New restaurant review: Acme
Fresh and fluffy sourdough flatbread? Yes, please!
About a year ago, I read an SCMP profile of Zahir Mohamed that shared how he arrived in Hong Kong knowing no one and with just a jar of sourdough starter. Just a short while later, Baked, his first venture, is one of the darling’s of Hong King’s brunch scene with rave reviews all around. Even knowing this though, I still hadn’t checked it out because no reservations = queues. Then news came that he was opening Acme, a modern Middle Eastern restaurant that took reservations! So I booked for a Friday night, eager.
It’s a bit sad to see so many shuttered shops on Elgin but hopefully we’ll see new life soon. For now, Acme is a bright spot with its stylish yet intimate feel. My friend and I sat at the bar counter - while it was a bit tight with little counter space, it was fun to feel part of the action watching the chefs and bartenders create deliciousness.
We started, of course, with the Sourdough Flatbread ($30), Hummus ($68) and Babaganoush ($68). Oh man, the sourdough flatbread was awesome - warm, fluffy, chewy. The dips are served swiped on the bottom of deep bowls which doesn’t really showcase their generous portion (there’s enough dip per bowl for one whole flatbread). And they are fresh and light and wonderful ways to start the meal.
There’s aren’t many veg options on the menu so, even though we planned to order quite a lot, we ordered the Badeea's Charred Corn on the Cob ($80), with harissa aoili and Nabulsi cheese, too. This is nice enough, though not particularly memorable.
More flavourful was the Hayyan Kultu ($380), a short rib. This was cooked excellently with meat falling off the bone and a light yet fragrant tamarind glaze.
Our final dish were the What They Gave Us ($180), dumplings stuffed with sausage and potato and topped with a citrus butter cream, anchovy relish and herb oil. My friend ate one but then declined to eat another, put off by the dense, thick, chewy dough. I happily polished off the rest though as I adore this sort of texture and loved the creative, indulgent mix of many flavours.
Sadly our 1.5 hour seating was up before we had a chance to order dessert. Had my eye on the baklava or corn creme brulee - for next time perhaps.
I’d like to try Acme again perhaps with a larger group so we could order more dishes. (Note there are a few booths for larger groups in the back.) At the moment, all of the meat dishes are very large, feeding 2 to 4. So pairs may feel the need to commit to one meat dish per meal. But overall it’s a bright, vibrant place with bright, vibrant food. Looking forward to seeing what dishes they come up with next.
59 Elgin St, Central, 2885 6066