Restaurant 121BC in the Soho neighborhood of Hong Kong's central business district suggests through its interior layout and design, that sharing is fundamental to its dining experience. You will not only be sharing your food with friends, but will also be sharing your experience with fellow diners; whether you sit at the banquet table that runs the length of the room, at the bar, or along the row of stools that line the waist-to-ceiling-high window looking on to Peel Street.
The restaurant offers an extensive range of Italian wines from smaller, organic vine- yards, along with beer and cocktails.
We began with a dish of homemade ricotta, tomato, preserved lemon and olive. The ricotta was soft and creamy; a perfect vehicle for the salt and acidity of the accoutrements. Friggitelli peppers with horseradish and celery salt arrived next, followed by a course of perfectly cooked broccoli paired with lemon, chilli and almonds. Grilled octopus dressed with smoked corn, lardo, and eshallots came next. A pasta dish followed: where Cavatelli, small pasta shapes resembling miniature hotdog buns, was accompanied by a sauce of chickpeas, sage, and pecorino cheese. Then the final savory dish, which was, for me, absolutely outstanding–a skirt steak classically paired with anchovy, cabbage and salsa verde and accompanied by an iceberg lettuce salad with apples, walnuts and pecorino.
These dishes sum up the 121BC food philosophy: high quality and fresh ingredients that are cooked simply and matched with other complementary ingredients. A number of items are made fresh in-house: from the ricotta cheese to the gelato & sorbetto varieties of ice cream and the pastas which are made from organic flour and olive oil sourced from small artisan producers.
Tucked away on a backstreet, 121BC is easy to miss. But if you like inventive food and hard-to-find wines served in a convivial space with the atmosphere and buzz that defines Hong Kong, 121BC is worth seeking out. Reservations are recommended. tj
The complete article can be found in Issue #276 of the Tokyo Journal. Click here to order from Amazon.