[Hong Kong] Kaum at Potato Head - A Night in Indonesia

Rating: ❤❤❤1/2

I had heard much about the exciting opening of Potato Head before my trip to Japan and Europe so when I got back to Hong Kong I immediately paid a visit with some girlfriends! Brought to us from Bali, Potato Head Hong Kong has landed in Sai Ying Pun right next to Fish School with a 8,000 square foot space that houses a lifestyle retail store, a coffee shop, an all day bar and cafe, and a restaurant serving authentic Indonesian cuisine called Kaum which is where we went for dinner. Kaum means "clan" or "tribe" in Indonesian and the restaurant aims to pay tribute to over 600 ethnic group by presenting true flavors that accurately reflects Indonesia's heritage. 

We walked pass the bustling bar and lounge area on a Saturday night before arriving at the restaurant which was only divided by a curtain. 

The restaurant has two large communal tables and a private dining room as well as counter seats which faces the open kitchen. We sat at one of the communal tables and shared the cozy space with our dining neighbors. 

The open kitchen design allowed patrons at the counter to see the action up close but it also led to a a rather smoky environment - and at one point the smoked enveloped the entire space - which wasn't ideal.

Potato Head is well known for its cocktails so I got the Kookaburra ($120) to try with lemongrass infused Tanqueray gin, bar-made vanilla sugar, mint and citrus. Crowned with passion fruit and vanilla foam, the cocktail was fruity and refreshing to drink which helped to cool the heat from hot and humid weather Hong Kong has been blessed with these couple of weeks. 

This wasn't ours but we couldn't help but snap some pictures of this Soltice Punch which looked like a lot of fun to share with a group of friends! 

The menu had quite a bit of choices and it was hard to choose at first, so we basically selected the ones that were marked as signature dishes. We started with some small plates and the Gado Gado Kaum ($80) turned out to be a great choice with assorted blanched garden vegetables tossed in a white cashew peanut dressing. Served with fried shallots, free range egg, tempeh and prawn crackers, the vegetables were appetizing to eat as the sauce had quite of a bit of spice in it.

The Mangut Ikan Asap ($80) with house smoked fish fillet braised in a mild curry of coconut, lemon leaves and stinky beans was less successful as we couldn't really taste the fish and while the curry was spicy, it lacked the appeal of a Thai or Indian curry as the flavor was quite one dimensional.

The Ayam Kebiri Berantakan ($195) with pan-fried free range chicken, crispy garlic, fried curry leaves, shredded oyster mushrooms, red chili and toasted coconut flakes looked promising and while the chicken was nicely cooked with crispy charred skin, we expected more seasoning and flavor as the chicken tasted a bit bland to us. 

We liked the Timbugan Babi ($290) though with pork belly marinated with Balinese spice paste, shallots, chili, garlic, torch ginger and sweet potato leaves. Bamboo cooking is described as a dying art and only a handful of restaurants in Indonesia still practice this ancient cooking technique. Cooked in bamboo shoot and banana leaves over lava stones, this dish is worth a try as the pork belly was very tender and infused with flavors. 

Lastly, we wrapped up our Indonesian journey with a classic Nasi Goreng Bumbu Cabe Asap Udang ($148) with prawns, home-smoked chili paste, stinky beans, lemon basil and fermented prawn paste. The rice had been nicely stir-fried with a good texture but the prawns were tiny and few while a bit heavy-handed with the fermented prawn paste. 

Verdict - we ended up spending close to $600 per person for dinner which was rather high for the type of food we had. I'm not sure I would go back for the food but I liked the cocktails here so I would come back for drinks and to check out the "I Love You So Coffee" take-out coffee shop!

Kaum at Potato Head
100 Third Street, Sai Ying Pun
Tel: +852 2858 6066

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