The melting-pot menu from southern California has landed in Hong Kong’s Southside with a splash
1st & Beaudry comes with the huge reputation of the “Taco King”, celebrity chef Esdras Ochoa of 11 Westside (and The Final Table) fame. Its menu offers a wide selection typical of the cosmopolitan character of the West Coast, LA in particular, with a touch of the melting-pot flavours of Korea, Vietnam, the Middle East and Mexico. The many vegan food choices and wholesome juices should especially appeal to the young, trendy and health-conscious foodies of the 852.
1st & Beaudry’s signature dish is Sunset Boulevard (HK$118) – no ordinary salad. Beetroot carpaccio sits on a plate of Hass avocado, charred courgette, mixed grains and red mizuna. The refreshing flavours and textures burst in the mouth.
Niko’s Salad (HK$168) is a fresh take on niçoise salad with slices of well-seared bluefin tuna, boiled potato, pickled soft-boiled egg and avocado gravlax. The perfect bite involves filling a forkful to take it all in – a true delight and surprise to the palate.
RELATED: 3 unforgettable salad recipes
If most dishes on the menu are creative with pleasant surprises, the M.B. Chowdah (HK$128) is decidedly dependable. The rich, creamy chowder with its generous ingredients is served in a sourdough bread bowl that’s classic to the USA.
The off-menu smash burger (HK$128) features a juicy patty and lightly pan-toasted brioche bun to soak it all up.
But the real delight from the sandwich department is the vegan candidate (not pictured) – Farmer Sarkis (HK$148). The centrepiece of this simple yet delightful sandwich is beetroot, which pairs perfectly with the soft, creamy mozzarella cheese and seven-grain bread, elevated by smears of pesto and peach jam.
Our meal was capped off with Chef Ochoa’s famous tacos. The street-style tacos showcase freshly made, authentic blue corn tortillas. The toppings such as charred pork neck (Roy Garcia, HK$138) and ancho-chilli-spiced bluefin tuna (East of Crenshaw, HK$168) are enhanced by fresh, chunky salsa and a light squeeze of lime. These LA-meets-Mexico staples are bound to leave you wanting more.
1st & Beaudry serves up high-quality bites, despite being in its soft-opening phase. When the restaurant eventually opens for dinner and weekend brunch, we wonder if hearty dishes like roasts and racks will be added to the menu (or perhaps a selection of cocktails to really bring out the LA vibe). We like the eatery’s cheerful vibe and the freshness of the dishes; dining here feels like being transported to southern Cali, where sunshine and happiness are aplenty. 1st & Beaudry is a welcome addition to the Wong Chuk Hang dining scene, and it’s worth hopping on the MTR to get there.
Where: 7/F, the Arca, 43 Heung Yip Road, Wong Chuk Hang
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.