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Restaurant Oolaa

Oolaa

Restaurant, $$, Western, Central
  • ReservationYes
  • Accept Credit CardYes
  • Dress CodeCasual
  • Vegetarian Dish20+
  • Bring Your Own BottleNo
  • BuffetYes
  • Car ValetYes

Review

Located on the ground floor of CentreStage on Bridges Street, you can’t miss the new massive restaurant Oolaa, the latest venture by Castelo Concepts, the group behind other established Soho restaurants such as Wagyu, Cru and Jaspas. Oolaa is absolutely huge, with over 6000 square foot spread out over dining rooms, a bar area and an open kitchen. On a recent weekend, all 6000 square foot of the space was packed, giving the place the happening vibe of somewhere new and exciting, helped by the floor-to-ceiling glass windows that encase the restaurant and allow curious passerbys to peer in.Oolaa is an all-day dining venture and accordingly the menu is huge, with something for everyone. Although the size of the menu is impressive, the spelling mistakes that litter it is disconcerting. To start, the Cobb salad (spelt “cob”) will disappoint anyone who has ever tasted Wagyu’s excellent version. While it comes with a flavourful flame grilled beef, it is also missing avocado, bacon and blue cheese, three ingredients that are intrinsic to a Cobb salad. No amount of unevenly cut onions (some are slivers while others are veritable chunks) and peppers could make up for that. The other starter, the crispy duck tart (note that it is the tart that is crispy, not the duck) with spinach and lentils is marginally better, although any duck flavour is completely overwhelmed by a fruity balsamic jus. The mains are an improvement, with the blue swimmer crab lasagne with abalone sauce an unusual but delicious take on the traditional meaty tomato fest. It is a tad one-note in flavour and a kick of spice or a stronger herb such as cilantro might give it more depth. The “cracklin’” pork belly from the meat section comes with a delicious buttery sweet potato mash, but that is unfortunately the best part of the dish. The pork itself is full of flavour but dry and the skin is chewy and tough rather than crackling, as promised. The s’mores (spelt “smoores”) come deconstructed with crackers, a giant melted marshmallow and a bowl of chocolate sauce. Those whose childhood included s’mores will probably find Oolaa’s take nostalgic and charming, for others, it just seems like a sickly sweet concoction.An extensive wine list featuring wines primarily from Australia, New Zealand, France and Italy. There are 10 whites and nine reds by the glass while the bottle section is helpfully separated by characteristics of the wine, for example “light-medium bodied and fruity” or “big n’ bold”.While the restaurant is still quite new, the staff need to familiarise themselves with the menu and ingredients more. Also, the large space means that it can be quite hard to get the staff’s attention.Dinner for two will be about HK$800 and up, excluding wine.
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