May 12, 2011

Less is more?!

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I was meeting a friend for lunch today, and tasked with choosing the venue as usual.  I was trying to pick a place I haven't been to when Limehouse popped into my head.  A few of my foodie friends had positive things to say about this little joint in a quiet corner of Wanchai, and I thought it'd be an interesting change from my usual type of places.

I sat down and was given the lunch menu.  I stared at it for a while, a little in shock.  I don't think I've ever seen a smaller or simpler menu.  One is offered the daily soup (not sure there is a choice), a choice of three mains (none of which looks "British"), and a choice of beverage.  OK, so it does say "Simple Lunch" and it's not at all expensive, but it was still a little shocking... especially given that this place is classified as serving British fare and the menu resembled nothing of the sort.

I asked for "another menu" and was then given the dinner menu - with 4 starters and 5 mains.  After looking them over, my friend and I decided to order from the dinner menu and shared 3 items.

Duck liver and egg - this was pretty cute.  The white from the duck egg formed the base while the runny yolk sat on top, sharing the space with a piece of veiny duck foie.  Pretty tasty.  We asked for some bread so we could scoop up the liquid yolk.

Petite fish and chips - kinda misleading coz there was nothing "petite" about this!  Two reasonably-sized fillets of sea bass were presented with a pile of chips, along with both vinegar and tartar sauce.  The vinegar is a nice touch, and the tartar sauce is more astringent and not as viscous as your run-of-the-mill stuff.  The batter looked crisp and good enough, but the texture of the whole thing wasn't to my liking.  Quite a few of the mouthfuls I took felt completely mushy, and I had to double check to see whether it was the batter or the fish.  Perhaps it was both... the sea bass was soft and silky, which in itself could feel a little mushy - especially when taken together with the batter.  Maybe I'm just too used to crappy fish and chips but this particular, seemingly upscale version didn't really appeal in terms of the texture.

Shepherd's pie - I took one look and it's obvious that this hasn't spent enough time in the oven.  Where's the lovely layer of browned mash on top?  While the lamb tasted fine, it was so liquid and runny, leaving a pool of jus at the bottom. Not a fan.

This was a little much for the two of us, and we weren't able to finish the Shepherd's pie nor the chips.  No room for dessert, either...

With only one winner out of three dishes, and the possibility that none of the choices for main at lunch would be British... I am struggling to find a reason to make a return visit.

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