[HK] Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Happy Labour Day!

While running some search online for a worthy brunch outing, I could not help but wonder who came up with the term brunch? A portmanteau of breakfast and lunch essentially, the word 'brunch' was a term coined in 1895 by the English to describe a Sunday meal for the Saturday night carousers. It was thought that by eliminating the need to wake up early on Sundays, it would promote human happiness in many ways.

'Brunch is cheerful, sociable and inciting. It is talk-compelling. It puts you in a good temper, it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings, it sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week'. - William Grimes.

With plenty of restaurants each seemingly to offer the best brunch deal, we settled for Prime Steak located at Elements. With stylish steakhouse dining on the upper level, it also offered a wine bar on the ground level. The special brunch menus are only available on Saturday, Sundays and public holidays from 12 - 4pm, with a salad bar to go along with your chosen appetizers and mains at $258 excluding 10% and an additional $128 for free flow of wine, which was quite a steal with good quality red wine being served. Talking is done, here comes the food!

Baby Prawn Cocktail

We loved the presentation of the dish, which was served in a classy glass. The baby prawns were tender and slightly crunchy and we enjoyed the light sprinkle of acidity coming from the lemon slice. It complemented the Marie Rose sauce, which was a blend of ketchup and mayonnaise, harmoniously with a good balance of sweetness, creaminess and the tang from the lemon rounded up the palate. There were also chunks of lush ripe avocados that gave an added touch of richness to the appetizer. It was a clean classic appetizer which won us over.

Verdict: 7.5/10

Jumbo Lump Crab Cake

We enjoyed the varied texture with crispy bread crumbs coating the soft shredded crab meat on the inside. The crab meat was tender yet firm and tasted fresh with no appalling odour. The juices from the diced cucumber blended with the crab meat gave the cake much desired moisture without soaking the breadcrumbs on the surface. The mango relish sauce could do with stronger flavouring, for it tasted too bland  and lacked a solid punch for the finishing touch.

Verdict: 7.5/10

Steamed mussels with toast

The toast was thinly sliced and crisp, which gave that much desired crunch. On the downside, the sauce soaking the mussels tasted too salty for our palate. Even with the toast on dip was too much for our tastebuds. The salinity overwhelmed our tasting senses completely, to the extent that it masked the freshness of the seafood and we were left scurrying for plain water to wash it down.

Verdict: 6.0/10

Lobster Eggs Benedict

The first pierce with the knife for the classic eggs ben test.

Instead of serving the classic muffins for the traditional rendition of Eggs Benedict, burger bun was used. There were a lot of flavours going on with each spoonful, with the Hollandaise sauce blending beautifully with the savoury lobster bisque sauce which set the base flavour for the dish. The poached eggs were cooked to 90% perfection with an extremely thin layer of cooked membrane which was no more than 2mm thick. It was so slight that even the camera failed to capture it. While the Hollandaise sauce was slightly diluted, it was more than compensated by the richness and creaminess of the lobster bisque sauce which had an appealing crustacean flavour. There was a strong tang and punch of acidity from the lemon juice in the Hollandaise sauce that worked well in this instance with this seafood dish, but on any given day, it might be a touch too strong for some. The chunks of de-shelled and de-veined lobster flesh were fresh and cooked to a tender ripeness. The dish in general was very satisfying and the flavours worked harmoniously with each other.

Verdict: 8.5/10

Penne Carbonara

The pasta was cooked to al dente and the penne were evenly coated with olive oil. Each of the cylinder-shaped pasta carried a strong dominating cheese flavour and the grated cheese was the icing. While we enjoyed the richness and savouriness of the pasta, the presentation of the bacon was clumsy and made the dish look lacklustre. Despite the beautiful grill lines and good seasoning, we could not get past the fact that the thick slab of bacon sat ill-matched on the bed of pasta. 

Verdict: 6.5/10

10oz USDA Angus Ribeye Frites

The rib eye steak is the center best portion of the rib steak and is one of the more flavourful cuts of beef due to the fact that it comes from the upper rib cage area, which does not support much of the cow's weight, nor does it have to work hard or exercise. This results in a good marbling of fats, making it an ideal cut for slow roast or grill.

We requested for it to be medium-cooked and it came being slightly on the pink side, which was still acceptable. The cut suited our palate for it was not as fatty The surface of the meat had beautiful grill lines but we felt that it was a touch too charred. The fries that came with the dish were deep fried to a beautiful golden brown, that was crispy and crunchy to the bite. The fries were really fresh, as you can still see potato skin attached. It was so crispy that our fingers could not help themselves from fetching for just one more...and one more...

Verdict: 7.5/10

Sunny Up Prime Burger

We ordered this to be cooked medium rare, and the beef patty was cooked to our exact requirements. There was nothing to fault about the burger, though we do love the presentation of the dish, set out in 3 portions with the fries and burger bun on the side. The patty retained much of the moisture which made each bite bursting with juices, yet it was well locked within the patty, not soaking the bun as a result. It was an 'okay' burger, enough to please, not good enough to impress. 

Verdict: 7.5/10

While we enjoyed the ambiance of the restaurant, the setting was indeed cosy and comfortable, good for a reunion with friends or even a brunch session with family as we did. As we arrived slightly late, we were pretty much rushing through the meal for the restaurant closes at 4pm, while the kitchen and salad buffet stops serving at 3.30pm. The waiting staffs brought the bill to us at around 3.45pm and were busy packing up the nearby tables, buffet spread, which somewhat pressured us to finish our meal. We gave up and decided to takeaway our food instead.

The salad buffet bar was not really commendable, with the standard grilled eggplants, peppers, pumpkin, smoked salmon and some cold cut meat. Nothing was too special to catch our attention apart from the wild mushroom soup, which was viscously rich and creamy that went well with the bread roll. The dessert offerings were rather petty to say the least, with plain cheesecake, shortbread and cookies and they tasted as normal as you could possibly ask for.

It was in general a rather enjoyable dining experience, and for wine-lovers, the free flow wine offering at an additional $128 per person was rather value for money, for the red wine tasted surprisingly smooth. The portions for the dishes were also pretty large, definitely enough to fill a hungry man. Reservations are recommended, and we would advise visiting early to avoid the closing rush.

Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar
Shop R008, Rooftop Garden, Civic Square
3/F, Elements,
1 Austin Road West, Kowloon
Hong Kong
Tel: 2311 3108

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