Rating: ★★★★☆

Address: 1/F, 63 Wyndham Street, Central 中環雲咸街63號1樓 

Telephone: 2536 0183

http://www.restoration.hk/

Restoration是繼私房菜Magnolia後第二間吃creole料理的餐廳。大廚Jack Carson和他太太Kathlyn Carson的家鄉是新奧爾良(New Orleans),所以室內擺設很有美國家庭特色Restoration的食物味道濃烈和比較飽肚,所以不能吃太多,但水準不錯,晚餐大概每位$450。

A little gem of a restaurant is sequestered on the first floor of Parekh House on Wyndham Street. This new dining destination is the first venture of Chef Jack Carson (previously at Dining Concept‘s Bistecca, BLT Steak and Blue Smoke BBQ) and his wife, Kathlyn Carson. Paying homage to the couple’s New Orleans roots, the menu showcases a variety of creole culinary expressions. The soul food is bold and flavourful, and every dish is designed to tickle Hong Kong’s curious tongues. Aptly named Restoration, the dining room is decorated with charming, eclectic fixtures that are reminiscent of a home in New Orleans, and you can look through a large window and watch the cooks bustle about in the kitchen. The restaurant does not impose a compulsory service charge, but the warm, friendly and attentive staff who were very happy to point out the menu’s signature dishes definitely deserved a tip!

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(1) The Fried softshell Crab ($148), a flawless, refreshing starter, was brought to our table. The fried softshell crab had a fantastic crunch, and formed an excellent symphony with the organic vegetables dressed in chive aioli.

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(2) The waiter recommended the rather unusual Crabmeat cheesecake ($108). Fresh strands of crabmeat were mixed with cheese and moulded into a savoury pecan pastry, and it was rich and scrumptious. However, while I found the fiery, spicy creole meuniere an interesting addition, my two friends were not too fond of the curious sensation.

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(3) The Andouille Crusted Fish ($218) was our favourite dish of the night: deliciously crispy on the surface, the fish was still meltingly tender and succulent in the middle. A spicy crystal beurre blanc sauce added some zing, and it hit the taste buds in the right places. 

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(4) Thanks to Chef Jackson‘s experience at steakhouses, we have heard great things about Restoration‘s steaks (despite it not being a typical creole dish). In the end however, we opted for the signature dish, Jack’s Fried Chicken ($248), as we simply did not have room for beef. The surface was perceptibly crunchy and the tobasco aioli offered a spicy kick which helped cut through the heaviness of the chicken. Perhaps we visited on an off-day, but the chicken was dry and chewy on the inside and we had expected a more accomplished main course from this restaurant. Some watermelon pickles were served on the side and they were more plumped up and less sour than normal pickles.

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(5) Beautifully presented on a piece of crumpled paper, the Rosemary Fries ($78) were a decadent treat, and the rosemary and garlic added an alluring fragrance to our fries.  

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(6) The Corn Maque Choux ($78) was full of flavours and my foodie friends, E and K, loved it. However, it was too umami-rich (tasted too meaty) for me as a side dish and I would have preferred something less flavourful.

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(7) At this point of the meal, we had eaten so much already that we could hardly handle any more food, but we found it improper not to at least order one dessert. We decided to go for a new item on the menu, the Banana Fosters ($108), which was basically bananas cooked in butter, sugar and some spiced rum sauce, topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Quoting my friend E, “just put banana, sugar and butter together and it will taste amazing”. Even though we could barely detect the presence of rum, this dessert was a plate of guilty goodness and we ate one piece of banana after another until we finished the entire dessert. 

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We ordered a bottle of white wine and thought that the ice bucket looked quite chic!

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Conclusion: Even if a bit heavy and filling, the dishes at Restoration were in general tangy and delicious. The total bill came to around $450 per head, which was acceptable. Indeed, Hong Kong could do with a second creole restaurant after the private kitchen Magnolia. Even though I can’t come here too often as I was absolutely stuffed after my meal, I do hope this intriguing eatery is here to stay.