• Jenni Lien

New chef and lunch menu review: MEATS by Pirata Group in Soho, Hong Kong

Dinner is on again (woohoo!) but I’ve got to say, I really enjoyed going out for lunch more. There are some amazing lunch deals in this city that are absolutely worth leaving the office / putting on real pants for (depending on your work from home situation at the moment). I always enjoy MEATS and was keen to check it out again when they announced a new chef and new lunch menu.


Koki Oda is MEATS’s new Head Chef. Raised in Nagoya, he’s gained 12 years of experience in restaurants across Asia spanning Michelin-starred French spots in Japan to eateries in New Zealand and Bali. The new lunch menu isn’t drastically different from before (fret not, the popular fish tacos are still on the menu!) but there are some lighter and more creative plates too.


The lunch menu is $198 for three courses and offered Monday to Thursday.


Starters

There are five options for starters: duck salad, fish tacos (2 pieces), beef salad (+$15) and grilled caesar (vegetarian). Honestly it all sounded delicious. It was a tough call but we opted for two new dishes and the classic fish tacos.



The first new dish was the beef salad. This was nice and fresh with red onions, Asian herbs, and a fish sauce-spiked dressing giving lots of flavour without being too pungent for going back to the office. A decent amount of marinated beef flank cooked to medium rare was added and worth the extra $15, especially if you’re not going for a beef main.



We also tried the grilled caesar, which came in two wedges and topped with parmesan and horseradish. Loved the addition of cashews.



The fish tacos are always a hit with plump fish pieces and an addictive chipotle aioli.


Mains

There are six options for starters: porchetta (a former special), USDA ribeye (+98), burger, salmon fillet, oven-baked cauliflower (vegetarian, and ½ rotisserie chicken. All come with fries.



Are you a fan of vitello tonnato? If yes, you’ll probably be interested in the porchetta version. Tuna mayo and a capers powder were slathered on a lovely slice of the juicy roast pork. Our slice was quite fatty, not in an overwhelming way but may be a good one to share. To get the most out of this dish, I’d make sure to have a decent amount of the lighty tangy sauce (comes served on the side) with each bite otherwise the flavour kind of disappears.



Next we tried the salmon fillet which is pan-fried in a white wine sauce and served with grilled lemon. I thought this might be a bit of a risk and that it would come well done but it was very nice and moist. Would definitely order this again.



And lastly, while understanding that the restaurant is called MEATS, we were curious about the miso-glazed cauliflower. This was perhaps the most flavourful of all the dishes we had. Loved the strong cashew sauce and how it balanced out with fresh pomegranate seeds.


Dessert or Coffee

To end our meal, we tried both desserts: the chocolate brownie and the rotisserie pineapple.



I’ve always really enjoyed the dessert at MEATS (their lime pie is one of the best in town!) and the new options don’t disappoint. The chocolate brownie with dulce de leche and vanilla ice cream will be a crowd pleaser. The grilled pineapple with sweet and sour syrup and blood orange sorbet is of course a healthier option but really hits the spot as a dessert. Sometimes dessert can be overlooked in a set menu but at MEATS it ends the meal strong.



Verdict

MEATS continues to serve up interesting comfort food and it’s great that there are more lighter options for guests. It remains a delicious, great-value restaurant.


G/F Soho, 28-30 Staunton St, Central, 2711 1812

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