FIRST IMPRESSIONS: SEVVA (pronounced “savour’’) on the 25th-storey rooftop terrace of Prince’s Building in Central epitomises chic glamour and the avant-garde. It’s all thanks to Calvin Tsao & McKown Architects of New York, who worked hand-in-hand with owner and style maven Bonnie Gokson and Hongkong’s Team HC. Notable elements include 20th-century artworks from London’s Fine Art Gallery, Gladys Perint Palmer’s illustrations and tastefully selected books judiciously placed as décor. It’s hard to believe that the 2,043-square-metre area was originally an underused office space.
Guests can choose from Harbour Side, Bank Side, Taste Bar and Cake Corner. The latter is every kid’s imagination, with jars of candies and delicious-looking cakes and pastries displayed in the glass cabinet. After some ogling, I allowed myself to be led to the Buttercup Booth at the Harbour Side, my table for the night.
A pre-dinner walk on the outdoor lounge proved rewarding, given the stunning view. Strategically placed tables and stands allow guests the best possible view and intimacy. Seating is for 173.
THE FOOD: The menu was inspired by Hongkong’s fusion of culture, explaining the touch of “east meets west” prominent in most dishes. The oversized dosas (Indian crepes) I had was partnered with ratatouille, Mozzarella cheese and caramelised onions, a light and flavourful starter. Main course was Wagyu Beef Cheek and Ox Tongue Pot Pie with Porcini Fries, with the buttery pie the only worthy savoury element in the dish. Original Crunch Cake, a fresh cream cake topped with honeycomb, supplied that desired sugar rush. Organic Ionica chicken from Australia is also served.
DRINKS: The white, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, was a great companion to the dosas, while the Bordeaux red complemented other selections. Also available are vintage and New World wines, champagnes, fruit-infused cocktails and organic vegetable juices.
SERVICE: I was greeted many times when I entered the restaurant, but it took three courses before the waiter realised that my cup was out of warm water. Wine, however, was refilled almost instantly.
PRICES: From HK$450 (US$60) for a two-course lunch and from HK$650 (US$84) for dinner with a glass of wine.
OPENING HOURS: From Monday to Saturday, lunch is 1200 to 1500 followed by afternoon tea until 1800. Dinner on Monday to Thursday is from 1800 to 2400, and until 0200 Friday-Saturday. Reservations are recommended.
VERDICT: Food was average, but the restaurant’s décor and concept was a redeeming factor.
CONTACT: The Penthouse, 25/F Prince’s Building, Central, Hongkong, tel 852 2537 1388.
Lau Liang Tong