37 Steakhouse & Bar Hong Kong: Top cuts at the top of the town
09 Aug 2019
Address Shop 102-103, 1/F, Peak Galleria, 118 Peak Road, The Peak
For such a vertical city, it could be said that Hong Kong has a somewhat inverted relationship with its loftier dining institutions. Then again, not many world cities can boast exciting restaurants at their more popular tourist destinations (look no further than the Hong Kong government’s disastrous food truck scheme for reference). The Peak was perhaps the city’s most glaring example of this discrepancy in action, with F&B options at the top of Hong Kong Island never exactly inspiring (save perhaps for the nostalgic vibes of the old Peak Lookout).
To their credit, Hang Lung Properties have made a concerted effort to change perceptions as part of their HK$2bn upgrade to The Peak Galleria. Suddenly, the top of the town is home to restaurant brands with more than a bit of street cred: joining Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen and Black Sheep Restaurants’ flamboyant Anglo-Indian mess hall Rajasthan Rifles is the newly opened 37 Steakhouse & Bar, the Hong Kong offshoot of the nearly decade-old Tokyo favourite. Located on the second floor of the newly renovated complex, the 115-seat, 7,000 sq ft space is a soothing and modestly handsome palette of oak, brass and cowhide that hints at what’s going on here - a Japanese take on the classic American steakhouse.
Spacious and handsome, 37 Steakhouse & Bar is perfect for group dining.
The menu confirms this direction. Gone are the hackneyed (though eternally delicious) accompaniments like French onion soup, potatoes au gratin or creamed spinach; in their place, your choice cut can be complemented by such elevated items as beef consommé with foie gras and wagyu, Japanese scallop carpaccio with lemon salsa and harissa, or a sea urchin and crab meat barley risotto. It’s sophisticated stuff, echoing the spectacular views of the city below from the dining room’s floor to ceiling windows.
The Japanese scallop carpaccio is a delightful starter.
We start with the aforementioned scallop carpaccio ($228), as well as an Italian red prawn variety ($198). Both proteins are fresh and their natural flavours are expertly showcased, the lemon salsa and restrained drizzle of harissa in the former bringing out the natural sweetness of the scallop, while the bold flavour of the red prawn is given a lift thanks to a dash of chilli-infused oil. Next up, the handcut steak tartare with hollandaise ($198) is a clever take on the steakhouse classic - the sauce topping the steak is torched, dulling its zing somewhat so as not to overpower the meat but contributing a creamy consistency to each bite. It’s served with sea salt, caviar and diced pickle, each adding a different dimension to the impressive tartare.
The sea urchin and crab meat barley risotto ($298) is another well-executed dish, with the natural nuttiness of the grain elevated by the fresh uni and generous flecks of fresh crab. It’s a dish even the uni-averse would probably enjoy. The charcoal-grilled whole sea bream ($338) is equally impressive, both in size and preparation. It’s served with a delicious sauce of prawn, saffron, and white wine, but the fresh fish is bursting with enough natural flavour that it probably doesn’t need any accompaniment.
The Hiyama A5 wagyu is sourced from one of Japan's premier beef suppliers.
We sampled a number of steaks on our visit. The U.S.D.A Prime black angus rib eye ($408 per 400g) was melt-in-the-mouth delicious, packed full of natural flavour sealed in by the kitchen’s Josper grill. The 15-day Belgian dry striploin ($368 per 400g), on the other hand, had a more subtle flavour and was less tender, though still tasty. The stars of the show, however, are the Hiyama A5 wagyu cuts. The fine grain and superior marbling of the Hiyama beef is on full display here, the rump ($320 per 100g) and chuck roll ($400 per 100g) both surprisingly tender with a very good char. All steaks are served sharing-style, accompanied by a cress salad with a simple vinaigrette that provides a nice bit of crunch and counterpoint to the meat. There are sauces, too, a black pepper and a heartier pancetta and port wine, but the meat was so well prepared that they didn’t really need much help on the flavour front.
Sides wise, we opted for the French bean with anchovy and chilli lemon dressing ($78) - this was well cooked but probably could have used more of the dressing to make the beans pop. For carbs, a respectable mac and cheese ($78) paired really well with the steak, while the shaved black truffle with mashed potatoes and slow cooked egg ($108) had a silky smooth consistency but relied a little too much on the truffle for flavour, and could have done with a little more seasoning.
The truffle mash is beatifully presented, but needs a bit more punch.
Good quality meats cooked really well - it’s not a complicated formula by any stretch, but can be, with its deceptively high margin for error, difficult to pull off as well as the 37’s kitchen team. Just look past the hordes of cargo short-clad tourists below, and you wouldn’t even know that you’re in the middle of one of the world’s most iconic tourism hotspots.