There is nothing more exciting than being the first few batches of customers, along with some other well-known food bloggers in town to be invited over to a new restaurant. This time, it is celebrity chef Harlan Goldstein’s COMFORT that opened its doors (note: 6 December, 2013), replacing the original Strip House at Lan Kwai Fong.
Having once dined at GOLD by Harlan Goldstein which to me was superb (still reminiscing the Hokkaido King Crab starter, Giant Spanish red prawn linguine and White Chocolate dessert… *ohhhhhh yes*), I held high hopes for his latest venture and certainly, my hopes were fulfilled.
In a laid-back European-loft design it introduces satisfying “food for friends” that are meant for sharing. I took a seat and was introduced to a refreshing glass of Russian Spring Punch (HK$98). A number of us ordered the same drink, and were happy to drink it in that warm winter afternoon.
We shared a number of dishes that afternoon, starting with Wagyu Beef Bresaola, Gorgonzola, Walnut + Honey (HK$178) that is very droolworthy! The rich saltiness of the cured meat and cheese makes a great pair, while the crispy, sugared walnuts add a nice twist to both the taste, aroma and texture. Perhaps the most quickly-gone dish during the meal!
Spanish Pork and 5J Ham Meatballs in a Coriander Tomato Sauce (HK$88): Nothing can go wrong with the classic combination of tomato sauce and meatballs. In this dish though, they are no ordinary meatballs since they are 100% pure Iberian.
Finger-Licking Chicken Wings, Sweet Soya, Chilli, Ginger and Spring Onions (HK$88): When the glazed coating and the mix of colours make it a dish very visually-appealing, its taste is just as finger-lickingly good as the name suggests.
Lemon Herbed-Halloumi Cheese on Indian-Spiced Spinach (HK$88): Have never thought of having cheese prepared this way. The semi-hard cheese itself has a light flavour, and paired with spinach gives a distinctive taste. I always prefer cheese that becomes stretchy when heated, so this vegetarian dish does not appeal to me too much. But it’s just personal, I still think this is good.
Moving on to the mains we had this Grilled Octopus, Greek Saffron Potato Skordalia Sauce (HK$188): Pleasantly grilled, yet the sauce can be made slightly stronger to taste for I can only feel it with its puréed texture.
Crab Meat Crusted Salmon Steak, Asparagus, Lobster Cajun Sauce (HK$188): Fish meat is not necessarily less appetizing than red meats. Such as this dish, the natural sweetness of the fresh seafood ingredients simply deserves a thumbs up (love the sauce a lot)! By the way, who can ignore the superb roasted garlic by the side?
Free Range Roasted Australian Yellow Chicken (HK$358/1kg): Again with roasted garlic to complement, the meat retains lots of flavours and is lusciously moist and tender. Not being a big fan of meat, I can have one bite of it after another.
The same for this impressive Slow-cooked Duroc Pork Ribs (HK$315)! Chef Harlan Goldstein is famous for its 24 Hours Slow-cooked Beef Cheek at GOLD, and while he exercises his slow-cooking techniques here, expectations are met! The meat is succulent and tender to the point that it comes off from the bones effortlessly. Calling itself “the best ribs in L.K.F”? I think it’s quite legit.
“My Tai Tai’s Beef Brisket Curry, Rice & Picked Vegetables (HK$158): The last comforting main dish to taste that afternoon. “Tai Tai” means “wife” in Cantonese, and so this is a homemade curry dish inspired by the chef’s better half, open for the food-craving public to taste! Hot and delicious, you just wouldn’t wish to skip it.
Desserts are a must to end a meal, and at COMFORT we first tasted the Dark Chocolate Mousse with Amaretto Cherries, Honeycomb and Crispy Popcorn (HK$68). All of us literally gasped and wowed while the cap was unscrewed to reveal the top of this fabulous-looking treat! Chef Harlan reminded us to scoop to the bottom to get everything in a spoonful, and onto the palate was smooth, fluffy mousse with very intense dark chocolate flavour, crunchy honeycomb and popcorn and sweet-sour cherries. A few more scoops? Definitely!
Harlan G’s Nitrogen, Creation of the Day (HK$98): The absolutely fun and guilt-free dessert, and in fact the only dish that is incorporated with molecular gastronomic elements. It’s crunchy, yet delicately melts away to let vanilla scents linger.
Lastly we shared this Warm Waffles with Nutella Ice-Cream, Orange Jam (HK$68). Nice but not outstanding, I would recommend the above two desserts instead.
COMFORT by Harlan Goldstein
5/F Grand Progress Building, 15-16 Lan Kwai Fong, Central, Hong Kong
tel. +852 2521 8638