Tsim Sha Tsui
Date of review: January 10, 2014 | Reviewed by:
Set in the courtyard of Elements, which can resemble a cross between Singaporean suburbia and Discovery Bay, Prime has a small outdoor area perfect for people watching or on nice days, an occasional spot of sunbathing with a martini. A jarring large screen TV overlooks the adjoining restaurants, presumably, one would think, for displaying international sporting events but on our visit, was showing a rather humourless news presentation by a mainland cable network. The interior of the restaurant is its own little escape from this, however, and is fitted out like a true steakhouse with dim lighting, plush leather seats and heavy wooden furniture.
The menu at Prime is a feast for carnivores, with premium chops, cuts, and ribs from all over the world, not to mention a decent steak menu including Australian M6 wagyu, Holstein strip-loin and rib eye, and a Kobe burger. The only vegetarian options we spotted were side dishes. We go for the signature seafood platter and immediately realise we had likely over- ordered as a towering bucket of crab, lobster, oysters, scallops, and smoked salmon topped with anchovies arrived. It was all excellent, crunchy and very fresh and easily shared by three very hungry diners. We were less impressed with the Caesar salad, which is made up of rather too much strong, tart dressing with hardboiled egg. For mains, our Kobe burger comes rare instead of medium, and initially we were going to send it back but after a couple of bites we realised it was of sufficiently high-quality meat to tuck into and demolish, particularly once a touch of mayonnaise and mustard are added. A heavy char accompanies the Holstein strip-loin, which is evenly cooked and seasoned, but not quite as worthy of the repeated recommendations from our server. The steak is gristly and a little underwhelming, but the side dish of bone marrow is an enjoyable alternative for a topping and enriches any meat dish. The strip-loin also arrived medium instead of medium rare - indicating there can be crossed wires somewhere between the floor and kitchen. Both are still good, solid dishes and the burger in particular is probably some of the best beef you'll find in Tsim Sha Tsui. The truffle mac and cheese sounds good in theory but ultimately doesn't deliver. Finally, for dessert, the bourbon pecan pie is a little slice of Americana. Harder to find these days, the salted caramel at Prime tips this over the comfort edge and into straight-out indulgence.
Bottles are laid out on display at one end of the restaurant and staff are open with their recommendations. Both the Australian Shiraz and Italian Morellino go very well with the burger and steak. Wines are categorised by grape varietal, and include everything from reasonably priced table wines to five-figure bottles from Bordeaux.
Professional and friendly, the staff are ready with recommendations but as the floor gets busy it can be harder to get their attention, particularly at the back of the restaurant. The servers offered to replace our mixed orders but we declined, at which point they offered a 10% discount on our bill.
A large meal for two with wine comes to about HK$2,000. Arguably, it probably could have fed about three diners, and although some things were below expectations, with some careful ordering, you can have a very satisfying meal at Prime.