We love BaseHall. A collaboration between high-end property developer Hongkong Land and 10 local F&B outlets, the gorgeous space is the latest and greatest all-day-dining spot to hit the 852, open Monday through Saturday from 11am till late – with DJs, live music and more in the wee hours. Its fun, community-first vibe is what we’ve been missing in these COVID-19 times.
BaseHall has been designed by Linehouse, the team behind restaurants like John Anthony, with the designers favouring rich, warm hues, curves and arches and plenty of natural wood. The lighting system in particular with its glowing retro orbs is pretty special. The ceiling itself lights up, mirroring the natural light of the particular time of day.
Sustainability is at the forefront of BaseHall, which does it own composting on-site and provides complimentary still and sparkling water from attractive metal water fountains. Tom Andrews, Senior Asset Manager at Hongkong Land, explains, “Sustainability is a key focus for BaseHall, as seen in the compostable food packaging and cutlery, water fountains, waste decomposters and upcycled design elements – such as the rods from the ceiling of two-Michelin-starred restaurant Amber that now line walls and cubicles in the bathrooms. As part of its commitment to minimise food waste and support the city, BaseHall is also partnering with food-assistance programme St James’ Settlement to distribute leftover food to worthwhile causes across the city.”
BaseHall is cashless, so you can either order by scanning a QR code to pay by AliPay, WeChat Pay or the like, pay by credit card or Octopus card or order in advance via the website. Takeaway is of course available too.
And now what you’ve be waiting for: the food by some of Hong Kong’s most inspiring culinary teams. In a gut-busting tasting session, we tried a little something from each of the 10 F&B vendors. So now you can go to BaseHall and take your pick...
ROTI TORI is from the team behind hotspots Yardbird and RONIN, serving up Japanese-syle roasted chook plus sides. The juicy, succulent rotisserie chicken (from $58 for ¼ chicken, leg or breast) was one of our top bites at BaseHall, which we dipped into the creamy miso onion gravy ($25). Make sure to order a side of the addictive ro-tater tots ($48), dusted in nori, sesame and bonito.
Like at its stand-alone outlets in Wanchai and Tsuen Wan, Honbo is all about burgers crafted using seasonal, local ingredients. We tried a slider version of Honbo’s cheeseburger ($88), made up a smashed four-ounce beef patty, ooey-gooey American cheese, lettuce, onion, pickles and house sauce (like Big Mac sauce but better). One of the best things about this delicious burger is its buttery, toasted potato bun, a perfect light foil for all that meatiness.
From modern Korean eatery MOYO in SoHo comes MOYOSIK, offering well-loved Korean dishes with a twist, from BBQ pork belly, to Korean fried chicken, to bibimbap, to spicy pork and tofu soup. We recommend going for the bulgogi tokgalbi meatball combo ($120) because it comes with a little bit of everything – rice, banchan, japchae and a spiced mayo dipping sauce – a lot of bang for your buck. We couldn’t fit it in this time around, but we’ll be back to try the honeycomb iced latte ($40), which sounds like heaven in a cuppa joe.
A traditional Malaysian dish of coconut rice cooked in a pandan leaf served with fried chicken, sambal, cucumber, peanuts, fried anchovies and a fried egg, authentic nasi lemak is hard to come by in Hong Kong. But that’s all changed now that Return of Lemak is here, opened by Chef Barry Quek of Beet (now sadly shut). Chef Quek is from Singapore, so he knows his hawker-style eats. Return of Lemak’s menu is short but sweet, and the nasi lemak ($138) is definitely the star of the show; the only other main dish on the menu is Nyonya laksa ($128). The fried chicken is heavily battered, super crispy and just the right amount of spicy. We were told that this is one of the dishes that’s usually sold out first at BaseHall each day.
Brought to Hong Kong from the streets of Saigon, Cô Thành first landed in Sheung Wan three years ago and is now at BaseBall, dishing out Vietnamese street eats like bún, bánh mì, fried chicken wings, summer rolls and more. We tried the bánh mì ốp la ($98) – or a fried egg baguette sarnie, for those of us not versed in Vietnamese street-food lingo – with the egg sharing billing with pâté, mayo, spring onion, coriander, pickled cucumber and carrot and fresh chilli. Cô Thành’s pâté is particularly heavy and gamey, if that’s your thing.
Mexican restaurant 11 Westside in Kennedy Town comes courtesy of LA’s “taco king”, Esdras Ochoa, and Westside Taqueria is his BaseHall offshoot, where the taco is indeed king. Our pick goes to the Baja fish taco ($48), which took us right back to roadside taquerias in Mexico. A bestseller that we can’t wait to try, especially late at night, is the California fries ($100) – a tower of your choice of meat, melted Monterey Jack cheese, chipotle aioli, jalapeño Monterey Jack sour cream, chopped onion, coriander and fresh chilli – which may just beat nachos for best hangover cure out there.
TREEHOUSE’s signature plant-based sourdough flatbreads are available at BaseHall alongside vegetarian platters, salad bowls, burgers, sides, drinks and even desserts. The flatbread to go for here is the Willow (from $60) – falafel with roasted garlic hummus, roasted bell pepper, pickles and tahini. Delicious and healthy, we couldn’t ask for more from a wrap.
Ah, Cookie DPT, we’re thrilled you now have a permanent spot at BaseHall, after having spent the past few years traipsing around town to one of your many pop-ups. Cookie DPT’s huge (both in size and flavour) American-style cookies ($35 each) are the bomb. We love just about every flavour we’ve tried, from classic chocolate chip to funfetti. Our current fave is the special salted caramel flavour, and we’ll be on the lookout for new limited-edition flavours along with collabs with other BaseHall vendors.
Pub 1842 is run by the folks at Young Master Brewery, HK’s premier craft beer brewery. Currently, they have seven beers on tap – we whet our whistle with the light and refreshing Classic Pale Ale (from $45) – but they also have a G&T (from $60) and booze-free Gunner (from $35) on tap. Don’t overlook the food menu here; we tried a moreish brisket and beer pie ($108), and we were bowled over by the curry of the day with rice ($98), with Pub 1842’s butter chicken curry rivalling the best Indian restaurants in town. If you find yourself at BaseHall post-8pm, check out this spot’s unique “reverse happy hour” for big beer savings.
It may come as a surprise, but BaseHall Bar, run by the impeccable Mandarin Oriental bar team, is where you can find our absolute favourite dish of all – this beauty of a grilled cheese sandwich, the bar’s one-and-only food offering amongst all the Asian-inspired cocktails, mocktails, Italian spritzes, bubbly, wine, juice, coffee and tea that are up for sipping. Dubbed The Classic ($128) for good reason, this is the grilled cheese of our dreams, made up of butter-basted house-made sourdough, a secret three-cheese blend, onion and chives, all grilled till the cheese is molten and flavoured with the subtle, heady sweetness of onion and butter. Oh so simple yet oh so good.
BaseHall is just what the F&B industry needs now in Hong Kong, celebrating local culinary talent, working together as a community. The space is both beautifully designed and welcoming, the food and drink offerings interesting and delicious, the prices reasonable and the sustainability efforts to be lauded. It ticks all the right kinds of boxes for us, and we’re sure to be frequent visitors (we love that we can order in advance and skip the queues).
Shop 9A–9C, LG/F, Jardine House, 1 Connaught Place, Central, 3643 0865
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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