When you have a particular cuisine with a “twist” of another, it can often be a hit or miss experience, as sometimes chefs get a little too carried away with trying to make things weird and wacky. It worked so well for Gaia Group’s Glasshouse, however, that the group has now opened Townhouse high up in the new California Tower.
Whilst Glasshouse is inspired by potting sheds in country houses, Townhouse is its urban big sister, which aims to highlight the city feeling. There’s a lot of concrete, neon lights and floor to ceiling windows that show off the incredible city view.
In the same way as Glasshouse, the menu at Townhouse focuses on Asian cuisine with a Western twist. The menu is actually pretty huge, so you can play it safe and go for less quirky dishes, or you can go all out and try something like the masaman curry lasagna, unless it’s out of stock, as it was on the night we visited. Strangely enough we did actually really want to try it!
The first dish to arrive were the chicken wings with lime, lemongrass and shrimp sambal sauce. These had a beautiful flavour and were lovely and juicy with a decent amount of meat on them.
The small fish tempura had a strong fishy taste, which would probably be a little offensive to people who dislike fishy fish. Dunked in the accompanying spicy kimchi mayonnaise, however, the flavour was nicely balanced.
We were pleasantly surprised by the cheese rice noodles. Here, rolls of cheung fan were coated in a thick layer of gooey cheese, thin strips of bacon and a wonderfully soft 64˚C egg. It was like a Chinese version of a carbonara that somehow totally worked.
I don’t drink Coke, but it makes a killer marinade for BBQ ribs. It also, evidently, makes some delicious Coca Cola prime beef rib skewers. Cooked on a robata grill, the beef had a perfect texture and gorgeous hint of sweetness from the Coke.
Since our first choice of masaman curry wasn’t available, we tried the sizzling duck noodles, which the waiter described as “amazing”. The noodles were served dry in a piping hot stone pot, after which a small jug of hot broth was poured over them, cooking the noodles and creating the necessary sizzle. I think I’d have to agree with the waiter here, these were indeed pretty damn good noodles!
Our dessert of banana crème brûlée also provided a bit of a show, as it was spiked with alcohol and then lit at the table. It came with a cup of black coffee, which we were recommended to pour over it, but then realised it was actually better without. For me, it lacked that all-important caramlised layer on top and in fact the crème itself was a little thin.
Prices at Townhouse are fairly reasonable, particularly given the setting overlooking the city, right in the heart of LKF. Small bites range from $48 to $98, whilst larger dishes are almost all under $200.
Townhouse is a very cool addition to the city with an interesting selection of dishes. It has a really fun vibe that’s perfect for afterwork drinks or dinner with a group of friends. I would imagine it’s a great place to take visitors too, since you can also show off our beautiful city. Definitely one to recommend.
23/F, California Tower
32 D’Aguilar Street
Tel: +852 2344 2366