Much to the disappointment of my dad, brother and husband, I have never really been one for watching sport on TV. I could, however, always be bribed with a burger at McSorley’s in Soho – until it unexpectedly closed down a few years ago. I was therefore excited to see that it had reopened on Staunton Street, so naturally had to go and check it out.
The new McSorley’s is just one street down from its old home, with a huge open façade adorned with Irish flags that hang out over the street, making it near impossible to miss. Step inside and it immediately has that pub-like feel to it – something that many expats in Hong Kong crave. It also has a second floor with a separate entrance, making it perfect for private events. And, of course, to satisfy sports fans, multiple TVs are fitted on both floors, showing all major sporting events.
The main thing I remember about the old McSorley’s menu, as I mentioned, is the burger. This was most likely at a time before the major burger craze hit Hong Kong and McSorleys’ burger was widely considered one of the best in town. I therefore had my heart set on trying the premium hand-crafted Angus burger on this visit. Perhaps I had hyped it up in my mind too much, or perhaps there are just better burgers to be found in Hong Kong these days (see my review of Beef & Liberty), but I must say I wasn’t overly impressed, as the patty was a little dry and under-seasoned. It wasn’t terrible, but it certainly wasn’t memorable.
I actually much preferred the corned beef sandwich, topped with Guinness caramelised onions, smoked bacon and raclette cheese. The flavours worked perfectly together and the corned beef was lovely and juicy – quite the opposite to the burger. Both the burger and the sandwich were served with chips, which were very good until they went soggy from sitting in the pot for too long – maybe we should have eaten them quicker!
Since curry is pretty much the UK’s national dish, aside from its regular pub grub menu, the restaurant also offers a separate Indian a la carte menu, which it brands as ‘The Curry House & Tandoor by McSorley’s’. Every Tuesday from 6pm to 10pm they serve an all-you-can-eat Indian buffet for HKD168 per person.
I am a danger to myself at buffets, as I have to try a little bit of everything in order to get my money’s worth and make sure I don’t miss out on anything. Usually, this means trying a bite of each thing and deciding whether it’s worth the stomach space before potentially discarding it and moving on to the next. There was no discarding of anything here, however, as everything I tried was delicious.
I particularly enjoyed the vegetable samosas, the chicken tikka, the lamb masala and the fish makhani, which worked as the perfect dip with the fluffy garlic naan. None of the curries were particularly spicy, since I guess they have to appeal to everyone, but they had a lovely flavour and could easily have enticed me to go for multiple rounds, had I not also had some of the burger and corned beef sandwich!
The buffet also includes a fruit platter and tasty little bites of passionfruit cheesecake. Wanting to try something off the a la carte menu, we also ordered the baked chocolate pecan pie. The pastry was a little dry and over-cooked, but the chocolatey-nutty filling, which was still warm from the oven, was lovely and paired nicely with the vanilla ice cream.
Service at McSorley’s is friendly and efficient. Prices are pretty standard for HK, at about HKD150 for a main course. Considering the average price for a curry here is around HKD140, it’s definitely worth going on a Tuesday to enjoy unlimited servings of delicious Indian fare! Now, whilst I wouldn’t rush back to the new McSorley’s for a burger, I would certainly return for curry!
McSorley’s Ale House
G/F, 46 Staunton Street
Tel: +852 2385 5515