Rhoda: The Latest Sai Ying Pun Hype Not to Miss

Few places generate as much hype as Rhoda has and then live up to it too. I’ll try not to be repetitive because there is already an abundance of reviews on this place – but that’s just the first piece of proof that it is one worthy of your restaurants-to-try list.

Of course, with hype comes expectations and then larger room for disappointment. So in attempt to control some of that, I’d say, while the atmosphere is perfect, all our dishes delicious, I have heard mixed reviews on selected items – such as the chicken being too dry – though I can’t attest to that claim.

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It was Wednesday so naturally a drink was needed. I was just a tad disappointed that the cocktail list wasn’t pages long or feature some exotic creations. I guess there was something about the rustic cool decor led me to believe Rhoda would be that kind of place with amazing cocktails. I got the Whisky Smash (HK$120) which was refreshing and tasted good. But the focus here is definitely on the food.

Suntory Dark Ale Beer Bread & Lotus Chips w/ Chicken Liver Dip

For starters, one portion of the beer bread served with seaweed butter is complimentary. It was pretty outstanding – even considering my high expectations. The bread was smoky in aroma, crispy on the edge and densely soft on the inside. You can order extras for HK$28, which is tempting, but thankfully I resisted the urge and saved my stomach for their other dishes.

The lotus chips with chicken liver dip was also addictive. They’d hardly make a dent in your wallet at HK$38 a portion, so why not?

Chicken wings glazed with Xeres vinegar (HK$118)

The chicken wings were juicy and I loved the glaze which was perfect in flavours. It’s good to munch on for starters, although the truly amazing stuff is to follow below…

Hokkaido scallops with pink grapefruit, basil and pickled ginger (HK$198) *must order*

The only struggle we had with the scallops was deciding whether or not it was our ultimate favourite dish of the night. I’m still struggling. These were served raw. It was quite a simple dish but the scallops were just super fresh and the citrusy grapefruit topping was the perfect combination.

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Asparagus with truffle potato puree (HK$188) *must order*

We almost didn’t order the asparagus but thank god for our half-hearted health consciousness which ultimately urged us to order some veggies… Because 30% of why our meal was so impressive was down to this blob of potato. That potato mash or puree was the best mash I’ve ever had, hands down. Seriously. It’s the addictively delicious kind that makes your fork or spoon return to the dish before you even chew your previous bite. Definitely try it.

Wild Hereford Ox heart with mustard sauce (HK$158)

I was first introduced to ox heart at Ceviche in London and despite typically being disgusted by innards, I absolutely loved it. Heart of the ox tastes nothing like other innards like livers or kidneys. In fact, I’d say it’s hardly distinguishable from normal steak except the texture is even better. So I was keen to order it when I saw it on the menu at Rhoda. It’s pretty rare in Hong Kong. 

The ox heart was cooked perfectly – the texture was even more perfect than I imagined. The portion was pretty decent too. But we agreed that the mustard sauce was overpowering. It’d be much better as a sauce on the side to dip, rather than a generous pour over the meat. 

Mangalica fatty belly marinated in soy & garlic (HK$218)

The pork fatty belly was seriously fatty. Although the marinade was delicious and the pork was extremely tasty, I think there was just a bit too much fat on each piece.

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Maitake mushroom risotto (HK$158)

The risotto was the perfect carb-substitute to complement our dinner. It’s made with grains (like quinoa and other stuff) rather than actual risotto rice. It was creamy and very truffly. The grains meant that the texture was very al dente and chewy.

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Vanilla cheesecake with rhubarb and raspberry (HK$118) *must order*

If there’s just one takeaway from this post, ORDER THIS! Almost every review I read before coming here mentioned how ‘must-order’ this vanilla cheesecake was. So I heeded the reliable advice and can now confirm that it’s an amazing piece of cheesecake. It’s super smooth and soft in texture, while the taste is spot on too. The pickled raspberry and rhubarb on the side were quite nice although a little sour. But nobody cares because not even a terrible side garnish can bring this cheesecake down.

You know the verdict; is there a catch?

We loved our meal here at Rhoda – the atmosphere and food was excellent. I suppose the main catch for us was that it’s just a little on the pricey side. The food here was generally great but it’s not a fancy pants place, and it’s not really bang in the middle of Central, so dishing out HK$600-700 could feel a bit much.

But naturally and sadly, a lot of us in Hong Kong are getting accustomed to paying this kind of money for decent good food. So Rhoda is definitely not the odd one out with pricing.

It’s definitely worth a visit, just make sure you make a reservation in advance!

Rhoda
G/F 345 Des Voeux Road West
Sai Ying Pun
~5 min walk from HKU station

Phone: 2177 5050

Spend per person: HK$600-700

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