With so many restaurants in this city, it’s often quite hard to find a stand out favourite that keeps you going back again and again. I can safely say, however, that Stone Nullah Tavern, for me, is definitely up there (see previous review here). Since it opened almost exactly two years ago, it’s been a trusty favourite, where I’ve taken important people and celebrated important occasions. Although I liked their original menu, the guys recently decided to change things up a little, so I was very excited to taste their new dishes.
One of the things I love most about Stone Nullah Tavern is how cosy, comfortable and down-to-earth it is. One of the things I didn’t like so much about it were the prices. This is one of the things that’s changed with the new menu. Moving slightly away from the ‘New American’ genre, SNT has now gone more traditional, focusing on classic dishes from New England and the East Cost that come in hearty, generous portions with a lower price point. The reason for doing this is that owner Todd Darling and Chef Vinny Lauria wanted to bring everything more in-line with their other restaurants, Posto Pubblico and Linguini Fini, which offer ‘every day’ dishes made, of course, with local, organic and seasonal ingredients.
The other change that’s happened is that SNT has now gone ‘full blooded American’, meaning that not only is the entire menu American, but the drinks list is also entirely American. There is now a wide selection of American (and only American) whiskies, including some seriously hard to find ones such as Pappy Van Winkle’s, as well as an all-American wine list.
After sampling the sourdough with thyme-infused beef drippings set over a burning candle, our feast began with two very impressive seafood dishes: shrimp cocktail and king crab legs. Three giant, succulent prawns came not in that ghastly marie-rose sauce, but completely undressed and served with a delicious homemade cocktail sauce and a cute tiny jar of old bay seasoning. The huge crab legs had been cracked already for ease of eating, topped with ‘Typhoon Shelter spice,’ which basically consisted of fried chilli and garlic – heavenly!
I’ve always been a fan of SNT’s nachos, topped with pork cheek chilli, cheddar, jalapeños and crispy pigs’ ears. The updated version thankfully comes as a bigger portion, perfect for sharing.
SNT’s caesar salad can either be enjoyed solo, or with a choice of quirky toppings, one of which is Korean BBQ chicken. The slightly sweet and tangy flavour of the chicken paired beautifully with the anchovy vinaigrette, making this easily one of the better caesar salads in town.
If we’re handing out awards, I’d also rank SNT’s southern fried chicken up there amongst the best in Hong Kong. The batter was perfectly crispy without being too heavy, and the chicken beneath incredibly tender and juicy, served with pots of homemade BBQ sauce and insanely delicious bacon aioli.
What is an all-American restaurant without some BBQ ribs? These ones, glazed in maple BBQ sauce and slow-cooked, fell beautifully off the bone, melted in the mouth and tasted divine with the accompanying gorgonzola slaw and more of that homemade BBQ sauce.
We all know that Chef Vinny can cook a mean pizza and now the new menu at SNT features a selection of wood-grilled American-style pizzas. The BBQ chicken pizza sounded like something I’d normally frown at, but it was seriously good. Only the desire to save room for dessert stopped me from having a second square!
The new menu only features two desserts, one of which is of course the famous Fat Kid Cake. Having already sampled that a number of times, we tried the classic banana split instead. I wouldn’t exactly call this ‘classic.’ Beneath the mountain of cream (far too much for my liking), there were caramelised bananas, brownies, pop rocks, chocolate sauce and chocolate, vanilla and coffee ice cream. After attempting to scrape off the mountain of cream, I could only manage a spoonful or three of this crazily indulgent dessert…but I definitely enjoyed those three spoonfuls!
There have been quite a number of changes at Stone Nullah Tavern, but the excellent service and friendly staff has remained constant. I was a big fan before, and think I can actually say that I’m an even bigger fan now, particularly as you now get a lot more bang for your buck. They’ve also just started doing a crazy happy hour on weeknights where drinks start at only $1…I’m definitely going for some of that action!
Stone Nullah Tavern
69 Stone Nullah Lane
Tel: +852 3182 0128
On Sunday 7th June, Stone Nullah Tavern and Gormei are putting on a fantastic event consisting of all-you-can-eat BBQ, bourbon and beer. To get your mouth watering, think hickory-smoked suckling pig and juicy BBQ pork shoulder slow-cooked over five hours, bourbon cocktails, beer and pickle back shots… Tickets are priced at $650, or only $450 if you book before 1st June, using this special offer. I had the chance to sample the two bourbon cocktails before my dinner tasting – seriously if it hadn’t been a Tuesday night I could quite easily have knocked back at least five of the Bourbon Smashes!
A couple of very lucky readers could stand a chance to WIN FREE TICKETS to this event! Stay tuned to my Facebook page for updates on how you could win!