There is no ambiguity about a place that calls itself MEATS in big, no-holds-barred capital letters – you definitely know what you’re going to get! Everything about this popular Hong Kong restaurant is bold, from the fit-out that features exposed raw materials with vintage touches, through to the mini cleavers on each table, to the decision to specialise in and celebrate meat in all its glory.
Describing the restaurant as a “meat bar”, head chef Paddy McDermott has designed a menu that aims to showcase unappreciated cuts of meat, as well as the many techniques that can be used to create amazing dishes.
The one-page menu is the sort of exercise in restraint that can only come from a confident chef. The dishes, designed to be shared, are divided into smalls, meats, sides, veggies and sweet dishes.
We opted to start with three sides to share. A chicken liver pate is topped with cocoa nibs and Pedro Ximénez spheres for a twist, and served with a decent side of buttery brioche toast. There is also a to-die-for bone marrow with anchovy butter and tarragon breadcrumbs, while beef tongue comes served on a skewer, dressed with oyster sauce, chilli and crispy garlic, my surprise favourite of the dishes.
For mains, we enjoyed Iberian porchetta with crispy crackling, and a succulent serve of beef cheek. A delightfully retro iceberg wedge salad with homemade ranch dressing proved the perfect palate cleanser.
The bold approach continues through to dessert. Punchy presentations of classic dishes included pear tarte tatin, with plump peach slices in bourbon caramel and vanilla ice cream, and a coconut lime pie.
Whether you want to dine with a group, or grab a bite at the casual counters, MEATS is an excellent addition to the Staunton Street dining strip.
Must try dish: beef tongue
For more see our Wine & Dine section
This article first appeared in the February/March 2018 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.