Address: 2/F, The L Place, 139 Queen’s Road Central, Central 中環皇后大道中139號The L Place2樓
Telephone: 2870 2323
Even though I call myself a meat-lover, my favourites have always been steaks and duck (confit). Therefore, when I heard about the opening of The Salted Pig, the Shore group’s (see my review on Shore Restaurant & Bar (Hong Kong)) latest venture in L Place which offers a pork-heavy menu, I didn’t feel the urgency to try it out immediately.
When I finally visited the restaurant, however, I realised that I was in for a treat. The vibe at The Salted Pig is cosy and down-to-earth, and the space is large and spacious. A variety of meats (including salmon, beef etc) are available on the menu, and at very reasonable prices too! My loyalty towards beef started wavering as soon as I saw the pork knuckles, sausages and other lovely relishes on the menu…
(1) A basket of soft, fluffly brioche arrived at our table. It could have been a touch warmer, but we happily delved into it in any case.
(2) The interior of the restaurant has a lot of wooden surfaces, and the wine menu, which is scribbled on black boards on the walls of the dining room, completes the homely, laid-back set up.
With a big feast ahead of us, we decided to start our meal with some Malbec ($108, 300ml), a dry, medium-full-bodied wine with aromas of black currants and plums.
(3) The appetiser, Homemade Terrine of Pork with Pistachio, piccalilli, crusty bread ($88), made its way to our table. The terrine, wrapped with bacon on the outside, was substantial and satisfying. Its firm texture and intense meat flavour was made even better when eaten with the piccalilli, which still retained the perceptible crunch of vegetables and was fresh and not too sour; the two formed a beautiful duo of deliciousness.
(4) Besides pork, the other meats at The Salted Pig didn’t disappoint. This Potted salmon, creme fraiche, capers, parsley, egg, dill, brioche toast ($108) was an irresistible dish, with the salmon being marvellously chilled and supple, and the creme fraiche adding a touch of creamy indulgence. The seasoning was spot-on – it was flavoursome and vibrant, without overwhelming the salmon.
(5) We heard the pork knuckle calling, but thanks to the large portions of the appetiser, we were really full by this time and decided to opt for the lighter, leaner Tenderloin stuffed with dried plums, pine nuts, sage, sausage and walnuts ($368, serves 2). The pork tenderloin was wonderfully soft and tender, and the scrumptious pork flavours really shone through this minimalistically dressed dish. The stuffing enhanced the dish’s textures and the pine nuts and walnuts, in particular, gave a nice crunch. The roasted onions, fennel and carrots had natural sweetness and an attractive smoky flavour from the roasting.
(6) Feeling like some carbs to balance out the meatiness, we ordered a portion of Mashed potato ($48). It was not the type of silky, eye cream-like mashed potato that you get at fine-dining restaurants; the mashed potatoes at The Salted Pig was chunky and rustic, but not the least bit less delicious. I adored the natural taste of the potatoes and its mellow buttery flavour.
(7) My heart skipped a beat when the waiter brought out a black board listing out a number of intriguing desserts. It didn’t matter how full I was, I had to order a Banana Fudge Eton Mess ($58) as it just sounded too tempting.
Banana and fudge brownie chunks lined the bottom of the glass, and were covered in an indulgent layer of cream and topped with small, airy meringues. The flavours came together harmoniously, and the symphony of magnificent textures made my heart sing.
Conclusion: With wholesome, hearty food served at reasonable prices (it cost around $350-$500 per head for a huge meal with wine), The Salted Pig is an unassuming restaurant which is guaranteed to become a favourite in Sheung Wan!