Finger lickin’ bites at Big Sur
Along a forever bustling Staunton Street, a brand new Californian inspired restaurant has opened its doors. The Woolly Pig Group, known for 12,000 Francs, S’ate and Mr. Chipper introduce Big Sur to the Central district.
Big Sur’s executive chef, Conor Beach has tapped into his American roots to dish up some contemporary Californian bites including some latino dishes, the specialty of the house being barbeque cuisine.
The restaurant has contemporary décor with cool blue trim transporting you to the Californian coast. The restaurant is hard to miss as they have a decent al fresco dining and drinks area, as well as a semi al fresco area at the bay windows, all of which is perfect for people watching. For those who are feeling the winter weather, you may want to stay indoors in the restaurant or bar area, although the two occasions I have been there, they left the doors wide open.
Staying true to it’s concept, Big Sur offers Californian Sonoma cider which are all hand crafted and organic as well as a generous variety of beers from the Bruery company of California. If that doesn’t whet your whistle, Big Sur also boasts a selection of American whiskies and fresh juice + booze in case you are after a screwdriver. Happy hour drinks are available until 7pm so after work tipple is also on the cards.
For the food, this foodbaby got to sample both lunch and dinner.
First was my dinner outing where we ordered the grilled greens, the Tennessee plate and the ‘baja’ tacos.
The grilled greens with kale and broccoli was not at all as boring as it sounds, in fact the spicy red pepper emulsion gave it that much needed smoky and spicy kick. A surprisingly good side dish!
The ‘baja’ tacos with prawns were equally impressive. The prawns were perfectly cooked and seasoned, with a layer of pork Sur’izo underneath that gave it that much needed flavour boost. The tacos hit all the right spots!
Lastly, came the most anticipated dish, the Tennessee plate with Memphis ribs, pulled pork, BBQ beans and cheese popovers. The pulled pork was probably the best thing on the plate, good flavours and not too oily. However it was unfortunately downhill from there, the Memphis ribs were a letdown. When I think of ribs, I think sticky, succulent with the meat falling off the bone. These ribs were none of these things. Such a shame when the specialty is the barbeque meats. The beans and cheese popovers were regrettably bland and worst of all, the sauce they gave us resembled an Asian sweet sauce more than a barbeque sauce.
My lunchtime visit was far more successful. The lunch time offerings are slightly different to the dinner menu, with choices of sandwiches or burgers with a side of apple fennel slaw, kale salad or sweet potato fries. Our table went for the grilled cheese, pulled pork sandwich and the California burger.
The California burger came with a juicy beef patty, avocado slices and tomato between the buns. My colleagues remarked how light the burger tasted and that it was just the right portion size. The grilled cheese sandwich was also enjoyed by my vegetarian colleague.
The waiter did comment that his favourite sandwich was the pulled pork, so naturally I ordered this one. The pork -to sandwich- to slaw ratio was spot on. Unfortunately, there was some oil spilling onto my plate, as I was attempting (and failing) to eat as gracefully as possible. Overall I still thoroughly enjoyed this sandwich! I would advise those ordering this one to order the kale salad for a little more ‘balance’.
Verdict: I would definitely return to Big sur for their chilled Californian style vibe, people watching at the semi al fresco window and tasty bites. I found dinner a tad expensive at 300 HKD per person (for 3 dishes), whereas the lunch is more affordable at 140 HKD per person. I do hope they work on their ribs and the barbecue sauce though!
22 Staunton Street, Central
Ph: 852 2529 3001