The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Friday, 3 December 2010

Surf and turf @ Wildfire, Hong Kong

I love to cook for my family, but sometimes at the end of a particularly busy day, I am just too tired to even think about preparing dinner. And on those days, I am so grateful that we live above a mall where we can just head into one of the many restaurants, sit down, relax and enjoy a meal while someone else cooks, serves and cleans up. A couple of Sundays ago was one of those days. We'd gone into Harbour City on foot, and not only did it prove to be an unproductive trip, we also had to battle the weekend shopping crowd with a stroller! By the time we decided to head home in the late afternoon, I was tired from being on my feet for a few hours (and home was still a 30 minutes' walk away!), feeling crabby from having to deal with the crowds, and stomach was hungry for dinner. Cooking dinner at home was the last thing I wanted to do. So it was an easy choice to eat out that night, and we chose Wildfire which was the closest restaurant to our apartment. The interior was interesting, with dominantly red and yellow decor to simulate flames. Service was attentive enough, and our waiter was very helpful with regards to allergenic ingredients in the dishes.

The menu appeared to be predominantly Italian of mostly pizza and pasta, as well as a decent variety of appetisers, salads, soups and mains. The restaurant was also having a limited promotion steak menu featuring grain-fed beef from the US. We were eager to eat and then head home to wind down for the day, so we didn't take very long to order. We got a plate of Crostini with Mozzarella, Tomato and Parma Ham to start with, which was simple with standard toppings, but a good light appetiser to start the meal. The 2 year old found the toasted bread a little too hard.

Rob went for the special steak menu's Surf and Turf (beef tenderloin and king prawn) with mushroom sauce (choice between black peppercorn, mushrooms and bourbon), and it came with corn on the cob, grilled vegetables and baked potato (choice between baked potato or french fries). My first thought when I tasted the steak was that it was quite salty. Second thought was that it was pretty dry for a steak cooked medium-rare. We can only deduce that the dry texture was due to improper storage, not the cooking.

I got the Roasted Cod Fish with Fennel Pepperonata, which was served on top of mashed potatoes and topped with caramelised onions and capsicum. This was quite nice, except for the fact that it was a bit too salty. Everything else was pretty good - mash was soft and creamy, fish was moist, and the pepperonata was lovely. I couldn't help but think that this is very similar to one of the easy fish meals I serve for dinner at home.

Rob could not resist ordering dessert before leaving, and after much deliberation over the desserts menu, he settled for the Chocolate Torte. I loved the presentation of the plate, and the chocolate gelato on top of the cake was lovely, but the cake itself was too dry. You really need to eat the cake with the gelato together to offset the dryness of the cake.

So this turned out to be an unspectacular meal, with over-salty and dry food, but I was still grateful that someone else was doing the dishes that night.

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