Thanks to the new MTR lines, parts of Hong Kong are now more more accessible than ever – and when you’re dining out, that can make all the difference when deciding on a venue. And so we found ourselves in Kennedy Town, heading for a gastro pub – only a short hop from Central these days.
Shoreditch Urban Eatery and Battlecruiser is a British pub, named after the hip area in East London. You’ll need to know your Cockney rhyming slang to get the rest (or just use your phone like I did): Battle Crusiser / Boozer!
With a selection of craft beers of the menu, we dived straight in with a taste of their exclusive craft beer, St. Mungo, imported from Scotland. Slightly sweet, it was a crisp pale lager and just perfect to whet our appetites. Being a mid-week evening, we decided not to carry on sampling from the extensive British drinks menu, though it was tempting, and went on to the food.
As a Brit, it was great to see a range of British classics on the food menu, and other choices with British ingredients or twists. It was also welcome to see the reasonably priced menu – both for the food and booze showing you really don’t have to travel far to get out of the Central premium price bubble.
Our first dish was the intriguingly named Haggis Bon Bons. I’m a big fan of Haggis and you rarely see it on the menu in Hong Kong, but the real surprise was how it was served – mini Haggis in breadcrumbs. I’ve only ever seen it served the traditional way so this was a real delight – the peppery wholesome meaty taste and a satisfying crunch from the fried coat of breadcrumbs has taken Haggis to a whole new level for me.
Also great to try for a starter is the Venison Scotch Egg. Usually made with pork, the venison added a savoury meaty flavour which paired well with the warm slightly soft egg interior. We also tried the mini Spiced Lamb Ribs, a melt in the mouth morsel of lamb on the bone, with a crispy textured coating – a perfect small plate to share though I thought the chutney served on the side was a bit overpowering.
For our main, we went for the Wickes Manor Farm Pork Belly- a slow cooked piece of succulent pork and crispy crackling. My mouth is watering from the memory of eating this dish – the pork was perfectly cooked, soft to the bite and a slight taste of apple with a side of roasted carrots and puréed parsnips evoking memories of a wonderful Sunday lunch in old Blighty.
To end, we opted to share the sticky toffee pudding, which was just as well given its size. Thankfully it wasn’t too sweet as this dish can sometimes be. Served with a side of creamy homemade vanilla ice cream, it really hit the spot.
Other than the great menu, what really made Shoreditch Urban Eatery stand out was the welcoming vibe and friendly staff. This is a real neighbourhood eatery, a rare find in Hong Kong, and one to call your local – even if you don’t live nearby.
G/F, 18 Catchick Street, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong.
Tel: 2242 3777
Words: Neil Bowen