New restaurant review: MEATS by Pirata Group in Soho, Hong Kong
Trying all the meats at MEATS in Soho
Even before MEATS opened their doors, I was telling my friends about the concept and trying to fit in a time to go. Partly, it’s because the Pirata Group is behind it. I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad experience at any of their restaurants; it’s always a fun, friendly and delicious time. It just so happens I’ve also celebrated a number of special occasions at their restaurants (first HK anniversary at Pirata, first date with my boyfriend at TokyoLima). Anyway, so I had high hopes.
But then life got in the way, and I think it took me a good 2.5 months after it opened to actually go. And when I did go, I went twice in one week because, well, my stomach wasn’t big enough to try all the things I wanted to try the first time. The first was for the Valentine’s Day menu, and the second was for the roll out of the restaurant Chef’s menu.
In line with most things comfort food, I didn’t have anything I really disliked but there are things I thought were better than others.
The hit list
Roasted chicken croquettes: crispy, creamy and served with the most garlic-y cream sauce I’ve found in Hong Kong
Galician octopus: perfectly charred yet chewy with a rich, almost buttery glaze
Chicken liver pate: a really interesting combination of smooth mousse with cacao nibs and vinegar caviar (mmm I want to be eating this again right now_
Smoked brisket pastrami: first time I’ve ever had pastrami in a chunk, super flavourful though I would have liked the meat to be more fatty and tender
Porchetta: decent, well-cooked with a generous amount of crackling and pesto (“green herb salsa”)
Hanger steak: very tender, though I personally would have preferred a stronger tasting marinade
Crispy cauliflower: deep fried goodness with a creamy tahini sauce and curry leaves (my favourite)
Spicy Fried Rice: lives up to the hype; is perhaps the stickiest, tangiest, meatiest, gooiest rice I’ve ever had
Key lime pie: is more like a lemon curd tart, had this both times I went and didn’t complain
The miss list
Nothing was really bad, but I thought the ugly potatoes, Glasgow salad (chicken salt fries), and even the tenderloin (nightly special) were quite plain and didn't live up to the menu descriptions.
There’s definitely enough to love at MEATS. In addition to the tasty eats (with the appetizers standing out most for me), they’ve got a fantastically old school rap/r&b soundtrack that makes it feel like a weekend even if you’re there on a Tuesday night. The layout of the restaurant also makes it good for a cozy date or even a group dinner if you sit at the tables facing the street. I definitely want to go back and try the brunch and both the bone marrow appetizer and the Meats Pie (with bone marrow).
G/F, 28 - 30, Staunton Street, Soho, Central, 2711 1812