Table Talk: Aberdeen Street Social Review
HK HUB reviews Jason Atherton's Aberdeen Street Social, PMQ, Hong Kong. Social dining, British flavours, indoor/outdoor dining.
British Classics with a Twist at Aberdeen Street Kitchen
Now the HK weather has officially entered its most revered time of year and al fresco dining is de rigeur, take a look at Aberdeen Street Social with its outside terrace in the deservedly hyped Police Married Quarters (PMQ). This is Jason Atherton’s fourth restaurant venture, following successes in Singapore, Shanghai and London, the last of which, Pollen Street Social, won a Michelin star in 2011.
A girly dinner marked the occasion for our visit, which thanks to the female gene of FOMO (fear of missing out) there was a lot more sharing going on than usual and therefore more to tell you about.
A truffled amuse bouche sets a high bar for a meal, and this one was both creative and indulgent: churros dipped into truffled honey. Momentum continued into our starters where half the table opted for the highly recommended tuna tataki and cucumber salad. This was fresh, tart and crunchy and well balanced by the smooth, creamy avocado and ponzu dressing.
The heirloom and heritage tomato salad with its frozen basil fragments also won praise as well as sparking a small hours debate on how to differentiate between these two tomato breeds. Having now researched the matter, it would appear that the terms are interchangeable in the UK. Otherwise heirloom refers to an open-pollinated variety (not a hybrid), which has been around for 50-100 years, with the heritage designation describing an heirloom with more cultural or ethnic importance. Moving swiftly on…
I chose the turbot for a main course, partly for its samphire accompaniment, which during childhood holidays to Aldeburgh, my mother would pick wild from the marshes. It’s definitely a rarity in the HK grocery store. Disappointingly for me, the celery overpowered it greatly, however the caper gnocchi, of which I had first been a little sceptical, did compensate for the samphire setback. Forget those doughy, tummy-bloating lumps of starch in your substandard pizzeria, and think more of buttery, peppery and velvety cushions. The turbot was meaty and served on the bone, which is perfectly acceptable for me since the bones are easily decipherable but I realise it’s not everyone’s ideal presentation. The waiter will warn you of this.