wilburs hong kong

As I’ve mentioned previously, Castelo Concepts restaurants are, for me, little more than a safe bet. You know that the quality of ingredients will be decent, the menu (which is often enormous) is bound to have at least one or two things you’ll like, and it won’t cost you and arm and a leg. And yet you know not to expect anything Michelin star worthy. The group has been expanding rapidly recently, with plenty more tricks up their sleeve in the coming months. Having been seriously impressed by Missy Ho’s, which breaks away from the Castelo mould, I was eager to put the group’s newest restaurant, Wilbur’s, to the test.

Wilbur’s takes over the Wyndham Street space that was formerly Pepperoni’s, another Castelo restaurant. The interior, decked out with rustic wood, corrugated iron and cute pots of fresh herbs, made me feel as though I had walked into a garden shed, yet a very spacious and airy one that was instantly welcoming.

The restaurant promises to serve “burgers, burritos and lobsters”. The menu is kept very simple and broken up into these three sections, plus a couple of others such as starters, salads and ribs. Simply put, it’s unfussy comfort food to satisfy cravings.

wilburs hong kong

We started with a serving of Wilbur’s ‘famous’ wings. How they are famous when Wilbur’s has only just arrived on the scene I do not know, but what I do know is that these crispy little wings were delicious, served with a yummy sweet chilli and fresh herb dip to give them a gratifying kick. I also loved how they were served in a dim sum basket, adding a cute Hong Kong touch.

Now, what I found a little strange was that under the heading ‘burritos’, which supposedly is one of the three things Wilbur’s specialises in, there was not a single burrito listed. Instead, there were tacos, nachos and fajitas. There was a veggie burrito on the set lunch menu, but nothing on the main menu. Was this an accidental slip when typing up the menu, or is ‘burritos’ being used here as a collective noun for Mexican dishes?

wilburs hong kong

Therefore, despite craving a burrito, we opted for the pork tacos. These rather sizable tacos were layered with pork meat, a huge dollop of sour cream, salsa and far too much shredded lettuce, with some pleasing guacamole on the side. Flavour-wise, once I had added some chilli flakes, scraped off a lot of the sour cream and replaced it with guac, they weren’t too bad. But in almost every mouthful, we found an inedible piece of gristle (either bone, or cartilage, or something you would not want to swallow) that had to be removed, which somewhat dampened the whole experience.

wilburs hong kong

We were pleased to see that under ‘burgers’ there were quite a number of different ones to choose from, of which we chose the Black Angus burger, adding some bacon and cheese (for an additional charge). It was a very decent sized burger that would not leave you hungry, but unfortunately the patty didn’t carry much flavour. We could tell that the beef was good quality and it was nicely cooked, but a little bit of seasoning wouldn’t have gone amiss. I was, however, very impressed by the chips, which were a perfect balance of crispy and fluffy, served with their skin still on, which is always a nice touch.

Since we’d eaten far too much greasy American food for a weekday lunch, we decided to skip dessert, even though both the ‘banana rama’ and the ‘cheesecake mush’ did try and entice me.

Service was fine, though not the friendliest, and our total bill came to $470 including a soft drink. I really enjoyed the setting and décor at Wilbur’s. In terms of the food, there are obviously one or two tweaks to iron out, so if they manage to do this, then I can definitely see this as a fun, comfortable place to hang out. It has literally just opened, so in time I see no reason why Wilbur’s can’t join my list of ‘safe’ restaurants to enjoy some hearty comfort food. I’d also be interested to see if some burritos make their way onto the menu!

Wilbur’s

G/F, 34 Wyndham Street
Central
Hong Kong

Tel: +852 2525 1439

www.casteloconcepts.com/our-venues/wilburs

3 Responses to “Wilbur’s”

  1. Mitzie Mee

    I’m amazed by all the nice Hong Kong restaurants you’ve written about. I’m visiting Hong Hong next month, can’t wait! :)

    Reply
  2. J

    Slightly half-way on this one.

    Presents as high end dude food in a-grade setting. Setting is, indeed, a-grade. But you’re righ on the Mexican incursion – I heard an American expat having precisely the same conversation that you, above, articulate about lack of burritos. Same deal : it’s a collective term (presumably for dunking slop into soft or fried bread – no, in itself, a bad thing, I hasten to add).

    Had the lamb burger – Firstly, you are spot on about the seasoning, my lamb burger had no salt. Seriously, don’t nanny my salt intake, I get somewhat cranky. Lamb burger better with salt. Secondly, massive bread content to meat ratio – granted, this can be a feature of gastro-burgers, but bin the bun’s top half. Thirdly, you’re right on the fries, too – good combi, perhaps could be a little crunchier, but that’s personal taste, and again I’d argue they need to be dandrandruffed in a little more salt.

    Service was ok – I was on a ‘high’ bar table rather than a ‘low’ booth. The booths were being patrolled by a (presumably newly trained lady) member of staff who – just about – remembered not to click her heels as she turned. Seriously, I’d have felt like I was in a prison dining hall if I’d been on that side. On my side, I was happily ignored – aside from getting my bill (not asked for) presented halfway through my main course.

    Summary ? I liked it. Decent food, easily improved to be ‘good’ and staff issues that can be sorted. Will compete against The Diner on Arbuthnot. Eng/Aust vs USA, then. Both good, Wilbur a little cheaper.

    J

    Reply
  3. A

    You got lucky missing the burritos. I was at Wilbur’s for lunch the other day and the burritos have found their way onto the menu, both the regular and the lunch set. I come from California (granted, Northern California) so I have a pretty good idea of what Mexican food is supposed to look like, and I’m comfortable saying that cauliflower and button mushrooms don’t belong. The filling (apart from the aforementioned grilled vegetable salad) was basically fairly tasteless ground beef. The burrito came covered with a few lumps of sour cream and guacamole that struggled but failed to redeem the dish, and also an inexplicable black pepper sauce that might not have been too out of place with a steak, but was clearly a mismatch for Mexican.

    I’m pretty unlikely to come back for the burritos and I confess a true fear of the lobster (the set lunch came with a mostly tasteless, slightly bitter lobster bisque), but I will say that the ribs at the next table looked pretty tasty and I think will merit a return trip. I did not get a chance to taste the burger . . they were pretty big and looked appetizing, though the meat seemed a bit densely packed for my taste. Unfair to judge on sight though . . .

    As noted in other reviews the place looks great, and the service, while maybe a bit disorganized, was generally good as the staff were genuinely nice and tried to be helpful.

    I suggest management consult a Mexican cookbook but not quite ready to write the place off.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)

Current day month ye@r *