Wild Grass Hong Kong is the latest restaurant lounge bar to have established itself in Central by owner and chef, Jean-Paul Gauci. Specialising in “nose-to-tail” cuisine where little to no part of an animal is wasted, there is also a respectable emphasis on the freshest organic ingredients they’re able to source both regionally and internationally. Beef lovers will also be happy to hear that Wild Grass has been added to the select list of restaurants in Hong Kong serving OBE’s certified organic cuts of beef from Australia.
Well hidden on Arthbunot Road, Wild Grass Hong Kong sits next to the quaint Salon No. 10, just two streets away from the bustle of Lan Kwai Fong. Imagine walking away from the loud noises and the crowd of party-goers and entering a spacious farm-styled cottage — rustic and warm — where the furnishings and floorings are entirely made from recycled or reclaimed wood. The restaurant maintains its own fresh herb garden with a few basil plants decorating the windows sills. Out the back, a 12-person private dining room is scheduled to open up soon while the wall at the far end hosts blank canvases for the resident artist to perform action art while you dine.
Food and drink
Upon our arrival at Wild Grass Hong Kong, the tables were set with generous baskets of aromatic bread, freshly made onsite with beautiful homemade spinach and garlic butter on the side. We began with the most picturesque dish of the evening, a plate of finely diced Scottish ocean trout speckled with capers and drizzled with a mild whiskey sour dressing. The half-cut soft boiled eggs added a gooey yellow splash of flavour and the hot oven-toasted rye helped to soak up the remaining juices.
While most would normally shy away from this dish, the kidney with sliced bacon, celeriac and onion was refreshingly different to many we had tried before. Probably due to the freshness and preparation, the usual overwhelming flavours were mild and worked perfectly with a drizzle of vinegar. We followed with a signature dish of slow grilled rump with basil peppercorn relish and the suckling pig on a bed of fries, apple, and parsnip.We completed our meal at Wild Grass Hong Kong with a farm cheese plate followed by a few sweet offerings, including a lusciously hot rhubarb oatmeal crumble. Paired with a generous scoop of dairy frozen cream, we dug in and let the contrasting hot and cold melt in our mouths.
We were a bit disappointed with the presentation of the stewed apple turnover which seemed to lack company on the large white plate save a small scoop of vanilla cream, but we were won over by the richness of the creme brulee tart with its crumbly pastry crust and lightly torched top, each spoonful filled with a smooth velvet egg sweetness.
Although simple, we absolutely loved the roasted halibut at Wild Grass Hong Kong. The fresh, young fish had soft buttery flesh robustly flavoured with the whole fermented garlic and sprigs of rosemary.
For something absolutely palate-awakening, you can’t go past the baked goat’s cheese which was layered atop a delicate bacon puff pastry and slice of juicy beetroot. Not much in way of presentation, we loved the cascading flavours and textures finishing up with the lingering taste of balsamic on the tip of the tongue.
Wild Grass Hong Kong offers a meal made with wonderfully fresh ingredients served up in the most homely and cozy environment. There are a few areas to be ironed out but we’re confident that this hideaway will be the talk of the town and a haven to all who seek out high quality meals.
Wild Grass Hong Kong, 1/F, 4-8 Arbuthnot Road, Central, Hong Kong
+852 2810 1189, www.wildgrass.hk
This post was originally published on Lifestyle Asia, Review: Wild Grass Hong Kong on 19th November, 2012