It’s fair to say that I was more than a little bit intrigued to try TOWN with my husband and 19-month old toddler on a rare weekday family lunch date. My husband is more often than not on business somewhere else so this was a special treat for all of us.
Why the intrigue? Well for those that don’t know TOWN, it’s a fusion restaurant that usually serves up dishes like Red Prawn Carpaccio with Black Truffle Caviar. Shoe-horning a toddler into that setting during a busy week-day lunchtime might seem more than a little crazy. But TOWN has a new children’s menu (hooray) which I see as a green light to take our family lunch dates from panini and salad to a more up-market affair.
I wasn’t too worried about what might appear on the children’s menu, since Bea has shown early signs of being a discerning gourmand… She famously tucked into Lobster Sliders at my friend’s Langkawi wedding, shunning the kids mac and cheese, which I rather too happily ate. So, a fortnight ago we popped into TOWN for lunch.
Tucked away from the frenzied and frenetic Causeway Bay, TOWN is on the 10th floor of the Cubus building, home to chic dining and cocktail bars. It felt like a nice change to whisk Bea and buggy up in the glass lift and spend some time in this modern and intimate restaurant. It’s certainly a world away from the kid-friendly cafes with an abundance of shabby plastic and the same food options time and again. This felt like something for the grownups, which is surely how it should be every once and a while.
We were greeted at the door by a friendly waiter who took us to our table. It’s a small restaurant and it fills up, so you are encouraged to book in advance. On the way into the main dining area, I spotted a rather good-looking antipasti buffet. Everything appeared fresh and plentiful, so my expectations were pretty high.
The menu options for Bea were good and ours were fantastic. There’s a weekly-changing lunch menu and the a la carte menu. For little ones, they offer three courses for $128 (yes, three courses) with freshly-squeezed juice for an additional $28. We went for orange juice, which arrived, rather optimistically, in a very thin water glass with a tiny straw. It’s time for Bea to learn some fine dining skills, after all.
Bea’s meal started off with a selection of carefully stacked vegetable crudités and dip. I don’t think she’s ever seen her carrot sticks presented so well. We were delivered the famous Red Prawn Carpaccio with Black Truffle Caviar. And yes, it was as delicious as you would imagine and then some. Fresh, light, exquisitely presented. You can see why it’s one of their signature dishes.
For her main, Bea had Fish and Chips. The fish was succulent, flakey and plentiful, and the batter was light as air tempura. Her main course was basically a slimmed down adult meal, and something I wouldn’t say no to.
From the daily lunch menu, I chose the Antipasti to start and the Sea Bass for my main, which was sublime. My husband had the soup of the day and went with the waiter’s recommendation of the Pork Belly with clams in a miso broth, which was a sharp, flavoursome twist on a pork belly dish. The pork was slow cooked and melt-in-the-mouth good. Not one to be left out when there’s a tasty dish on offer, Bea took a shine to my sea bass and devoured handfuls of the fish. That’s a big ‘yes’ vote in my eyes. I was also glad that she had some of my vegetables too.
One thing we quickly realised was that we should have brought our own entertainment (school boy error) as TOWN has nothing extra to engage little ones. Bea may grow up to become a fan of modern minimalist interiors, but now she prefers to create her own Jackson Pollock with a few crayons and a sheet of A4. By the time the dessert arrived, she had waved at all of her neighbouring diners and was looking ready to make her escape. So I became one of those parents (who isn’t) and resorted to Peppa Pig on the iPhone.
For Bea’s pudding, we chose ice cream with strawberries, and even that arrived looking like food art. I had their famous Yuzu Soufflé from the a la carte menu. It was perfectly light and absolutely delicious. Although, I wasn’t given the luxury of finishing it off because Bea was getting tired so we quickly left. This is probably a strategic move really because I could very easily have finished it all!
This is not your typical child-friendly restaurant, but the atmosphere was lively, the food was delicious, and the staff were friendly and accommodating to all of us. Bea made a few new friends in the fellow diners and we all had a good time.
Treat Town like your ‘port in the storm’ when you need to escape the crowds in Causeway Bay. They have great attention to detail and clearly use high quality produce. This is certainly a top choice for special occasions, something a bit different or like us, a rare family lunch date. Oh, and they also have a fantastic wine list too! Need I say more…
TOWN, 10/F, Cubus, 1 Hoi Ping Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, 2568 8708