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Aug 9, 2012 03:33 AM

HK: ABC Kitchen, Sheung Wan

Someone asking for well-priced set lunch on another thread got me thinking of ABC Kitchen.

A small newspaper article was stuck to my fridge for 2+ years as a reminder and only time I went the place was closed for public holiday. So dropped by on way home last night to check it out (bought t/a desserts). Went for lunch today and will go for dinner tonight. Guess I'm making up for lost time.

This place is nothing new but is so unexpected. Imagine sitting in a crusty, local "cooked food market" with plastic chairs et al and eating crispy sweetbreads, foie gras, sea urchin risotto while sipping white sangria made with cava? Wow!

I went to M on The Fringe in its day and loved the food. Can't believe I can now get it from the same chefs for a fraction of the price in Sheung Wan.

If you're after ambiance, forget it. If you're on a budget and want every cent you spend to be about the food, not the real estate, then this is your place.

Will follow up with more details of the dishes later but, for now, I've attached the regular menu (which is changing next week). They also have a chalk board with lunch specials (HK$38-58) with things like salmon benedict, linguine with chicken and mustard, etc. That’s right, ranging from US$5 to US$7.50. Regular (evening) menu more expensive but still great value, and many of those dishes available at lunchtime.

Service was friendly and really good (fluent English). Support these guys as they're going something cool.

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    1. Thanks for the reminder. I also have had it on the list for some time, we went Saturday night and will return. It is good fun with decent food at a decent price. It was packed and we are glad we booked. Crumbed sweetbreads to start, pigeon for main, and a sesame soufle to finish (which was a little too subtle for my taste). Others had the lamb shanks, beef and of course the suckling pig which is very good. The wine list is OK and they are happy with BYO. Approx HK$300 a head for three courses.

      7 Replies
      1. re: PhilD

        I was back there on Saturday night too - called about 8:45pm and was told 9:30pm would be best.

        Asked about the oysters and they promised were good quality, fresh Australian - and that they surely were (can't remember which variety/region, they did say). Clean smelling, medium-sized, light, firm, more of the slightly salty/mineral flavour than sweet. Summer oysters can be too soft (spawning) so these winter ones were perfect. Served with lemon wedges and a tomato/horseradish sauce on the side.

        We ordered the roasted suckling pig which was nice - crispy skin and all. One of my friends is very picky with his food and had the lamb shank - it looked great and he loved it. The other two of us had pigeon which was really tasty (maybe a little overdone for me, though).

        We also had the black sesame souffle (shared between four - so just a tasting). Was ultra-light but still nice. The dessert stand-out is pavlova - I've had it twice now and it's just like my mother would make, dripping in passionfruit.

        Another worthy mention: Thursday night I tried the seared sea bass on cauliflower puree with green asparagus and lemon butter sauce. It's like they scaled the fish so hard it left only a thin roughed-up layer of skin - which they crisped up. So good! I'll definitely be ordering this again.

        The place isn't perfect but a great alternative to the more formal restaurant scene. Only real criticism from my table was the mashed potato servings were a little too small. Would have been good to have more to sop up the sauces.

        1. re: p0lst3r

          This place looks interesting. Do they serve the good stuff (the suckling pig, etc.) for lunch also? Can one book for lunch, or only dinner?

          1. re: Uncle Yabai

            Give Gary a call very friendly and helpful - 9278 8227

              1. re: Uncle Yabai

                He gave you his personal business card too, Phil? Damn, I don't feel so special now ;-)

                Actually he was very helpful when I called on Sat night ... and when other wait staff were saying there was no pavlova he said not to worry, he'd work something out (and he did -- freshly baked pavlova).

                Lunchtime has its own menu but 'some' of the regular menu is available. I'm sure they'll have sea urchin risotto and sea bass and things like that which are cooked up fresh. Long cooking stuff like lamb shank and crispy pork will depend if they've prepared for the day or not. Gary asked for a little patience at lunchtime, especially if you're not there by 12:30pm.

                Other cool thing is the dumpling place next door. It's all closed in evening and ABC takes over their floorspace, but during the day everyone is lining up for their panfried dumplings and sweet dumplings. Actually Gary (from ABC) took me over there and translated all of the chinese, telling me what each one was. Pretty cool I thought, given they're kind of a competitor.

                1. re: Uncle Yabai

                  They don't take reservations for lunch. We'll wing it anyway, see how it fares.

                  1. re: Uncle Yabai

                    Had lunch there today. Perchance, the only main they had from the dinner menu was the crispy suckling pig, so that worked out just fine. Definitely a notch above much of the meh lunchtime offerings in Central, and even in Sheung Wan.

                    Not quite the Mandarin Grill, but for the price, it really can't be beat. Two of us had a starter, the piggy, and coffee (they had no desserts available, bummer), came out to under 400 clams for both of us. Definitely going on rotation. Get there early for lunch (no later than the open at noon) if you don't want to wait.