If any cuisine could claim to be the definition of comfort food, it would be Southern American food. Enoteca Group quickly realised their Drunken Duck wasn’t to everyone’s liking, and has now replaced it with The Parish, an authentic Southern American restaurant serving comfort food at its best.
If you ever visited The Drunken Duck, you’ll see that some of the décor has remained, such as the blue and white tiles on the walls and pillars. Add to this worn woods, vintage-style leather chairs, vintage-style mirrors and black cast-iron window frames, and the scene is set for feast in the Big Easy.
Much like the décor, the menu is also very simple and unpretentious, showcasing all the staple Cajun and Creole dishes you would expect to find, plus a few extras. Running the kitchen is Executive Chef Jack Carson, a New Orleans native and Hong Kong’s authority on Southern American cuisine.
I admit to having a serious weakness for sweet potato fries. We had barely sat down when I saw them on the menu and decided we must have them to snack on whilst deciding on the rest of our meal choices. These were, without a doubt, some of the best sweet potato fries I have encountered. There seemed to be an additional layer of crispiness on the outside, giving way to fluffy goodness inside. Dipped in the accompanying cumin dip, they were even better.
Given the meatiness of the humble aubergine, the eggplant fingers offered a similar bite and texture to that of a chicken goujon. They had a subtle smokey flavour that paired beautifully with the chilli aioli. Be warned, though, a portion of eggplant fingers offers six chunky pieces, which will quickly fill you up if there are only two of you.
The heirloom tomato, feta and watermelon salad was light and refreshing, with a lovely balance of sharp, sweet and salty flavours.
When our half rack of Backyard BBQ ribs arrived, I was certain they had mistakenly given us a full rack, as it was more than enough to share. The ribs were beautifully fork-tender and that BBQ sauce was seriously good. Ask for an extra pot of this.
Chef Carson is known for his Southern fried chicken, so it was absolutely essential we put it to the test. We were so excited about its arrival that we attacked the pile of beautifully golden-fried chicken before it even made contact with the table. I then remembered my readers and insisted we put our drumsticks down and recreate the dish for a photo before tucking in! The batter was perfectly crisp and tasted divine even on its own, whilst the chicken beneath was incredibly juicy and utterly delicious. I think we found Hong Kong’s best fried chicken.
Following the recommendation of the very friendly staff who served us, we finished with a slice of Key Lime Pie. One of the staff actually said to us, “if you don’t like it, it’s on me.” We tried to pretend we didn’t like it, but it was a bit difficult considering we had already scraped the plate clean! That said, I’m more of a chocolate or cheesecake girl, so I think a return trip is in order to try the Mississippi Mud Pie!
Prices are pretty reasonable at The Parish, and definitely more so than Chef Carson’s former restaurant, Restoration. Starters are mostly under $100, whilst mains are mostly between $100 and $200. Service, in true Southern American style, is exceptional – the staff genuinely wanted to serve us and give us their personal recommendations, a touch I always appreciate. I don’t even have to hope that The Parish will have a better fate than its predecessor – I know that its tasty, homely comfort food and excellent service will keep the customers coming back.
G/F, 44 Staunton Street
Tel: +852 2803 0050