SNEAK PEEK – 1st Look at Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen
Anticipation is in the air for the opening of Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen and Bar in Hong Kong. There seems to be somewhat of a British chefs’ invasion this year to Hong Kong, with recent openings such as Jamie’s Italian, and now, Bread Street. The casual 90-seat diner is divided into 2 sections, a 30-seater bar serving up tantalizing mixes such as the Philadelphia Fish House Punch made with rum, cognac, nutmeg and peach brandy, and the Cinema Highball with popcorn infused Bacardi and Coke, plus a 60-seater dining room serving rustic British dishes with an Asian twist. There’s even a private 15-seater dining room in the back, perfect for special occasions. I got my sneak peek through a press viewing for Foodie Magazine, and sat down with the Head Chef, Gilles, to photograph and sample some of Bread Street’s signature dishes.
The Man in White: Hong Kong’s Bread Street Kitchen and Bar is almost an exact replica of the London branch. And behind the counter, is French-born Head Chef Gilles Bosquet, who most recently was the Head Chef of Gordon Ramsay’s 2 restaurants in Doha, Qatar. Chef Gilles’ collaboration with Gordan Ramsay began with his move to London in 2003, where he started as the Chef de Partie for the 1-Michelin The Menu restaurant in Connaught Hotel. However, the Motherland beckoned, and in 2004, Bosquet returned to France for 5 years as Sous Chef at The Pyramide, a two-star Micheline establishment in Paris. In 2009, he opened his own restaurant in the French countryside, and within 2 years, received his first Michelin star. Three years ago, Bosquet returned to the Gordon Ramsay group as Head Chef of Doha and Opal at the St. Regis Hotel. And now, the journey takes him to Hong Kong, where he brings Bread Street London’s unique array of dishes to Asian palettes.
Sitting down with still a slightly jet-lagged Chef Gilles, I sampled a few of the restaurants signature dishes, ranging from a refreshing summer salad of heritage tomatoes and burrata cheese, to the heartier honey glazed beef short ribs with pomelos, scallions and sesame seeds. Please note: The dishes were prepared for photoshoot purposes. Hence, I do not feel confident about reviewing the quality of the food at this point, and will have to wait for another tasting.
Pork belly, is perhaps, the ultimate unifier dish between Chinese and British culinary traditions. The British love their crackling, and we also love our 烤肉 (roast pork) in Hong Kong! The slow-roasted Dingley Dell pork belly nestled in spiced apple puree and apple relish looked like golden perfection, having spent 4 hours in the roasting oven. The steamed snapper with braised leeks, clams, and sea vegetables had a decidedly Asian veneer. Bread Street is the first restaurant I’ve noticed that uses sea vegetables (or sea asparagus), which is all the rage in London this summer. I’ve seen this briny vegetable appear on menus at renowned London establishments such as Lyle’s and The Dairy, and are excited that Bread Street is bringing this trend to Asia.
When asked what his favourite dish on the menu is, there was no hesitation as the chef pointed us to the honey glazed beef short ribs. The ribs, he said, were inspired by a visit to acclaimed Hakkasan, where he fell in love with the tea-smoked ribs there. His own rendition takes beef ribs, slow-braised for 16 hours on the bone, then flash-fried at 220degrees for that crunchy crust.
Lastly, I end on a sweet note with the pineapple carpaccio, passion fruit and coconut sorbet – tropical paradise on a plate.
When asked how he would describe Bread Street, Chef Gilles answered that it’s all about a “fun”, and “sharing plates” atmosphere. All the dishes are meant to be shared, and on weekends, he’s even planning to do a roast brunch where guests can pre-book their favourite roasts. English classics such as beef wellington will also soon appear on the menu.
Currently, the restaurant is at the soft opening stage, and accepting limited reservations and walk-in guests. The grand opening is slated for September 18th, when Gordon Ramsay will be in Hong Kong to “cut the ribbon”. We’re excited to come back and try the rest of the menu! With 80% of the produce sourced from England, and fresh seafood sourced locally, we are amazed that most dishes on the menu are at the $150-200 mark. Good value, most definitely, in pricey LKF.
Bread Street Kitchen and Bar, Mezzanine Floor, LKF Hotel, 33 Wyndham Street, LKF, Reservations@diningconcepts.com