Address: 2/F, The L. Place, No.139 Queen’s Road Central (next to The Center), Central 中環皇后大道中139號The L Place 2樓 (近中環中心)
Telephone: 3568 9666
There is certainly no shortage of dim sum restaurants around Central, so it is quite impressive that Social Place, a contemporary Chinese restaurant located in The L. Place, managed to generate a buzz recently for their attractive, innovative Chinese dishes.
This new eatery boasts an inspiring, tasty and healthy menu, using fresh ingredients and rice bran oil as cooking oil, and with no MSG added at all. The decor of the restaurant is laid-back and modern, with a light, neutral colour scheme, long benches and communal dining tables creating a chic, bistro-like, interior.
I have been here several times, and it is essential that you make a booking during the week as the restaurant is absolutely packed during lunch hour. However, in the weekend without the office crowd, this restaurant much less busy. The pricing at this eatery is reasonable, and sets you back around $200 per head for lunch. The service is generally helpful but slightly inattentive during the chaotic lunch hour.
Before we even order our food, we are already immediately amused by the porcelain bowl with little ants printed on them.
(1) We start off with the thousand year duck egg and tofu, which is refreshingly cold and is lifted by the tangy taste of thousand year eggs.
(2) The roasted white king pigeon exceeds expectations, as the skin is deliciously crispy while the meat is marvellously tender.
(3) The truffle shiitake buns are the most famous, and possibly the most loved, dish of the restaurant. These buns look almost exactly like real shiitake mushrooms, and when you pick it up, you will realise that it is a fluffy steamed bun stuffed with chopped mushrooms in a black truffle paste. Even though it tastes a tad plain, these buns definitely have credit for looking so adorable!
(4) The stir-fried rice rolls are smooth and flavour-packed, and we also adore the spicy kick.
(5) The sweet and sour chicken with fresh pineapple boasts refreshing, citrus flavours, and the lightly grilled pineapple is very enticing. The chicken, though, is a tad too dry.
(6) We order the crab roe paste fried rice even though this is not a Shanghainese restaurant and it is not hairy crab season, and we immediately regret the choice. The crab roe paste does not taste of crab roe, or even crabs, at all, and is rather bland. Fortunately, this dish is saved by the fried rice, which has a nicely chewy texture and is not oily at all.
(7) The baby cabbage in soy milk is simple and delicious, and the baby cabbage is cooked to just the right texture.
(8) For desserts, we only order the cookies and cream milk pudding to share as some of the other desserts are sold out, but it turns out to be completely delectable! The milk pudding is rich and creamy, and the cookies add a very lovely crunch.
We applaud the innovative, inspiring and playful contemporary dish at Social Place, but the kitchen still has some work to do in order to stay ahead of the game and make these dishes taste as great as they look!