Michelle of Chopstixfix returns to give us her honest opinion of Shore – from an unimpressive start, has this 10,000 square foot behemoth managed to turn things around? The L place is becoming quite the hip and happening spot, with Cantopop on ground level, Linguini Fini on the first and Shore sprawling over the third and fourth floors. The first time I had a meal at Shore, was when its doors opened back in October last year. Though the ambiance was pleasing, the décor swish and modern, and the space vast, I was distinctly underwhelmed by the whole experience, not least because the best item on the menu at the time was the chunky cut chips. However, after giving it a wide berth, (a year in fact), to settle in and iron out its kinks, I gave it another shot and this time I left with more than the chips on my mind.
The girls at Sassy have organized a very fun and successful Sassy Hour at Shore before, and while many people flock to the third floor for their popular Happy Hour to have laid-back al fresco cocktails on the terrace, it turns out that most seem to be unaware of the restaurant. Perhaps, back at its inception, this was a good thing, but now I can safely say that things are on the up, upstairs.
One aspect of this restaurant that I do admire is the decoration. Taking full advantage of the ridiculous 10,000 sq ft split-level space, Kinney Chan, the designer, has used natural earth tones and soft contours for the ‘Onshore’ fine dining restaurant, and sea hues and coral effects for the ‘underwater’ bar downstairs. It’s all rather soothing and relaxing.
The menu has been given a ‘reboot’ and now the open kitchen churns out a wide variety of Western fare. Their main area of focus is their dry-aged “meat on the bone” from Australia, and prime cuts from the USA and Canada and they also have a selection of seafood specialties in keeping with their ‘Offshore’ concept.
I had a bit of a feast as usual, starting with the humble but excellent Prawn cocktail with classic Marie Rose sauce, (posh name for ketchanaise). The Australian prawns were large, succulent and nicely seasoned and the sauce was at its tangy best.
Next, I sampled the Baby Butter Lettuce Hearts salad with fresh crab, avocado, springs onions and cucumber with a wonderfully refreshing dressing. The presentation was alarmingly green; it was practically screaming, “I’M FRESH!!” Luckily for Shore, it was, and one of the better salads I’ve had in a restaurant for a while.
For mains, I had to try a steak of course. For the steak-clueless, they have the ominously titled “Meat Bible” for you to read and digest before you pick your cut. It’s actually not a huge read, but it is educational and comes with pictures, which always helps. I had the 12oz all natural grain fed USA Prime Rib-eye steak from Cedar Farms, USA. It was huge and even though I only had half, (I shared with my companion thankfully), I still had a touch of the meat-sweats afterwards. The steak was well-prepared, the meat of a high quality, but didn’t set itself apart from its counterparts in other establishments. Overall it was a solid effort, and yet again, the chips were great.
Dessert is a different story. The menu has two sections- the ‘Choco Block’ and the ‘Not-so Choco Block’. In other words, chocolatey treats and non chocolate treats.
I had “very sorry task” of having their 9 layer chocolate cake, a task that I was extremely reluctant to undertake, as I didn’t want to create food envy when I then proceeded to post a photo of it on Twitter. It’s positively sinful. Chocolate sponge, ganache and praline butter-cream elegantly layered and presented teasingly on a plate before me. How’s a girl supposed to say no to that? I’m not going to comment as I think you can probably guess what I thought of it. I’ll let your taste-buds decide for themselves when you pay Shore a visit.
Shore, 3rd & 4th floor, L Place, 139 Queen’s Road, Central, Hong Kong. Tel: +852 2915 1638