The One With JAR – More Than Just A Restaurant

I have been living in Hong Kong for more than three years now (wow, how time flies!), and yet I have never been to the Festival of Restaurants before. True, it has been only slightly more than a year ago that the closeted foodie in me came out of its… well, closet, and suddenly the world of restaurants (some 11,000 of them, HK-wide) was wide open to me.

Festival of Restaurants is an excellent way to indulge in your gastronomical fantasies at some of the best eateries in town.

Festival of Restaurant Preview @ Just A Restaurant (JAR)

How does this work? From 7 – 13 November (only for a week, folks!), sixty restaurants will offer set lunches and dinners at some truly spectacular price. Yes, the menu is set, but they are designed to let you experience the best of what the participating restaurants have to offer. Everyone put together a set menu at a great price which is of good value to draw people to come.

Festival of Restaurant Preview @ Just A Restaurant (JAR)

Vince Poon, the organiser for Festival of Restaurant

I was privileged to be invited by Winebuzz HK to attend a festival preview at JAR, which stands for Just A Restaurant, located right in Central.

Festival of Restaurant Preview @ Just A Restaurant (JAR)

Bridget Chen, the director of 798 unit limited, and yours truly

Part of the 798 unit & co. group, Just A Restaurant (JAR) is described as the home for comfort food. I don’t know about you, but the setting of the place certainly spells more than just “home”. The exquisite lighting, the table set up, the open kitchen… it is certainly more than that. A place for good company and great food.

Festival of Restaurant Preview @ Just A Restaurant (JAR)

The set menu at JAR was priced at HK168 for set dinner, and HK$88 for set lunch. For the night we get to try out the dinner menu… though on hindsight we should have the wisdom to order different things so that we get to try each other’s food, but then again the sight of us dipping our forks into our neighbours’ plates may be a tad… unsightly.

Ah well, some of us did anyway, yours truly included. Here’s what I would recommend!

Foie Gras & Wild Mushroom Risotto

Festival of Restaurant Preview @ Just A Restaurant (JAR)

Hands down, the best risotto I ever had this side of Hong Kong. The rice were cooked to a risotto perfection; not too soft, sufficiently chewy with a slight crunch. Top that up with some truly rich and pungent foie gras (I know, I am sucker for that!), you have a recipe for second helping. I was scrapping my plate at the end of it to make sure I didn’t waste one morsel.

Lamb Sirloin With Cauliflower Mash

Festival of Restaurant Preview @ Just A Restaurant (JAR)

A tad undercooked perhaps, but I for one prefer my lamb to be more on the raw side. It was one of the signature dish of JAR, and as such was ordered by most people at the table. Not me. My neighbour sliced off more than half her portion onto my plate and ordered me to eat. And so I did, gladly. I love it when my mutton has that strong char-grilled aftertaste, and the lamb sirloin didn’t disappoint. So much so I went “raw” with it by skipping the accompanying gravy entirely.

Not-Just-A-Bread & Butter Pudding

Festival of Restaurant Preview @ Just A Restaurant (JAR)

This is not strictly on the menu; we naughtily ordered the dessert platter aptly called A Taste Of Everything (HK$230), and this was part of the menu. Sweet and creamy pudding on the inside, crispy and slightly salty bread on the outside, this combination is truly not just a bread and pudding. It is THE bread and pudding. So much so people keep coming by to take a bite off the top.

Well, you know what they say. To love is to share, and this is what you get when you put together a roomful of food bloggers who went crazy with their cameras, our larger-than-life personalities included.

Festival of Restaurant Preview @ Just A Restaurant (JAR)

Rita of Mochachocholatarita and Josie of Josie Tao News posing it up for the camera

Festival of Restaurant Preview @ Just A Restaurant (JAR)

There’s me and Yvette Jong of Craft House

Festival of Restaurant Preview @ Just A Restaurant (JAR)

Here’s Vince of Evolve with his Halibut in parchment paper; certainly looks good!

Festival of Restaurant Preview @ Just A Restaurant (JAR)

There’s Janice of e*ting, Dean of GW Cellar and Rina of @dimsumdiva

Festival of Restaurant Preview @ Just A Restaurant (JAR)

And how can we forget Casey, without whom the night wouldn’t be possible?

(Darn! I don’t have a pic of Elle of @ElleIconLee and Tim of Hong Kong Hustle!)

For HK$168, it is certainly a bargain, and a perfect excuse for you to indulge in those fancy restaurants you have always wanted to experience. If you are interested to book a table, head on to Festival of Restaurants website to make a booking. But hurry; I heard that at least three restaurants have been fully booked up!

Just A Restaurant (JAR)
2/F, 8 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, Hong Kong
2543 8000
Website


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