Invited to a farewell I had the opportunity to try St Betty on the second floor of IFC mall overlooking the harbour. I had never heard of this restaurant and wasn’t sure what to expect at all.
We were told due to the number of people in our party – 11 – we would have to order from the set lunch menu. The lunch menu starts at HK$298 for 2 courses (HK$368 for 3 courses) and includes one drink from a set list. That’s not cheap for lunch, so I was hoping for something special.
We were all served water and some fresh warm crispy bread rolls (in the odd shape of footballs) were placed on the table. The bread was delicious. The ends were crunchy, while the middle was soft with a flakey crisp crust.
I suspect the set lunch menu changes so I am not sure if any of the dishes I ordered are on the standard menu, however from the options available to us I chose a salmon entree, beef main, and an apple tart for dessert.
The salmon entree was presented beautifully. Before we even bit into it the dish looked enjoyable. The salmon was smoked, but still had the soft delicateness often lost through the smoking process. On top of it was an egg mustard sauce, two thin pieces of crispy toasted bread and a light green garnish on top. I loved the taste of the egg in the sauce. When combined with the salmon the flavours complemented each other perfectly. Add to that the garnish and the entire plate was delicious.
The beef main surprised me when it came out. The beef dominated the plate with very little accompaniment which initially concerned me. However, as I cut into the beef and took my first taste, I realised it didn’t need too much as it was full of flavour from the sesame crust layered on top of it. The meat was so tender it all but fell apart when I placed my fork into it. The beef was soft and tasty, easy to eat and had nice flavours. It lay on a thin bed of veges (some type of cabbage vegetable … sorry – I didn’t write down the menu – silly me), which were nice when eaten together with the beef. Whilst I did enjoy this dish, I do feel it could have had something else just to take the edge off the heaviness of the meaty flavour.
For dessert I chose an apple tart served with vanilla ice cream. Once again the presentation of this plate was spectacular. I was impressed by the flakey pastry and the very thin apple tart. The dessert was surprisingly light and refreshingly tasty. The mix of the almonds, apple, pastry and vanilla were a simple delight. This, along with the entree were the two stand outs of the meal. A tasty start and a delicious end.
The restaurant decor felt pretty standard. The windows highlighting Victoria Harbour helped brighten the restaurant and the seats were well spaced so we didn’t feel crowded. The sofa seats were surprisingly comfortable, although if you leaned back they offered little support.
The restaurant offered freshly squeezed juices and we weren’t disappointed. The orange juice I ordered was indeed freshly squeezed and very nice. Individually though the drinks would have been quite expensive if not included in the set menu. The teas were served in see-through teapots. The peppermint tea had fresh mint leaves in it and smelt gorgeous!
The staff at the door were accomodating. The wait staff varied in capabilities. I’ve come to expect disappointment in wait staff in Hong Kong so this didn’t bother me too much. Once the meal was ordered they were not very attentive of our group other than to bring plates or remove them to place the next course down. Nor did they ask how the meal was which I would have expected in this level of restaurant.
Upon leaving, we noticed a couple being brought an afternoon tea set. It looked delightful. There was some kind of raspberry dessert with a fruit based foam on top of it (unfortunately as we hadn’t ordered it I wasn’t allowed to take a photo). The tiered plate once again was so visually appealing it made me want to go back and try it another time.
St Betty – Shop 2075, Podium Level Two, ifc mall
8 Finance Street, Central District, Hong Kong
Ph: 2979 2100
Overall St Betty is quite expensive for the food served, however given the location (and the insane rent I imagine they are paying), the ambience, the presentation of the food and the taste, as a special occasion venue I would consider it worthwhile. I love the attention to detail in the meal presentation and the apple tart was divine.