Hong Kong Restaurant

Metropolitain

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With the new escalator and train station being built, Sai Ying Pun is becoming quite the up and coming area with galleries, trendy restaurants and bars popping up around the hood. Friends in SYP had told me about this new French place along the new escalator which is the latest addition to the French Creations group who also owns Pastis, FAB and St Germaine. I never bother going to Pastis coz it is pretty much always packed with people overflowing onto the street. But this restaurant is in SYP and is still rather unheard of so Lo, Fi and I thought we would go there for a casual, mellow weekday dinner.

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Metropolitain was designed to look like a Parisian metro station; the bare concrete walls, the metro map, the railway station clock, the wrought iron details all plays to the theme. We were seated comfortably in a corner facing the open kitchen; service was friendly and chill (but not slow, which is great). The ambience is cozy and relaxed.

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The menu was simple French fare: we ordered the calamari, the Steak tartar with fries, the Braised lamb shank with olive oil mashed potato (in case you haven’t realized, I love lamb), Seabass fillet, celeriac puree & sauce vierge and the Tarte Tatin

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The calamari looked rather greasy on first glance, I had one piece just so I know how it taste like. The batter wasn’t light and crispy enough and the squid, although not rubbery, was not crunchy and bouncy. We left more than half the plate untouched hoping that this is just one off dish out of the menu.

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Next up was Fi’s Steak tartar, her fries looked like they were drenched in oil, not just once but multiple times till they are kinda brown and gross. Needlesss to say, none of us touched those fries. Her steak tartar was rather tasteless and chewy, she had to add a whole lot of salt & pepper to season it but pretty much gave up half way

salmon tartar

While waiting for my main, I spotted Ag on the other end of the restaurant and went over to chat with her. I also sampled her salmon tartare, the salmon was fresh, and the refreshing acidity of the mixture cut through the richness of the salmon; making the whole dish light and appetizing =) thanks Ag for sharing!

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Back to our table- my lamb shank looked a lot more promising, the meat was tender and tasty (the sauce had infused through yet was not overpowering); it was so not gamey I almost forgot I was eating lamb. The mashed potato was decent; the mash a bit uneven (i.e. not entirely fine and smooth) so there were small chunks of potato, which adds texture to it.

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Lo’s sea bass fillet was surprisingly small and thin, different from the thicker or chunkier pieces we are used to. Despite the size of the sea bass, Lo really enjoyed her dish, the sea bass was flavorful and its skin crispy. Lo especially liked the celeriac puree; which is creamy yet light with subtle sweetness.

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While we weren’t very inspired by the choices of dessert, we would like to stay and chat for a while more so we ordered the tarte tatin (the upside down apple pie). Let’s just say the best part of this dessert was the ice cream and Lo said it could be from Haagen Dazs, the pastry was too soggy; the caramelized apple overly sweet.

Overall, I quite like metropolitain, predominately for its laid back atmosphere (laid back but not empty for sure, there was not a single empty seat even though it was a weekday and this restaurant is relatively new). It seems to be a fun place to have a few glasses of wine and simple dishes especially when you want to get away from the usual “ I need this table back by 9pm” kinda places.

G/F, 46 High Street,

Sai Ying Pun,

Hong Kong

6292-3779
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Hong Kong Restaurant

坤記煲仔小菜 Kuan Kee Claypot Rice

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Claypot rice is my comfort food in the winter and out of the places I’ve tried, Kuan Kee has one of the best claypot rice in Hong Kong. Since it’s not easy to get a table in this humble- looking restaurants, I made it a point to arrive before 6:30pm on the two trips I made late Jan/ early Feb, we had to wait both times despite arriving early. The best way to get a table seems to be booking in advance, there’s a slim chance that you’ll get a table if you call within the same day.

Crispy rice

Something about claypot rice: crispy rice crust on the bottom of the claypot is the crown jewel of claypot rice, the chef needs to make sure that the rice is crispy but not burnt nor stick to the bottom and is cooked through in the middle, the juice and fats from the ingredient on top of the rice seeps through into the rice underneath which coats and separates each grain of rice. The rice is cooked to perfection, not too sticky and soft nor too hard and chewy. Each claypot comes with a small bowl of soy sauce, it’s sweet and salty which goes really well with the rice. The trick of getting the perfect crispy rice bottom is to be patient, and not open the lid too early. Once you open the lid, pour the soy sauce into the pot and stir the middle section of it without disturbing the bottom portion and you’ll end up with the whole piece of crispy rice crust intact.

Dishes I’ve tried these two trips

satay beef with vermicelli pot

沙爹粉絲肥牛煲- The satay beef with vermicelli pot was still sizzling when it arrived, sliced beef was tender and flavorful and the vermicelli had soaked up the satay sauce and is yummy on its own

goat brisket with beancurd sheet pot

枝竹羊腩煲 The goat brisket with beancurd sheet pot was served on the gas stove; V and I eagerly waited as the stew continued to boil and the heavy aroma of goat and herbs enveloped us. The goat brisket was not too gamey and the meat was tender, full of flavor and not too fatty. The beancurd sheet and the mushrooms absorbed all the essence of the soup. “goat” 黑草羊 was used instead of lamb as it has a slightly gamier taste to it. The soup was so tasty, I saved some of it for my claypot rice that’s on its way.

Black bean and pepper eel claypot rice

After about 20- 30 minutes the claypot rice started to arrive. 豉汁白鱔煲仔飯 V liked her Black bean and pepper eel claypot rice. The spiciness from chopped chili, the black bean and pepper sauce goes well with the sweet and salty soy sauce and together brought out the freshness of the succulent eel meat

荔芋排骨煲 – The yam with spare ribs pot Coated with rich coconut milk infused sauce, chunks of yam were almost creamy on the surface and soft and fluffy on the inside! Ribs are tender and the fats and meat proportions were just right.

yam with spare ribs pot Chinese sausage with chicken claypot rice

臘腸滑雞飯- Chinese sausage with chicken claypot rice once the lid was opened, we were greeted with the fragrance of rice and chinese sausage. Chicken was tender, juicy and well marinated; rice was coated with oil and fragrance from the chinese sausage. This dish was tasty enough on its own, we left the soy sauce aside.

We were both stuffed and satisfied at the end of the dinner and had to take a walk from Kuan Kee to central to walk off part of our heavy meal :p We’ll be back the next time to try the other dishes!

Kuan Kee Claypot Rice

Address: Shop 1, Wo Yick Mansion, 263 Queen’s Road West, Western District

Phone:2803 7209

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