Indonesian restaurant review: Kaum at Potato Head in Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong
Say yes to the durian sambal sauce!
It all started on Instagram. A photo caption had the words “that fermented durian sambal sauce absolutely stinks” and “it’s not a toned down version here at all.” I immediately noted the geotag, texted my favourite Malaysian girlfriend, and made reservations. The restaurant? Kaum at Potato Head Hong Kong.
I want to start by saying I love Potato Head’s restaurants. The Bali one is glam yet chill and a perfect spot for sunsets. The Singapore one is fusion comfort food perfection and has a whimsical tiki rooftop bar (where I had my going away party before I moved from Singapore to Hong Kong). I’d been to the Hong Kong location once before but just for drinks at the bar. As much as I’m always looking for Southeast Asian food, it hadn’t occurred to me to check out Kaum, it’s Indonesian restaurant, before but that caption had me intrigued.
To get to Kaum, you’ll need to walk past the main bar which is decorated like a cozy, resort-inspired urban living room. Think worn-in leather, clean lines, plants, and records. Kaum keeps the resort-inspired feeling alive and is all dim lighting, and accented with woven wood panels and Indonesian textiles. While not great for photos, it felt romantic yet chill. I’d recommend it for a date night spot (romantic or a friend catch up).
As long as you and your date like fragrant food that is. My fellow food-loving friend and I ordered an assortment of Indonesian comfort foods and didn’t hold back on indulging. It wasn’t a night for counting calories.
We started with the gado gado ($95), a warm vegetable salad coated in a spicy sweet cashew and peanut sauce, and served with colourful garlic prawn crackers. Ooh I’ve missed these flavours. If you like being overwhelmed with flavours, this will hit the spot.
Chicken satay with steamed rice cake followed ($125). These were tender and juicy, and again covered in a fragrant peanut sauce. But unusually there were also fried onions and chili padi. Nice.
Up next was the dish we came for: fried duck with durian chili sambal sauce ($280 for half a duck). The duck itself was fine, but the sauce... I wouldn’t agree with the Instagrammer that the sauce absolutely stinks. But maybe that’s just because I quite like durian! I found the sauce had kick but the smooth, creamy durian flesh took centre stage. It was mild enough to be eaten straight by the spoonful (which we did) and absolutely slathered on the duck. Really nice, and after digging in and sighing with satisfaction, we immediately asked for a second dish of sauce.
Lastly, we indulged in some babi guling or roast pork ($295). It was well-cooked but nothing too out of the ordinary.
I know where I’ll be next time I’m craving Southeast Asian spices and wanting to wear a flowy batik dress on a warm weather evening in Hong Kong. #vacationmode
100 Third St, Sai Ying Pun, 2858 6066