With its vast array of restaurants serving every cuisine under the sun, the one thing that Hong Kong is missing is a lovely pub in which to enjoy a long casual lunch or a drink and some snacks at a place that reminds us of home. Many have tried to recreate the gastropub feel, but failed miserably. Until Harrington’s came along.
When choosing somewhere for lunch on Easter Sunday, I decided it would be very fitting to try Harrington’s and see how pathetic its attempt of being a gastropub was. However, pathetic it certainly was not. The large space is amazing, offering a long bar facing the entrance and a spacious dining area with comfy seats. Had I not known I was in Lan Kwai Fong, I could just as easily have been in an upscale gastropub somewhere in the countryside of England. Even before the food arrived, I knew I would like this place.
Just as in Castello Concepts’ other ventures, the menu at Harrington’s is enormous, meaning that unless you have narrowed it down to what sort of food you are after, you may well take a good half an hour to decide what to eat! While you’re browsing the never-ending menu, however, try the Crusty Garlic and Parmesan Loaf. Along with chocolate, I also gave up bread for Lent, meaning this beauty of a soft, garlic-filled, Parmesan-crusted loaf was even more enjoyable, especially dipped in the delicious pesto it comes with.
Following this, we shared the Devilled whitebait. Described by a fellow diner as ‘whitebait on steroids’, these were not your regular whitebait: they were huge (for whitebait at least) and deliciously meaty. For me, they could have done with a touch more seasoning to make them perfect.
The Cracklin’ Pork Belly Skewers were incredible; beautifully tender meat with deliciously salty (if a little bit chewy) crackling, dipped in hickory smoked barbecue sauce: amazing.
Not realising quite how large it would be, we also shared the Baked Brie in Puff Pastry. I absolutely adore cheese and when it’s baked to oozing point, there are few things I love more. The fact that it was baked in puff pastry made it even more amazing, as I have never seen anything like it before. It was perfectly complemented by a wild berry compote, although I don’t think there was quite enough of this.
The roast of the day was roast chicken served with roast potatoes and vegetables. Although a small portion compared to the rest, the chicken was perfectly cooked, bathed in a rich gravy. The only complaint was that it was a little fiddly to cut the meat out of the wing and other bones.
The Crispy Skin Pesto Chicken was also delicious, sitting on a bed of fresh peas and green beans. The chicken breast was wonderfully tender and remained nice and juicy.
I often avoid ordering fish and chips in restaurants for fear that there will be more batter than fish. The Old Fashioned Fish and Chips at Harrington’s, however, were only lightly dusted in beer batter and the flaky white fish was very generously meaty.
Star of the show, however was the Steak and Guinness Pie. It was so beautifully presented that I almost didn’t want to cut it open. I’m very glad that I eventually did though, as it tasted utterly beautiful too. The chunks of steak were wonderfully tender, the pastry perfectly flaky and the green pea mash deliciously comforting. The last pie I ate before this was one of those nasty ones at the Sevens; this one puts those Sevens Pies to shame.
Just because I think it’s almost rude not to have dessert when trying a new restaurant, we shared the Toblerone Filo Parcels. These little bite-sized parcels of delight were amazing, especially as I had suffered without chocolate for over 40 days! In the same way as the starters are definitely designed for sharing, I’m not sure I could have coped with a whole dessert to myself. Maybe that was just because of the unnecessarily vast quantity of food we had already consumed!
The prices at Harrington’s aren’t terrible: we paid just under $400 a head for faaaar too much food. Service isn’t awful either: the waiters have a sense of humour and actually care about their job. For all the times when I want a simple yet deliciously hearty plate of food and want to feel like I’m not quite so far from a cosy British gastropub, I will definitely be frequenting Harrington’s. And that’s a promise.
1/F Ho Lee Commercial Building
17 Lan Kwai Fong
Tel: +852 2522 1823
Date visited: Sunday 8th April 2012