Yes, it was just a matter of time before the kid grew tired of Chinese food, but I didn’t think it would come SO soon. It is Day 3 and we had a long day ahead.
I had an appointment at the Immigration Department at 11.30am to get my new “smartcard” Identity Card but what would’ve been a 30 minute visit turned into a two-hour wait. While processing my papers, the immigration officer was unable to complete the work before their computer system had an unexpected shutdown. I was therefore stuck at counter 56 waiting for the system to get back on track so I could head to lunch.
As I said, the whole thing took two hours and when I was done, Sebastian and I dashed across the overhead walkway from Immigration Tower over to the MTR station and got to Central in no time. However, working our way through busy lunch time pedestrian traffic was another story. We had to take the Central to Mid-Levels escalators, the longest outdoor covered escalator system in the world.
We were meeting my friend Nouhad for lunch in SoHo (south of Hollywood Road) and from where we were, we had to take three stretches of escalator and then walk down a flight and a half of stairs to get to Lyndhurst Terrace.
Pizza Express is kind of misleading. The restaurant is neither all pizza, nor is it “express” by any means. It is a sit-down, cafe-style Italian restaurant and one of the first in Hong Kong to serve Iced Tea (HK$35/US$4.50) with unlimited free refills. I specifically remember iced tea being charged per glass, which makes for a very expensive lunch time treat.
We started with Burrata Tricolore (HK$89/US$11.40), again misleading because the three colors refers to the three items on the plate, not of the burrata itself. There are slices of tomatoes and an arugula salad topped with parmesan shavings and a dollop of burrata which was a little dry on the outside. I was disappointed with its texture and lack of creaminess I was hoping for.
Garlic Bread with cheese (HK$56/US$7.20) were more like buns with a cheese filling. They were quite good seeing we were pretty famished by the time we got to the restaurant around 1.45pm and the food didn’t arrive until after 2pm.
The kid wanted pizza so we got him an Amatriciano (HK$124/US$15.90) with red onions,tomato sauce, basil and pancetta which wasn’t rendered through. It was fatty and not that appetizing — you can actually see the fatty pancetta in the photo.
When the Salmone (HK$128/US$16.40) pizza arrived I was rather wary because they had cooked the salmon instead of draping it over the pizza AFTER it had been taken out of the oven. The salmon pieces were thicker than what I’m used to, but I guess the reason why they didn’t strewn it instead is because they weren’t using smoked salmon, but just regular fresh salmon. It was okay. I thought it worked with the ricotta cheese underneath and the dill added a really refreshing finish.
Naturally, after the two rather thin and flimsy pizzas, the kid was still hungry. We supplemented with a Margherita (HK$99/US$12.70) which was the best of the three. The only issue I had was when I asked if there was basil on the pizza (it wasn’t stated on the menu) they informed me that there was one basil leaf for garnish. I think requested that they sprinkle more on top because what is a Margherita pizza without the three ingredients of the Italian flag?
At the end of the day, this meal came to HK$661 which roughly converts to about US$85. It was crazy and I had forgotten how much they stick it to you in areas where they can.
This meal didn’t impress and if it wasn’t for the kid I would’ve stuck to something Chinese. It was just a step above Spaghetti House (our equivalent of Macaroni Grill) but for the price it was simply highway robbery at best.
21 Lyndhurst Terrace