For those of you who haven’t followed The Event, we’ve tackled such tricky subjects as where to take a potentially special someone on a first, second, and third date, as well as that definitely special someone when you’re meeting the parents, and that other special someone who lives and breathes food as much as you. That’s a lot of special someones. Let’s break it up this month with where to impress that special client. You want their business, right? So stop messing around and head to THE STEAK HOUSE.
THE STEAK HOUSE. ALL CAPS. Good name right?* It’s simple, straightforward, and describes it perfectly: you’re going to come here and get a great steak. Because while a great client dinner must have great food, you’re there to enjoy it but not to Instagram it or “mmmmmm” it as you look around for approval from your foodie friends at how in sync your taste buds are.
For my dinner, I started as all client dinners must – with alcohol. We headed to the bar and ordered martinis, the only drink you should order on these types of occasion. Wine waits for dinner and Old Fashioneds are too kitchsy, but a classic martini goes with a classic dinner in a classic steak house. Or STEAK HOUSE as the case of caps may be. I had vodka, the client had gin. That’s okay. We’re both getting tipsy in a beautiful place.
Next comes the table. That’s the first check mark for the STEAK HOUSE: the view. The restaurant sits on the water with a full view of the Hong Kong skyline, but at ground level - and that is important. High above the cloud dinners are birthday party, and oh-my-god-he’s-getting-on-one-knee type of places. Business dinners are nuts and bolts, roll up your sleeves, check out Hong Kong places. We grabbed a dinner menu and got to work.
This brings me to my third order of business at the business dinner (refresher tips: 1. Order booze, 2. Get a seat with a nice, non-romantic view): and then order way too much. Now is not the time for restraint so hit up the appetisers and the STEAK HOUSE has some damn good ones. I got the prawn cocktail, the crab cake “New Orleans” style, and the beef tenderloin steak tartare (meat squared!).
The prawn cocktail actually looked like the promo pictures instead of the anemic seafood one often receives. Large, meaty shrimp lined the glass with a delicious sauce that had just the right amount of tang. It tasted fresh and succulent (yes, you can still use that word in food journalism) and I ignored the tomatoes and lettuce bedding, following the same principle of not to fill up on bread at a buffet with oysters.
The "New Orleans" style crab cake was giant and expertly breaded, which is shockingly hard since many restaurants often screw this up. It was easy to cut and easy to share. It also could have been more flavourful, though I did like the tartar sauce.
The beef tenderloin steak tartare on the other hand melted in my mouth. I’m now upset at myself since I was going to use that statement for the steak, but oh well, I’m still thinking about that tartare. It was cold and refreshing with chips (they’re not crisps they’re chips go USA! USA!) that provided a nice crunch without overwhelming the taste with saltiness.
Then the steak came. I could write a glowing steak review (and I often do to myself in the middle of the night when I wake with steak fevered dreams) but it was scrumptious. I got a USDA long bone rib that was waaay too big for me but good for shock and awe and perfect for client dinners. It melted in my mouth, was tender where it needed to be on the inside, and held just the right amount of charring and butter to give it that smoky taste. I even chewed the fat and, I believe, commented on the phrase “chewing the fat” as a business analogy. Maybe art imitates life imitates business.
I didn’t try anyone else’s steak – it’s a client dinner, you don’t do that, rule #4 – but they all got rave reviews, so choose at your fancy.
We ate and drank too much red wine and talked about the crappy stock market, trade flows, and how good the steaks were. At the end I felt like we had got to know each other better and continued our joint work in the future. So I recommend THE STEAK HOUSE for the spot to impress a client. Apparently sharing steaks leads to breaking bread.
PS: They let us choose our own mustards and knives. It was pretty dope. Here is a pic:
*We’ll just ignore the “Winebar and Grill” lame subtitle.
THE STEAK HOUSE WINEBAR + GRILL
InterContinental Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, Kowloon,