Tucked away in Lee Gardens Two, newly opened British restaurant The Leah has an unusual set up as an evenings-only venue, by day the restaurant is part of family members club Maggie & Rose and by night the space transforms into the The Leah. Headed by Chef James Sharman, The Leah promises hearty, fuss-free British favourites, showcasing locally sourced vegetables, quality meats and sustainable seafood. We went along to sample what The Leah has to offer, and here’s what we found.
The setting captures the English garden party vibe with a spacious ‘grassy’ terrace and rustic outdoor bar, where the ‘English garden’ stage setting makes a fun contrast to the Hong Kong skyscraper backdrop. The interior continues the ‘garden party’ theme with lots of greenery and decor in understated natural tones.
The interiors are not the star of the show here, the emphasis is definitely substance above style and delivering delicious food. Chef James Sharman aims to offer ‘British food done right’ and says “for me, food done right in this case means to cook hearty, fun food that people will crave over and over again.”
First up we tried the charmingly English Scotch Egg & Soldiers, a soft boiled duck egg wrapped in sausage, stuffing and breadcrumbs before being fried and served with crunchy bread ‘soldiers’ for dipping. This dish is a fun blend of two English tea-time favourites and the egg was cooked to perfection with a perfectly liquid yolk contrasting with the savoury, crunchy breadcrumbs.
We also tried the Scallop & Black Pudding and enjoyed the mix of the crumbly black pudding with the soft scallops, overall the flavours of this dish were excellent.
However, if you try one thing at The Leah, make it a pie, the home-made pies are delicious. The fillings are classic British flavour combos – the Chicken Pie is filled with chicken thigh, leek and bacon and the Beef Pie filling is shortrib, ale and black pepper. In both cases the pastry was outstandingly crisp and buttery, and the fillings melt-in-the-mouth in texture and rich and tasty in flavour.
A quick side note of praise for the sides… you select your own sides at The Leah and we tried the roasted cauliflower cheese, Désireé potato mash and green beans & shallot butter. All the sides had bags of flavour and added to overall experience of the meal.
If you’re dining with a group of friends, you could consider ordering one of The Leah’s signature sharing dishes of Beef Wellington or Dover Sole, both would serve 4-6. Fish lovers will not want to miss the Dover sole pan-fried with a homemade caper butter made from a mixture of lilliput capers, regular capers and caper vinegar and accompanied by pickled shallot, garlic and capers on top.
But for my money, you can’t beat a Beef Wellington to mark a special occasion and The Leah’s version is one of the best I’ve tasted. Once again that outstanding pastry is a highlight, revealing a delicious and generous layer of mushroom paté and parma ham coating the perfectly cooked beef. Apparently the Beef Wellington takes two days to prepare, but it’s worth the wait!
Definitely plan to skip lunch on the day you visit The Leah because they also serve up some classic British desserts including Granny Smith apple pie & nutmeg custard and strawberry & sherry trifle.
Also on hand to start (or continue) the evening is an extensive cocktail menu, available with dinner or for drinks on the terrace. Two of our favourites include the British themed cocktails the Camden Spritz, a take on the Aperol Spritz that nods to Camden and its Italian community and the Wimbledon Cup, their take on a Pimm’s Cup – perfect summer drinks.
The cooking at The Leah is superb. No dull British gastro pub food here, many of the dishes really delivered on flavour and attention to detail. Definitely worth a visit with a group of mates and hearty appetite.
The Leah, 308 & 311, 3/F, Lee Garden Two, 28 Yun Ping Road, Causeway Bay, 2337 7651