Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Address: UG, 29 Gough Street, Central 中環歌賦街29號地庫

Telephone: 2854 0010

http://www.basement.hk

Many people have asked me why most of my reviews of restaurants are positive, and the reason is that I usually do research on the restaurant before trying it out, as the last thing I want is to “waste” a meal on bad food. Recently, I have decided to visit Basement Restaurant as it is known to be a gem amongst my friends, but unfortunately it turned out to be a “wasted” meal as the food was rather unappealing. Owned by the stylish and artsy design store HomelessBasement Restaurant is located right underneath the store on Gough Street and has a warm, eclectic setting and is furnished with mismatched decorations and cutlery from the store. The dining area has a ceiling that resembles a wine barrel, and the tiled floor adds to the homely feeling of the restaurant.

The reviews on this restaurant have been mixed. While some praised their hearty, delicious food, others have found it disappointing. With this in mind, I went to the restaurant with no particular expectations. The menu looked non-fussy and enticing; however, the food that was served turned out to be really unexciting and underwhelming!

(1) We started off with a Beef carpaccio ($118). Thin, flavour-packed beef was plated over the dish, and the sprinkling of parmesan cheese added extra flavours and aroma to the dish.

(2) Our second appetiser was the 18 months aged Parma Ham ($118), which was served together with some cheese. It tasted fine, but there was nothing special about it.

(3) The highlight of the night was the Organic Sea Urchin Risotto w/ cod roe & zucchini ($165). The risotto was cooked to just the right consistency, the onions were fresh with natural sweetness, and the rich and decadent flavours of the sea urchin transformed the dish.

(4) We wished the Homemade Spaghetti Caviar w/ champagne butter sauce ($165) was as good as the risotto, but it wasn’t. The spaghetti was a tad too hard, and while caviar and champagne butter sauce sounded attractive on the menu, it unfortunately did not taste so.

(5) The Organic Linguine Devon Crab w/ crab meat sauce ($148) was equally uninspiring, with the devon crab failing to lift the flavours of the dish.

(6) The Grilled USA “Black Angus” Ribeye ($298) was one of the failsafe options at the restaurant. The ribeye was well grilled, the meat was tender and juicy, and the steak’s fatty taste lingered in the mouth.

(7) The Roasted “Australian” Rack of Lamb ($285) was tasty too. The lamb was delicate and soft, and the herb crust was crunchy and went very well with the meat.

(8) We ordered a portion of Duck Fat Fried New Potato Wedges with garlic & rosemary ($35) on the side, and it was surprisingly moreish! The potato wedges were light and crispy, and the rosemary flavour really stood out and gave out a refreshing and attractive scent.

(9) Our first dessert was the Passion fruit napoleon cake w/ green tea ice cream ($80), but the passion fruit taste was barely detectable. The napoleon was crispy and nicely layered, but it was a bit burnt on the surface and it tasted burnt too.

(10) The Home-made green apple crumble w/ vanilla ice cream ($80) was buttery and tasty, and was a fantastic match with the icy, smooth vanilla ice cream.

(11) The Three flavour ice cream puff w/ warm chocolate soup ($80) looked adorable, and tasted delicious too. The ice cream puffs were cold and invigorating, and I liked how they were in a small size so you could eat the whole puff in a bite.

(12) The Chocolate treasure (dark chocolate tart, macaron, warm chocolate soup, chocolate truffle) ($118) arrived, and we were all attracted to the cute little strawberry men on the plate. One of them reminded me of Cartman from Southpark! Looks aside, the chocolate desserts didn’t taste superb. The dark chocolate tart had a nice chocolate taste, but the crust was rock hard. So were the macarons – we tried cutting them with knives and that failed, so we just left the macarons untouched. It is indeed very rare for macarons to go uneaten! The chocolate truffles were the best-faring in this platter, and they were soft and creamy.

My friend G ordered a Fruit punch ($48) and the metal spoon that hang from the glass looked really pretty!

Conclusion: The food was definitely uninspiring. However, I do give the restaurant a thumbs-up for its artsy, yet cosy decor.