I finally made it to Chachawan on its official opening night! I’ve just been so swamped with my recent move (I’m still sleeping on the sofa as I blog coz my lovely new bed hasn’t arrived ='() that I din get to check out this new Thai Isaan- style restaurant.
Last night I decided to take a break from this whole moving apartment madness and 1, checked out this pretty cool show at Perrotin featuring works by three Chinese Artists.
2. Checked out Chachawan
3. Volar’s official opening. I’m happy to report that I did all of the above in one night! And got myself home by 12mid night (such sad life :p lol, I’m indeed getting old)
Anyways, focus focus focus!! Eager patrons been lining up outside this new hot spot even during its soft opening, undeterred by the no reservation policy. Chachawan is collaboration between Chef Adam Cliff, protege of David Thompson, and Yenn Wong, who’s behind 208 Duecento Otto (my go- to place when I crave some good pizza), 22ships (still on my top restaurant list for their AMAZING mini burgers and desserts) and Duddell’s (I like the vibe and decor when I was there for drinks but have yet to try their food).. back to my point, how can I miss this new project??
To avoid lining up, I put my name down on my way to the gallery and by the time they called us, we were done with the gallery =) The decor was very old school Hong Kong-ish, it reminded me of the good old Cantonese black and white films粵語殘片 back in the 60s? 70s? (kinda like G.O.D stuff) but with a hip spin with murals on the wall.
The menu features dishes from Isan, a Northeastern region in Thailand, where grilled meats and som dtum salads are staples. We ordered a salad, a meat and a seafood dish as per recommendation; you can choose the level of spiciness when ordering your salad. We totally over estimated our tolerance for heat and got a medium spicy.
Even though the salad – Som Dtum Grop Pounded green papaya salad, cherry tomatoes, chili and crispy pork with a sweet and sour tamarind dressing- was very flavorful with a delicate balance of salty, sour and crunchy from the roasted peanuts, the chopped chili, lime, succulent crispy pork and the sweet and sour tamarind dressing, my tongue and lips were burning and couldn’t taste much of it after the initial bits.
The Goong Golae Whole tiger prawn smothered in dry red coconut curry, grilled over fire with fresh lime was a little disappointing. While it looked all plump and juicy on the outside, it was a little overcooked, leaving it bit too tough and chewy.
The highlight was the Gai Yung Chicken thigh marinated for 24 hours in garlic, pepper, coriander grilled till crispy, served with jhim jaew (chili dipping sauce). The grilled chicken was very tender and moist and the complexity of flavors was elevated by the delicious sweet, salty, spicy and tangy chili dipping sauce (aka Jhim Jaew). I’m not a big fan of chicken but this dish definitely exceeded my expectation!
The mango sticky rice hit my sweet spot too, the mango wasn’t overly sweet and gave a good tanginess to the sweet coconut sauce on the sticky rice.
As we were getting our bill, we gasped as we saw the glorious looking Salt Crusted Seabass being served to the table behind us. Apparently celebrity chef Tetsuya went to the award wining Kha (a Thai restaurant in Singapore also ran by Adam Cliff) three days in a row to enjoy this dish. Note to self: definitely getting that dish on my next visit!
Address: G/F, 206 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
Phone: +852 2549 0020