Hidden away in the neighbourhood streets of Tai Hang, yet not far from Tin Hau and Causeway Bay stations, is one of Hong Kong’s most quietly successful modern European restaurants. The Socialhouse, down Shepherd Street, manages to walk the tightrope between French fine dining and local charm, offering superbly prepared and presented European cuisine in an environment that dispenses with elitism. Thanks to founder and executive chef Ray Fung’s ability to fuse his formal culinary training with a laidback sense of what the city’s open-minded gourmets want in a restaurant, The Socialhouse manages to be what it’s name suggests with rare panache.
The Socialhouse has not only ridden the Tai Hang restaurant Renaissance, it’s been crucial to the quiet Hong Kong neighbourhood becoming a destination for intrepid diners on the lookout for a different experience, an experience as gourmet as you can get in the city but away from the busy centre – and the pretentious trappings that modern European cuisine can so often be burdened with. Don’t be misled: this showcase of founder Ray Fung’s culinary chops pulls no punches. Trained in the art of classical French cuisine and having notched up stints in France, Canada, and the UK, Fung presents a carefully-curated menu of both French classics and bold reinterpretations that make the most of Hong Kong’s market-fresh ingredients.
The Socialhouse’s intimate Shepherd Street venue is not too far from Tin Hau and Causeway Bay that it becomes a nuisance to access (the entirety of Tai Hang is quickly becoming a sought-after destination), but it is far away enough from central Hong Kong city’s snooty culture when it comes to Fench cuisine. That’s why here you can get foie gras, or foie gras mac ‘n’ cheese! Being open-minded both to French culinary tradition and Hong Kong palates and market availability, The Socialhouse can confidently offer the local favourite of razor clams given a twist by being steamed in 1664 Blanc Beer and served along with the shells with delicate red wine salt and other seasonings. Sous vide and seared meats feature heavily on the menu, with dishes like the venison tenderloin with porcini sauce speaking comfortably to Italian cuisine. A wide range of beer, cider and, naturally, fine wines (many of each from France) are available to accompany your meal, which is likely to be one of the more refreshing French casual-fine dining experiences you can encounter in the city.
Reasonable price with delicious, euthetic food and good service. Would like to come again.
Friendly and helpful service, always with a smile. Food was good, atmosphere relaxed. Went on Sunday night, had the suckling pig, would recommend. Will definitely return.
Great restaurant in Tai Hang. Excellent food, euro/French style, with specials to keep it interesting, good wine list, excellent service and interaction, thoroughly recommended, would go again