I had my meeting at KCC (Kowloon Cricket Club) to finalize my guest appearance at the club’s The Grill restaurant on this day and my BFF Robert picked me up from the MTR (Metro Transit Rail) station and drove us to KCC. We were to have lunch beforehand at Knutsford Terrace and it was a short walk away.
Knutsford Terrace is a terrace street known for its pubs, bars and restaurants. I would say this is the Kowloon equivalent of Lan Kwai Fong, that famous area on Hong Kong Island also famous for the same things.
After a little bit of meandering — well, VERY little seeing I was already working up a sweat — we decided to pop into Il Meglio and take part in their lunch special.
As we perused the menu, a basket with a quarter of a baguette and very soft butter was placed in front of us.
I started with the Smoked Duck Breast Salad with Frisee and Tangerine Vinaigrette. The duck slices were tender and quite flavorful but the tangerine vinaigrette definitely didn’t taste anything like the highly aromatic citrus. The sauce was also creamy, not quite a vinaigrette really, but even so, it had good flavor. Just not sure it was the right accompaniment for the duck.
Robert’s starter was the Sauteed Portabella Mushrooms, Balsamic and Basil Leaves. The plate looked rather unappetizing with shriveled up slices of portabella and the balsamic made the dish look even blacker than it already is. I couldn’t detect any basil leaves but the mushrooms were sitting on top of a bed of frisee and a cherry tomato garnish added a dash of color to an otherwise aesthetically unpleasant plate.
Our second course was soup. Since Robert has an onion allergy, he wasn’t able to have many of the soups available and ended up with a seafood consomme. I didn’t ask how it tasted but from the looks of it, it seemed like it would be flavorful from the array of seafood swimming in the bowl.
My Classic Italian Tomato Soup was on the pedestrian side, one dimensional and easily forgettable. It was light though and tasted more like a marinara sauce than a soup.
The price of our set meal depended on our entree choice. Robert’s Ribbon Linguine Sauteed with Bay Mussels, Garlic, Fresh Basil and White Wine (HK$92/US$11.80) was heavy on the linguine but anemic on the basil. The mussels were teenie too. But who’s complaining at these prices?
My Pan-Fried Fillet of Ocean Snapper ($108/US$13.85) was a pseudo-Bouillabaisse dish with poached bay clams in a tomato sauce and boiled potatoes. The sauce was highly reminiscent of my tomato soup, but the dish was light and flavorful so I was quite happy with that.
We ended our meal with a square of chocolate and vanilla cake and a few morsels of fresh fruit. I took a bite and pushed it away as it was too sweet for me.
Set lunches are what Hong Kong is famous for. Most restaurants offer it in one form or another catered towards the office worker who wants a substantial meal but don’t want to pay an arm and a leg for it. Generally set lunches consist of 3-courses with tea or coffee thrown in, but here at Il Meglio we were given 4-courses. The food was decent and for a sit down meal at these prices, set lunches are still one of the best bargains you’ll get in this city of inflated prices.
8 Knutsford Terrace
Tsim Sha Tsui