New lunch review: Mr Brown, a grill restaurant in Wan Chai, Hong Kong
New 3-course lunch options at this flavour-packed grillhouse in Wan Chai
At most of the dinners I go to, whether media or otherwise, the topic of ‘best restaurants you’ve tried lately’ comes up. Since Mr Brown opened, I’d guess that it’s come up in almost every single conversation. In my experience, the verdict has been 50/50. People either love it or think it’s just OK. Honestly, I was in the latter camp. I’d gone for dinner with friends a few months back and found many of the flavours strangely muted. I did love a couple of the dishes though, especially the chicken liver mousse. So when Mr Brown launched their new (and affordable!) lunch menu, I was excited to revisit the restaurant with hopes I’d be able to switch camps. We need more smoke and grillhouses in this city!
Mr Brown is now offering 3-course lunch sets for $160 (weekdays only). Guests can choose between three appetizers and six main dishes; there’s also dessert though no choice.
My friend and I decided to share the Smoked Pork Croquettes and Whipped Mackerel Cream with homemade pretzel bread.
At first bite, I really enjoyed the croquette. I found it simple, just some nice honestly seasoned pulled pork in a crispy shell.
The mackerel cream was wonderfully delicious. Head Chef Asher Goldstein and team do dips well! I loved it just as much as the liver mousse I tried on my first visit. The cream was very flavourful and with nice pops of saltiness from the salmon roe.
Our server surprised us by bringing out the Eggplant Carpaccio to try as well. When visiting a grillhouse, I usually throw all thoughts of eating healthy out the window … I didn’t even consider ordering this dish. But it ended up ranking right up there with the cream. This dish was packed with flavour: smokey, creamy and with zingy hits of spice.
All of the appetizers we tried were good but, if I had to choose a favourite, I’d pick the mackerel cream with the eggplant carpaccio a close second. Those who love strong flavours would enjoy these.
For our mains, we chose to split the Barramundi and the Prime Striploin (+ $50). It was a tough choice as many of their mains sounded delicious … would love to try the tahini smothered Smoked Chicken Thigh, Smoked Beef Lasagna, and the Pork Katsu Sanger next time.
The Barramundi was nicely grilled and topped with smoked red peppers, olives and pine nuts. We really enjoyed the flavours in this dish as well as the tender-yet-crispy texture of the flesh.
Our steak was well-cooked and topped with an incredibly fragrant and non-oily chimichurri sauce, possibly the best one I’ve had in Hong Kong.
On the day we visited, the dessert was a smoked chocolate mousse with a slice of plum. I think there was also some olive oil and sea salt added on top for good measure. This was a lovely end to the meal … an incredibly airy, milky concoction to satisfy without leaving us sugar high for our afternoon in the office.
There’s definitely a lot to love at Mr Brown and the new lunch deal is a great way to try the restaurant for yourself (if you haven’t already). My only complaint is the lack of carbs in the meal. I was surprised that our mains were protein only; no sides were offered. I did leave full but personally prefer to have a heavier lunch if I’m making the effort to visit a nice restaurant. Next time I’ll ask our server if I can add a side … or ask for another one of their delicious pretzel rolls.
G/F, 9 Ship St, Wan Chai, 3101 1081