Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen & Bar was easily one of the most anticipated openings of this year. With his fiery temper and inimitable personality, Gordon may not be everyone’s favourite chef, but he certainly stirred up a lot of interest when he was here recently. Personally, I’ve always been a fan and, although I was sad not to meet the chap himself, I was content with the opportunity to at least sample his menu.
Bread Street Kitchen opened in London in 2011; Hong Kong’s version, which is part of the Dining Concepts group of restaurants, is based on the original, with the same warehouse-style design, complete with black and white tiled flooring, low hanging lights and a mix of vintage and modern furniture.
The menu, which features British favourites with a Gordon-esque spin, is also very similar to the London counterpart, although a slightly more condensed version. Gordon himself can obviously not be here to run the show, but thankfully Chef Gilles Bosquet has worked with the Gordon Ramsay Group both in London and Doha, so he knows how things work. Whether he gives his kitchen staff as much of a hard time as Gordon does is unknown, but he definitely makes some tasty food.
As we tucked into a handsome flatbread with caramelised onions, taleggio cheese, cured pig’s cheek and basil pesto, we knew this would be a good meal. The bread itself was wafer thin, crispy and light, whilst the toppings were addictively salty – perhaps too salty for some – and comforting.
I don’t tend to opt for things like king crab cocktail, yet this one came strongly recommended. However, whilst I appreciated the generous chunks of crab, contrasted against the crunchy slices of tart Granny Smith apple and the light dressing, it’s still not a dish I would order again.
Many search high and low for decent fish and chips in Hong Kong. BSK’s beer-battered barramundi is without a doubt the best I have tasted. The batter was light yet substantial, without being the slightest bit greasy, whilst the fish was perfectly flaky and very well seasoned. Unfortunately I can’t say it’s the best fish and chips I have had, as the chips were rather dry and added little to the dish. Thankfully the mushy peas and tartar sauce were up to par though.
I seldom order chicken in a restaurant, since it’s easy to cook at home, but something about the roasted baby chicken with chimichurri and burnt lemon caught our eye. Unlike the chips, this little chicken was not dry in the slightest; it was unbelievably juicy and tender, whilst the chimichurri was fresh and delicious.
As a side dish, the braised red cabbage with apple and raisins was interesting and fun. I initially wasn’t too sure about the sharp acidic flavour, but it soon grew on me and it paired nicely with the chicken.
We stopped reading the dessert menu as soon as we saw banana sticky toffee pudding; I was intrigued to see how this quintessentially British dessert could be Gordoned up. Unlike many versions of this dish, there was a decent amount of toffee sauce in which to soak up the soft, fluffy sponge cake. Had the menu said simply ‘sticky toffee pudding,’ I would have thought it a damn good one; since it also contained the word ‘banana,’ however, I must say I was a little disappointed, as I couldn’t detect any banana at all.
Service was very friendly (we were amused by the Australian guy who presented each dish to us with a whole selection of adjectives, a la Nigella: “here is our delectable fish and chips” or “our beautiful flatbread”, for example). It was, however, painfully slow service. We waited what seemed like an eternity for our main courses and, despite ordering our dessert before we had even finished our mains, still waited a good while for this too. Prices aren’t nearly as unreasonable as I had expected, for Gordon at least, with starters around $120 and mains mostly around $200.
I was impressed, on the whole, by Bread Street Kitchen, although there are definitely several tweaks that could be worked on and speed of service could be improved. Perhaps if Chef Gilles starts giving his staff a bit of Gordon-style attitude then that might help speed things up a little!
Bread Street Kitchen & Bar
Mezzanine floor, LKF Hotel
33 Wyndham Street
Tel: +852 2230 1800
UPDATE: I revisited BSK this week and the speed between courses was perfect! The service was again fantastic (big shout out to the same Aussie guy who was again excellent) and we tried some different dishes. I’d recommend the “life-changing” pineapple carpaccio instead of the sticky toffee pudding and the “absolutely beautiful” tamarind chicken wings instead of the prawn cocktail.