Date of review: December 5, 2012 | Reviewed by:
Grand Central at Elements is split over two levels, with the downstairs (entrance through Civic Square) featuring a large overhead projector dominating the sports fans’ attention. Upstairs is more comfortable thanks to its high ceilings and floor to ceiling windows. The soundtrack is fun with popular 80’s and 90’s pop piped at an unobtrusive volume.
We commend Grand Central for being one of the few restaurants in Hong Kong to have a WWF-certified sustainable seafood menu with a good number of seasonal options, and we duly start with two appetisers from the sea: halibut fish bites and clam chowder. Although it requires an extra squeeze of lemon, we very much enjoyed the fish bites. Unlike regular fish fingers which are usually mystery meat deep-fried, we found the chunks of halibut here to be flaky and well-cooked. The clam chowder is also decent, not too creamy and with clams that still retain their texture. The Caesar salad that follows is more disappointing as it came with an overcooked poached egg and rubbery parmesan, tossed in a run-of-the-mill dressing. For mains, we go for meat with the GC burger and ribs. The burger wasn’t quite medium as requested but we enjoyed its smoky, fresh off the grill flavour and the surprisingly gooey cheddar. The skinny fries that accompanied it were also crispy and delicious. The ribs were not great, with flavourless meat covered in a barbecue sauce with too much tomato paste. For dessert, the key lime pie is a bit too heavy but the soft-centred chocolate cake, served in a piping hot earthenware pot, was rich and decadent, almost entirely molten in the centre.
Available on an iPad, Grand Central’s wine list is surprisingly well-designed, far better than even some of the restaurants known for the quality of their wine lists. The wine list is available in a number of languages, not only English and Chinese, but also German, Russian and even Japanese. There are sommelier notes, information on the grapes and in general, extremely user-friendly.
It can be quite loud at times so the servers can’t hear you too well but they try their best. Some orders are forgotten but when reminded, they are quickly fetched from the kitchen. There was also a wait between starters and main courses.
An extremely filling meal for two with drinks comes to about HK$1,300. While the setting is quite upscale, the quality of the food makes this a rather expensive choice.