The newest building in Repulse Bay, the Pulse, is a schanzzy utopia of beach front dining and lifestyle venues, from a Pure gym to Limewood, the newest iteration from Maximal Concepts (who brought you the likes of Brickhouse, Fish & Meat and Mott 32).
The upscale establishment channels flavours from South America, Hawaii and South East Asia, with a speciality in barbeque grilling and refreshing tropical cocktails.
Starting with the drinks, we tried the pina colada, which is normally not one we would go for unless sitting under an umbrella in Hoi An, but my goodness were we seduced by this luscious version. The coconut crème sits in a thick layer on the top of the drink, which is quite palatably strong and presents a flourish of mezcal, a spirit popular in Mexico but largely unknown in the rest of the world. Two of these, please. We also enjoyed sipping the burnt orange rum punch a little too much. The Pamper Anejo Rum, orange infused whiskey, passion fruit, spice punch mix and nutmeg are a light yet sharp troupe.
We started with some pork skin chicharron guacamole, made wonderfully flavoursome with ikura (roe) and sea urchin. Alongside this came served the spicy tiger prawn roll, with arugula, avocado and covered in a prawn sauce. While the sauce was umami and hummed with flavours of the sea, it was a little too bland for us.
The next course was a Pacific lobster salad with mango, Tabasco aioli and crispy shallots, which we consumed rather quickly. The Tabasco aioli was in perfect ratio to the lobster and ideally seasoned. The Vietnamese fish taco with avocado, lime, and asian slaw was awash with big flavours and we think this is one of the better tacos in Hong Kong.
The 24hr charred beef ribs did not disappoint, and the mango infused bbq sauce with toasted sesame seeds and a fresh hit of coriander, made us glad to be alive. Caribbean coleslaw accompanied this, and while it was a tad too sweet, we thought it was a refreshing take on the more established American side dish.
A whole snapper swum it’s way to our table, which has been considerately filleted, cubed and then deep-fried, and sat amongst a garden of lemongrass, kefir lime, scallions and green peppercorn. When paired with the coconut jasmine rice, it’s quite a magical experience. The baby potato salad is nice if not outshone by the other sides, especially the deep-fried plantain with cinnamon and brown sugar, which proved love could be found in coin-sized bites of what looks like oversized yet under-ripe, wannabe bananas.
A meal of this grandeur would have been unfinished without stunning desserts, and stunning the desserts were. The pina colada cloud comes in a coconut shell and is a layered item featuring grilled pineapple on the bottom, a thrilling charcoal ice cream on top and a fluffy coconut mousse that was reminiscent of a pillow. The sweet finisher that lodged firmly and fondly in our memories however were the churros, a predictable pudding with a theme like Limewood, but executed masterfully. The trick with churros is all in the balance, of crunchy exterior and fluffy insides, and of cinnamon and sugar that clings to the crust. All were in exact ratio, and must have been taken from the deep fryer, straight to our table, as they were piping hot and primed to absorb the gluttonous butterscotch sauce and salty coconut ice cream. If they sold THESE at Hong Kong Disneyland, we might go more often.
Limewood is not a typical Hong Kong restaurant, and we salute the creativity of the Maximal culinary team. The dishes that are made here are favourites of the chefs when they are not in the commercial kitchen, and you can thus sense the passion that allows them to pull off a concept with finesse and fine taste.
Shop 103/104, The Pulse 28 Beach Road, Repulse Bay / 2866 8668