February 24, 2016

In pork we trust

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We were in Causeway Bay trying to figure out a place to grab a bite for dinner when Hello Kitty suggested that we check out The Fat Pig by Tom Aikens.  It's the latest venture from my friends at the Press Room Group, replacing SML which occupied the same space.  This was, of course, a great idea - since I was salivating over a picture of pig trotter on toast from this place just days ago.

The menu was relatively compact, and of course pretty much all pork.  We decided to order a few small plates but ended up caving in to the lure of a larger main dish.

But I start off with a drink.  Hello Kitty and I have a running joke about how every single waitstaff at restaurants and bars always deliver the wrong drinks to the two of us.  I would always get the alcoholic drink that the staff assumed guys would order - like beer, for example, which I actually don't like - when in reality they are her drinks.  She would always get served the girlie drinks, but inevitably I am the one who orders them...

Anyway, I wasn't looking carefully when I ordered the Whore's Bath... but upon the first sip, I realized that the umeshu (梅酒) pretty much overpowered everything else.

Confit pork rillette, sour apple chutney - I know Tom Aikens can do a good rillette from what I've had at The Porn Pawn, so this was a no-brainer...

As much as I love the full-fledged fattiness in a rillette, I gotta admit that the sour apple chutney did a very good job in balancing things out.

Fried pig's head croquette, watercress salsa verde - what's not to like about pig's head, especially when it's been deep-fried?!

There was a lot less collagen here than I had expected, but that didn't mean it wasn't tender or delicious.  The icing on the cake, though, was the watercress salsa verde.  Once again, this helped cut down the fat and also brought nice flavors to the dish.

Braised chopped pig's trotter on sourdough - this was the dish I was salivating over... when I nearly drooled onto the screen of my phone.  It did not disappoint.  The chopped trotter was every bit as fatty as I had hoped, but once again there was vinegar to provide acidity, along with some spices to keep it from being one-dimensional.  So much happiness for a mere HKD 45.

Barbecued sweet and sour pork ribs, spiced honey, steamed rice and coleslaw - this was the surprise of the evening.  I was expecting sweet and sour, and the tamarind-based sauce certainly got that.  What I didn't expect was how spicy this was... there was some serious heat here!  My tongue was on fire, and I had to douse the flames with the cool coleslaw.  And here comes the other surprise: it wasn't your typical and boring cabbage drowning in mayo.  The spiced coleslaw had plenty of cumin to make things interesting, and I would have happily eaten a couple more bowls of it... if I could find the stomach space.

A pretty satisfying meal, and I still love the concept of a nose-to-tail menu... as the sign says: "Leave no part behind".  On my next visit I'd definitely want to try to fried pig's tail, fried pig's ears, the jowl... and of course the belly.

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