In 2015, Hong Kong has seen more restaurants open than ever before. And we, personally, have new-opening-fatigue.
Inventive notions and celebrity chefs are one thing, but these without thoughtful execution and hospitable passion have resulted in a hub of myopic restaurants who blaze in glory and then sneakily slip off the scene (and out of their tenancies). So when we heard of MyHouse, which promised to be all at once a wine bar, music venue and restaurant, we had reservations (metaphorical ones, which then conveniently morphed into physical ones).
MyHouse is, however, awesome, and artfully combines three of the great seasonings of life; music, wine and food. Certified sommelier, Alison Christ, who is also an artist, curator and music enthusiast (as well as someone you should probably befriend as we approach the rapture), collaborated with natural wine expert Karim Hadjadj, to create one of the few places in Hong Kong, if not the only, which has a library of vinyl records to share with guests, and a wine cellar that serves natural wine.
Music is curated through house DJ's Arun R and Romi Behl who put the weight back into vinyl. In addition to these talented vinyl-jockeys, there are individual players at tables which means ample opportunity for solo grooving; choose an old school vinyl from the shelf, slip it on the individual turntables at each seat, grab the headphones and enter a new world of solemnity with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and some nibbles.
For the slightly more sociable, international and local DJs and live bands will bring about an array of music to house parties four days a week from Wednesday to Saturday, ranging from house to hip-hop and funk which are well worth attending.
We're elated to recognise the growing popularity of natural wine in this city, no doubt begun by the fine folks at 121 BC and La Cabane (both of whom had a hand in the supply of the happy grape juice that flows at MyHouse).
Must try wines include:
2013 Morgon – Gamay, Beaujolais – France ($100 per glass), 2014 Orange Wine, Adelaide Hills - Australia ($130 per glass) and 2014 Le Loop Blanc Rosé, France ($250 per bottle). Extremely reasonable and extremely imbible. For those haven't yet, we strongly suggest trying orange wine, which comes across fiercely fermented at first, is enchanting after two sips. Who would've thought the breaking down of bacteria and resulting effervescence would be quite so delicious?
Ironically, we didn't expect to love the food as much as we do. We thought the wine/music was going to be MyHouse's 'thing' and usually when people do wine and music well, food tends to take a backseat.
Executive Chef Peter Birks (formerly of Dining Concepts) does European classics in a modern tapas-ey way which entices most to share, or at least make suggestive comments about how good their neighbours' food looks.
We love the grilled scamorza wrapped in serrano ham, finished with Pedro Ximenez sherry ($138) and octopus (above), garlic lemon whipped potato, chili and smoked paprika ($168) which bizarrely takes on a Korean fried chicken glaze type flavour.
Salt roasted beetroot and burrata finished with 15 year old balsamic ($138) can be skimmed over but the broccoli should not be–the seared florets with anchovy vinaigrette and chili flakes ($88) are so umami they're nearly u-dadi. Other suggested eats are the mushroom arancini ($88) and the pizzetta with potato, taleggio and rosemary ($98).
Though we did not have enough room to specifically try these ourselves, we have heard outstanding things about the rigatoni with spicy Italian sausage, broccoli, garlic, parmigiano reggiano and fennel pollen ($188) and the porcini rubbed short-rib (below) with aged balsamic ($458) from enough credible sources to recommend them, also.
Sorry to be demanding, but we command you to go here. It's one of the few restaurants we are actually able to bring to mind when people ask 'where have you eaten recently that's worth trying?' If you like music, seriously tasty food which is simple but well executed, unusual and alluring wines plus cool people, you will love MyHouse. If you don't like those things, go eat a brownie pasta banana pudding and be sad, not at MyHouse.
202 Queen’s Road East, 26/F QRE Plaza, Wan Chai
Tel. 2323 1715
Dinner: Monday to Sunday, 6pm-11pm
Music Hour: Wednesday to Saturday, 10pm till late
Bar Hour: Sunday till midnight | Monday & Tuesday till 1am | Wednesday to Saturday till late