The Pulse has been a goldmine for new restaurants lately. We take a look into the newest restaurants to hit the beachside location.
Run by Le Comptoir, the team behind Bibo French restaurant in Central, Hotshot has a chilled, surf-meets-skate vibe, with an eye- catching gallery of surfboards on one wall and an overhead net filled with skateboard wheels and abandoned Converse. Like its Central sister, the art is spectacular, with pieces by major street artists. But the centrepiece is the shiny vintage Airstream trailer that has been converted into a bar.
The cuisine is “new American” – think contemporary takes on hamburgers, fried chicken, cakes and pancakes. To drink, there’s ice-cold craft beer and alcoholic milkshakes served in Mason jars (chocolate orange milkshake with cognac, anyone?).Wednesday evening is “Lobster Night” with steamed Maine lobsters, corn on the cob, endless fries and free-flow sauvignon blanc ($480) for the perfect summer night.
Shop 114-115, G/F The Pulse, 28 Beach Road, Repulse Bay, 2515 1661, www.hotshot.hk.
Meen & Rice
Next door to Hotshot on the oceanfront promenade, this casual Cantonese dining concept fits the bill for those who want to relax over Chinese comfort food. Run by wunderkind restaurateur Yenn Wong (Aberdeen Street Social, Chachawan, 208 Duocento Otto, 22 Ships), it’s an upmarket take on the classic dai pai dong.
The food could have come straight from your favourite Hong Kong noodle shop: think congee, noodles and barbecued meat with rice. There are old-school favourites such as fresh shrimp wonton noodles, fish balls with clam sauce and deep-fried shrimp toast (yes, please). The drinks follow the same dai pai dong theme, including lemon tea, Hong Kong- style tea, yuanyang, flavoured homemade lemonade and a selection of beer and wine.
Shop 113, 2566 8886.
Also from Le Comptoir, comes contemporary Balinese restaurant TRi (pronounced “tree”), which opened last month. Interior designer Elora Hardy has captured the vibe and elegance of the beautiful Indonesian island in captivating decor, getting creative with bamboo, a huge tree trunk (now a long bar) and atmospheric lighting. We’re loving the table in its own lotus-shaped wicker cocoon (pictured right).
Located on the third floor, the restaurant is not open-fronted those on the ground-floor promenade, but a wall of windows means it feels bright and airy (and deliciously air- conditioned) during the day. Spicy and aromatic, Balinese cuisine is designed for sharing. The menu includes everyday meals and dishes usually created only for Balinese festivals, with signatures including isi calamari, lobster bakar and duck goreng. Award-winning sommelier Wallace Lo has created a formidable wine list to complement the strongly flavoured food.
Shop 302, 3/F, firstname.lastname@example.org, 2515 0577.
Despite its ground-floor location and floor-to- ceiling windows, Japanese newcomer Shoku has only a partial beach view thanks to poorly located LCSD facilities. But that’s okay because the view inside is pretty good too.
Specialising in modern Japanese cuisine, the restaurant’s centrepiece is a binchotan charcoal grill, which looks like a bonfire on the beach with whole sticks of Japanese charcoal surrounded by a sand pit into which skewers of seafood are planted vertically to be barbecued. There’s also a more conventional charcoal grill for cuts of meat and vertically challenged items such as scallops. The charcoal imbues an authentic smokiness that electric grills just can’t emulate.
It’s not all barbecue, though. The menu also includes prime cuts of wagyu beef, deep-fried free-range chicken and deep-fried oysters, sushi rolls and salads – try the avocado salad with shoyu dressing. With two private rooms and minimalist decor, dining here is fun and very tasty.
Shop 109, 2808 2333.
Le Comptoir’s flagship restaurant, The Ocean, is opened in mid-August 2015, offering refined dining in an elegant space with great views.
Designed by Substance (which also designed Bibo and Hotshot), the 8,000 sq ft restaurant takes its inspiration from the sea, with wavy textural finishes, a wave of overlapping pearlised “fish scales” on the ceiling, a crystal bar and clusters of booth seating inspired by coral reefs that will seat 144 diners. It has two semi-private rooms and a private room with a bioluminescent fish tank.
Not surprisingly the menu focuses on sustainably sourced seafood, with both French and Japanese influences in five-, eight- and 10-course dinner menus (lunch is three courses). Chef Agustin Balbi, who has worked at groundbreaking restaurant Cuisine Michel Troisgros, is cooking up signature dishes such as smoked wild snapper with radishes, chanterelles and dashi mayonnaise and lobster confit with tortellini and bisque cream. There will also be a sushi bar and an omakase menu.
Shop 303-304, 3/F, www.theocean.hk.