Tried & Tested

Restaurant check: O Sip Hah Hongkong

31 May 2007 by business traveller

WHAT’S IT LIKE? Don’t let the Versailles-style interiors, chandeliers and candelabras fool you into thinking this place at 15 Old Bailey Street offers haute French cuisine.

O Sip Hah – “O” for Old Bailey Street and “Sip Hah”, Thai for number 15 – is the brainchild of Hongkong chef Calvin Yeung of Hutong and Aqua fame (editor’s note: establishments known for swish surroundings and creative dishes that have upped the ante of Hongkong’s dining and after-hours scene), and is the flagship of lifestyle concept company Wang Workshop Group. It features a menu fusing contemporary Thai cooking and herbs and spices with Western ingredients, and served on custom-made and handpicked tableware.

WHERE IS IT? Along one of Hongkong’s most historic streets – Old Bailey – and opposite the decommissioned Victoria Prison; in the heart of the SoHo dining and entertainment district.

SEATING: Seat capacity is for 60 guests – 20 around four tables, 20 in the bar area and 20 in the back lounge.

THE FOOD: Fresh seafood takes centre stage in Yeung’s menu. Signature dishes include Spice “Secret” Sauce Calamari with Okra, Red Onion and Coriander (US$11); Grilled Beef Ribs with Caramel, Chillies and Lemongrass (US$24); and Linguine with Mixed Vegetables in Tom Yum and Thai Herb Sauce (US$12.53). All in all, the combustion of flavours kept us captivated during the two-hour lunch, although a couple of dishes such as the Spice Sauce Calamari were a bit too spicy for our liking.

THE WINE: A modest list of reds and whites from Italy, France, Chile, New Zealand and Australia, as well as Moët & Chandon bubbly. Red and white house wines are served by the glass at US$7.42, excluding 10 percent service charge. A corkage fee of US$19 applies to BYOs.

Yeung recommends pairing his popular Mud Crab and Crab Roe Glass Noodle Salad (pictured) with a French white like 2004 Pouilly-Fumé Chateau Favray (US$72 a bottle), while the Grilled Sweet and Spicy Beef Ribs go perfectly with 2001 San Felice Chianti Classico Riserva (US$80.54).

VERDICT: A carefully executed experience that will keep you coming back for more. 

OPENING HOURS: Daily from 1200 to 1500 for lunch; dinner is from 1800 to 2400.

CONTACT: 15 Old Bailey Street, Central, Hongkong, tel 852 3622 3222

Julian Tan

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