The first time I visited Popsy Modern Kitchen was for brunch and I remember…. The food was alright – I ordered lamb chops. But with so many different meals lined up each week, you have to be even better than ‘good’ in Hong Kong. When I finally returned to try out their British themed ‘Mockingbird Experience’ menu (book here) designed in collaboration with Feedme Guru, the meal was a completely different story. Intrigued by the drastic improvement, I then heard that they had overhauled their entire kitchen team only 1-2 months ago!
The founder is extremely artsy and while the interior is a little much for someone so un-artsy like me, the dishes were intriguingly creative – and I mean, not only the plating, but also the layering of flavours, textures and ingredients. There’s so much attention placed on the finest of details, to the millimetre of every dish, I just can’t even bring myself to pretend that I’m sophisticated enough to appreciate it all. But it was definitely a very interesting and delicious experience, with more than a few talking points.
The menu was purposefully lacking details. This meant that we had many surprises throughout the meal. I think that was integral to our experience too, so you may want to skip the descriptions if you also want a bit of a mystery retained in your dining experience! Given that it was a 10-course meal, I’ll just highlight a few things here…
Amuse Bouche – Cauliflower Mousse with Lobster Bisque Jelly
The amuse bouche made an impression and really set our expectations on the right path. We couldn’t be having chocolate mousse to start… could we? Those were my initial thoughts. The smooth cold cauliflower mousse was light and paired well with an aromatic lobster bisque-like jelly on top.
Chilli Lychee Cocktail
I was intending to settle for red wine that evening but someone else ordered the Chilli Lychee and it smelt so good I needed to try it myself. Spicy drinks are often a hit or miss but the spice in this one was relatively mild and very easy on the palate. The fresh sweet lychee flavours was surprisingly an excellent match to the spice.
Course 6: New Fish and Chips
Let’s be honest, I was a teeny bit disappointed when this dish arrived – where are the chips!? The deep fried fish bones were meant to be the “chips” of this dish – it was good but I still would’ve preferred real chips. Other than that, the fish and all the accompanying bits and bobs were delicious.
Course 7: Beef cheek
No doubt, my photography does none of the beautiful food artwork served here justice. By the fourth dish, it’d be no secret that the founder was an art student. The beef cheek was so beautifully presented and probably the least quirky in terms of flavour. But it was so perfectly executed. The beef cheek was slow cooked – it was extremely extremely tender and my cut had a teeny bit of fat on it. The flavours were spot on – not too salty or bland; the mash and mushroom undertones meshed together well with each bite.
Course 9: Eton Mess
The whole table was like, whaaaaat, when this non-eton-mess-looking dish arrived on our table. We cracked the top and the strawberries were sooooo fresh and delicious – the cracked layer provided the perfect sweet complement to the otherwise refreshing combination underneath. This was delicious but I just wished the portion was larger! It definitely wasn’t enough.
For those who look for an intriguing dining experience
For HK$698, the 10-course set menu specially designed for Best of British month was worth it when you consider how much thought was put into creating each dish. The imagination in the flavours, textures and plating is something to truly commend Popsy Modern Kitchen’s newest kitchen team on.
But honestly, if you don’t appreciate these intricate details in food, savour each bite and feel satisfaction from discovering that a tiny crouton is actually lettuce-flavoured, this may not be a restaurant for you. The portions of each course are quite small and definitely not designed to fill large-sized tummies (I was just full, but did eat 3 pieces of bread).
Sit down with the expectation of experiencing and celebrating a different style of food and art, and you won’t be disappointed.
Popsy Modern Kitchen
5/F The Wellington,
184-198 Wellington Street,
Phone: 2907 8188
Spend per person: HK$698 + service charge (excluding drinks)