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Hong Kong finally gets the Mexican restaurant it’s been waiting for
Spearheaded by Mexican chef Esdras Ochoa of Los Angeles’ lauded Mexican restaurant Salazar and beverage director Daniel Eun, a man with experience at some of America’s best bars, including New York speakeasy PDT, 11 Westside has been riding a wave of hype ever since it was announced back in April. Thankfully, it lives up to the hoopla.
Located round the back of The Hudson on Davis Street in Kennedy Town, the 4,000sq ft venue is gorgeous. With exposed concrete walls and leather banquettes, the contrast of chic chandeliers, a hip-hop soundtrack and certain quirky touches – like a huge gold frame surrounding a single spoon – douses the joint with a healthy dose of So Cal cool.
We start proceedings with the Tableside Guac ($150). A small trolley is wheeled to us with two sexy looking avocados – a rare find in our city but Ochoa tells us they're Peruvian and Mexican avos from Kennedy Town's wet market – together with a selection of seasonings including lime, red onion, coriander, toasted pepitas, Chinese chilies and queso fresco cheese. Mashed together tableside, it amounts to a generous portion of fresh and well-seasoned guacamole that pairs perfectly with the side of golden house-made tortilla chips. The Echo Park sweet corn ($68) doesn’t look like much but turns out to be delicious. The baby corn is poached in ‘Euro butter’ and lightly dressed with house mayo. Topped with sharp yet creamy queso añejo cheese, the seasoning – a mix of chilies, salt, and dehydrated lime juice – gives the dish an umami profile we’ve not had the pleasure of experiencing with Mexican food in Hong Kong.
Then come the tacos. They’re legit street style tacos, all topped with a smoky salsa molcajete and guacamole, and almost crepe-like. The Carne Asada ($60) – grilled USDA prime short rib marinated in Mexican ponzu sauce – melts in the mouth, the ponzu giving it a slight citrus kick. The Al Pastor ($50), with achiote and pineapple roasted pork, is the spiciest of the bunch, with a sharpness provided by the fresh pineapple. It’s the Pollo Asado ($50) that really impresses us, though, as it’s the best chicken taco we’ve ever had. Bathed in a sweet garlic and citrus marinade, the chook is charcoal grilled for a fantastic smoky flavour.
Drinks-wise, we stick to agave-based cocktails like La Paloma ($100) – tequila, grapefruit soda and salt – and Naked and Famous ($130) – mezcal, Aperol, yellow Chartreuse and lime – all of which go perfectly with the food. The cocktails alone are worth visiting for and with plans to soon open a standalone bar, The Wilshire, in the venue, 11 Westside looks set to own it as a watering hole, too.
1/F, The Hudson
11 Davis Street
|Transport:||Kennedy Town MTR, exit C|
|Opening hours:||Tue-Sun 6.30pm-11pm|
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