There’s been a lot of buzz about the gastronomic delights at Rosewood Hong Kong, located at the much-talked-about new Victoria Dockside development, and we got a first peek at its Hong Kong-style diner Holt’s Café. The restaurant, which also serves as the breakfast venue for hotel guests, is an amped-up, sophisticated version of a classic Hong Kong cha chaan teng.
Named to commemorate the historic Holt’s Wharf, on which Rosewood is built, the café evokes images of both the grand cafés of Europe with its plush furnishings as well as traditional Hong Kong with it wooden marquetry and chequered, lacquered panels.
The menu focuses on provenance, with vegetables and herbs sourced from Tai Long Wan farmers, seafood from local fishermen and honey from Wing Woo Bee Farm, just to name a few.
Since our tasting was on a hot, humid summer’s day, we began with refreshing glasses of iced tea. The jasmine lemon green tea ($75) was a lighter, more delicate version of the classic Hong Kong-style iced lemon tea, while the Hong Kong milk tea ($80) arrived with milk-tea ice cubes so as not to dilute the rich, velvety taste and texture of the drink. The milk tea was poured tableside from a glass flask, adding flair.
The barbecue pork ($160) had just the right proportion of fat and lean meat and was glazed in a delicious caramelised sauce.
Our favourite of the tasting was the sweet-and-sour prawns ($350), which were so delicately cooked that the plump prawns still retained an al-dente bite.
The spicy beef noodle soup ($100) harkens back to a cha chaan teng staple, although the quality of the brisket and tendon is much higher at Holt’s. The undertone of spice was very mild, making this dish easily palatable for almost everyone.
The baked Portuguese chicken fried rice ($220) is a creamy, indulgent curry rich in coconutty aromas. Because of its richness, this dish is best shared amongst a few.
And just when you think you’ve seen everything, there’s a sleeping baby elephant in the lobby!
A very sophisticated take on a classic cha chaan teng, with price tags to match. All the dishes we tasted were delicious and were cooked with the type of refinement one can only expect from a five-star establishment. Holt’s Café is a great venue to take your more bougie friends who still crave a taste of authentic local comfort foods.
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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