Level 5, JW Marriott Hotel Hong Kong, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty
As you might be aware, I was back in HK for Christmas. One of the first meals I had was at the new Flint Bar & Grill on the 5th floor of the JW Marriot Hotel. A and I were looking for something casual yet refined – the perfect setting for a “first” date after being in London so long. We were definitely attracted to Flint because of the ambiance – it sold us on being spacious, bold and impressive in its decor. The service was also pretty memorable; our server was hospitable and very knowledgeable about the menu.
However, unfortunately the food itself didn’t leave much of a first impression. To be fair, we had set out for a surf & turf kind of night, and when we sat down to hear that the signature 64-day aged Nebraskan rib eye and sirloin was unavailable (at 8pm), we didn’t know what to order and what to do. We were headless chickens in a steakless abyss, clucking for the cow that never came.
I do believe Flint is deserving of a second chance because of this, but I’m afraid my Christmas quota isn’t for second chances. The Openrice reviews on their veal cheek signature have made a second go in the near future more optimistic… So long as they don’t run out of that item too.
Flint does not provide a drinks menu on the site and I, being an amateur blogger after so long away from the scene, apologetically forgot to note the prices and names down for these cocktails. Shame because these were probably the highlights of the night. The above was their Mai Tai signature, strong and sweet. I particularly enjoyed chewing on their addictive pineapple crisp. The dried lime wedge, comparatively, is not to be chewed on – I learned that the bitterly hard way. The other cocktails below were also delicious and carefully constructed.
We opted for the baked oysters ($160), but unfortunately the fresh oyster meat either lacked taste or couldn’t come close to the overwhelming cheesiness that drowned all in that half-shell. I refer to the pancetta bits and spinach that have hopefully gone to a better place now, their names but writ in melted cheese.
If I didn’t see that little brown ball hidden beneath the foliage, I might’ve forgotten what this dish was. The duck foie gras and wagyu croquettes ($160) were soft and rich but unfortunately underseasoned. However, it paired well with the tartness of the fig reduction. The dill was also a nice addition, as it delivered something clean and fresh to an otherwise heavy dish. The parsley and the rest just seemed a little slapdash and unnecessary for me.
The seafood grill ($380) is often ordered in reviews I’ve seen, and I suppose it was one of the happier moments in the meal. This was generally well-executed seafood: the mussels were fresh; a sweet, fat, juicy scallop was tempting me in sizzles on the hot stone plate; the lobster thermidor came with a substantial amount of roe and juiciness still in tact; and the prawn was sizable and nicely seasoned. The only qualm I had was with the ‘catch of the day’ – I’m not even sure what fish this was. The skin was soggy, and the flesh was only remedied after being dunked in the little pot of that rich, heavenly lobster bisque.
We then ordered one of the ‘specials’ – a lamb rump (spelled ‘rumb’ on the chalkboard and Specials card, but I assume they meant rump?) with a black truffle polenta and grilled baby courgettes. Out of the entire dish, I think I was mostly a fan of the decadent polenta with gravy – also very rich and flavourful. The lamb was in parts was inedible – if you look at the picture, you can see how it’s mostly fat. It was rather disappointing that they’d serve us a cut like that. Definitely not what I was expecting.
For sides, we were set on some sauteed mushrooms ($80) in garlic butter and parsley. It wasn’t too garlicky, which I appreciated because it let the lovely mushroomy flavours come out on the plate. I also liked how varied the assortment was, as it gave us a lot of different textures. All in all, this side was simple and well executed, and definitely hit the spot when everything else seemed to fall short.
I read somewhere that one of the (few) perks of being in a long-distance relationship is that every date when you’re together feels like a first date. Not sure if this is entirely true as I like to think on our actual first date I didn’t eat myself into the form of a fat, sleepy panda… But more importantly, we’re also a little more blunt about what we want to eat and what dishes we liked. Flint has a wonderful space, great service, delicious drinks, and solid-sounding menu (although I can’t really understand how charging $50 for a fried free-range egg is justified), but A and I both agreed that the execution of our dishes that night left us yearning for just a little more.