Yesterday Patrick and I met for a quick dinner in Central and we decided to try out a new place that has been on my list for a while: Chôm Chôm. This used to be a private kitchen on Wellington Street, specialising in Vietnamese food. The concept has changed a little, it has become a Vietnamese Bar and it’s now on 58-60 Peel Street.
The restaurant features a big open kitchen – where the chef Peter Cuong Franklin and his team of five man cook fantastic Vietnamese dishes. You’ll find all kinds of classics on the menu, like shaken beef, vietnamese rolls and salads. But the food has been taken up one level – it’s vibrant, spicy and very tasty. The place has a good vibe and atmosphere, and as you can tell from my pictures, it was packed!
On the website it says that Chôm Chôm serves Vietnamese street food. That’s not exactly true. Yes of course, the food is fresh and the taste is great, but actually the dishes have been taken up one level. They are refined and polished, nicely presented on lovely plates – and the prices are far removed from typical street food prices. This is Peel Street in Hong Kong and food does not tend to come cheap in this part of town. However, it comes at an amazing quality and is freshly prepared. So let me take you through our meal:
We tried the chicken wings (88 HKD) with lemongrass as a starter – they were very tasty. Not too oily, but nicely coated in breadcrumbs and with a full taste of lemongrass, garlic and chili.
Next we shared the spicy tuna rolls – those ones were not spicy enough and we added extra spicy sauce (already provided at the table). They were ok, I had expected a fuller taste but the flavour was kind of gentle. It did not rock my boat. It was a nice attempt, but for 78 HKD it was not that great.
Much better fared to Mango and Papaya salad with beef (88 HKD). The beef melted in my mouth – the texture was very soft and smooth, and it went well with the crunchy salad and spicy dressing. The salad had a kick to it, it was the hottest dish we tried, but it balanced well with the radish, carrot, mango and papaya. Lots of herbs and shallots had been added, a very refreshing taste – and for 88 HKD definitely the best priced dish of the evening.
Next we shared the shaken beef (158 HKD) with some rice. Tiny garlic was added to the dish, with lots of watercress, radish and again – an amazing beef. Really great taste, I loved it. Shame that the portion size was so small.
I had the Hanoi 75 specialty cocktail – it’s made out of Tanqueray Gin, Lemon Juice and Sparkling Wine (98 HKD). A very nice taste, refreshing and it suits the lightness of the Vietnamese dishes.
Will I go there again? Yes and No. Yes for the great flavours, food, presentation and service (which was very attentive). However, it was very noisy with very loud music playing in the background and we had to shout at each other during dinner. Also the prices are quite steep – over 600 HKD for a quick Vietnamese dinner is definitely more than I’d pay for some street food. However, the beef was AMAZING so I’ll try the place on a Monday again, just to see if it is less crowded and noisy…
G/F Block A, No. 58-60 Peel Street, Central, Hong Kong
Open Monday to Sunday from 6PM till late