Our very own Dr. Foodie makes a house-call to Hunter & The Chase to test the menu's temperature and executive set lunch
We are suckers for good food here at Honeycombers. From the best Italian restaurants in Hong Kong to exceptional fine dining and our favourite street food, we are obsessed with deliciousness. So when Hunter & The Chase invited us over to try their new Executive Set Lunch menu, we sent our most discerning, and qualified eater to see if it passed muster.
Meet Dr. Foodie
My name is, actually I was told to use a pseudonym, but as I have no idea what one of those is, let’s just call me Dr. Foodie. Hailing from Blighty, I am prone to Britishisms that folks outside the Queen’s Land may find bizarre; do indulge an old man’s whimsy with these, or better yet, work with our dear friend Uncle Google for clarification.
Closer to 50 than 40, I have called East Asia home for over 20 years, living in eight countries over that period, so it’s is fair to say I have eaten out once or twice. Many of those meals have been professional meetings with clients, so the blend of ambience and good food is close to my heart (and stomach), and often a necessity.
I would not describe myself as being able to taste the nuances in food, neither would I say I am someone that has a well-developed palate. I do enjoy the trappings of fancy establishments of course, but the wealthy can best appreciate the richness endured by the sophisticated palate. Having smoked for a number of those 40+ years–doctors truly are the worst patients, if a dish (or bottle of red) can stimulate these old taste receptors, I will know a winner when it hits the tongue.
Now, on with the show!
Lunch at Hunter & The Chase
Firstly… what a great name! Off the bat, the restaurant has thrown itself out there with branding that is not afraid to steer away from the oodles of restaurants stagnantly marketing themselves in the ‘brasserie/gastro pub’ gap… unless you live in central London of course… such fools!
It would have been so much easier to attract the masses by hanging a sign above the door proclaiming: Hotpots and Lamb Shank, but once you walk inside you will realise the ideology goes much deeper. The owners are not attempting to attract fly-by-night diners and a quick buck, too much thought has gone into the decor and menu, even the staff’s attire hints at a long term investment and a template for success.
So walk inside with me and let me tell you more…
I should say, I have no professional architectural background or degree in design, but my Nan lived opposite a Homebase in Bristol, so I have a reasonable foundation I can draw upon.
The two-tier restaurant can be found easily from Queens Road and begins on the 3rd floor at The Chase, which is connected by an interior staircase or lift (very important for those less mobile than others) to the 4th floor: Hunter.
I was immediately struck by the clean lines, shades of warm tans and chocolate colored walls, creating a smooth warm atmosphere that, when coupled with the hardwood floors, complimented the Industrial aesthetics of the exposed pipes and ducts within the ceiling.
Ok, let’s eat the Executive Set Lunch at Hunter & The Chase
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The Executive Set Lunch at Hunter is a fine affair that will have you feeling nice and full in a jiffy. From just $168, you can stuff yourself over two- or three-courses of traditional wild fare, with some modern twists making an appearance for good measure.
- Pan Roasted Quail with Lemon Vinaigrette and watercress salad
I am a country boy by birth, and although far from an advocate for hunting, the occasional quail did enter my larder. They are wonderfully rich tasting birds, and in my opinion less earthy than some wild game: pheasant or partridge as examples. Having cooked one or two, the knack is to slow cook or grill the bird; they are very low in fat so if overcooked they will dry out extremely quickly.
I was very pleased that the chef knew his/her business and served a delightfully moist entrée with a delicate vinaigrette that heightened the mouthwatering experience.
Unlike the last quail I was served in a restaurant, the autopsy report would not reflect starvation as the cause of death. This was a beautiful plump bird, satisfying my hunger pangs and leaving plenty of room for the main event.
- U.S. Hanger Steak with Forest Mushroom Rub
Some days, you just fancy a steak and my visit to Hunter & The Chase was one of those days. Slightly cold outside, I wanted a good feed, and although the rest of the menu looked very appetising, a butcher’s steak ticked the box in times of need. And I was not disappointed.
Cooked on the high side of medium (I asked for medium rare) it still packed a punch, slight charcoaling on the outside complimented the pink flesh within. It came with little else (as advertised) which is fine with me, but if you’re more carb orientated, then I suggest you order a side or two. The only downside was that I was driving home, otherwise the perfect accompaniment would have been a glass (possibly two) of Malbec.
- Cheddar Crust Apple Pie with Whiskey Caramel & Vanilla Ice-cream AND Roasted Seasonal Fruit Marscapone with Shortbread Cookie
Without this turning into an episode of Trisha, I must confess that I am not a dessert person. All fruit should be turned into wine in my professional opinion. I am a warrior, however so, I soldiered on and ate both options available! (Top Tip: always dine with a diabetic)
As a result, I may have to reassess my stance on desserts. At just the right size, and just the right amount of sweetness, these puppies left me salivating for more.
All in all, I had great luncheon, I will eat there again and will happily take friends and clients for lunch/dinner in the future. It will be interesting to see how the menu evolves and retains the interest of repeat diners, such as I.
Of course nothing in this world is perfect, so a couple of minor points. This is not the restaurant’s direct fault of course, but often is the case in Hong Kong, the lower floors suffer from the offices above and getting a lift down after a satisfying lunch can prove tiresome. Top-Tip: for those that are able – take the stairs.
The second and only the real gripe is the bathroom. It was either completed by the decorator’s evil twin or it has yet to be completed. It was clean and practical don’t get me wrong, but was in stark contrast to the rest of the restaurant.
Sub note, I believe Quail is part of the Pheasant family (but not the Partridge family, the irony), so forgive me for describing it as tastier than a pheasant. My RSPB membership was revoked after I tried to deep fry the large yellow bird from Sesame Street. (I forget his name)
And remember, chew every bite.
Regards, Dr. Foodie
Hunter & The Chase, 3-4/F , The L. Place, 139 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong, 中環皇后大道中139號The L. Place 3-4樓