Souvla [Hong Kong]
Another really good new opening in Hong Kong from Concept Creations (Tapeo & Chicha). It has taken over the old Harringtons space on LKF - Harringtons started well but then declined quite quickly and closed after about 12 months.
Its a good space: its large but set up in a way to make it quite intimate. On a Saturday night there is definitely a buzz about the place that creates real anticipation. It is very busy and unfortunately this means a time limit on he table (a pet peeve).
The menu is divided into a number of sections is delivers fairly traditional greek classics in a modern presentation. We start with Tzatziki ($70), Taramasalata ($80) and pita breads. The dips are excellent, the Taramasalata is especially good with great texture and a wonderfully fishy flavour (its made in house not bought in), the Tzatziki is good, but lacks a bit of the garlic punch I like and I suspect it suffers a bit because great greek yoghurt is tricky to find in HK.
The one negative is the Pitta: they are soft, fluffy rounds of bread more like a western supermarket version than and island Taverna. They also don't serve enough and it would be nice to see them include a baskets of them in the same way other places serve bread with a meal rather than at $25 a small bowl (useful to eat the meat courses with) as this would be more in keeping with a greek taverna. We had to order two just to finish the dips.
The next dishes follow with Saganaki ($120) and Goat Souva's ($65) , classic dishes well executed although the pita again lets down the Souva a bit.
For main's we go for some heavy meat dishes, slow cooked lamb ($295) that melts under the fork, amazingly flavoured chicken ($235) which is beautifully soft and moist, and some equally fine pork ($245). We balance this with two salads, a sparking fresh traditional greek salad ($85), and an interesting cypriot one ($75). Roast potatoes ($65) and Spanakopita ($165) make up the other dishes, the Spanakopita is particularly moreish.
The wine list is OK but it gets expensive quickly and could have a few more Greek selections at a mid price point. We drank a Bt.Gentilini red ($425) which wasn't that special especially at that price point.
Total cost of the meal for four was $2,625 and we were full. And even though we had a time limit on the table the service was swift yet very friendly and we didn't feel rushed at all.
Overall a great place to wallow in some wonderful comfort food - its going to be on our regular rotation. I am looking forward to seeing the menu mature and expand - the chef promises rabbit in the future - I can't wait.
I love Greek yogurt and after realizing how expensive it is in HK, I started making my own. I like to eat it with lots of cucumber and some cumin as a dip, or with honey and some nuts..reminds me of a wonderful holiday in Mykonos several years ago!
First I either make my own tub of yogurt using a starter or buy a large tub of regular yogurt. Then I strain the yogurt (paper towel lining a colander in a big bowl works for me, I found cheesecloth is not fine enough) for a few hours until the consistency is firm enough to my liking. If I want labne I leave it to strain even longer and then roll it into a log with parsley and other herbs.