Restaurant review: Redhouse, Hong Kong
Well-priced modern (mostly) Chinese food
A few weeks after I first moved to Hong Kong, a few of my Singapore-based friends came to visit. Still in shock at the restaurant prices in Hong Kong, I searched for a moderately priced place with enough of a ‘fancy’ factor. I settled on Townhouse, a glossy Pan-Asian place with a view, moody lighting, and a surprise live deejay. While we all had a good time that night, my friends still poke fun at me for taking them to a non-local spot for dinner. Especially when I’d ordered Pad Thai! Anyway, years later, the Gaia Group has recently changed Townhouse into Redhouse and the vibe and menu is now decidedly more Chinese.
There’s a small bar as soon as you step out of the elevator, but Redhouse is basically a large dining room (like most of the places in California Tower; same layout). This allows the space to show off its lovely floor to ceiling windows. Now the restaurant overlooks LKF and various office buildings which isn’t necessarily the prettiest but I think it’s one of the best, highest views in Central. The clay urns and crystal chandeliers contribute to the modern Chinese theme.
I ate with a large group and we were lucky to be able to try a wide assortment of dishes.
For the smaller plates, my favourites were the crispy taro puffs with pork, dried shrimp ($42), and hint of foie gras; the crispy Bombay duck fish ($88) with salt and pepper (melt in the mouth!), and the made-in-house steamed rice flour rolls with fresh scallops ($68).
I loved the double-boiled chicken soup with fish maw and cordyceps flower served in a coconut ($168). Besides the fish maw which was very tender, the rest of the ingredients weren’t worth the calories. But the broth was. The flavour of young coconut was quite strong and gave the savoury soup a slight, not overwhelming, sweetness. I haven’t had young coconut paired with savoury dishes very often but the combination works. Would love to have this again!
The rest of the dinner was an Asia tour: China’s Peking duck ($298+) and poached wagyu beef slices ($298), Taiwan’s three cup chicken ($168), and Singapore’s chili crab (price TBC, will be a new addition to the menu).
I thought the Peking duck was decent, and especially enjoyed the fragrant, slightly spongy wraps. The duck was carved at the table and was served skin-only with the meat being cooked into the shredded crispy duck rice dish. Awesome that they have this option. I haven’t seen it many other places. Another option is to turn the meat into minced duck lettuce wraps.
Being Taiwanese, I was surprised at how much I liked the three-cup chicken. I usually regret it when I order it, even in Taiwan, because while the flavour is sweet, smoky, and delicious, there are just so many bones in the chicken pieces and I can’t be bothered to fiddle with it. No such issue with Redhouse’s version. The flavour is there and the chicken pieces are pleasingly mostly boneless.
My likes and dislikes about the chili crab and wagyu beef are the same. The ingredients were excellent but both sauces were too mild!
While it’s natural that you may get more authentic versions of all dishes at speciality (aka focusing on one cuisine) restaurants, there’s something nice about being able to order all your favourites in one place. I realized that I mostly go to specialty restaurants nowadays and having a varied menu is a nice change. Reminds me of the restaurants back home in Canada. And buffets. In a good way.
Redhouse is a solid Chinese / Pan-Asian restaurant suitable for work lunches, group dinners (there will still be a live deejay on Friday and Saturday nights), impressing out-of-town guests, and more. Overall, I think all the dishes we tried are solid with some being very good. It’s great value for the price, location, and environment.
[New location] 1/F, Midtown, 1 Tang Lung St, Causeway Bay, 2383 4038
[Location now closed] 23/F California Tower, 32 D'Aguilar St, Central, 2344 2366