9 Shin Hing Street
Central, Hong Kong

+852 2568 8857

HKD1910 for two 5 course tasting menus + 2 cocktails (includes service charge)

The deal:
The recently opened Cocotte is pretty fucking cute – if I was a normal food blog I’d write some shit about its monochromatic wallpapers and the cozy, intimate feel, while diners sit outside on a quaint neighbourhood street in the barely-kissed Summer air, sipping on delectable aperitifs.  However this is FYN, so let me add more profanity – cute as fuck wallpapers, pretty fucking small so people are outside drinking wine but if you took someone here on a first date and you weren’t a total loser, you’d probably still impress and maybe even make like a Daft Punk song and get lucky.  Cocotte is led by Amber’s former Chef de Cuisine, Patrick Dang, so given my deep FYN love for Amber I was expecting big things even if it’s more of a casual French nom gig than the seriously fucking fancy (though much wow) Amber.  Ms Two Serves and I (predictably) went for the five course tasting menu and after being promised that second course was going to be a steak tartare the waiter then returned to say that they’d messed it up and it was actually a tuna nicoise.  The following exchange:

Ms Two Serves:  You mean, a tuna salad? So we have TWOOO salads?

Waiter: No, it’s a tuna nicoise!

Ms Two Serves:  But a tuna nicoise is a salad?

Sgt Noms:  Tuna Nicoise?  Isn’t the first course already a mixed salad?  Are you promising us back to back salads?

Waiter:  (Unconvincingly) No, it’s more of a deconstructed Tuna Nicoise…

Ms Two Serves:  Wahhhhhhh. Please let me see the menu again.

With visions of a sad piece of tuna on a smear of salad dressing with a lone green bean chilling on the side, we begged to change the Tuna Nicoise to anything else – asking for the langoustine or the steak tartare before they agreed to give us the scallop instead.  Ms Two Serves raises a good point, people only order the Tuna Nicoise because you want to sound a little bit fancy or trying to be healthy, when all you really want is the far tastier, Chicken Caesar.

Other than the potential for a 40% salad content for a five-course tasting menu the menu was thoughtful and presented well.  Everything was interesting and well balanced, going beyond what traditional French food is without relying on masses of foam (why is this even still a thing?) or just adding foie gras / truffles to everything.

I don’t know if I’d do the tasting menu again because I’m not convinced that it really represented five signature dishes for Cocotte which is what I think a tasting menu should be (I mean really, a fucking mixed salad for first course and is a Tuna Nicoise really a top #5 must have at a restaurant when it isn’t even on the normal menu??).  However, I enviously eyed off the mains arriving at the table next to us.

Service is clearly still working itself out.  When we first arrived, 10 minutes before our booking we found a number of harried waiters who were turning over tables and looking stressed out, saying they’d come to find me when they were done (they didn’t).  Our cocktails that we ordered pre meal got lost and didn’t arrive til at the end of our second course.  But this is the shit that happens and imagine they’ll sort it out.

One thing I’ve got to note is how fucking sad the bread was here.  Which is disappointing because I expect French joints to have serious fuck yeahhhh bread.  To be fair, the waiter asked how our meal was and we truthfully said it was great but the bread needed serious improvement.  Apparently we’re not the only one.  The waiter said ‘The chef really likes how sourdough rolls look…maybe you prefer sourdough bread?’ and we told him ‘No, we love all types of bread – but it was just soft and sad’.  Perhaps the chef needs to stop looking at the rolls and start snacking them down instead.  Waiter earnestly took our feedback on so I didn’t mention to him that I’d spent part of the meal using a torn apart bread roll as a form of puppet and making it say ‘I’m just so sad’.  

Despite the saddest bread rolls I’ve had for a while – fuck yeah!

Blue Butcher (fuck yeah, functional website with menu.  fuck no to taking the prices off the menu)
108 Hollywood Road,
Sheung Wan, Hong Kong.

+852 2613-9286

Cocktails are HKD140 each.  Mains around HKD350 – 400.  Budget around HKD700-800 a person.

The deal:
Ms Two Serves and I went here last night and in typical Ms Two Serves style, she surveyed that we had three people at the table which meant that we needed three starters and a Black Angus 14oz steak and a serve of beef ribs which the waiter said was for 2-3 people.  Before adding extra side serves of creamed corn, truffle fries and artichokes.  The waiter tried to push the specials onto us, offering us 2 sliders for HKD140.  My internal dialogue was “FUCK NO TO TINY BURGERS THAT COST TOO FUCKING MUCH” but in real life I just went with “No thanks”.  We sucked down some Apple Pie Moonshine cocktails (they are pricey little fuckers at HKD140 but also tasty – they hit so many hipster points on this one, I almost need one now to take away the pain – jam jar, CHECK, paper bag around it, CHECK, cinnamon stick which they light on fire when they bring it over, CHECK).  While we waited we didn’t shock anyone that despite the massive bovine bonanza coming our way that we didn’t slow down on empty carbs and shoved pieces of bread with garlic butter into our heads.  Fuck yeah to restaurants with good bread – don’t give me some piece of bullshit white bread which isn’t even fucking warm.

Starters were a solid fuck yeah but the main event was always going to be the beef times.  A rare angus rib eye arrived, almost mooing, and a chorus of angels appeared on my shoulder singing a delicate and harmonious ‘FUCKKKK YEAHHHHHHH’.  Then a slab of ribs arrived, bigger than my head and we smashed that bad boy into our heads.  Sticky, sweet and spicy – our attentive and courteous waiter saw the carnage that was going down and thoughtfully changed out our messed up, destroyed plates and even left us a wet toilette each.  Going above and beyond, he even pre-tore the packets for us because he knew that with our sticky mitts there was no way we were getting into that easily.

Sides were not after thoughts either with the truffle fries being such a stereotype at this point but they were fucking great. There might be more to life, than stereotypes but if they taste that good I might just let it slide. Creamed corn was also on point.  Nothing too exciting on the dessert menu but as you might guess, not too many tears because all my base belongs to BEEF.

FUCK YEAH.  Probably on pay day.  But all I can think about today is why aren’t I there right the fuck nowwwwww?

Little Bao (it’s precisely 110% not useful as a website)
66 Staunton Street
Sheung Wan, Hong Kong

N/A – it’s a no booking place

HKD250 – 300 each for food (including one HKD78 burger and NO booze) but be prepared to still be hungry.

The deal:
The question is, how fucking upset can you really get that the food at a restaurant is small when they have it front and centre in their fucking name – LITTLE Bao.  The hipster force is large and in charge at Little Bao, easily crossing off 14 of my 20 point Hipster Restaurant Checklist and on a MONDAY night at 8pm, we waited almost 50 minutes to get a seat.  The food was fucking great but as the name suggests, it was little (food for ants!) and expensive.  HKD128 for a handful of clams.  HKD128 for 4 beef short rib dumplings (that’s USD4 a dumpling!!) and celeriac salad (fancy shit, see?).  HKD78 for a tiny gourmet slider style burger the size of a small child’s fist with Asian influenced fillings (fried chicken skin! pork belly! USD10!!!!).  I could have easily slammed three to four of those burgers and I’d hazard a guess that a normal person would probably need at least two to three.

Our waiter kindly reminded us at the end that there was ‘no service charge’ which translates to ‘Listen up homes, we’ve already stung you on the prices and now to ensure you are completely bankrupt by the end of the meal, we’d like to guilt you into tipping over and above the already inflated prices’.  

In a stunning move of foresight, before I left for dinner at Little Bao, I set a whole chicken to slow roast at home so I could snack down on a drumstick when I got home in case of still being hungry.  Let’s just say, I’m a prophet and I didn’t even know it.

The verdict:
Fuck yeah if someone else is paying.  Otherwise, fuck no.  I can’t even make this a fuck yeah on pay day.  I mean, USD10 for a tiny burger is a cross that I just can’t bear.  I felt even more affronted on the value front than the 22 Ships incident.  But then again, if your restaurant is packed out on a Monday night with a queue, maybe I’m just a massive fucking tight ass??

Sixpenny (praise be Australia and your functional websites)
83 Percival Rd
Stanmore NSW Australia

+612 9572 6666

AUD180 each including ordering wine/champagne.  AUD135 for the large 8 course degustation course.

The deal:
Sixpenny is a degustation or bust scenario. Six or eight courses and we went (predictably) with the larger lucky eight course option.  My food wank alarm bells were going off when they said they wouldn’t give us a menu to keep an element of surprise throughout the evening, but for once they were unfounded.  Fuck me, I’m going to come straight out – this was the good shit.  It makes you realise that for all the food wank, pretentious bullshit and philosophising that restaurants participate in that there are actually chefs that can actually have a vision, stay true to it and not end up being a massive money grabbing, disappointing, proselytising form over substance douchebag about it.

Six Penny make a lot of their own shit (sour cream, bread, butter) and grow their own produce.  Often with a degustation there’s a course which is fucked up (see also: dat macaron at Mejekawi) or at least disappointing but here’s some good shit that happened at Sixpenny.

  • Service – besides the fact that the restaurant was loud as fuck so my old lady ears could barely hear the descriptions, the staff were bang on.  My husband kept throwing his napkin on the floor and it was deftly picked up each time.  A tall Frenchman provided laser sharp silver service without nary a glance at what he was doing.
  • Produce – hot damn, I’ve finally eaten a a baby leek or a carrot as a ‘course’ and didn’t feel a wave of proteinless disappointment wash over me.
  • Bread – I genuinely was full as fuck but had to have a big cup of HTFU and snacked down a second bread roll.  Yeah, don’t mind me as I pile on the house made butter and marscapone spread.  That fucking good.
  • Wine list – wasn’t immediately bankrupt by merely looking at the wine list.  Never had the chance to make ‘thirsty face’ at the waiters because my glass was totally optimistic and always full.
  • Presentation – A++++ would buy again presentation – carefully picked plates, beds of baby olive leaves and no errant sauce smears that looked like skid marks.
  • Genuine Aesop soap – I’m taking a stand, I’m calling out every restaurant I go to from now on which buys one dispenser of Aesop soap and then thinks their customers are dumb as shit and won’t realise that they are refilling it with supermarket hand soap.  Sixpenny were keeping it real.  Real cedar like. Mad props for keeping the soap dope.

I don’t want to get all poetic on your ass but this was one of the best meals I’ve had in 2013.  The baby beetroot baked in a salt crust was a fuck yeah.  The veal was a fuck yeah.  The crab with macadmia was a massive fuck yeah.  Even the course where the carrot was the star of the masterpiece was a fuck yeah.  So here’s a big fuck yeah to restaurants having a philosophy but not being total fuckwit wankers about it.

The verdict:
One of the best meals I’ve had in 2013. FUCK YEAH!!

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

+61 2 9259 5695

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

The deal:

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

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

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

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

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

The verdict:
Fuck no.

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