At most of the dinners I go to, whether media or otherwise, the topic of “best restaurants you’ve tried lately” usually comes up. And ever since Mr Brown opened, this restaurant has been mentioned in almost every single conversation. In my experience, the verdict has been 50/50 – people either love it or think it’s just okay. Honestly, I was in the latter camp. I’d gone for dinner with friends a few months back and found many of the flavours strangely muted. I did love a couple of the dishes though, especially the chicken liver mousse. So when Mr Brown launched its new (and affordable!) lunch menu, I was excited to revisit the restaurant with hopes I’d be able to switch camps. We need more smoke and grill houses in this city!
Mr Brown is now offering a weekday three-course set lunch ($160). Guests can choose between three starters and six main dishes. There’s also a set dessert.
My friend and I decided to share the smoked pork croquettes and whipped mackerel cream with homemade pretzel bread.
At first bite, I really enjoyed the croquette. I found it simple and delicious – just some nice, honestly seasoned pulled pork in a crisp shell.
The mackerel cream was also wonderfully delicious. Chef Asher Goldstein and his team do dips so well! I loved it just as much as the liver mousse I had tried on my first visit. The cream was very flavourful, with nice pops of saltiness from the salmon roe.
Our server surprised us by bringing out the eggplant carpaccio to try as well. When visiting a grill house, I usually throw all thoughts of healthy eating out the window, so I didn’t even consider ordering this dish. But it ended up ranking right up there with the mackerel cream. This dish was packed with flavour – smoky, creamy, with zingy hits of spice.
For our mains, we chose to split the barramundi and USDA Prime strip loin (+$50). It was a tough choice, as many of their mains sounded delicious, and I would love to try the tahini-smothered smoked chicken thigh, smoked beef lasagne and pork katsu sanger in the future.
The barramundi was nicely grilled and topped with smoked red peppers, olives and pine nuts. We really enjoyed the flavours in this dish as well as the tender-yet-crisp texture of the fish itself.
Our steak was well cooked and topped with an incredibly fragrant and non-oily chimichurri sauce, possibly the best one I’ve had in Hong Kong.
On the day we visited, the dessert was smoked chocolate mousse with a slice of plum. I think there was also some olive oil and sea salt added on top for good measure. This was a lovely end to the meal – an incredibly airy, milky concoction to satisfy us without leaving us on a sugar high for the rest of our afternoon at the office.
There’s definitely a lot to love at Mr Brown, and the new lunch deal is a great way to try the restaurant for yourself (if you haven’t already). My only complaint is the lack of carbs in the meal. I was surprised that our mains were protein only; no sides were offered. I did leave feeling full, but I personally prefer to have a heavier lunch if I’m making the effort to visit a nice restaurant. Next time, I’ll ask our server if I can add a side… or ask for another one of those delicious pretzel rolls.
9 Ship Street, Wanchai, 3101 1081, 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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