Welcome to The Event, a new running Foodie series telling you where to eat for what occasion. We strive to offer honest, quality recommendations to make life just a little bit easier, and a lot more delicious. See where to take those you're trying to woo on the first date here and the second date here.
The Event: Third Date
Ah, the magical third date. You’ve charmed your significant other at your casual tapas joint of choice and had some fun - and lots of Rosé - at Serge et le Phoque. Now, you’re almost at the finish line, be it a relationship, wanton groping, or a thanks-but-no-thanks cheek kiss. In other words, it’s decision time as to where this is going. And it's time to put your best foot forward.
For this we recommend Quest by Que, the nine-month-old second restaurant child of chef Que Ving Dang, a Vietnamese New Yorker who’s also really good at Brazilian jiu-jitsu. But who cares about what he does outside the restaurant! You want to know about the space, the food, and why you should put your blind trust in us for this ever-so-important date. Well, okay, we’ll tell you:
Quest by Que (I’m going call it QQ, alright?) bills itself as “edgy sophistication with a sleek, monochromatic look.” Translation: it’s sexy and intimate, but not formal. Calm, quiet, and boasting a nice view, it’s the type of place where you stare at your date and say, “what a great night. I’m starting to really, really, really, really really, really like you.”
Normally we go right to the food but we must recommend the whisky sour here. It’s a nice aperitif that will leave you both satisfied and wanting more, which is how you’d better end the night. Also, you get a picture of me!
It’s always a set menu at QQ, which takes the pressure off ordering. Here’s what we had.
Carabineros Shrimp Ceviche
A bangin’ dish. The shrimp was buttery and cool and the sauce of crab & lemongrass consommé gave it a soft, refreshing finish. It tastes the way I feel when I say, zing! One of their best dishes.
I’m a big toro guy and Que torched the toro right into it. Oddly enough, though, the highlight of this dish was the crab & pork stuffing. It was a substantial, non-oily version of minced meat. I could have eaten a dish of it.
Quest Signature Bánh Mì
The banh mi was made up of smoked Iberico pork belly, homemade pork floss, pickled green radish, and Sriracha mayo. It was an open-faced sandwich instead of handheld. I loved the pork floss and the pork belly, though the bread underneath was a bit too crunchy. The mayo was mayoriffic (I’ve been dying to use that word). I also noticed that my date was leaning in a bit closer after this (nice). In true Que style, the high-end had blended with the “comfort food” aspect. A healthy, relaxed food glow washed over us.
Chicken Rice Soup
Awesome. At TBLS, Que’s previous restaurant, the concept was all about upscale comfort food. This was the best version of something you would have eaten growing up, with chicken, daikon and bean sprouts. Que told us that it was inspired by his mother’s post-Thanksgiving leftover stews she served. Hearing that, I made a mental note to invite myself to his house for Thanksgiving.
BBQ Eel with Fish Sauce Caramel
Unagi is yummy and this was no exception. I thought the eel was a bit sweet. The green apple & mint coleslaw, however, provided a nice contrast.
Phở Braised Short Ribs
The best thing in the restaurant and the best short-rib we’ve had in Hong Kong for sure. This is a take one bite, look at your date and exchange a “see, THIS is why I took you here” type of nod. The short-ribs are cooked for a day, are super soft, warm and melt-in-your-mouth sweet. There’s spring onion potato puree and onions that provide a nice base but it’s all about the ribs.
Yamamomo Berry Sorbet
Yamamomo is a berry that can only be served for one month in Hong Kong. It was nice and --- OMG I’m still thinking about those ribs.
The final piece was a good way to end a date (I mean, the dinner portion of it you salty dog). A chocolate cake with the chocolate lava in the center was surrounded by pandan and coconut ice cream, and salted coconut caramel, all of which were delicious. It’s decadent and a bit naughty–not hackers-release-Ashley-Madison-profiles naughty–but naughty.
The service is good, the whisky sour is good, the food is great. If you play your cards right, you’re going to leave here with a win. What I’m saying is that if you suck, no amount of food is going to make this work. But if you’re capable, you’ll have a dinner – and a night – to remember.
N: Quest by Que
A: 28/F, 239 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
P: +852 2554 0888
W: Quest by Que