Sunday, February 5, 2017

Chinese New Year Date Nights - Dinner at 22 Ships, Blue Butcher and Sen Ryo

Apologies for the lack of posts, my week has been absolutely cray cray!

To get back to the fun stuff, because we didn't go away for Chinese New Year, Michael and I decided to eat it up while we were in town in Hong Kong.  We did a date night extravaganza every night!  I had to work during one of the days of my public holiday (which is, truly, sacrilegious - this is like making someone work on Thanksgiving or Christmas) but I am not going to dwell on this point.

On to the food.  I love 22 Ships (conveniently located at 22 Ship Street), a small tapas restaurant in Wan Chai helmed by the Michelin star chef Jason Atherton, but it's normally terrible eating there because the lines are so long and they don't take reservations.  Chinese New Year was the perfect time to go - no wait, we waltzed right in, and in minutes we were ordering our delicious tapas.

Our view at the bar:

Tuna tartare and spicy rice cracker chips:
 Duck egg with grains and duck ragu:
 Beet salad with feta cheese:
 Seafood paella with crispy jamon:
 Grilled chorizo with red peppers and onions:
 Cauliflower salad with cheese and walnuts:
They gave us a free dessert on account of the Chinese New Year, which was a delicious, rich chocolate cake, and we ordered a goat cheese ice cream with fresh raspberries and crunchy cake bits.

Everything was really fresh, innovative and tasty - we really enjoyed our meal here, and you can easily see why the restaurant is still going strong well past its inaugural year.  The lines here are warranted.

22 Ships
22 Ship Street
Wan Chai Hong Kong
+842 2555 0722

On the next night, we went to Blue Butcher, because Michael (and admittedly, I) was craving steak.  I think Blue Butcher serves up one of the tastiest steaks in town.  We contemplated going to one of the big fancy steak joints, but we ultimately decided we didn't want a hotel or steak chain.  The restaurant was quiet and we got a comfortable corner booth. 

They have a meat locker on site.

They also converted the downstairs bar area to a butcher shop of sorts, so you can select meat to take home.
Michael wore his gold cufflinks that were my parents' Christmas present to him - they looked fantastic!
We ordered a large 38 oz. Wagyu ribeye to share, coupled with truffle fries and a green salad.  The steak was a standout - tender, delicious, perfectly cooked (we asked for medium rare, but more on the rare side).  The steak had the most amazing charred crust and the interior was so flavorful.  It needed no extra sauce at all.
The fries were very tasty too, just the right width and crispiness and covered in truffle oil and grated cheese.
The green salad was very simple (just bibb lettuce and pickled onions) - and the vinaigrette was very, very tart. 
The dessert (a peanut butter whipped cream dessert with hazelnut ice cream) was a bit bland and too creamy for my taste. 

Blue Butcher
108 Hollywood Road
Central Hong Kong
+852 2613 9286

We also went to Sen Ryo, which is admittedly not as fancy as the other two, but it's a fun experience because it's conveyor belt sushi.

 Michael got a hot sake which came in a fancy pot to keep it warm.
We were hungry, and we went in... the restaurant charges you based on the number of plates you eat, and the colors and patterns of the plates correspond to different prices.  Stacking them up...and up...
 I got one of these fancy sea urchin plates:
Everyone sits at this long, long looping table, grabbing food off of the conveyor as it goes by.  The chefs feed the plates from the back.
There are also a la carte options (I ordered a fatty tuna hand roll with spring onions that was the highlight of my meal).  Never one to pass up sea urchin, I also tried their warship.  Not too bad.
 Michael got one of these wagyu steak sushi, which was probably his favorite.
All in all, it was a very satisfying meal, but some plates, especially on the conveyor belt, were hit and miss.  The tricky thing with this kind of sushi is that you can't really keep track of what the prices are.
Would we go again?  Maybe if we really felt the need for a fix, but we will probably stick with our usual cheap go-to place, Itacho Sushi.

Sen Ryo
Floor 3, IFC Mall (multiple locations around Hong Kong)
8 Finance Street
Central, Hong Kong
+852 2234 7633

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