Mon to Fri, 11:30 am - 3:00 pm; Sat to Sun, 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Mon to Sun, 6:00 pm - 10:00 pm
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21st Century egg, chargrilled asparagus, lemon mayonnaise
Sagabuta pork with a salad of raw Japanese sweetcorn
Yuzu and lemon posset, raspberry and yoghurt ice cream
Greeted by two walls of stacked fruit, the entrance could very well be an aisle from your favourite upscale grocers. Like most of restaurateur Alan Yau’s popular projects, there’s something very current, trendy and contemporary about the setting. The waiters are adorably dressed in tartan serving as a stark reminder of Yau’s British influence, while the venue is well-lit and welcoming, with timber fans, potted plants and sunny yellow walls, all thanks to local designer Andre Fu.
St Betty’s new chef is Shane Osborn, previously at London’s award-winning Pied à Terre. We started the meal with an order of the “21st century” egg, chargrilled asparagus, lemon mayonnaise, black truffle and hazelnut dressing. The spears of asparagus were outstanding, being hot, tender and bursting with flavour; that said, we found the batter-crusted egg a little oily, and while the lemon mayonnaise injected some flavour, the dish could be lighter and use some extra seasoning. The spanner crab and soft shell crab served with a salad of raw butternut squash, white chestnuts and yuzu arrived beautifully in a medley of autumn colours. The spanner crabmeat and butternut squash flaunted an impressive tang which cut through the lightly-fried soft shell crab perfectly. Next came a winning dish of sautéed spatzle, wild mushrooms, fresh black truffle and taleggio cheese. The texture of the spatzle was chewy and al dente, similar to a gnocchi or a Turkish manti, while the inclusion of walnuts added a playful crunch. For mains, the pan-fried prawns with crisp pork belly, sweet garlic puree, pine nuts and balsamic was our favourite dish of the evening. The pork belly was exceptional, with tender meat and thin, crispy skin; the balsamic gave it a great kick of acidity while the pine nuts and the string beans were perfect complements. We did feel however that the dish could do without the prawns. Whether or not you’re a dessert fiend, we would highly recommend you save space for the sweet goods on the menu as they are certainly worth the calories. First came the yuzu and lemon posset with raspberry and yogurt ice cream and white chocolate tuile, which was heavenly in its tartness, while the massive passionfruit soufflé, with butterscotch ice cream and caramel had us savouring every last bite.
The wait staff are very knowledgeable, and we were impressed by how familiar they were with the menu, being able to tell us everything from the way something was cooked to the full list of elaborate ingredients. The atmosphere was upbeat and the general positive attitude put you in a good mood while dining.
A decent number of wines by the glass and carafe greet diners from the very first page; the rest of the list consists of fine wines, and a focus on great burgundies, Bordeaux and other French hitters. We were recommended wines to match our food, which we thoroughly enjoyed, though we did feel that wait staff weren’t as familiar with the wines as the food.
A three-course meal for two with a glass of wine each will average around HK$1,500. Considering the environment, location and quality of service, it was money well-spent.