Monday, December 14, 2015

Weekend Dinners - Mr. and Mrs. Fox and El Mercado

This was a restaurant heavy weekend, where Michael and I went out to Quarry Bay on Friday night to have a decadent and wonderful dinner with another couple at Mr. and Mrs. Fox, where we each ordered 22 oz. ribeyes (an unbelievable portion size for Hong Kong)….
I got a beautiful cut of meat and thoroughly enjoyed my cauliflower gratin and head of roasted garlic. They cooked the steak perfectly - a perfect medium rare.  I was less interested in the sauces (bĂ©arnaise, chimmichurri and pepper) but the meat was also so flavorful that I felt the sauces were unnecessary.

I'm afraid that our table was not that original - all four of us got medium rare ribeyes - so I can't give much of a review about their other dishes.  But you know what?  Ribeyes were not a bad idea.  Not a bad idea at all.

Verdict?  Very satisfying.  I would come back.  There were some issues (particularly with the service) but overall I thought the meat was very good quality and quantity for the price.

Mr. & Mrs. Fox
23 Tong Chong Street
Quarry Bay, Hong Kong

 Friday's meat sweats inducing dinner was followed (for me) by an impromptu girls dinner at El Mercado in Wanchai on Saturday night.  The restaurant was cheerful, with a very colorful menu, fun lights and warm wood settings.

The concept is fusion -- Peruvian Japanese.
They start you off with a small bag of addictive fried plantain chips.
We kicked off with a few cold plates - sea urchin "sushi" on cucumber atop a bed of rice, with pickled ginger.  

Quail egg on top of flank steak "sushi" atop banana sweetened rice.

 Scallops ceviche.
 Tuna and shrimp and various assorted seafoods ceviche.
Seared tuna atop a bed of avocado.
 Cochon, or suckling pig.

Flank steak stir fried with vegetables and potatoes, paired with rice:

Overall verdict?  Meh, not bad, but not stellar?  Same old.  Some flavors were intriguing, others were a bit off.  The portions were so small for the price.  There was one moment while I was eating the seafood ceviche when I also thought, I really hope I don't get food poisoning.  

If this same restaurant (or any number of restaurants here) had to survive in London, Tokyo, New York, or San Francisco… well, they simply wouldn't.  It is a sad fact that it is nearly impossible to find a remarkable or noteworthy restaurant here, because you are subsidizing the rent above all else - including the ingredients, the innovation, the staff, and the chef. 

So what to do?  At least it offers a nice environment for hanging out with friends!

21/F, 239 Hennessy Road
Wanchai, Hong Kong

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