Food Beyond Pho
Foodies with their finger on the pulse of Hong Kong’s underground dining scene will already know Chôm Chôm from its previous incarnation on Wellington Street, when it was a modest private kitchen helmed by Vietnam-born chef Peter Cuong Franklin. Well, this charming little eatery proved so popular that Franklin decided to team up with Black Sheep Restaurants (Boqueria
) to embark on a more ambitious culinary project inspired by Vietnam’s bia hoi (draft beer) culture, complete with buzzy bar and ‘street food’ menu – although the plates and décor are decidedly more Brooklyn bistro than Saigon side alley!
The elegant wrap-around white marble bar dotted with condensation-beaded beer taps is perfect (and necessary due to a no res policy) for an indulgent pre-dinner cocktail like the Saigon Sour with aged bourbon, pineapple juice, lime, agave nectar and frothy egg whites. Modern favourites coming thick and fast from their busy open kitchen include the VFC (Vietnamese Fried Chicken), crisp-skinned buttery wings fried in garlic, coriander and mint; and the garlic-infused Shaking Beef served with steamed rice, and spicy radish. And in the hope of dispelling Vietnamese culinary clichés, there’s nary a whisper of generic soupy pho on the menu – how different!