The Wooloomooloo Group has three restaurants in Hong Kong – Wooloomooloo Prime and The Chop House in Tsim Sha Tsui district on Kowloon side, and Wooloomooloo Steakhouse in Wan Chai on Hong Kong Island. This is a review of Wooloomooloo Prime, the group’s most upmarket offering of the three. The restaurant opened some eight years ago – an impressive feat for a restaurant in Hong Kong, especially considering its locale and setting (more on that later).
Where is it?
On the 21st floor of The One shopping mall on Nathan Road, a few minutes’ walk from Tsim Sha Tsui MTR Exit B1. Once inside The One, you’ll need to head up to level UG2 and queue by the lifts.
Big for Hong Kong, and especially big for a restaurant in a skyscraper in Tsim Sha Tsui. The views it commands are truly impressive, comprising a 270-degree backdrop of towers, lights and landmarks. If you want to make the most of the view, head out to the balcony, where there are a few high tables where you can have a drink before your meal. This is located to the right-hand side of the restaurant after you come in.
The restaurant is divided into three different sections. The first is more of a drinks venue, with the balcony, a bar, a large wine rack, and a smattering of high tables and chairs as well as dining tables.
The second space, to the left of the first, is directly opposite the open kitchen, making this a good spot for patrons who enjoy watching the buzz in the kitchen as meals are prepared.
Continue through this area and you get to a third section which is the quieter and more intimate of the three, though it’s still huge. There are plenty of seats by the windows, which I thoroughly recommend, as the views are always striking – especially if you’re looking to impress someone over a business dinner.
The overall aesthetic of Wooloomooloo Prime is dark and intimate, but it manages to strike a balance between casual and formal – I’d feel just as comfortable walking in dressed in a suit as I would be in trousers and a short-sleeved collared shirt.
We started with an appetizer of Duo of Salmon Tarter (HK$210/US$26.8), comprising smoked and raw salmon, shallots, capers, jalapenos, tobico fish roe, cucumber, avocado puree and horseradish cream. This was incredibly light and had an almost zesty tang. The salmon itself was delicate and its combination with the avocado puree was a great pairing. The addition of jalapenos also added an ever so slight but thoroughly pleasant amount of heat to the cold dish.
This was followed up by one of the restaurant’s signature dishes, the Wooloomooloo Crab Cake (HK$220/US$28). This is made with frisee and chives and embellished with tartar sauce, a small side of coleslaw and a poached quail egg on top. This, too, was very light and refreshing, and the tartar sauce had a nice vinegar edge that reminded me of a Swedish gravadlax salmon dressing.
Wooloomooloo Prime is first and foremost a steakhouse, but it also has a good selection of fish and seafood dishes for visitors who aren’t in the mood for red meat. With this in mind, my dining companion decided to order the Grilled Australian 200-day Grain-fed Rib Eye (HK$550/US$70 for a 340g steak, HK$740/US$94 for a 450g cut) while I decided to give the Pan-Seared Monkfish in Dashi Broth (HK$395/US$50.4) a go.
This was my first time trying monkfish, and I’ll be the first to admit it was a curious experience. The meat is dense and doesn’t “flake” like you’d expect of a piece of fish, but it wasn’t dry, overcooked or tough. This is possibly helped by the fact it is served in a Japanese dashi soup broth – itself tasty – though I wouldn’t say the broth was doing all the heavy lifting. Like the rest of the dish, the flavour of the fish is subtle, but intriguing.
That being said, this is a steakhouse, and as delicious as the monkfish was, the rib eye was the star of the show. The meat was incredibly tender and had just the right ratio of meat to fat. The piquillo puree and red wine sauce were fantastic accompaniments, as was the onion marmalade. When my companion ordered the dish, the waitstaff asked how he wanted it cooked and then, when he said medium-rare, was asked if he preferred bloody or red and warm. I’ll put my hands up now and admit to not knowing there was such variance within the category of medium-rare, but I’m sure steak enthusiasts who are very particular on what they want would appreciate this.
Finally, we finished up with the Crème Brulee (HK$90/US$11.5) with mixed berries compote and brandy snap, a light and devilishly sweet end to the meal.
With Wooloomooloo Prime also acting as a bar, its drinks selection is quite impressive. When you walk past the reception desk, you also pass a large wine rack with plenty of options. Having had a meal comprising mostly fish, I stuck with the Pinot Grigio for most of the evening, which I recommend.
Staff were attentive and friendly, and made good efforts to ensure we were asked if we wanted water or bread refills, or another glass of wine rather than us having to request them for it.
The views alone make Wooloomooloo Prime worth a visit, even if only for a sundowner, but you’d be doing yourself a disservice by missing out on the steak that it specialises in. It won’t be the cheapest meal you’ll ever have – for two people, the dishes we had come at a combined total of around HK$2,000 (US$255), before you add drinks. But the impressive setting and views certainly make the price tag worth it.
- Opening hours 11.45am until late
- Contact Address: Level 21, The One, 100 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong; Tel: +852 2870 0087; WhatsApp: +852 9261 3722; woo-prime.com