Sunday, 17 April 2016

Ham & Sherry by Jason Atherton, Hong Kong

Been busy these couple of weeks refreshing my diving skills, so haven’t had much chance to snoop out for delicious eats.Going through my photos I realised this delightful tapas bar by Jason Atherton in Hong Kong never made it to posting.

Since Pollen Street Social, I have been a fan of Jason Atherton’s restaurants. That said I hadn’t had a chance to check out his joints in Hong Kong or Singapore. So we decided to test the waters at the modest Ham & Sherry tapas bar in Wan Chai. There is also a hidden bar in the back of the restaurant that serves bar nibbles and jamon, but we wanted the full menu.

Jamon Iberico de Bellota Jabugo
We asked what the difference was between Jabugo and Extremadura, our server suggested we try the mixed meats selection that had all other cured meats. We were like, no, we only want bellota. I think he might have said Jabugo had stronger flavours. Nevermind. These few wafer thin slices of fragrant cured meat were insanely flavoursome with its sweet and savoury richness - I have missed these. 

Anchovies croquettes

I remember having these in Madrid and developed an addiction to them. These weren’t the same. The anchovies were very mild and its powerful scent was dulled by the aioli to a faint trace, so these were almost just normal croquettes with a slight saltiness in the creamy mash.

Baked bone marrow, gentlemen’s relish, onion jam

The bone marrow was topped with breadcrumbs to soak up bovine grease that became a crumbly layer, which contrasted pleasingly with the melt-in-mouth bone marrow. The onion jam was coated with a beautiful reduction glaze, not too sugary to overwhelmed the beefy fragrance. As if that’s not enough to bombard our senses with buttery richness, the sourdough toast came with two airy knobs of butter infused with beefy essence. This could not have been good to our arteries, but so so good for our taste buds. 

Wild Hereford beef tartar, chorizo, pine nut
Flavours were quite complex; the gentle chorizo piquancy was washed away by the sweetness from the cherry tomatoes, and the roughly chopped beef tartar worked well with the mild nuttiness. However I felt it was a tad too saucy and over-dressed; the piercing chorizo oils and tangy tomato masked the finer flavours from the raw beef. 

Berkshire pork & foie gras burgers, avocado, pickled cucumbers
The ultra thick patty was more like a squashed meatball, grilled to perfection to retain its meat juices. The foie gras was quite subtle, just a faint trace of liver fat as an aftertaste. We though the whipped avocado cream wasn’t necessary, but it was added smoothness and roundness to the burgers.

For the few hours we were in Ham & Sherry, I felt like I was brought back to London. It wasn’t just the decor and intimate dining space, it’s more the style of cooking and combination of familiar flavours. I miss home.

The Jason Atherton brand continues to impress in Asia.

1-7 Ship Street
Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2555 0628

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