Neighborhood

Neighborhood

Where:
Neighborhood
61-63 Hollywood Road
Central, Hong Kong

The entrance is actually behind Hollywood Road, so enter off Peel Street and look for Pak Tsz Lane Park

Phone:
+852 2617 0891

Price:
For two people, you need to order around 6 dishes which range from HKD130-HKD160 each. Excludes service charge. We got out at HKD650 each for food + sharing a bottle of prosecco (including 10% tip).

About:
David Lai, the chef behind On Lot 10 has opened Neighborhood (sic if you’re from British School of English, fuck yeahhh Murica if you’re not). I can’t claim to be a long term patron of On Lot 10 but I’ve had dinner there and shit was good. I would have given it an official fuck yeah on FYN if I hadn’t been such a lazy cunt and actually written it up. Neighborhood opened two months ago and I’d seen some photos of tripe gratin that Ms Siuwaaan and I wanted in our lives. Chef Lai has said that he’s going for that ‘homely’ feel but I’m not sure what’s homely about a sparse dark grey space with mirrors to make shit feel bigger (ho ho, you certainly fooled me you clever interior designer). Sure, the tableware and short tumblers are custom designed and personally selected by Chef Lai from goddamn fancy pants PARIS but it doesn’t matter if you’re still eating shit off a table clothless, laminated fake wood table rimmed with steel. I dunno if a custom designed knife from PARIS can distract me from dat cheap table.  Especially when they don’t change your cutlery between dishes and you have to put your used dirty cutlery back on that laminated table clothless table which kinda skeeved me out.

Neighborhood is a small space, it only sits 20ish people. So it was a bit fucking surprising that I had to wait 5 minutes for them to set up my table when I arrived. Like homies, you’ve only got about 10 tables and you’re not rammed, why aren’t you on top of this shit already? However, this was fairly indicative of the rest of the night as Neighborhood’s service was well-intentioned but ultimately brusque and clunky as fuck.  There is a total lack of anything soft in there too, so shit gets noisy which might explain why our waiters needed us to repeat everything we said at least three times.

I’m really fucking judgmental and the font choice and the egregious use of ” (like your water is either Antipodes water or it’s not, Y U say “Antipodes”?) of the Neighborhood menu really fucking upset me – so much so that I sent it to a friend who immediately responded with “Why are they using the X-files font? Woo woo woo woo WOO woo” and produced this:

xfiles

After establishing that there was no tripe available that night (wahhhhhhhhhhhh), we ordered a number of dishes – the ceviche, the wagyu tartare with truffle, rabbit ballotine, potato gnocchi with wild boar ragu and the daily fish in “bouillabaisse”.  The food gets a fuck yeah on presentation and it’s highly Instagrammable.  If that’s your jam, you can totally post that wagyu tartare with shaved truffles on Instagram and be guaranteed replies of “YUMMMMMMM” and “Where is that??”.  Dishes aren’t huge and you can comfortably share one dish between two people to get an adequate taste.  Shit was ok, I enjoyed it enough at the time but I didn’t find any dish hit me over the head and would be something I’d want to order again or tell someone that they HAD to have it.  The wild boar ragu and the ambiguously quotationed marked “bouillabaisse” was the closest to a solid fuck yeahhhh.  But neither dish was a slam dunk – cause while that wild boar sauce was fuck yeah times, the gnocchi wasn’t firm enough, so it just felt like eating little mashed potato balls in a gnocchi shape. For the “bouillabaisse”, use of quotation marks aside, a slice of fish is served on a piece of bread with the broth poured over it.  The broth was rich and while I prefer my bouillabaisse to hit me in the mouth with the taste of the goddamn ocean, my bigger issue was that it felt a bit empty on other ingredients – maybe I just wanted some shellfish to come chill with my decent portion of threadfin fish.

To finish we ordered the chocolate palette which has been getting mad props on the internet.  Even though I’m not the biggest chocolate fiend, this dessert was pretty fucking rad.  It’s a soft chocolate ganache that isn’t too fucking stodgy and there’s a slightly salty chocolate crust at the bottom to do that reliable though generally successful  salty / sweet contrast thing.   Fuck yeah on execution on this one – I imagine if you were super into chocolate you’d fucking lose your shit over this one.

At the end of the meal, Neighborhood send out some complimentary canelés, or as I call them CAT ANUS CAKES.  Look, I know I always say no fucking food photos on Fuck Yeah Noms, but imma gonna make an exception when shit looks like a fucking cat’s anus:

catanuscakes

FYN fun facts: A canelé originates from Bordeaux in France it should have a caramelised crunchy sugar crust with a vanilla and rum flavoured custard inside and they’re hard as fuck to make.  If you want to be a total unbearable food asshole, when you are served canelés you should ask your waiter “Excuse me, does your chef use the traditional copper moulds or the silicone ones?  Do you use beeswax to help with the release of the canelé?” and after you smile smugly at your dining companions, bathed in your ocean of superior food knowledge you can then firmly punch yourself in the groin for being such a fucking douchebag.  Per my internet research, I understand that Neighborhood use silicone moulds so save yourself a groin punching this time.

I have no issue with canelés but Neighborhood’s had this fucking feral aftertaste that was so fucking terrible that Ms Siuwaaan and I had to take multiple bites to try and identify what the fuck was going and and confirm that shit was as bad we thought it was (no, it didn’t get better and no, I couldn’t figure out what that weird ass aftertaste was).  This required double tasting was reminiscent of when I ate that coconut water macaron at Mejekawi in Bali, which still maintains the title of  The Worst Thing I’ve Ever Eaten in a Restaurant.  I get really upset by shit like this so as soon as I got home, I fired up Whatsapp and was bitching to numerous people including Ms Waterfalls and Caribous:

waterfallscatbum

SIDE NOTE – HOLY FUCK WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH ME – IT WAS A FREE AND TINY CAKE AND NOW I’VE SPENT SEVERAL PARAGRAPHS, MULTIPLE WHATSAPP CHATS AND HOURS OF MY LIFE RUMINATING ABOUT THEM.

Anyway TL:DR – So maybe it’s because I’m not a “dear and personal, long-term friend” of Chef David Lai which explains why I’m not jizzing in my pants about Neighborhood. Maybe I just can’t get over their terrible choice in typography. But yeah, shit was perfectly adequate, very Instagrammable, service was awkward and I got given a free though fucking awful cake that looked like a cat’s bum.  Overall underwhelming for the price point.

Verdict:
FUCK NO.  I just cannot with spending HKD600+ on dinner in Hong Kong to be underwhelmed.  I also can’t forgive that fucking vile cat’s anus canele thing.  I don’t give a fuck if it’s from Bordeaux and uses cane sugar, that shit was just NO FUCKING GOOD.

8 Comments
  • Brooklyn bad boy
    Posted at 06:43h, 01 December Reply

    you need to teach these hk blogers they have no clue you spot on as i have been and feel the same other bloger rated so high means they just dont fucken know shit

    • Sgt Noms
      Posted at 23:11h, 02 December Reply

      You’re fucking blowing my head up with this shit. Everyone was losing their shit over it but I need more than good lookin’ plates and custom knives from Paris.

  • waterfallsandcaribous
    Posted at 22:22h, 01 December Reply

    Fuck yeah, I’m faymus *hair flick*

  • Fuck Yeah Noms - Fuck Yeah, 2014! - Part #1: Hong Kong
    Posted at 14:50h, 03 January Reply

    […] #4: Neighborhood A fairly average, though very instagrammable meal which was largely forgettable except they served […]

  • A Fuck Yeah Noms Review - Arcane (Lunch Set)
    Posted at 08:03h, 17 January Reply

    […] a Growing Boy mentioned how sorry ass they looked and even included a picture which ranks below the Neighborhood cat anus canelé.  I didn’t try them at Arcane because post-Neighborhood, even the mention […]

  • LG
    Posted at 10:28h, 02 December Reply

    I think you had a bad batch of cat’s anum, I had some savagely beaut ones last night.

Fuck yeah or fuck no?

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