Address: 10/F, Cubus, 1 Hoi Ping Rd, Causeway Bay 銅鑼灣開平道1號Cubus10樓
Telephone: 2568 8708
Due to the rather crazy weekend traffic conditions lately, it has been a while since I last dined at a restaurant in Causeway Bay. However, I have been very intrigued by the opening of TOWN, a restaurant located on the 10th floor of dining hub Cubus, and decide to try out its dinner menu one night.
The restaurant is opened by the famous chef Bryan Nagao, who was brought up in Hawaii and has worked at various world-renowned restaurants before coming to Hong Kong and gaining recognition for his talent as the chef of Felix at Peninsular Hotel. Bryan finds inspiration from his travels throughout Asia and frequently experiments with local ingredients. The offerings at TOWN are delicious yet healthy, using a range light ingredients from France, Italy, Japan and Hawaii, locally produced vegetables, and where possible, organic and hormone free meats. His dishes are ingeniously prepared using a mixture of classic and modern cooking techniques in order to maximise the ingredients’ flavours.
The industrial chic decor of TOWN is laid-back and inviting – floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the bustling streets of Causeway Bay, cement board walls accented with brown patchwork timber, distressed vintage mirror finishes and light oak wood floors make for a stylish yet relaxing ambience. The restaurant also has a small, cosy bar by the entrance and a themed private room that seats 12 persons.
There is no set dinner menu available, and if you order from the à la carte menu, a 3-course meal will set you back around $600 per person, which is very reasonable given the overall great dining experience.
(1) We decide to share the appetisers and start off with the beef tartar with sudachi, quail egg and capers ($168). The flavouring is well adjusted and the raw beef tastes pristine and fresh.
(2) The hamachi with uni, pickled cucumber, ponzu and katsuobushi ($178) is a symphony of light, attractive flavours. The hamachi and the uni are flavourful yet go very well together without outshining each other.
(3) The Sayori “ceviche” yuzu kosho with kiwi, smoked paprika and radish ($168) is another meticulously crafted and beautifully presented dish. The ceviche tastes sea-fresh and the flavouring is spot on.
(4) The shiso-crusted codfish with wasabi gnocchi, Sicilian prawns, celery root and mushrooms ($268) is a job well done and the codfish is startlingly tender with an inner-juiciness.
(5) The star of the night is Bryan’s suckling pig, with clams, pancetta and baby spinach in a miso broth ($278). This dish uses a local suckling pig that is marinated overnight in a special Hawaiian sauce, and then wrapped in taro and ti leaves and cooked over the second night at a low temperature. The skin is cooked until crispy and it is served in a soothing miso broth. The meat tenderly falls apart as you cut into it, and it will literally melt in your mouth!
(6) The short ribs “Wagyu” truffle potato and green beans ($358) also wins me over. The short ribs are supremely tender, and the truffle potato is flavour-packed and memorable.
(7) We happily move on to the desserts, and decide to share all 5 of the desserts on the menu. The vanilla apple tart with coffee ice cream ($88) has just the right level of sweetness and boasts a crispy, flaky pastry base. I don’t find the coffee ice cream too complementary though.
(8) The Asano strawberries with its sorbet and crumble ($88) sounds simplistic, and it is, but it is my favourite dessert of the night. The strawberries are bursting with natural, fruity flavours and the sorbet is exquisitely refreshing and tasty.
(9) We applaud the warm caramelised pineapple cake with Yakult ice cream ($78), which is packed with bright, interesting flavours. The Yakult ice cream is delectable!
(10) The yuzu soufflé with vanilla ice cream ($98) is expertly executed by the team and is gorgeously airy and soft. The yuzu flavour can be stronger but this is still fantastic.
(11) Lastly, we finish off with a warm chocolate cake with white chocolate wasabi filling and raspberry sorbet ($98). This chocolate cake is nicely molten in the middle and we are very amused by the wasabi-flavoured filling.
Chef Bryan’s creativity and thoughtfulness permeates through the entire menu, and the cuisine is the product of an excellent blend of different cultures and cooking methods. The dining environment is spacious and comfortable, and the service is polite, well-informed and helpful. The only suggestion I have for the restaurant is that if chef Bryan intends to make this a “social dining” experience, perhaps there can be more dishes on the menu that are meant for sharing, as I would really love to share each of these fabulous dishes with my friends and family!