Date of review: March 4, 2014 | Reviewed by: Anthony Chan
Taking over the space formerly occupied by Strip House by Harlan Goldstein, Comfort is the latest venture by the same chef and restaurateur. Designed by Kinney Chan & Associates, the interior resembles a continental attic in style with a laidback and convivial vibe that is perfect for chilling out with friends after work. Leather banquettes, vinyl flooring and overhead lamps with dangling cosmetic mirrors lend the space a touch of warmth and brightness, though tables and chairs are rather tightly-spaced, making it not only unfitting for an intimate and romantic night out, but also hard to navigate around.
The concept of Comfort is to bring a relaxing dining experience to patrons at an affordable price, and the menu has a diverse array of Goldstein’s favourite dishes, spanning from American, Spanish, and French all the way to Dutch and Middle Eastern. Most of the appetisers we tried are rather impressive, among which we enjoyed the caviar and salmon tartare most, featuring briny Australian herring caviar resting atop nicely-chopped salmon, with capers giving the dish a subtle and piquant acidity. ‘Melt in Your Mouth’ is another highlight, which features a slab of fatty pork belly (said to be brined for 24 hours) with sticky hoi sin sauce sandwiched between popular steamed Taiwanese gua bao. It is served alongside one of the most iconic sauces in town, Yu Kwen Yick chilli sauce, which adds another layer to the bun’s already intensely rich flavour. Although they came recommended by the staff, the Japanese wagyu beef croquettes served with barbecue sauce and mayonnaise are a bit of a let down. While the wagyu beef itself is of premium quality, it is chopped too finely for our liking and the proportion of the potato is a tad too much for a croquette. Linguine with clams is surprisingly heavy-handed in chilli but the pasta is expertly cooked to al-dente. The most successful dish must go to Spanish Duroc pork ribs, touted as ‘the best ribs in L.K.F’ – slow-cooked, smoked, and roasted to juicy and fork-tender meatiness that goes perfectly with the reduced and sweetened balsamic vinegar sauce, which helps to offset the unctuousness. We opted for the old-school apple crumble caramel with vanilla ice cream to end our meal. Served in a tiny silver saucepan, the British classic dessert contains an appetising mixture of apple, cinnamon and raisins beneath a layer of crispy and chunky crumble toppings and is so deftly-executed that we even considered ordering one more.
The wine list is comprised of red and white wines available by the glass and the bottle selected by the chef from both old and new worlds, as well as an array of handcrafted cocktails priced at HKD$98. We enjoyed the ‘Happy Jamaican’, which balances the sweetness of the pineapple juice and rum nicely and serves as a perfect aperitif. Other tipples such as American draught beers and Sweden’s Rekorderlig premium cider are also on offer.
Service is friendly, personal and helpful. Staff members are always willing to share their favourites and introduce dishes if you cannot decipher what they are just by the names. As the night progresses, it becomes notably more difficult to flag down a waitress but the service is generally satisfactory.
A dinner for two with a cocktail each costs around HKD$1,300, which we deem as fair given the atmosphere, the service and the quality of food. Their Saturday brunch, priced at HKD$298, seems to provide better value for money.