July 4, 2014

Talk of the Town

It was not too long ago that we – the fickle inhabitants of Hong Kong – were complaining about the lack of new restaurants in the city. Then, in 2013, our persistent pining for new places was answered by a slew of new dining spots popping up all over town. Overnight, we went from ‘there are no choices’ to ‘oh, it’s just another restaurant opening’. We are indeed a jaded bunch. So why get excited about the newest restaurant to open its doors in HK? Well, for one, it’s not just any restaurant: it’s Jason Atherton’s Aberdeen Street Social.

Jason Atherton is no stranger to Hong Kong, with his hot tapas spots 22 Ships and Ham & Sherry dishing out decadent small plates to lines of devoted foodies every night of the week. However, Aberdeen Street Social seems slightly more personal as it is not only a replica of his critically acclaimed Pollen Street Social in London, but is also the first authentic extension of his brand to Hong Kong.

As the headlining act for the newly refurbished Police Married Quarters (PMQ), Aberdeen Street Social does not disappoint. The two-story establishment features a small alfresco section with several tables looking out on to a grassy lawn, perfect for breezy weekend brunches. This sense of airiness extends indoors into the bar area, with generously spaced tables and high ceilings. Happy hour thus takes on a more civilized and enjoyable form where creative cocktails such as the refreshing green pea based “Pea-lini” and the tequila-based “Rhubarbaloma” can be enjoyed along with deliciously light snacks like Flatbread Pizzas, Salt and Pepper Squid, Pulled Pork Empanadas and Goat Cheese Churros with Truffle Honey.

The more formal dining room on the second floor is where epicureans can enjoy the avant-garde fare Atherton is known for. Inspired by British gastropub food, ingredients such as black pudding, Suffolk pork, and roasted bone marrow are featured in some of its star dishes, like the the Braised Ox Cheek with Roasted Bone Marrow, Sourdough Crumb, Carrot and Horseradish Mash and the Ravioli of Suffolk Pork, Berkswell Cheese, Peppered Hearts and Kidneys.

For those who are less adventurous with their food, accessible ingredients such as sea bass, scallops, and lobster are also on offer. Chef Atherton’s take on the BLT, aptly called the “CLT” (crab, lettuce, and tomato) is a must-try, and his roasted Bream with Bouillabaisse, Saffron Aioli, and Provencal Vegetables is an example of how stunning simply cooked food can be. The desserts verge on the playful and experimental side, with the Madras-curry-based “JAAL 75%” made with chocolate, banana, and calamansi giving our taste buds a pleasantly surprising shock.

If you’re craving even more decadent desserts, make a pit stop at “Sweet Social” which has become an instant favourite for freshly baked cookies, cakes and pastries.

Whether it’s a Lobster Benedict brunch, a creative cocktail-filled happy hour or a divine 7-course dinner, we have a feeling you’ll soon find yourself at the PMQ nibbling your way through this sublime contemporary British menu, which thankfully doesn’t come with a helping of soggy British “summer” weather.

Aberdeen Street Social
PMQ, Ground fl. JPC
35 Aberdeen Street (enter via Hollywood Road)
Central, Hong Kong
+852 2866 0300

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