Wan Chai is turning into a real foodie destination. There are more and more interesting restaurants opening up, underlining that Wan Chai has well and truly become an interesting alternative to the well-trodden streets of Central.
We headed over to newly opened MyHouse in the QRE Plaza recently for an evening of biodynamic and organic wines and great food. The space is huge, with a large oval bar at its centre, flanked by high tables and a few couches, with a DJ booth and private dining room. The concept combines the elements of wine bar, restaurant and music venue and strikes a good balance between casual day spot and trendy evening destination.
Founded by natural living enthusiast, Alison Christ, and natural wines connoisseur, Karim Hadjadj, the food menu centres around European dishes, with an Italian slant. Chef Peter Birks, previously at Carbone, has created a menu dedicated to sharing plates, combing a selection of hot and cold appetisers, pasta and pizetta and heftier mains including baby back ribs.
What struck me when we first arrived at MyHouse, was the service. We hadn’t managed to book a table but the very welcoming front of house staff immediately offered us the chance to move from the bar area to a table thanks to a last minute cancellation. This is the kind of service that wins customers over – and it did for us – full marks MyHouse. After we were seated, another member of staff talked us through the menu, highlighting the best dishes and making suggestions for how many dishes and what we should choose. I always appreciate this when it comes to sharing menus as the size of portions varies wildly between establishments and often seems to bear very little relationship to the price of the dishes.
Accompanied by an (almost too) large gin and tonic, we started with some deliciously warm bread served with salted butter. First up from the starter menu was the butter lettuce salad ($148), which is usually accompanied by avocado and crab, but as none of us were crab fans, we ordered the salad without. For such a simple salad, it was incredibly good – the extra virgin olive oil, lime juice, garlic salt and pepper dressing really elevated the whole plate, and we didn’t feel as though the absence of the crab was detrimental to the dish at all. We also devoured the wonderful salt roasted beetroot, burrata finished with 15yr old balsamic vinegar($138).
After finally reaching the bottom of our enormous G and T’s, MyHouse founder Alison, helped us to navigate the wine list, which is dedicated to organic and biodynamic wines. Rather than trying to push us to buy a bottle, she offered us a few different glasses to try, some of which are not usually available by the glass. Again, this is where the level of service really shone through – I often wonder why many of the city’s restaurants are so lacking in this area. Biodynamic and organic wines must adhere to strict criteria relating to the growth and processing of the grapes, and the upside is that they do not contain the headache-inducing additives and preservatives found in traditionally produced wines. This is great news for the next day and I certainly woke up with a much clearer head than is usual after a night out!
Following the excellent salads, the next highlight was the utterly moreish scamorza and Parma ham. The warm and slightly melted cheese enveloped by Parma ham and dressed with Pedro Ximenez sherry was a winner with the whole table. I would have been happy to just eat that dish all night and it will be the first thing I order on return visits. Chef Peter Birks really understands how to take simple ingredients and elevate them into something special.
The potato, taleggio and rosemary pizetta ($98) was pretty good, but quite heavy in contrast to our earlier selection. Our final dish of the evening, and the main event was the porcini rubbed short-rib with aged balsamic ($458). The melt-in-the-mouth meat was incredible, and the porcini rub brought out the wonderful flavours of the meat. Don’t be put off by the price – there was plenty for the three of us to share along with some left over for the next day.
The only thing that let down the food was the dessert of salted caramel panacotta – despite being two of my favourite things individually, together the combination just really didn’t work. However, one mention to the staff and it was taken off the bill, so no harm done at all.
Overall MyHouse runs like an establishment that has been open for far longer than just a few weeks. There were no ‘soft opening’ let downs or excuses, the food and service were both on point throughout.
As we left around 11pm, the in house DJ was transforming the space from a dinner to a music venue, and judging from the number of people, they’ve managed to create a space that transitions well from day, to evening to night. It should be high on your list of places to visit this month.
The above dishes, gin and tonics, wine and service was $500/head.
26/F QRE Plaza
202 Queen’s Road East
Tel: 2323 1715