4-B, G/F, Hang Hau Village, Tseung Kwan O
I’m not sure whether an introduction for Lardos is necessary. This steakhouse has been around for the last 13 years, and I’m sure a ton of reviews have been written with far more gusto than I could ever amass in my dark, loathsome, fatigued lack of a gut, but I will say that if you are a steak lover and you have not trekked at least once to Lardos, you are missing out on a super deal. And hell, if I can haul my lazy ass over to this village, so can you. I don’t doubt that whatever Lardos is doing, they’re doing it right – apart from their complimentary salad bowls. (That, I don’t understand, and I will never be a fan of stale lettuce, sorry.) In any case, the place always seems to be fully booked for dinner service and you can understand why; when a 38oz Tomahawk steak on the special, grilled to medium rare perfection, comes to but $800 – yes, 38oz for 8hundo hongky hunky dollars… – allow getting swagged up for Soho, allow decking out on dinners where you’re selling your stomach short and where you can hear your wallet wailing and wishing you’d stop pulling and pinching his leather cheeks so damn hard. Be kind to yourself. Live, eat, pray… Love.. Eat.. Fuck it, just eat.
My boyfriend and I eat too much. And when it comes to premium pieces of protein at damn pretty prices, we are so there. We are there and we don’t care how to get there. We’re there! Before we went inside, we had a good look at the signage across the street and already knew this was going to be a hit or miss. Having checked out openrice reviews, I was optimistic, but still anxious – a gem of a steakhouse tucked between chaan tengs and dai pai dong style eateries in a comparatively remote little village with unpretentious, no-fuss food at incredibly reasonable prices? That’s like a foodie wet dream. We walked in, admittedly an hour earlier than we booked because we didn’t know what else to do around there. (Note: Hang Hau Village is actually quite close to Clearwater Bay Beach, but I’m sure HKUST kids already know this.)
A couple of chalkboards are filled with “specials” that don’t ever seem to change. We started with some ‘appetisers’ recommended by the very knowledgeable service – the “Pan-Fried Goose Liver” ($119) and “Baked Scallops” ($149~).
We were offered very generous portions of foie gras. However, the sear left a bitter aftertaste on my palette, and looked a little overdone compared to what I’m used to. We still mopped this up, and the sweet ‘shallot red wine sauce’ as it’s described – although we believe it was a balsamic reduction that night perhaps – accompanied the foie gras well, as it should. To sum up this dish: big portions and a classic flavour combination. Nice.
The Baked Scallops were an absolute treat. Again, we were surprised by the generosity of scallops for a so-called appetiser. Baked with cream, mushrooms, some parmesan… and crabmeat! Nothing you couldn’t do at home, but at $150 why bother? This dish was so moreish and if you were a diner at Lardos that night, you could probably see Andrew trying to drink the sauce from the shell.
One of our mains was the lamb chops (10z, $198). It is the same price for the lamb rack, and in hindsight, we should’ve gone for the rack if we wanted more chops, but I really wanted to see how they seared and seasoned. Cooked perfectly medium, we lapped these up with mint sauce and our choice of garlic sauce and potato wedges. The wedges were so good – incredibly crispy on the outside but soft inside, seasoned impeccably and our only qualm was that we could’ve done with more!
And then for the tour-de-force, a 12oz US Prime Rib-Eye ($249). Of course, we were eyeing up the 36oz OP Rib but we weren’t sure if our stomachs could handle it after all the foodie build-up – definitely coming back for this next time! We ordered the Rib-Eye medium rare, and so it was, with impressive grill lines too. The Bearnaise sauce we chose for this was unremarkable, rather tasteless to be honest and too gooey-looking to be edible, so we asked for more garlic sauce instead – no big! However, the steak itself was deliciously tender, flavourful, and single-handedly worth coming back to Lardos for.
Another point of observation about Lardos that makes me love them that much more: the fact that you don’t need to order your ‘sides’ separately. Yes, you can order Wild Mushrooms in Garlic Butter ($59), Creamed Spinach ($49) and many more in their menu to accompany your meal if you so desire. But if you’re not fussed and you don’t mind spuds with your steaks, then you can get your choice of taters, some green beans, cherry tomatoes and a slice of seasoned pumpkin to go with it, at no added cost – you just have yourself a merry little meal. Like your potatoes baked, mashed, in fries or in wedges? No worries, no stress, you’re sorted. Unpretentious, unfussed, lovely cooking that’s deserving of a little love from my blog… (if that means anything at all).
Keep it up, Lardos!