If you can’t travel to Cali to soak in some much-needed sun right now, the least you can do to get some sunny Cali vibes is head to recent SoHo addition Big Sur.
Created by Woolly Pig Concept, the team behind culinary sensations 12,000 Francs in SoHo, Bathers in Lantau and Madam S’ate at Elements, Big Sur dedicates itself to preparing hearty, wholesome American food, in classic Cali style, using the best ingredients from all over the US of A. While you chow down on your big American feast, don’t forget to grab a beer to go along with it. Big Sur’s bar is home to 15 taps that serve rotating brews created by Hong Kong’s Young Master Brewery and Heroes Beer Co amongst others.
Rye & Apple
If beer’s not your thing, have a try of their fresh-pressed juice + booze (from $90), where you can pretend that you’re livin’ it healthy. The tipples are concocted with fresh juices along with an extensive range of tequilas, mezcals and bourbons. We especially loved the Salty Yoga, an alcoholic bad boy freshened up with beetroot juice, and the Rye & Apple, a grown-up version of apple juice with an injection of rye whisky.
Baja grilled prawn and chorizo tacos
Just having a drink with your friends at the bar? Make sure you get a couple of Big Sur’s signature tacos ($50 each) too, with every element made from scratch, including the flour tortillas. You seriously can’t go wrong with these tacos that come with either Baja grilled prawns and house-made chorizo or BBQ pastrami with Memphis BBQ sauce.
Chicken satay salad
Big Sur’s dinner menu is extensive, in true American style. Start off on a fresh note with hamachi ceviche ($150), which was a citrusy harmony of cured Japanese yellowtail with avocado-herb cream. Another memorable starter was the chicken satay salad ($135) – it sounded like a innocent chicken salad but was jam-packed with flavours of spicy peanut sauce and cured duck yolk. Oh, and we loved that secret touch of a crispy chicken-skin-like biscuit sat atop the leafy greens too.
We couldn’t leave Big Sur without some BBQ. Melt-in-your-mouth meat is common around town, but melt-in-your-mouth fish? Big Sur’s smoked whole barramundi brushed with spicy seafood BBQ sauce ($290) showed us a whole new perspective on BBQ fish; it was cleverly slow-smoked and brined so that the smokiness was retained while the flesh remained fresh and extremely tender. This was easily one of the best mains on the menu.
Mixed BBQ plate
With so many different BBQ meats and cuts on offer, Big Sur caters to fickle-minded customers very well, with an option of a mixed BBQ plate ($390) that features tri-tip, pulled pork, grilled chorizo, Memphis ribs, BBQ beans, coleslaw and a cheese popover. Or, there’s the ”Feed Me Better BBQ” option ($380 per person; for 5 or more) – let the kitchen decide which delicious dishes you’ll be served up.
Texas sheet stack cake
We secretly wished that there were more dessert options as the only two existing sweets on the menu were just too good. The Texas sheet stack cake ($90), made with layers of chocolate cake, dark chocolate glaze, pecans, walnuts and pistachios and topped with whipped cream, is a reflection of Chef Conor Beach’s favourite dessert growing up. The other wiped-out dessert was the apple crisp ($85), a sweet ride down a crispy oatmeal, apple and cinnamon lane.
We can definitely see ourselves coming back to Big Sur for brunch, mid-week drinks and, heck, even dinner again. With generous sharing portions and creatively spun American dishes, we’re sure you’ll walk away with happy, full bellies. And don’t forget the juice + booze.
22 Staunton Street, SoHo, Central, 2529 3001
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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