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SEVVA, Central

August 23, 2009

SEVVA, a chic restaurant-slash-bar, is the newest addition to Hong Kong’s plethora of fine dining destinations. Created by Bonnie Gokson, SEVVA has received both criticism and praise alike since its opening last spring. I was fortunate enough to be the recipient of a voucher for two set lunches, so off I went. (I would never be able to afford it otherwise.)

It is divided into four enclaves, each with a different ambience and serving different food. We arrived at 1pm and were seated in the Harbourside area, overlooking the financial district of Hong Kong and the harbour. The decor was simple but classy, and the sunlight streamed in through the huge windows, making it seem much more spacious. I have to note that the tabletops are covered with leather – however sophisticated it looked, it must not be very practical.

The decor may be fabulous, but what about the food? The set lunch comes with 3 courses, each with two options (except for dessert) to choose from. Between the both of us, my friend and I tried all of the options on the menu. As I didn’t get to write down the exact wording of the menu, nor was I able to keep a copy, I can only present a description as best I can from memory. My starter was an avocado and mandarin salad. Normally, I neither like or dislike salads; this was no exception. The only reason I ordered this was because my friend snagged the other starter option before me! Hers was a small dish of linguine with cepes and wilted spinach. The linguine was al dente, the cepes full of umami, and the spinach added just the right amount of chlorophyll to brighten up the plate. I could have happily eaten an entire plate of it as a main, alas.

Soon enough, however, I realised there were dishes more suited to my palate to come. My main was lamb with snow peas and lily bulb. To be honest, I’ve never liked lamb and I don’t recall what cut of lamb was on my plate; it had bones sticking out of a small knob of meat, but that’s not an entirely helpful description. The smell of lamb has always put me off, but this time there was no such thing: the meat came medium as requested, it was juicy, and the texture was on the right side of chewy. Lovely. The snow peas and lily bulbs provided an Asian flair to the dish, but perhaps a touch too oily. The other main course was a sea bass curry with saffron rice. It was extremely fragrant, but I couldn’t try it as spicy food doesn’t bode well for me.

Dessert was a passionfruit cheesecake topped with a blackberry and dusted with powdered sugar. I think their sieve was clogged that day, as my powdered sugar looked more like furry spores of mould than anything else. The cheesecake was tangy and fruity, but suffered from the texture of a not-fully-set cheesecake. It felt more like a pudding.

As for the service, it was impeccable. There was one awkward moment for the waitress when she walked out of the kitchen with our dishes, was halfway to our table, saw us, and turned right around back to the kitchen, but otherwise they were efficient and polite. A set lunch would have set us back $450 HKD per person, excluding service. I wouldn’t go back, just because eating at this class level simply isn’t feasible for my budget. The food was impressive, if only for the fact that I discovered lamb was palatable, the service was what you should expect at a fine dining restaurant, and the ambience is not at all stuffy.

25/F, Prince’s Building
10 Chater Road, Central
Hong Kong

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