Kaum at Potato Head
G/F, 100 Third Street, Sai Ying Pun
Tel: 2858 6066
Grub: Fresh and fiery authentic Indonesian food.
Vibe: An uber cool, ultra-curated trendy space filled with trestle tables, long benches and glamorous Hongkongers. Potato Head is the space – featuring a bar, cafe, music room and “lifestyle” shop – and Kaum is the restaurant. Decked out in Bali beach chic, the dining room is effortlessly cool, lowlit and filled with mouth-watering aromas from the open kitchen.
Who to take: A date, if you’re trying really hard to impress them with your foodie knowledge and want to up the intimacy by sharing food. It’s also the kind of place to persuade your parents to take you for an end-of-term, birthday or exam success treat. Await your friends’ jealousy with glee.
What’s hot: The hype is real, peeps: food at Kaum is excellent. Early reviews complained of small portions, but between the two of us we ordered three or four small plates and were left with a lunchbox each to take home.
Gado gado Kaum – vegetables, boiled egg, shallots, tempeh and prawn crackers – was the perfect starter to share. The restaurant prides itself on traditional bamboo cooking techniques, and while we didn’t try the marinated pork belly or Sulawesi chicken, the dishes looked like fantastic centrepieces. Instead, we went for Terong Balado, a simple side dish of aubergine in chilli and garlic fried until soft and delicious. The spicy sambal dip we chose went a bit too heavy on the lemongrass for our liking, but spice levels throughout the meal were pitch-perfect. Even the standard boiled rice was delicious, gently flavoured with ginger and salam leaves.
It may be the hottest place in town to eat right now, but the friendly waiters are anything but pretentious. They went out of their way to accommodate tricky dietary needs, even when it was our fault for not reading the menu properly.
What’s not: Diners are squeezed on to long, school canteen-style tables. This makes for an electric, bustling atmosphere, but also means you might bump elbows with a stranger while tucking into your food. And it’s not exactly cheap.
Cost: Small plates HK$65-HK$120, sharing dishes are HK$250-ish, rice dishes cost HK$28-HK$148, and drinks cost between HK$35-HK$75.