All the oysters and more served up in a hip, mid-century setting
District: Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
Cuisine: Eclectic – something for everyone
How much: Starters from $58 to $178; Mains from $168 to $888, Seafood (daily price), Pastas from $138 to $378
The Best For: Date night, dinner out with friends
Must Order: Oysters, of course!
The last place you’d think to go for a nice meal out is the top of Times Square, but on the 11th floor is a restaurant that truly impresses. The décor and vibe of Club Albergue 1601 is unlike most; it features impressive prints from photographer Simon Mak along its walls, is tastefully lit, and its super comfy mid-century modern chairs make you feel like you’re stepping into an episode of Mad Men. It’s meant to be four bars in one, with a special coffee bar in the front, a cocktail bar in the middle, an oyster bar (featuring at least 16 varieties from around the world!) in the back, and a super cool outdoor deck that is one I will definitely be hanging out in come warmer weather!
I came here on a date night and could not have picked a better spot. The low lighting, great music, ambience and general feel of the place was perfect for a night out after a long day. We started with – of course! – an assortment of oysters which were selected for us from France, Ireland and the United States. Served atop ice with a side of lemon and sauce (if you like to try it with a topping), it was fun to savour the different textures and flavours of each one. (Platters range from $498 to $1498, depending on the quantity of oysters and seafood combinations).
Because #treatyoself, we decided on the Crabmeat & Caviar Rocket Salad ($178), which was served with crispy bread slices atop a salad of tomatoes and rocket. I have never seen caviar served on top of anything other than sour cream, and this was a welcome alternative. It was hearty and delicious, and when they noticed we ran out of bread slices, they happily served us more.
There is plenty of seafood and meats to be had here, from seasonal fish to Alaskan King Crab, to Tiger Prawn to lamb, chicken, steak and more, but we wanted to try its other dishes and opted for the Four Cheese Pizza ($188) and Sea Urchin Carbonara ($198). The pizza was unlike any four cheese I’d ever seen – rather than being a mix of cheeses, it was two slices of each kind of cheese. The crust was thin and crispy, and I enjoyed having a selection of different types for a change. I would definitely order that again.
The Sea Urchin Carbonara was cooked perfectly al dente, with a creamy sauce, bacon and just the right about of uni to top it off. It was a very filling dish to end the night.
Even though we were stuffed to the brim, we just had to try out the dessert combo on offer ($188). Our favourites were the Earl Grey Panna Cotta (creamy with a nice hint of tea) and the Crème Brulée (my husband declared it was the best one he’d ever had).
Club Albergue 1601, Shop 1105, 11/F, Times Square, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong 2573 3344, www.facebook.com/clubalbergue1601
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