By: Claire Locking
We first heard of Ammo many months back but it was such a hot ticket with reviews appearing everywhere, including in The New York Times, that it’s taken us until now to get bum on velvet upholstered seat.
Located in a former British Army munitions depot, now the Admiralty home of the Asia Society, the restaurant’s recent hype becomes all too understandable when you walk through the stunning landscaped entranceway, complete with vertical waterfall cascading over walls of granite, and enter the elevated glass box that is Ammo.
The owners claim that the restaurant offers the chance to dine in “heritage and history” and the location certainly lives up to that, but the restaurant design itself, by Royal College of Art graduate Joyce Wang, is as futuristic as you can get. Copper pipes create a huge statement artwork behind the bar, glistening metal spiral staircases lead upwards to, well, nowhere, and the tables are a mixture of mirrored mosaic and more copper. The row of banquets in sage green-corded velvet echoes the greenery of the view beyond.
So what of the food? With all the rave reviews, which still keep on appearing almost a year after the launch, you would expect something pretty amazing. The menu, then, comes as a surprise as it’s short and to the point; the reason, I’m told, is the miniscule size of the kitchen.
First we sampled some of the tapas menu (available from 5pm). Grilled Wagyu beef sirloin served with Japanese soy sauce ($158) was mouth-wateringly delicious if a bit heavy on the soy. The foiegras terrine with toasted brioche and fig jam ($98) was decadent, rich and truly delicious.
For a starter, we tried the quail salad with braised grapes, pancetta and quail sauce ($138). As a “salad”, this was severely lacking in greens, but the quail prepared two ways was succulent, tender and packed with flavour.
After three such imaginative plates, mains were slightly disappointing with mostly pasta on offer. That said, the pasta is homemade with fresh Italian eggs and it’s accompanied by selection of unusual but successful sauces. (Prices from $88 to $198). Our favourite was the burrata cheese ravioli with Peking duck ragout and orange julienne, sure to have our Italian readers screaming in protest, but truly a delicious combination.
After such carb-heavy mains, dessert was a struggle so we opted for a light prosecco jelly with champagne sorbet ($78), an artistic masterpiece and very unusual, but not ideal for those with a sweet tooth.
Ammo is a truly unique restaurant in an equally unique location but it’s the décor and heritage surroundings that are the star of the show, with the food, although worthy of praise, more like the understudy.
Must-try dish: Burrata cheese ravioli with Peking duck ragout and orange julienne
Lower Level, Asia Society Hong Kong Center
9 Justice Drive, Admiralty
2537 9888 | ammo.com.hk