I’m sure it’s the same every year, but for some reason I feel like there have been more highly anticipated restaurant openings in Hong Kong this year than others. One particularly exciting opening – and this may be because it has been in the works for over two years! – is Gough’s on Gough, Timothy Oulton’s first ever restaurant concept.
If you’ve been to Timothy Oulton’s flagship store on Gough Street, you will be familiar with the elegance and class that this brand radiates. The two-storey restaurant, also on Gough Street (in case the name doesn’t give it away!), is unsurprisingly, therefore, also beautiful. And yet, despite expecting the décor to be impressive, I didn’t quite anticipate just how impressive it would be.
From the street, the first thing you’ll notice is Derek the Diver, a deep-sea diver with a 1940s-vintage helmet, inside a tank full of live piranhas! Once inside, you’ll travel up a beautiful marble spiral staircase to reach the bar and restaurant. The space is absolutely stunning – from the crystal chandeliers, to the moonstone bar, to the black and white marble flooring, to the elegant leather seating – everything is a talking point and it’s clear that thought has gone into every single detail. The plates and cutlery are all antiques and each piece is different, in line with how Timothy Oulton first developed his passion, at his dad’s antique’s shop.
The menu, prepared by Head Chef Arron Rhodes, is described as modern British cuisine, consisting of reinterpreted British classics with influences from around the world. There is either the choice of an eight-course tasting menu (priced at HK$988 per person), or an a la carte menu.
Since we weren’t feeling that ravenous, we opted for the latter, but shared everything so that we could try more dishes. We began with some beautiful handmade gnocchi with smoked Applewood cheddar sauce, pickled potatoes and Angel farm herbs. The gnocchi had the perfect texture and I adored the rich, smoky sauce.
We have visited Gough’s on Gough twice now and ordered the Australian beef tartare both times; if I went a third time, I’d order it again! It is not presented as your typical, perfectly manicured stack of beef here, but rather inside a delicate cylinder of pastry, with English piccalilli, spirals of anchovy mayonnaise and shavings of rich and savoury ox heart. It was an art to look at and an absolute pleasure to eat.
Moving onto mains, the grass-fed Wagyu steak was excellent. The meat was cooked to medium-rare perfection (without even needing to ask how we’d like it cooked), with a lovely char on the outside. Alongside it, came a couple of cubes of melt-in-the-mouth short rib, textures of roasted shallots and a stack of porcini potatoes, drizzled in a rich thyme sauce at our table.
The slow-cooked Tanyasi chicken was also lovely – nice and juicy with a perfectly crisp skin – and I loved the accompanying croquette as well.
To complement our mains, we tried a selection of side dishes, which were each lovely in their own right, particularly the roasted carrots with tangy ewe’s milk ricotta and gremolata.
Seeing ‘chocolate fondant’ and ‘salted caramel’ listed together as part of the same dish made choosing our dessert a no-brainer. Piercing open the soft chocolate cake gave way to lava-like salted caramel that literally left us speechless.
Service at Gough’s on Gough is utterly faultless. South African General Manager Jonathan is a delight and it’s always nice to see someone who is clearly so passionate about what they do. A dinner here won’t be a cheap one, so it’s probably best reserved for a special occasion, or when someone else is paying! On one visit we went for my 30th birthday and probably paid around $1,500 per person, with cocktails and wine. The two-year wait for Gough’s on Gough was definitely worth it and I have a feeling this place is going to win a whole host of awards!
Gough’s on Gough
15 Gough Street
Tel: +852 2473 9066