Last week we decided to try out Liberty Exchange, which we’ve always walked past on our way from/to the IFC. We’ve never stopped there, because it was either empty (early mornings) or full with business men and women getting drunk (evenings). However, as we’ve been to Liberty Private Works (and loved it) and tried pizza at Liberty Stone Oven Pizza (which is a fancy takeaway pizza joint next door and pretty good but expensive) before, we decided to give Liberty Exchange a chance.
When we arrived, the waiter tried to explain the menu – but he really confused us. All we understood is that it is tapas style, i.e. small portions, and we were meant to share. But it sounded like some dishes were out. So we sat there looking a little lost. So another waitress came and she was good, she took the matters in her hand and told us what dishes she’d recommend.
We went for some of her suggestions and added two glasses of Merlot wine. We started with the crab and avocado pate, which was served in a jar and came with fresh oven baked bread. This was really yummy and great – we could have had more.
The second starter was creamy polenta with mushrooms and a parmesan chip. A classic dish, but unfortunately I did not understand why it was served in a jar with some bread as a side. We decided to leave the polenta for the mains and just use the extra bread to dip in the crab and avocado pate. The polenta was very rich and creamy, a little bit too heavy for my taste.
We had grilled asparagus with bacon chips as our vegetable dish – a classic dish that was nicely executed, although we could not taste the lemon zest that should have come with it. Maybe no lemons left on a Monday evening, after selling too many cocktails over the weekend?
My choice for the main was a marinated tuna, with jalapeno/coriander salsa, some radish and shiso (a herb from the mint family). This looked not only amazing, it tasted divine. Remind me to combine tuna with coriander more, it was so refreshing and tasty – I loved the different flavours and textures. Patrick was so kind and let me have one of his pieces too (yes, we were meant to share the dishes).
In return I offered him more of the crispy pork belly (grilled for 36 hours and so soft, you could tear it apart with a spoon – hence the mess on our plate, Patrick was too eager so I could not take a shot showing the pork coming from the kitchen). It came with a thick hoisin sauce, which is normally eaten with duck, but actually tasted really nice with the pork belly. I did enjoy this dish too, but between the tuna and the pork, I would have happily gone for the tuna.
As the dishes were smaller sized we opted for some dessert. This time Patrick selected the winner, an amazing apple tart with ice cream. For 58HKD the tart was the winner of this evening. My chocolate dessert was average, the earl grey ice cream was what made it a little bit better than average.
Overall, a nice dinner experience with some great dishes (tuna, avocado and crab pate and apple tart) but also a little on the expensive side. We paid around 900 HKD for the two of us, which is more than we’d usually pay for a quick dinner on our way home. The service was a bit hit and miss, we had to ask for water refill (in those weird glass jars) and when we asked for extra bread it took 10 mins to arrive, just before our dessert (we sent it back again). The room has high ceilings, but still we could listen in on all the conversations surrounding us, so if you want to have a quiet romantic dinner, this might not be the place for you.
Will I go there again? Unless it is a work lunch or birthday dinner that I have to attend, probably not. It was an interesting experience, but over-priced. I liked some of the dishes, but Patrick was not convinced at all. He thought they were average. Nice enough to try, but not nice enough to repeat.
Two Exchange Square, 8 Connaught Place, Central