Whilst certain restaurant openings carry with them an element of arrogance, making sure the whole world knows they are new on the scene, others open quietly and humbly, knowing they don’t need to make a fuss. Newcomer Lazy Hog on Bridges Street fits into the latter category, having opened discreetly last month.
Serving ‘New American’ sharing dishes, Lazy Hog is a very down to earth little spot that instantly made us feel relaxed and comfortable. The décor is simple, with whitewashed mock wooden furniture and a few little pig trotter stencils dotted around. The space is divided into two areas – one with a semi-open kitchen and one with a bar (which will serve craft beers and interesting cocktails once they get their liquor licence), and apparently in time there will also be a whisky bar in the basement. At the time we visited, we were plied with complimentary vino instead, which went down very nicely.
The staff at Lazy Hog reflects the down to earth feel of the place. Owner Marcus (behind cool coffee shop Lof10) has rounded up a great team including an ex-Catalunya chef, an ex-St Betty chef, another chef flown in directly from Portland, US and a lovely general manager, Chad, who was also previously at St. Betty. All the staff are friendly, without being overbearing, helping you feel comfortable and at ease.
The menu is concise, limited to around 10 items and a few specials. There is a strong focus on organic, natural and seasonal ingredients and everything is homemade.
I remember when pigs’ ears were what you fed your dog. These days, they’re super fashionable, served even in some of the fancier restaurants – and quite rightly too, as they’re far too tasty to waste on dogs! Lazy Hog’s pigs’ ear nachos are slow-cooked for 18 hours, before being frozen, sliced and then dehydrated. Although they aren’t the easiest things to eat, since they crumble at the slightest touch, these crispy, salty pigs’ ears are seriously delicious, topped with cherries and homemade sour cream.
Lazy Hog’s hog nuggets are apparently inspired by McDonalds’ nuggets, yet these are just so much better, and no doubt healthier too. The pork shoulder is slow-cooked for 10 hours, making it wonderfully succulent and tender, and then made into nuggets with leeks and celeriac, and served with homemade beetroot ketchup.
From the specials menu, we tried the chicken lollipops with cider glaze. These were lovely and juicy, with a perfectly crunchy exterior that had a delicious sweetness to it. It’s just a shame there wasn’t more of that cider glaze, so we didn’t have to fight for the last little drizzle on the plate!
The watermelon tartare was very impressive, not only due to its cute presentation in the form of a pig’s trotter. Somehow, even though it was completely vegetarian, it could very easily have been mistaken for beef. Having been frozen for 8 hours and then dehydrated, the watermelon was no longer soft and watery, but had a texture exactly like that of tender raw beef. I loved the mustardy spice and the flavoursome watermelon rind against the light basil foam and chunks of goat’s cheese.
Last of the savouries were the Buffalo wings, smothered in a delicious sticky marinade. The chicken was again perfectly tender and juicy and we loved the cheesy dip that was somehow light and airy despite having such a rich flavour.
Moving onto dessert, the buttermilk panna cotta, served with blueberry sorbet, shaved almonds and fresh mint, despite its slightly untidy appearance, was actually one of the best panna cottas I have ever had. Our only complaint was that there could have been just a few more sprigs of mint to liven it up a little.
The pastry chef insisted we also try her daily special of honey granita with Greek yoghurt snow and Marsala honey, another very pleasing dish that rounded off the meal very nicely.
Most dishes at Lazy Hog are under $200. If you plan on trying as many dishes as we did, however, then your bill will easily amount to around $1000 for two – more once they have their liquor licence. It’s a really simple, easygoing place with its own unique character and unbeatable service, in which I can envision spending many an evening sampling fun, creative dishes in an unpretentious setting.
29-31 Bridges Street
Tel: +852 2858 1321
Closed on Mondays