Noodles are fantastic. This much is agreed on by all denizens of Asia, and probably the entire earth. Sweeping generalisations aside, we vouch for the hearty comfort food being dished at Foxtail & Broomcorn with no qualms whatsoever.
We began with steak tartare that came neatly arranged under a healthy dose of homemade sambal, which made our mouths burn in the most masochistically pleasurable way. The homemade element is immediately obvious, and we were eager to try the next starter of cucumber and pulled pork in a spicy sesame sauce (also homemade), that one of our editors noted brought her back to Beijing. Fitting that memories of China would be prompted, as it was this very land that inspired owner Victor to bring healthy but tasty dishes to Hong Kong.
The noodles were then plonked on the table in brothy carbed glory, and we tucked first into the Hoi An; shirataki noodles with vanilla salmon. The sauce dousing the noodles is almost a replica of nuom choc, hence the befitting title. One of our personal favourites, the vanilla taste in salmon was evident without being overpowering, and added a lovely unusual spin. The zero carb noodles were light and springy with plenty of chew.
We tried the Gurney next, which was vaguely reminiscent of laksa, minus the coconut and instead with a rich umami prawn broth that we had many ‘seconds’ of. Two types of noodles (fresh Hokkien and thin rice) mix with the prawns and pork for a very tasty bowl.
The Tokyo, including Harissa spiced beef with onsen egg, will cause the Japanese and ramen lovers to gravitate, and though we loved the flavours present in this dish, we would have loved the beef to be the teensiest bit more tender.
Bringing up the rear, the Kansai which features tofu patties and a mushroom dashi is a hoot for vegans, and just as easily order-able for the carnivore. The tofu adds a nice texture and the balance of use variety of mushrooms used to make the dashi lingers so nicely on the palate. Udon swims around the rich, dark broth, and on a winter’s day, we know this one will sell out fast.
The desserts are unique, with both European and Asian tastes showcased. Our favourite was the lemon cake, which sits somewhere in the realms of cheesecake, baked custard and sponge cake, which is as enjoyable as it was mysterious! The pandanus crepe sings of South-East Asia, and is a welcome confluence of salty sweet and coconutty, all wrapped in a vibrant green crepe (a crepe cape). The seal salted caramel pecan slice holds definite potential, and we loved the sticky sauce, but the cake itself is indistinguishable and we felt could have been denser to resemble a blondie or lighter to be more like a Madeleine. Taste wise though, on par!
What makes Foxtail unusual and appealing, aside from their lovely flavour-details conscientiously assembled, is the prominence they place on sustainability. The produce is as locally sourced as possible (as in pop over to the wet market next door local), with only a few proteins gaining Asia miles where a local alternative could not be found (ie salmon from Norway, the shirataki from Japan, beef from Aus etc). The noodles come from all over Hong Kong, and even the coconut is delivered everyday; which is what makes those crepes so damn fine! The owner Victor and his partners have really poured over every detail, from the creation of the crockery to the specially commissioned painting by a local Hong Kong artist. You can feel the intention behind this hot new noodle joint, and we are gladdened to know it’s a four-minute frolic from our office.
G/F, 84 Jervois Street, Sheung Wan; 上環蘇杭街84號地下 / 2415 2555 / Mon-Sat: 11:30-21:30 / https://www.facebook.com/foxtailandbroomcorn?fref=ts