Steaks don’t come any finer than Buenos Aires Polo Club
You are never too far away from a decent steak restaurant in Hong Kong. There is, however, only one such establishment that offers a guaranteed respite from the city life, complete with modishly dimmed vintage chandeliers and a superabundance of gold-framed equestrian artworks – The Buenos Aires Polo Club. Where else?
With it s exclusive polo club ambiance enhanced by its strategic scarcity of external windows, the restaurant’s singular passion for grilling is aromatically announced as soon as you cross its threshold, with its sizzling dishes ubiquitously prepared in the kitchen facilities cannily set right by the entranceway. Asked just why its cuisine is quite so appealing, Head Chef Patrick Shimada says “What makes our steaks and dishes unique is our commitment to preparing the old school way – over open fire.”
As an apt testament to this, within the restaurant’s all-curved wood and genuine leather swathed interior, an extensive Argentinian-inspired menu is served over no-fuss white and silver ceramics, skillets and wooden board, with Scallop Ceviche, Chimichurris and Spinach and Provolone Empanadas comprising the opening salvo. Seated in the green room, with new-age jazz tinkling in the background, elegant threepiece- suited serving hosts pair every plate with a glass of club martini.
With culinary and cultural concerns both taking centre stage, Chef Shimada prides himself on crafting a truly contemporary oasis, one where tradition and gastronomic greatness seamlessly blend to create the eatery’s General Pico Black Angus, deliciously grilled traditional Asado (barbecue) style. Tender and lean with a pleasing minerally aftertaste, this is a carnivore heaven.
Meanwhile, the following Tenderloin El Camino is simply in a league of its own. Wrapped in cheesecloth and infused with herbs and rock salt before being subjected to roasting coals, it is carved immediately in front of the dining table.
Sometimes just one word won’t suffice to sum up something particularly sumptuous and that’s a maxim that certainly applies to the restaurant’s wide range of Chef Selected Cuts, with such classic main stays as Polo Club Tomahawk, Gold Tenderloin and Bone-in Ribeye El Dorado, all available and all imported from the United States, with the kind of rich marbling only corn-fed cattle can produce. As if that wasn’t indulgent enough, the Truffle Fries Provenzal, cooked in duck fat, takes things to a whole new level of delicious.
The sheer flaming majesty of the menu items on offer isn’t however, solely restricted to the main course. Indeed, it’s just about possible that the best has been saved for the last, in the form of the dessert serving of the truly marvellous, mouthwatering Malvaviscos. Essentially marshmallows stuffed with dulce de leche ice cream and roasted by the dining table over an open flame, they couldn’t come more highly recommended and could almost give the impression that you’ve been transported to some bonfire-lit feast back on the Argentinian pampas. It’s a comparison Chef Shimada is keen to nurture given that his own passion for grilling dates back to his childhood years, with fond memories of himself and his father cooking over an open fire.
All in all, the Buenos Aires Polo Club, as handsome a steakhouse as you are likely to find in downtown Hong Kong, undeniably pays due homage to Argentina’s vibrant grilling culture and the love of the Sport of Kings, while also being the ideal spot to sate your curiosity as to just what constituted an early 1900’s members-only dining establishment. With a menu that is unashamedly focused on unabashed freshness and showcasing the finest traditional Argentinian cuisine, it’s everything you could hope for from a steak house. And so much more.
Buenos Aires Polo Club. 7/F, 33 Wyndham Street, Central
+852 2321 8681 www.bapoloclub.com
Text: Joseff Musa Photos: Buenos Aires Polo Club