Hong Kong bites: Mandy's Kitchen Sai Kung
We’ve heard lots of good things so the AG crew trekked out to Sai Kung in a rented van. The food lived up to its reputation, the ambience lovely-you could be anywhere in the world, there were no telling signs of Hong Kong and its iconic skyline.
The legendary leg of lamb with secret seasonings. Tender, juicy and really well done, though nothing extraordinary like that giant sales pitch we heard all night.
Tasty well seasoned jerk chicken was one of our favourites that sat on a delicious buttery rice with peas.
Caribbean style potato salad, I have never been to the Caribbean Islands so am not sure what is authentic, but loved these.
We all had a great night out, but I and my two guests felt a little shortchanged with the bill that came after. Our table of 13 paid about 800 each over 3 bottles of simple wines each from 300HKD and delicious home cooked Caribbean style food. The service was impersonal and a little suffocating at times. It was either a constant sales pitch or absolute secrecy on recipes and source of produce-regular conversations anyone would have with a restaurant proprietor or chef.
There’s also a 95HKD corkage fee and wines are sold on premise in the fridge (new world and nothing of the grand cru variety), not in a proper chiller, so to charge more than Soho restaurants corkage fees and prices felt unjust.
Dinner was buffet style where everyone else had to help themselves, where there was only one piece of chicken and one cream cupcake for everyone-meaning there is no room for seconds or thirds-the rule of thumb for buffets, the last time I checked. It’s nice to be in someone’s home making it casual and intimate and helping myself to dinner, but to pay for service charge on top of a large bill, I felt slightly robbed.
I wouldn’t go back and wouldn’t recommend making the trek there unless you have a huge expense account don’t have to deal with cash management flow. Well, make your own decision, but this was our experience: great food, fab ambience, but way overpriced coupled with friendly service of a profit making agenda.
I’m still all for Comilonas, one of my favourite private kitchens here. No corkage, and you get to drink out of porron, service is friendly and without charge. Chef Carrie is constantly sharing what she’s experimenting with and Luis explains every dish, its source, Catalan history and recipe in detail. Infact, I enjoyed it so much I took the Canadian TV5 crew there to cover Hong Kong’s Private Kitchens.