Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Rhoda by Nathan Green (Hong Kong, CHINA) ★★★☆☆

My friends keep on telling me how Rhoda has been the best new restaurant in the second half of 2016 so far but as good as they were during my first visit, I wasn't ready to give them that title yet. Perhaps they can make a more convincing statement tonight?

First of all, I must say I was quite pleased with the way their staff handled my special request for a "bigger" table to accommodate my nugget's trolley. That's a BIG trolley we have here and they did well to reserve a table for four at the corner of the restaurant for us so for one, we had enough room to operate and two, my nugget won't be disturbing anyone who's trying to have a nice meal.

I have a very simple approach tonight. Just order anything that I haven't tried last time around. That's pretty easy considering that Rhoda's menu changes almost daily according to what's fresh from the market.

Bread was the same beer bread we had last time, baked in house with dark ale. That was pretty tasty. Same goes for the seaweed butter, which everybody seems to be doing these days. That was a good combination to get us started.

Hamachi tartare from Nagasaki, with sea urchin, caviar and cods roe ($328) -  I was expecting this to be a lot bigger given the price tag but this is pretty delicious. Diced hamachi from Nagasaki was mixed with small cubes of fruit (what I thought was either pear or apple), and then shaped into the shape of a tower (a small one) before topping it with sea urchin, caviar and cod's roes.

That worked pretty well on a thin piece of toast for me.

Charred corn, clams, slow-cooked egg, katsuobushi ($158) - This was chef Green's modern take on the classic clam chowder. I like the Asian twist with the onsen egg and katsuobushi but unfortunately, there's not nearly enough clams in there and to me, way too much corn. I honestly don't recommend wasting time (and money) on this dish.

Wild Hereford ox cheek and tongue, crispy cauliflower and yeast purée ($258) - This is really chef Green at his best, the grill. The texture of the succulent ox cheek was near absolute perfection. The sauce prepared using the ox cheek's own jus was slightly overpowering but there was very little doubt that this was the best dish of the night.

We had two really good dishes tonight and one that wasn't very good. I also noticed their subtle change of prices (the beef jerky snack from $38 to $58, the "re-invented" clam chowder from $128 to $158 just to name a few.) in just 2 months. And to me, that's a little concerning when I look at the value for money.

Food Rating: 6/10
Price: $$$
Address: 345 Des Voeux Road West, Sai Wan, Hong Kong
Closest Metro Station: HKU
Tel: +852 2177-5050

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