Strip HouseRestaurant, $$$, Steak House, Central
- 2521 8638
- 5/F Grand Progress Building, 15-16 Lan Kwai Fong, Central
- Accept Credit CardYes
- Dress CodeCasual
- Bring Your Own BottleNo
- Car ValetNo
In the same building as other meat-focused eateries such as Bistecca and Blue Smoke in Lan Kwai Fong, Harlan Goldstein’s new Strip House is cosy, even small, especially for those used to the grandeur of Gold, his other restaurant across the road. There are no windows in the space, with a bright red and black motif echoing throughout. It is easy to imagine losing all sense of time, as you sit down for a steak and martini lunch and end up spending the whole afternoon and most of the evening there. For some, this may feel insulated and comfortable, for others, perhaps a tad claustrophobic. The tongue-in-cheek 1940s theme runs throughout Strip House, beginning with the name; continuing with pictures and portraits of pin-ups decorating the walls and strains of Frank Sinatra crooning in the background; and from what we hear, ending with a risqué urinal shaped like a pair of red lips in the men’s toilets.
As the name suggests, chef Goldstein’s latest venture is all about the classics one would find at a steakhouse: crab cakes, various cuts of beef and cheesecake, with the inclusion of some French bistro dishes such as onion soup and steak tartar. While we found the food to be on the whole quite enjoyable, there is no denying that chef Goldstein seasons with a confident - some might even say - heavy, hand. Take the crab cakes for example: the texture of the crab suggests that it is fresh, but it is hard to tell otherwise as the flavours of the seafood is almost completely masked by the seasoning. We liked how the tart frisee salad provides acid to the dish, but it is not a light way to start the meal. Even heavier was the lobster bisque, which is too creamy for our taste. We liked the silky crab wonton at the bottom, but it was a shame that the air-condition vent blew directly on our soup, which cooled it rapidly and made the soup even thicker than it already was. Moving onto the main event, we ordered the 12oz rib-eye to share. It came nicely charred and well-rested, but the steak was not evenly cooked. Some parts came medium-rare as requested, while others were definitely closer to medium to well-done. For sides, we loved the creamed spinach with pine nuts and parmesan but the black truffle mash could have been silkier. Finally, to finish, the sizzling brownie served on a hot plate is an impressive sight and is satisfying, if a bit too sweet.
At the time of our visit, Strip House had not obtained their alcohol license. There was a wine list by the bottle from Likud (a bar downstairs), but no wines were offered by the glass.
The staff are helpful and friendly, although they made the common but still irritating mistake of not writing down the order, only to forget an item. However, they are attentive: water glasses were always filled and although busy, it was not hard to get their attention.
A meal for two (two starters, one steak to share, two sides and one dessert) without wine comes to about HK$1,150. While this is not inexpensive, it is about what you would expect to pay in the heart of Lan Kwai Fong, where the restaurant is located.