The last time I went to Lucy’s was for a friend’s ‘tarts and vicars’ themed 18th birthday party all of ten years ago. I had no idea if it still existed, nor any recollection of what the food was like (or indeed if I had even eaten any food!), so I was very intrigued to go back to see if the praises I had since heard were deserved. I don’t mean to spoil the surprise for the rest of this review, but I can certainly tell you now that it deserves every single praise…and more!
Lucy herself hails from England, and decided to open Lucy’s in Stanley in 1994. Rather than being on the touristy waterfront, Lucy’s is hidden away in the very heart of Stanley Market – not that Stanley Market isn’t touristy of course, but you know what I mean; no tourist ventures there at night after the lights go out!
The brightly painted restaurant, concealed behind lovely potted plants, is reminiscent of a casual European café; the kind you would perhaps expect to find down a back alley of a historic Italian town. (As you can imagine, this fitted in tremendously well with the holiday feeling we were already experiencing from our ‘staycation’ at The Stanley Oriental Hotel, as mentioned in my review of The Boathouse.) It’s a very cute, tiny space that’s packed full most nights. We foolishly thought we could arrive without a reservation and were almost turned away, but thankfully the stars were looking out for us as a couple was just paying.
Our initial plan for the evening was to do a sort of restaurant-crawl, tasting one or two dishes from several restaurants along the waterfront. However, the intrigue of dining at Lucy’s beckoned, so we cut the crawl short after only one restaurant. Unfortunately this meant we had already experienced some sincerely average tapas at Mijas, which is why you might wonder why my meal at Lucy’s was smaller than my usual meals!
It began with a gorgeous plate of char-grilled squid, spicy chickpeas, chorizo and rocket. The flavours were so fresh, drizzled in a lovely and light lemony dressing, and the squid was cooked to utter perfection, without the slightest hint of chewiness. I loved the contrast of the subtly spicy chorizo, which completed this delicious Mediterranean-style dish.
Next up were some beautiful char-grilled sardines with beetroot, dill and horseradish. Aside from having one too many fiddly little bones that became a touch annoying, the sardines had a wonderful flavour, brought out by the fresh beetroot salad and a generous dollop of horseradish.
It seems we were on a char-grilled frenzy, as for main-course we chose the char-grilled lamb fillets, crispy basmati rice cake, red curry and green beans. Perhaps it was because we had advised our waiter that we were sharing everything, but the lamb arrived when we had only just begun our starters, meaning it was cold by the time we got round to trying it. However, this didn’t make it any less enjoyable, as the lamb was perfectly tender, and the slightly spicy red curry sauce was delicious. The crispy basmati rice cake was unusual but it definitely worked, without detracting too much attention from the meat.
Unsurprisingly, there was no char-grilled dessert option, but we did have an incredible pecan pudding with toffee cream sauce. Think of a sticky toffee pudding; now add crunchy, delicious pecan nuts…and there you have the ultimate indulgence.
Service at Lucy’s is very good, and it made me happy to know that Lucy has not just set up the restaurant and left them to it; she was in the kitchen herself that very night! Prices for food aren’t unreasonable, but add on wine and you’ll probably be paying over $700 a head for a three-course meal; trust me, though, it is 100% worth it – it must be if it’s being going strong for 18 years, something only a handful of restaurants in Hong Kong can admit to…
64 Stanley Main Street
Tel: +852 2813 9055