Date of review: July 11, 2016 | Reviewed by: Venus Wong
Finding Brickhouse without losing one’s way can be a challenge: it’s tucked away in a quiet alley, which easily fades into the nearby LED signs of the bustling Lan Kwai Fong. Colourful wall murals are juxtaposed by brick walls, giving the restaurant a grungy yet casual atmosphere. The restaurant is almost pitch dark at dinnertime — save for the candlelight on each table — reading the menu requires some guesswork. The loud hip hop beats playing in the background add to the edgy vibe the restaurant is known for, but the loudness can be slightly overwhelming. Get some fresh air and enjoy a drink at the outdoor area, where tall petroleum cans are repurposed as bar tables.
Brickhouse is known for delivering authentic Mexican street fare, and the food lives up to its reputation. Start your meal with the watermelon salad for a refreshing kick: the dish manages to be sweet, savoury and spicy at the same time, thanks to an enticing medley of vegetable, cheeses and dressing. TO further entice the palate, look no further than the hamachi hunter, where a generous helping of sweet and tangy cherry tomatoes bring out the best of the freshness of the fish. A Mexican restaurant is only as good as the tacos it serves, and you may sample the best Brickhouse has to offer via a taco platter – robust in flavours and generous in portion, this appetiser is a quick way to fill you up. The prawn and beef tacos, in particular, have just the right amount of seasoning and juiciness to enrich the toasted tortillas. Make sure to stay hydrated, as, true to Mexican cooking, even the non-spicy dishes had a flavourful kick to them.
Wine: The restaurant features a beer and cocktail selection that skew light in taste — perhaps to tone down the intense flavours of its culinary offerings. The Pisco sour contains angostura bitters, lemon and egg white — just the right blend of froth and tanginess. The staff recommended Mahi, a light-bodied and fruity Sauvignon blanc vintage from New Zealand, to go with the seafood courses.
Due to the dimness of the restaurant, getting the waiter’s attention can prove to be difficult. Asking for water refills will take several minutes of arm gesturing. There seems to be not enough staff to cover the floor: waiters looked visibly rushed on a weeknight and kept zipping through the restaurant in a hurry.
Our dinner for two came to just under $1,400 — a sensible price for a large order of food and multiple drinks, making this restaurant a great option for a casual bite with friends.