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Hong Kong presents a juxtaposition in geography and history. Beyond its glimmering lights radiating from the packed skyscrapers of the city and its mountainous backdrops, the city is an East-meets-West cross, where British-Chinese influences remain today. These influences are reflected at sophisticated Holt’s Café.
Housed in the glamorous Rosewood hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui, the café is named after the former Holt’s Wharf (known as Victoria Dockside today) and showcases iconic teahouse staples and HK-style fare.
A motley of traditional dim sum arrived at our table, hot and steaming, with baskets of siu mai ($68) and har gaw ($68) and a porcelain plate of sesame prawn toast ($68). The freshly made pork, shrimp and mushroom dumplings, firm shrimp wrapped in delicate skins and crunchy toast completed the first few bites and iconic, must-eat dishes of the city.
The char siu ($160) at Holt’s Café is made with nutty, lean Ibérico pork that’s cooked with a well-balanced sauce.
The wok-fried grouper ($280) contains blades of ginger, spring onion and shallot, with the fish placed on top in a glossy sauce. Flaky and tender, this fish dish was light and savoury.
A must-try is the baked tomato pork chop rice ($240). Hearty in portion, this dish is perfect for sharing. The sauce is creamy, with the tomato sending a particular intensity to the taste buds. Slightly sweet, salty and a bit tart, the pork chop was tender, and the fluffy rice soaked up the ultra-red, velvety sauce. Shout-out to the fried egg on top, adding another element of indulgence.
A soft bed of wok-fried flat rice noodles ($160) sprinkled with some sesame seeds and perfectly shredded egg wasn’t as flavourful as the other dishes, despite the tender Black Angus beef slices hidden inside.
One of the most iconic and recognisable desserts of Hong Kong, the flaky and silky egg tarts ($60 each) are a must-order at the end of your meal at Holt’s, as are the gorgeous daily cakes ($90 each) from the hotel’s afternoon tea lounge, The Butterfly Room. Above, we have an eclair with a hint of coffee and a chocolate hazelnut mousse cake.
Holt’s Café is glamorous with its grand entrance and clean, black-and-white design. The menu acts as both a beginner’s guide for newcomers to familiarise themselves with HK-style-café dishes and Cantonese cuisine and a (pricey) walk down memory lane for locals. While the menu is targeted towards tourists, the restaurant has a beautiful, colonial vibe and the menu is filled with the authentic flavours of the 852.
2/F, Rosewood Hong Kong, Victoria Dockside, 18 Salisbury Road, TST, 3891 8732, book online
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.
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