Plush contemporary European dining transforms into busy night club at midnight
There’s no shortage of pubs and clubs that serve as eateries as well. By day, Centralites have a host of places to lunch, and by night these nocturnal institutions transform into beat-thumping, cocktail-swigging establishments that pulsate along Wyndham Street and LKF. Until Azure a few years back, were these role-changing restaurants known as clubs that offer food, but not so much the other way around. Recently, that landscape is changing. The reboot of Dragon-i’s dim sum lunch saw the menu’s popularity return, and folks are already swearing it’s one of the best spots for dumplings in town.
Taking up Socialito’s old space, Bungalow is branding itself as a supper club. Throughout the week it stands as a chic French restaurant with Versailles-esque chandeliers and huge baroque-inspired photography by Helen Sobiralski, framed in brass. On Friday and Saturday nights the dining room transforms into a psychedelic club – the walls pull back to reveal a huge LED screen, and the iridescent pooled lighting gives way to fluorescent blue neon that gives the whole space a 180-degree makeover. We have to say, it’s one of the most thorough dining-to-club conversions in town.
With all this attention to ensure patrons can make a clear distinction between dining and club mode, how does the food fare? There aren’t too many items on the one-page menu, the Creekstone Farm ribeye for two ($798) is the most substantial item and the rest are classed as hors d’oeuvres or entrées, ranging between $58 for a single oyster to $478 for lobster. We take the middle ground and start with a simple barley salad ($138) and for a salad, it’s quite elegant. A mix of pearled barley, almonds and greens topped with a slow-cooked egg yolk, the texture varies from soft to crisp, creating interest with every bite. Next up is the velouté ($138), a creamy, heavy soup that’s balanced with hints of horseradish – the little cubes of radish, potato and ham make us disregard the weight of the soup and keep spooning it up.
The full range of interesting textures continue on with the chicken roulade ($248). Brined chicken sits on a bed of seasoned spätzle and Brussels sprouts – these niggly little bits are dangerously moreish and we could ask for seconds. Unfortunately, the lightly salted fowl seems rather boring by contrast and we power through to finish the meat. On the other hand, the roasted scallops ($268) are seared to a perfect consistency. We enjoy sinking our teeth into every fleshy bite and savouring the ocean flavours that give way to a sweetness further enhanced by the burnt corn on the side.
Dessert is an even simpler affair at Bungalow, with only four choices: cheese ($168), pear tart, strawberry crumble or chocolate fondant (all $88). We plump for the pear tart with its jagged edges and unevenly cut fruit. It’s quite rustic in comparison to the rest of the meal. Nonetheless, the crispy, buttery pastry has a crackly consistency that invokes nostalgia for homemade desserts, ending our meal on a satisfying note.
Overall, we’re impressed with the quality at Bungalow, even though the portions are not overly generous, but in every other aspect it’s a superb, stand alone restaurant despite transitioning into a pumping nightclub complete with world-class DJs like Kaskade on the weekends. We can imagine the Bruce Wayne types of Hong Kong wining and dining for supper and partying down through the evening and into the dark night at this versatile venue. If the quality of the cuisine continues, Bungalow is well on its way to becoming one of Hong Kong’s flagship restaurants that also has special clubbing powers.
Bungalow Shop 2, G/F, The Centrium, 60 Wyndham St, Central, 2623 7868; www.bungalow.hk.
G/F, The Centrium, 60 Wyndham Street, Central
|Opening hours:||Mon-Sat: 12:00-14:30, 18:00-22:00 Sun: Closed|
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