After eleven years living in Hong Kong, coupled with the city´s penchant for hotel dining, it dawned on me that I´d never previously eaten at the J W Marriott in Pacific Place. That´s now changed and, with the Flint Grill and Bar doing its thing, it´s fair to say I´ll be heading back again.
As with all steakhouses, especially those in high end hotels, its dark and masculine with slate aplenty. It´s also a big space with very generously spaced tables. At the helm is the immensely-likeable British chef with a South African name, Pieter Fitz-Dreyer. He had worked at Michelin-starred spots and formerly overseen restaurants across London, so he clearly knows his onions.
Lunch with a fellow former CNN stalwart was excellent from the word go. A quartet of hot, soft rolls were waiting to be ripped apart and spread with butter. There´s far too much bad bread in Hong Kong restaurants.
Then came grilled Basque octopus with stewed chickpeas, eggyolk jam and sourdough. This is a feature common across the menu, namely that the descriptions are bang-on. No silly minima-list of one word ingredients or overly flowery mini novellas. Just describing food that you really want to eat.
Likewise with the ´beef cheek bourguignon with smoked bacon, wild mushroom and horseradish mash´- what is not to love in those eleven words? It tells you everything you need to know.
On my side of the table, the Nebraska grain fed ribeye was an absolute monster – in a good way. Because I like my meat indeed.
Sticky toffee pudding with dates, hot toffee sauce, oatmeal crumble and caramel ice cream was a pretty deconstruction, but didn´t add much to the original. Given his sure hand at the stove, Fitz-Dreyer would doubtless deliver a knockout traditional, old-school version. I live in hope and look forward to returning to try it.