a lot of HK homies are massive soft cocks when it comes to a little bit of chilli.

When it comes to the small plates, a lot of them are tasty but as the name would suggest, small.  It’s a good way to taste things, but if I went back to Potato Head HK, I’d definitely load up more on the larger plates in a group scenario.  The Gohu Ikan Tuna (HKD90 + 10% service charge) is a refreshing as fuck starter, marinated slices of raw tuna with some fresh, Summertime island vibes from the virgin coconut oil, lime and pomelo dressing, with toasted kenari nuts to give some texture.  The Burung Darah Goreng Rica Rica (HKD120 + 10% service charge) is a slow cooked and fried pigeon tossed in a northern Sulawesi sambal of red chilli, herbs, spring onions and fresh lime juice.  It’s righteous as fuck, full of big punchy spice and tart, bright citrus notes.  But as you can imagine, three pieces of a small bird means it’s only really suitable to split between one to two homies (vs a table).

In the kitchen, you can see a rack of bamboo vessels which are used to cook the Timbungan Babi (pork belly marinated with Balinese spice paste, shallots, chilli, garlic, torch ginger and sweet potato leaves) and Pa’Piong Ayam (free range chicken marinated with spices of south Sulawesi, freshly grated coconut and sweet potato leaves)  On our waitress’s recommendation, we went with the Timbungan Babi (HKD290 + 10% service charge). As the pork belly has been wrapped in a banana leaf before cooking the dishes inside the bamboo container over the grill, there’s a certain sweet, green and smoky flavour imparted to the meat inside.  The menu notes that this cooking method is a dying art, with only a handful of specialty restaurants in Indonesia still practicing this technique.  Fuck yeah props to Potato Head for doing their bit to keep this culinary method kickin’ on.

It’s the main event and Indonoms has gotta involve some sweet nasi goreng action, so we pile in for the Nasi Goreng Bumbu Cabe Asap Udang (HKD148 + 10% service charge).  Potato Head HK’s nasi goreng is fucking punchy but I’m a fiend for chilli, so it’s fuck yeah times.  What I was all about though was the fact that the nasi goreng’s flavour profile was more complex than just greasy rice and sad ass prawns, with the smoky chilli paste and fermented prawn paste giving me some deep rice feels with some fuck yeah top notes from the stinky beans and lemon basil.

The Bebek Goreng Sambal Tempoyak (HKD258 + 10% service charge) also brought the duck yeah, fuck yeah times. Half a deep fried crispy duck is topped with a spicy sauce and served with a vegetable salad that’s been tossed in a coconut dressing to bring some cool contrast.  I’ve got many happy memories of being in Bali and devouring different variations of fried duck dishes and Potato Head HK’s is well executed, with a good level of spice and crispy skin, while keeping the meat moist.  Although the menu notes ‘fermented durian chilli sauce’, you don’t have to freak out too hard my durian challenged homies because you can’t really taste or smell the King of Fruits in there.

Another stand out for me was the Ayam Kebiri Berantakan (HKD195 + 10% service charge) and sure, deep fried chicken is always a quick fuck yeah route to my heart but yasssssssssss, bring the flava flav with that juicy, free range chicken meat and the crispy garlic slices, fried curry leaves, red chilli and toasted coconut flakes that it’s been cooked with. OH FRIED CHICKEN, Y U ALWAYS KNOW WHAT TO DO??

girlchicken

The Rendang Dasing Sapi (HKD200 + 10% service charge) is a predictable Indonoms order because as if you’d eat anywhere Indonesian without getting the beef rendang. Topped with deep fried purple potato crisps, the serving looks quite small and our initial reaction is that we’re gonna need two servings for our table.  However, despite it’s tiny size, it’s fucking delicious.  Yasssssssssss gimme dem coconut, cloves and cinnamon feels even if it’s just a convenient segway for me to ear bash anyone who will listen to me about this one time in Bali I came across this unassuming warung where I had this a-mahhhh-zing beef rendang for like, HKD20.  Eat, pray, love and then suck my authentic #wandercunt dick, amirite?

There’s only one low light when it comes to the food and unfortunately it’s the one that I’d been dreaming of all day – my Bali superstar, the Balinese roast pig, the Babi Guling (HKD258 + 10% service charge). There wasn’t anything particularly Balinese about it and it suffered from too bad, so sad flabby skin and greasy meat.  Where were the spices such as ginger, galangal, lemongrass and lime leaves to lift the pork to some next level shiz? Potato Head HK, Y U no crisp the skin up??

Potato Head HK do two sittings, which means the first sitting has to get out of Kaum by 8:45pm, but fair play, they were kind enough to let us push the 8:45pm deadline and eventually sat us in the bar area for dessert. We split three desserts, the Bubur Kampiun, Klappertart and the Bubur Sumsum Pandan (all HKD68 + 10% service charge each).  The Klappertart is a crowd favourite, a slight Indonesian riff on a bread pudding by adding coconut, caramel and rum soaked raisins with a scoop of coconut sorbet.  I’m not that into bread pudding so I don’t lose my shit, but some of my homies were pretty excited by this one.  My favourite fuck yeah dessert was the Bubur Sumsum Pandan, which is an Indonesian rice pudding, flavoured with coconut milk, palm sugar and pandan, Potato Head HK adding some chocolate brownie-esque pieces on top and a scoop of salted coconut cream ice-cream.

However, the Bubur Kampiun is an Indonesian / SE Asian style dessert which I think is definitely going to upset some people (ie. White People). Bubur Kampiun is a mix of sticky rice, sweet potato dumplings, caramelised banana, mung beans and a coconut custard.  It’s gonna cause some tears as it probably won’t conceptually feel like dessert to a lot of people because of reasons like “Fuuuuuck, why are there motherfucking BEANS in my sweet dessert?”, “What is the point of these grey-purple glutinous rice sweet potato balls?” and “Why is the coconut custard sauce so salty-sweet and a sludgy yellow-grey?”.  As someone who can roll with weird-ass Asian desserts which may include tiny green beans and glutinous rice, I gotta say this was my least favourite dessert just because the flavours in Potato Head HK’s version seemed a bit out of whack, a bit too salty and sweet with the texture of the bubur candil  (the dumplings) being too claggy and starchy.  You’ve been warned my SE Asian dessert adverse homies, don’t go chasing mung bean and weird ass glutinous dumpling waterfalls just stick to the slightly coconutty bread puddings like you’re used to.

white-tears

We’re all at a high level of fuck yeah happiness at this point and it’s when we’re settling the bill we noticed something that stuck out amongst the shit tonne of cocktails and it’s a cheeky extra line item under the soda water for a slice of lemon, clocking in at HKD9 (+10% service charge).  This is where we all go ‘WHAT IN THE EVER LOVING FUCK???‘ and reminisce about how our waiter homie had innocently asked if I wanted a slice of lemon in my soda water while mentally calculating what the per lemon cost at Potato Head HK would be (in case you’re interested – HKD9 x 16 half-slices per lemon = HKD144 + 10% service charge = HKD158.40).  All I could think about was whether getting charged HKD9 per lemon slice is when we know we’ve arrived at the peak of HK bar bullshit.  Of course, I did the only sensible thing and took it to @fuckyeahnoms Instagram (fuck yeahhhh, follow that good shit already) and FY Noms FB (fuck yeahhhhhh, add an internet stranger so I can randomly comment on your personal, private moments), to ask my faithful FYN Homies what they thought and predictably my FYN homies got seriously pressed about HKD9 slices of lemon, used phrases like “What a pack of cunts” a lot and #lemongate was born:

But fair play to the Potato Head HK homies, instead of suggesting that I had a tiny penis and that I should come back after I’d seen a urologist or psychologist (like the Morty’s Delicatessen social media team did), they got their apology pants on, offered me a HKD9 refund (GET MONEY BITCH) and more importantly a free round of drinks.

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Fuck yeahhhhhhhhhhh, nice one my spuddy homies but don’t worry I won’t be hitting you up for this because even though I most definitely want to drink all of your cocktails for free, I’ve got this anonymous FY Noms bullshit to uphold.

Verdict:
Fuck yeahhhhhhhhhh! There’s potentially a bit of wank going on but the food is fucking tasty, the price point is surprisingly cheap (fuck yeahhhhh, HKD400ish a person for food in a new hip place in SYP – GIDDY THE FUCK UP) and you’ll most def wanna go balls deep in a shit tonne of delicious cocktails.  KWEEN KOPI MARTINI, I BLAME IT ON YOUR REIGN.

Where:
Pitt Cue Co (awww, it’s just as informative as a HK website)
1 Newburgh Street, Soho
London, United Kingdom

Phone:
??? – not on their website but no bookings anyway. They do declare that they’re “not trying to be cool” but they “just can’t think of a better and fairer system than first come, first served”.  They only have thirty seats so fair fuckin’ play, I guess.

Price:
We got out at £50ish for two mains (which each come with a side) and two cocktails.

The deal:
A friend saw that were having fuck yeah vacation times in the UK and said we should check out Pitt Cue Co. Being a bit overwhelmed with being on holiday, I was a bit noncommittal and said “Yeah ok, we’ll try” and he pinged back instantly “Don’t try, just do”.  With that resolute conviction, we rolled in on a Saturday night.  While we waited, we sucked back some FUCK YEAH cocktails while admiring their diverse bourbon collection and watching Barman Beardy bustin’ his chops as he continued to produce some serious shit hot lookin’ cocktails.  I have all the fucking feels for the Newport Sour – bourbon, lemon juice and port, a tart smokey affair because I’m just not into that sweet shit.

Straight down to business, we ordered the pulled pork with a side of bone marrow mash and the smoked ox cheek with a side of green chilli slaw.  Everyone knows that when you’re on holidays you should half-heartedly attempt to eat vegetables at least once every three days, even if it’s slathered in spicy, chilli fuck yeah mayonnaise. This BBQ noms was fucking amazing – while the pulled pork was tasty, all my base belongs to beef, with the smoked ox cheek being a triumphant fuck yeah. Slow smoked, all the connective tissue was as broken down as a tired ass party girl on a Sunday morning, with this majestic oxen motherfucker taking a rest on top of a slice of toasted bread, which soaked up any errant meat juice. Waste not, want not my sustainable Eco warriors.

A special fuck yeah shout out to the bone marrow mash which combines two of my favourite things – cause when the dog bites and the bee stings, I simply remember a few of these tasty as fuck things. After this fuck yeah side, I was definitely not feeling too fucking sad.

Service was efficient and friendly as fuck.  Loved witnessing the imminent meltdown of a staff member when “Don’t Stop” by Fleetwood Mac came on for what was presumably not the first time during his shift and he remarked “If I hear this fucking song one more time…” and one of his homies told him he had no soul (perhaps a reference to his magnificent red, though soulless hair or his inability to appreciate Christine McVie’s pleas to consider the future) and to effectively cool his goddamn jets.

The Pitt Cue Co BBQ homies have clearly thought everything out when it comes to their food and booze – it’s always the little things that give the game away.  Yo Pitt Cue Co, I totally fuckin’ noticed how finely you chopped your goddamn spring onions in my slaw and mash – attention to the motherfuckin’ details, you bad ass BBQing mofos.

Verdict:
Fuck yeah BBQ!

Where:
Chachawan
206 Hollywood Road
Sheung Wan, Hong Kong

Phone:
+852 2549 0020 (no bookings though – yeahhhhh hip as fuck)

Price:
Allow HKD400-500 per person, excluding booze.

The deal:
I fucking get it, every food blogger worth their salt (ho ho ho) was writing / gushing effusively about Chachawan in August 2013.  But as Prince may or may not have sung once, two zero one four party over, oops, out of time, I finally got my shit together and got my lazy ass down to The Cha.  Don’t judge me too fucking much – I attempted to go to Chachawan on a very ill fated night last year when a four person dinner that was meant to meet at 6:30pm ended up being an EIGHT person affair when everyone met too late and we had to abandon all hope of going to a no booking restaurant at 8:00pm on a Friday night and ended up at ONE OF THE WORST “MEALS” I HAD IN 2013.  I STILL CARRY THOSE MENTAL SCARS AND I WILL NEVER FORGIVE YOU WILD GRASS.  Yeah, I’ll be real, that night is still emotional SHIT for me.

Fuck, one paragraph in already and I haven’t even gotten to the food, what the fuck is this turning into, Noms & Peace?  What can I say that hasn’t already been said about The Cha except it’s the good shit.  The grilled chicken thigh (Gai Yung) was the star of the masterpiece.  I’m always saying this but why are white folk so into chicken breast?  I don’t fucking get it – I’m going to put it down to WHITE NONSENSE.  We ate heaps of other good shit – Larp Moo (minced pork, lettuce), Pla Phao Glua (salt crusted seabass), some fancy shizz omelette and fried rice (sounds boring but was a fuck yeah).  Rolled myself straight into dessert and overestimated my nom capacity, smashing up some sticky rice + mango (one of my favourite Thai desserts of all time) and some Kanom Dtom (coconut dumplings with ice-cream).  Almost burst later, because I forgot the magical properties of glutinous rice (despite the childhood guidance I received from my mum) because you’re cruising along, shoving as much sticky rice into your body as you possibly can, everything’s all good and then BOOOOM the rice finds some liquid in your stomach and LIGHTS OUT, you’re about to give birth to a Sticky Rice Baby.  I can’t blame Chachawan for that though, rather my inability to stop myself.

I gotta be real though – I just CANNOT deal anymore with those stripey fucking paper straws that everyone is into these days (add a mason jar and I will want to punch you in your goddamn face).  Sure, they are the hip thing atm but they get soggy pretty much instantly, collapse and then fail at pretty much what is the sole and most fundamental purpose of a straw (ie. allow you to sip liquid through them).  FYN is taking a definitive stand – FUCK NO TO HIP, STRIPEY PAPER STRAWS.

lolpaperstraws

Verdict:
It ain’t cheap for Thai food but fuck yeahhhh!  HOWEVER, FUCK NO TO PAPER STRAWS

Where:
Stone Nullah Tavern (HK, Y U EVEN BOTHER WITH WEBSITES LIKE THIS?)
G/F, 69 Stone Nullah Ln
Wan Chai, Hong Kong

Phone:
+852 3182 0128

Price:
HKD1200 for two people including a 10% tip, included 2 cocktails + 2 beers.  Hipster joint, so no service charge but tip expected.

The deal:
Stone Nullah Tavern definitely ticks some of the hipster checklist – no service charge, nose-to-tail eating, modern take on American comfort food, interesting cocktails which riff on the classics, pickles and waiters with the hair, glasses and tatts to match.  But it also didn’t tick the other points that hipster joints normally do which fuck me off – you can make bookings, I wasn’t totally bankrupt after eating here, waitstaff were friendly but not trying to be my BFF and the food was fucking great.  One of our waiters on the night looked just like Zayn Malik from One Direction, replete with blonde fringe which resulted in us singing “Oooh ooh oooh – THIS IS WHY YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL” every time he finished attentively serving us.

You’re definitely not at Stone Nullah Tavern for a healthy, light feed.  Fried buffalo wings.  Fried arancini balls.  A breaded chicken tenderloin with sausage gravy.  Beef short ribs served on bread with gruyere.  This was after we censored ourselves in a rare show of restraint and we didn’t order the tater tots.  Calling defeat, we didn’t look at the dessert menu (I know, I know – meant to harden up and power through pud pud) and decided to tumble home as all the fry oil hardened my arteries with a vice grip.  No service charge which they didn’t even ram down our throat, but I was more than happy to leave a 10% tip (vs. when the waiter bails you up and pointedly makes a point that there’s NO SERVICE CHARGE and you should TIP, hey Little Bao, imma looking at you).  Which says a lot, because I’m not exactly known as Little Miss Sunshine.

Addendum:  Went back to Stone Nullah Tavern and put our hard cunt pants on and motored through dessert.  Snickers chocolate sundae with pretzels and fudge was a mere fuck yeah but the fig cake + cheesecake ice-cream was a massive fuck yeahhhhhhhh.  So order one less share plate and leave room for pud pud.

Verdict:
Fuck yeah!

Where:
Monopole
71A Macleay Street
Potts Point NSW Australia

Phone:
+612 9360 4410

Price:
Mains range from AUD20 – AUD28, but you’ll need more than one per person.

The deal:
This was one of those dining experiences which is nice enough at the time but even a week later, I’m struggling to remember what I really enjoyed on the night.  Yeah, there’s your tip off already, use of ‘nice’ which is on the FYN forbidden vocabulary list.  There were some good points – the charcuterie plate (although, AUD26 seems pretty fucking steep to me, even with my AUD pricing glasses on) and the chicken liver parfait.  There were some low points – service was a bit tardy (I had to make thirsty face at one point to get an aperitif), price to quantity of food was veering dangerously close to ‘food for ants’ territory and I am still taking offence to the trevally dish we had which seemed to be in absentia trevally except for a few slivers (srs, if you’re going to pull this shit at least list it as ‘a hint of trevally’, gotta keep it real Monopole).  I didn’t do dessert given how uninspiring they sounded.  I’ll confess, was concerned by ‘Nectarine, almond milk and blueberry’.  Yes, singular blueberry description.  Whether it was a typo or not, we’ll never know – but I knew the rage that was going to follow if a single, though accurately described, blueberry came floating to my table in a sea of almond milk for AUD14.

Ultimately, Monopole was one of those restaurants where I wouldn’t be upset about if I had to go back to but I’d never actively seek a return there.  Which is the heart of the fuck yeah / fuck no rating system.  Life’s too fucking short for nice.

The verdict:
Fuck no.

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