When was the last time you found a spot to stay on after dinner for late night drinks? There are very few restaurants that execute this concept well, but Carbon wins at hosting the best of both worlds. In H Code at the top of the building, the modern steakhouse serves globally sourced cuts paired with an impeccable wine list and gin flights, that will wow your tastebuds.
The restaurant follows a black and white theme. The dining area is dark, moody, and intimate and balanced with natural light.
A small staircase leads you up to the patio with clean, white furniture and lush greenery. Unfortunately you can’t see the harbour, but the views of the Peak and Midlevels are impressive, especially during sunset.
The patio serves classic cocktails with a twist but in the main dining room, the gin immersions are a must order before dinner – and are the most impressive drinks I’ve had in a while. Some of the gins at Carbon are a collectors dream.
Nordes ($148) was my favourite, powerfully fragrant and floral with each sip. The drinks contains kiwi, cucumber and herbal Mediterranean tonic while Ryan Reynolds’ Aviation Gin ($118) showcases a savoury profile with a tomato infusion, and with each sip follows warm flavours of coffee.
For something sweet and elegant, the Hanabi Marshmallow ($178) is one I recommend trying. There’s flakes of silver, and it smells of vanilla. Toasty marshmallow lands on your palate and follows with the lingering flavours of rose, while the Orbium Hendricks ($168) is fruity with blackcurrant and a touch of elderflower. I love the dominant smell of lavender coming from the large glass, its so calming.
The Asian fusion menu is fresh, and has some classic sides that you might find at a traditional steakhouse.
Daily oysters on the half shell (6 pc, $180) pair well with the gin cocktails. The shells are the size of your hand and come with chilli sauce, Asian vinaigrette, and lemons. I normally prefer mine with the tabasco but the chilli sauce was an even better complement.
Beef tartare ($168) comes with a Japanese twist. Our tartare didn’t have the egg yolk on top but came with wasabi which gave a nice kick.
The mains are exciting, and the cuts are pretty large in portion. Versus other places in Central, the steak is affordable, and we were served the 330g USDA Prime pasture raised rib eye ($598). It was cooked at medium rare and dressed in a Japanese inspired sauce. Bone marrow, dashi and kombu are combined together, and topped with bonito, shallots, and crispy onions to give an earthy, herby, fresh flavour to each bite.
We added the charred creamed corn ($68). Cooked with spinach, the corn is roasted and served in a creamy, parmesan emulsion which went perfectly with our steak.
Dessert is not to be underestimated – the warm cinnamon bun ($78) was the perfect way to end our Sunday dinner. Rolled and slathered with apple butter, each bite is fluffy with apple bourbon ice cream melting on the warm cinnamon bun. It’s creamy and tart, and not as sweet as I thought it’d be.
Carbon has an impressive, international menu but keeps a modern vibe versus the old school and traditional steakhouses in the city. The cuts are affordable versus other places I’ve been to in Hong Kong, and I’ve done my dues paying for sky high prices when it comes to steak. I do like the Asian-fused flavours but you can also get your classic, American cut and pair it with some fresh, creative sides. No matter what time you come to Carbon, check out the patio for a drink. Although if you stay long enough, it can get pretty busy over weekends with large crowds.
26/F, H Code, 45 Pottinger Street, 6166 8585
This write-up is based on a complimentary media tasting provided in exchange for an honest review and no monetary compensation. The opinions expressed here represent the author’s.