Our honeymoon was the pinnacle of our culinary adventure together thus far. With shared passions for food and photography, we trekked through Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka with covetous vigor. After a whirlwind of indiscriminate face-stuffing, we concluded our trip with further gluttony in Hong Kong.
I’m unfolding our journey backwards for a moment by starting the series at Sevva in Hong Kong. For one, it was one of our most memorable dining experiences, but also because Vancouver’s own David Hawksworth was recently a guest chef there. When I learned about that, I went to check out what the fuss was about. Several followers then prompted me to report back on it so I placed priority on posting this account.
We arrived at Sevva for lunch after just landing in Hong Kong the night before. Admittedly, our appetites were stunted, having trotted countless miles and eaten everything in plain sight for nine days straight. We stumbled into the Prince Building in Central and rode the lift to the top floor.
We entered into a serene and thoughtfully decorated space. As we walked through the lounge into the dining area, I felt progressively refreshed and left Hong Kong’s hustling pace behind me.
We were seated swiftly and wasted no time to order drinks. After drinking nothing but sake and beer for over a week, all I wanted was a gin martini. My husband, on the other hand, received a delicious sangria-like concoction with a scandalous name like Sex in the Sunset or something to that effect.
The charismatic manager, Joseph, came to our table and explained Sevva’s vision to us. Their colourful menu was designed to reflect Hong Kong’s diverse food scene. It draws from authentic local flavours and showcases them in a poised fashion. In my zonked state, we left our gastronomic fate in his hands.
The first to arrive at the table was something familiar to me, having grown up near Punjabi Market in Vancouver’s Eastside. The server placed a long, cylindrical dosa on our table with four chutneys on the side. The rice and lentil crêpe was painstaking thin; the texture was slightly crisp with a bit of give.
We peeked inside and saw two different fillings: lamb and chicken masala. We dove right in, tearing away and dipping into the chutneys. The chicken was rich and tangy whereas the lamb had a balanced, spicy heat to it. Alternating bites between the two meats, they complimented each other well and our taste buds didn’t have a chance to get bored.
We later watched the dosa chefs turn the thin batter into crêpes from their open-view kitchen.
Then, the wines started flowing into beautifully leggy stemware.
Switching over from South Indian to Shanghainese fare, they presented the clay pot chicken rice. To my wonder, it was not the rice dish that I expected. Instead, crispy panfried rice cakes lined the bottom of a bowl and was topped with succulent strips of poached chicken. A piping hot chicken broth submerged it all, save for the Shanghainese spring peas that floated on top.
It may look like an unremarkable soup dish but the contrasting textures flattered each other nicely. Moreover, they layered the delicate flavours with care, starting with the grilled rice cakes’ smokiness, followed by the chicken’s freshness, all enveloped by the broth’s earthy chicken essence, and finished off with the peas’ creamy sweetness. This soothing rice-broth dish vaporized our remaining exhaustion.
Next came a customary Cantonese course, steamed grouper with black bean sauce on a bed of silken tofu. The simplest dishes are often the trickiest to perfect and this is always the case for steamed fish. Even so, the Chinese chefs at Sevva nailed this. In fact, this was my (meat-loving Texan) husband’s favourite dish throughout our entire stay in Hong Kong.
The grouper was gleamingly fresh and was steamed just to the point of doneness so the flesh was firm yet tender. When counterbalanced by the tofu’s muted nature, the salty fermented black bean sauce livened the dish without overpowering it. The quintessential scallions, cilantro, soy sauce, and sizzling oil dressed the plainly elegant dish. Sublime.
Wait, there’s more. To conclude the savoury courses, they presented us a plate of Thai basil beef rice with a fried egg on top. Here’s another commonplace dish that captured Hong Kong’s spirit that was prepared well, without any pretension. The juicy ground beef was pepped up with a generous amount of hot chilies and fragrant Thai basil. The creamy yolk that oozed into the sweet soy-based glaze and the steamed jasmine rice made this comfort-style dish “face plantedly” irresistible.
Truth be told, we barely had room for dessert. But when their signature cake, Marie Antoinette’s Crave, arrived at our table as if it jumped out of a storybook, we knew that we’d regret not having at least a slice.
Let’s first dissect this over-the-top dessert. The base is a pistachio chiffon cake, layered with fresh raspberries, rose petal jam, and whipped cream. Multi-coloured macarons and candy pearls dotted the exterior. Newly spun cotton candy topped the cake off to emulate the queen’s prominent pouf hairstyle.
The cake’s interior was moist and subtly nutty, highlighted by the tangy berries. The mountain of cotton candy was fun to pick at but served a more decorative purpose than textural. Not a macaron fan, I found that they and the crunchy pearls interfered with the cake’s otherwise velvety texture. Nevertheless, it was a fun dessert and we wished we had neighbours to share it with.
After our lavish lunch, we lazied on the 360° balcony that overlooks Victoria Harbour and soaked in the reality that we were finally in Hong Kong. Even after our entire trip, we still look back and reminisce on this meal. From the oasis-like environment, pristine table and stem ware, extensive wine and cocktail lists, down to the impactful dishes, our meal was highly enjoyable overall. I especially loved that they took a multicultural approach but did not compromise on authenticity. We hope to dine there again on another visit, if we’re so lucky.
6-14A Chater Road Hong Kong
Postscript: On hindsight, I read up on Sevva’s reviews and noticed that many diners were dissatisfied by the service. To be transparent, the manager was aware that we were taking photos for a potential post and he was hospitable and informative. The servers were generally attentive and friendly. That said, I personally cannot vouch for the typical service so it might be worthwhile to read up on other reviews.