Well hello there! Please excuse the radio silence these last few weeks as I’ve been busy remembering how to operate a small baby without breaking it – or myself – in the process. On the plus side, this has resulted in a newly-rediscovered ability to multitask (I am, in fact, feeding said baby as I type this), but also an unfortunate slide into the sort of slatternly personal grooming habits that I’d rather not share publicly (hint: may include an over-reliance on dry shampoo and an embrace of yoga pants with an enthusiasm I’ve never managed to summon up for actual yoga).
Anyway, on to the good stuff, and for Little Baby T-T’s social debut, I decided to finally hit up Gordon Ramsey’s Hong Kong outpost of Bread Street Kitchen in Lan Kwai Fong for Sunday lunch with the family in tow. Sadly, come the big day, neither Young Master T-T nor his father were feeling up to road testing a big family meal. Undeterred, I borrowed someone else’s family instead, grabbed the baby and his proud grandma who was in town for a visit, and headed off to re-join the outside world after a fortnight of tea and pyjamas.
As the only one of my children that I had with me is currently indifferent to the subtleties of a well thought out menu (“I’ll take the milk flavour, please!”), my test subject for the day was three-year-old H-Man, who gamely stood in for my absent kiddo without hesitation. So it seems only fair that we start with the kids’ menu: a short and sweet affair that arrived with crayons, a colouring book and a very cute chef’s hat for a very cute young chap.
H opted for the butternut squash soup that arrived in a generous serving with a crisp slice of garlic toast. Using my superior powers of distraction (“look! It’s a dinosaur!”) I snaffled a spoonful and can confirm that it was delicious, with a hint of black pepper to cut through the squash’s sweetness. Next up came fish and chips with crushed peas, a pretty enormous serving of flavoursome white fish in deliciously light and crisp batter, with a serving of proper chunky chips (no skinny fries here) and a ramekin of crushed minted garden peas. Yes, I really am the sort of person to steal food from a child’s plate, but in mitigation, the portions are extremely large for a three-year-old. And besides, who am I to deny a preschooler room for his dessert? This particular pud was a spectacular Eton mess, crammed to the very top with fresh red berries, fruit coulis and a crisp-yet-chewy meringue. So what was the verdict from H? “Yum”. Quite.
On to the adults, and having seen the sizes of the plates arriving at neighbouring tables, we wisely chose to skip starters and head straight to the main event. H’s mum and I both went for the Sunday roast, while my mum more sensibly went for the lighter option of pan-fried sea bream. Roast of the day was lamb, and this was accompanied by all the trimmings you might expect: roasties, parsnips, Brussels sprouts and – most exciting of all – a big fat fluffy Yorkshire pudding, as light as a flour-and-fat-based cloud. It must be noted that the portions were hungry man-sized, more or less containing a whole medium rare baa-lamb but that we gamely powered through like champs, despite threatening meat sweats. The sea bream was flaky and the delicate fish flavour was complemented by the parmesan emulsion and salted pork cheeks (err… that’ll be bacon, then?) that accompanied the dish.
Dessert was an adult-sized portion of the aforementioned Eton mess, a wonderfully oozing sticky toffee pudding with rich, dark Muscovado caramel sauce that could only have been improved upon if it had come in a pint jug, and a dark chocolate tart, whose bitter cocoa core was perfectly balanced by a generous dollop of salted caramel ice cream. Fortunately for me, my poor mum was far too polite to bat away any encroaching spoons, and so I can confirm with some certainty that this was the runaway winner in the dessert race.
The restaurant is certainly family-friendly in that it welcomes children, has high chairs available and offers a well-thought out kids’ menu that includes plenty of veg. BUT unfortunately BSK loses quite a few points when it came to access, or more to the point, poor communication about its lack of access.
Due to its location in the LKF Hotel (and the fact that my previous forays into LKF have definitely NOT involved bringing a baby, being more “jelly-shots-at-2am”-type affairs), I had called ahead to enquire whether the restaurant had lift access, explaining that I was bringing a pram, and was assured that I’d be able to use a service lift at the rear of the restaurant. When I arrived, I was categorically told that there was no lift access at all, resulting in my toting a heavy pram and kid down four flights of stairs – two weeks after a c-section. To say that I was unimpressed would be a huge understatement, and while I totally understand that many venues in Hong Kong simply aren’t designed to be accessible, to actually confirm that there’s a lift available and then deny access to it is just crap. Who exactly do Dining Concepts think will be using all those high chairs if not kids who are young enough to be in a stroller? Unfortunately this really put a dampener on the whole experience before we had got as far as tasting the (truly excellent) food.
The total bill with one glass of sparkling wine and coffee each came to $1700, which I felt very reasonable for the standard – and the quantity – of food. So, would I go back? Yes, but this time I’ll be wearing the little one in a sling or ensuring that Mr T-T is there to take on the heavy lifting.
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 12pm-3pm and 6pm-11pm; Saturday 12pm-11pm; Sunday 11-11pm; Public holidays 12pm-11pm
Bread Street Kitchen & Bar, Mezzanine Level, Lan Kwai Fong Hotel, 33 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong; 2230 1800
Please note that we paid for this meal ourselves.