Rhoda | A new late night secret supper club (23 September 2017)
In this city, we’re spoiled for choice when it comes to dining options. There have been a lot of new openings lately, but it’s also nice to see some of our favourite restaurants offering something fresh and exciting. As we mentioned earlier, JIA Group - behind a number of restaurants from 22 Ships to Samsen - are launching a new late-night supper club called “The Pass” this fall. The idea is to give eight of their chefs the chance to showcase their creativity by cooking one-time menus for an intimate group of diners in a secret location. We love this concept for many reasons. First, chefs are creative people. When visiting a restaurant, it’s easy to focus on the ingredients and dishes, but it’s always interesting to hear from the chefs on how the dishes were conceptualized. What was the inspiration behind it? Why did they choose these ingredients? How did they get this weird-sounding flavour combination to taste so delicious? Second, it’s a nice experience to be able to learn from and interact with the chefs themselves.
The Pass kicked off on September 9th and will run until November 4th, on eight consecutive Saturdays. Most of the supper clubs start at 10 p.m., but there are two that start at 8:30 p.m. Each dinner can fit just 20 people, which means you may want to get your tickets fast; some dates are already sold out. If you’re curious about just how unusual the flavour combinations will be, the menus are available to view here.
Recently, we had the opportunity to preview Rhoda’s supper club that is to be held on September 23rd. Of all the menus, this one is the most expensive at $1800 per person. Was it worth the money?
After arriving at a centrally located restaurant, sliding doors opened to reveal a cozy, homey space. We want you to have your own first impression, so without giving too much away let’s just say the whole vibe is hygge meets chic. It really feels like attending a dinner party thrown by your most trendy friend.
We see Rhoda as a restaurant that is experimental yet down to earth. Chef Nathan Green mentioned that he’s cooked over 600 different dishes during Rhoda’s first year alone. It’s also one of the few restaurants in Hong Kong that changes its menu bimonthly.
Chefs need to create, and it’s nice to experience this current stage of Nathan’s cooking. During our early visits to Rhoda, flavours were intense and meaty. The wild Hereford ox heart tartare with egg yolk puree and the meatballs with pig skin spaghetti were highlights for us. In contrast, the dishes served at The Pass are more refreshing yet still feel distinctly Rhoda.
The oyster was a standout dish. Of course the quality of the uni was top-notch, but it was the different textures and temperatures that made it really interesting. The smooth uni against the crunchy apple with the creamy oyster and salty smoked cod’s roe. All this was brought together with dill; an accent we’d never have thought of but worked very well.
Another favourite was the akamutsu grilled over almond wood. If you’ve never heard of akamutsu, you’re not alone. It’s also known as the blackthroat seaperch or rosy seabass, and is a rare, hard-to-get delicacy especially popular in Japan. What is noteworthy is that its a white fish but has a very high fat content. This version was wrapped in a kombu leaf before grilling, which helps keep the moisture in. Seasoned with lemon, thyme and garlic, it was a smoky and sinfully fatty with a light citrus kick. Really lovely.
Each dinner serves up two signature cocktails from the restaurant’s menu, as well as specially paired, free-flow wines from Terrazas de los Andes.
Interaction with Nathan Green
Nathan’s a friendly, open-hearted kind of person so you can learn a lot from him whether at Rhoda or at The Pass. He came out to explain each dish as it was served, and happily answered questions about their ideation, food sustainability, what Rhoda will be up to next, and more.
This was a concept that worked for us. The atmosphere is intimate, the food is delicious, and the experience is fun and educational. It’s a special experience for diners to get to know the minds behind their favourite restaurants, and try some special dishes. Tickets can be ordered from TicketFlap.
Details available upon purchase of a ticket.
Full list of The Pass supper clubs
September 9: Josh Hartland of Mak Mak
September 16: Aaron Gillespie of 22 Ships (SOLD OUT)
September 23: Nathan Green of Rhoda
September 30: Mick Bolam of 208 Duecento Otto
October 7: Rungroj Chang Somboon of Chachawan
October 14: Ronald Rodrigues of Kaum at Potato Head Hong Kong
October 21: Fung Man Ip of Duddell’s
November 4: Chris Whitmore of Aberdeen Street Social (SOLD OUT)