Crafty Cow | Hong Kong
Crafty Cow is a gastro-pub in the up and coming neighborhood of PoHo specializing in craft beer, teppan beef and bar food. The menu aims to span cultures by infusing native local flavors with those acquired abroad into their dishes. Their mantra sums it up perfectly: "As a result, our food is new, yet familiar; far from home, yet close to the heart – it is food that speaks to the Third Culture crowd." As someone who fits into this mold of Third Culture crowd having grown up in the US but maintained my roots in the Hong Kong pop culture (yes I grew up watching TVB!), I was excited to try the food here so thanks to Coco Alexandra PR and Crafty Cow for inviting me to preview the restaurant. They are soft opening currently and taking reservations until it officially opens on January 9th where it will be walk-ins only.
The restaurant have a carefully curated craft beer offering from around the world like US, Japan and down under. We got to sample quite a few like the Brothers toffee apple cider from the UK which tasted just like a caramel apple, perfect for those who don't like the bitterness in beer. The Tuatara Double Trouble Imperial IPA from New Zealand was hilarious as it came with a 3D glasses. The effect was like wearing beer goggles! It was very hoppy with a heavy malk flavor. The Yona Yona Yona pale ale from Japan was something I had tried already in Japan and its light flavors are suitable for everyone to drink. I also tried the Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar from Oregon which was simply amazing!
We started off the night with some yummy crispy yam fries with sambal mayo. The sweetness of the yam fries was nicely balanced by the spicy mayo sauce! [4/5]
The pan-fried duck confit and foie gras gyozas with spicy ponzu sauce were heavy with foie gras flavors but it would have been better if there was more duck confit inside to balance it out. [3.9/5]
A twist to regular poutine with duck confit, crispy house made spaetzle, seared foie gras, cheese trio and rich duck gravy! It was a creative combo but it could have used more gravy as the dish was a bit too dry as a poutine. The cheese could have been meltier as well. [3.2/5]
The Numbing Bone Marrow was another interesting offering with Sichuan pepper infused butter, garlic and herbs on top. The bone marrow was soft and buttery while the Sichuan pepper lent a spicy kick in the flavors. It was perfect to spread on the slices of crispy toasts provided. [4/5]
I also loved this innovative dish which combined pieces of tender oxtail into chili! Paired with scallion biscuits, the chili was deliciously rich and satisfying to eat in cold weather. [4/5]
I didn't read the fine prints when I took a bite of the Rocky Mountain Oysters as I thought it was really oysters inside. When I realized that the texture didn't resemble an oyster, I found out that it was really (wait for it) cow's testes inside! The taste and texture wasn't offensive at all and tasted like a shrimp paste almost. The chimichurri that came with the dish was lovely as well. [3.7/5]
The finale of the night was the Aussie Wagyu Hanger Steak with 6 different kinds of accompaniments such as Himalayan pink rock salt, Charcoal Black salt, Merlot salt, Korean BBQ sauce, Yuzu ginger, and Sherry brown butter. The hanger steak was tender and flavorful while my favorite sauces were the Merlot salt and the Yuzu ginger. [4/5]
Verdict - as a gastro-pub with a great selection of food and drinks, Crafty Cow will be a great spot for hanging out and grabbing drinks with friends. The prices are reasonable too as items start from under HK$100. And if you're ballsy enough, you can give the Rocky Mountain Oysters a try too!
3 Upper Station Street, Sheung WanTel: 2915 8988
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