Aberdeen Street Social at PMQ | Hong Kong

Rating: ❤❤❤1/2

Located in the JPC building at PMQ, Aberdeen Street Social is the third venture in Hong Kong by Jason Atherton who has successfully launched 22 Ships and Ham & Sherry. I loved 22 Ships which is a Spanish tapas restaurant so I was eager to try a different type of food by the chef - modern British cuisine at A.S.S. The restaurant is split into 2 levels with Upstairs being a formal restaurant while Downstairs is a casual bar and cafe. As the building is surrounded by a garden, even the interior design strives to emulate that feeling with dark green walls and gold trimmings. I came here for lunch with several friends at the Upstairs restaurant where the lunch set costs $238 for 2 courses and $288 for 3 courses - same as Bibo where I visited recently.

As bread lovers, we all agreed that the homemade whole wheat bread here was very delicious with its fluffy texture and subtle flavors. The bread seemed to be made fresh on the spot as I can see the oven where the bread is produced.  

We were presented with 2 amuse bouches - the one on the right is a fried chicken nugget with jam and walnut on top while the one on the left is a flatbread with cheese. Both were adequate but not that special either. 

Iberico Ham (4.5/5) - I loved the refreshing presentation of this dish as it reminded me of a garden! The egg had a crispy layer with liquid yolk in the center while sitting on thick and creamy crushed peas. To my surprise, the Iberico ham had been fried to a crispy state so it tasted similar to bacon. The contrasting flavors and textures were able to balance each other out in a delightful way - it was one of the more impressive dishes of our meal. 

Aubergine Caviar (3/5) - referred as the poor man's caviar due to the seeds in the flesh, aubergine caviar is basically a roasted eggplant dip. Typically used as a spread on bread, the aubergine caviar was thick and creamy with an Asian flavor to it. Beautifully adorned with garden vegetables, we just weren't sure if the aubergine caviar worked as an accompaniment with the salad. 

Sea Bass (2.5/5) - unfortunately the mains we had were a bit disappointing. Served with crushed potatoes, the sea bass was overcooked and underseasoned at the same time. The sides with the tomato, cucumber and caper sauce turned out to be even more interesting than the main ingredient of this dish. 

Confit Lamb Neck (2.5/5) - the confit lamb neck was tender enough but way too salty. Even the sauce that was poured on the spot was salty which didn't help. The potato puree with garlic and parsley was pretty soft and creamy though. 

Blueberry (4/5) - this blueberry dessert was definitely exciting and adventurous in terms of its mix of ingredients and flavors.  Paired with Lapsang smoked tea, milk textures, mascarpone, and maple whisky, the blueberries were lusciously sweet to eat while the smoked tea sorbet was unique and intriguing. I wasn't sure about the maple whisky though as I'm not a fan of whisky and didn't think it complimented the flavors of the other ingredients. 

Date (3.5/5) - the date dessert was also interesting in its combination with almond, Moroccan spices, coffee, and dried tangerine peel. The combination was certainly ambitious but sometimes it's best to keep it simple as the flavors weren't that complimentary. The desserts here came across as trying too hard and throwing things together for the sake of shock factor. 

Verdict - while there were one or two wonderful dishes of our meal, the food on the whole was not that impressive while the environment was a bit noisy (that's where the social aspect comes in I guess). The service was spectacular though as the staff were attentive and knowledgeable. Our plates were cleared on time while our water glasses were always kept full. They had asked us for our opinion on the mains and when we told them what we thought, they were kind enough to take out the charge for one course so we were only charged with the 2 courses price. As much as I wanted to love Aberdeen Street Social though, I just didn't love it. 

Aberdeen Street Social
35 Aberdeen Street, Central
2866 0300

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