Musings of a bon vivant in Hong Kong

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In the Limelight

From humble beginnings as a small noodle joint in Kennedy Town opening in 2009, Lime Concepts has quickly expanded and has recently moved into their new digs in Soho 38, up high next to the escalators at Mosque Junction.

I’m an open-minded kind of gal, but I’m a traditionalist when it comes to details like decor and music in certain establishments, and I have to admit, my mind was as confused as the interior design and background tunes in the new Lime. The inside is a strange hotch-potch of polished white walls, mini disco balls hanging from the ceiling and swanky bar, teamed with Thai ornaments lining the sides and Thai-inspired table setting and menu. Even more perplexing was the funky disco/ Motown 70’s music that was playing. All my favourite songs were played, I LOVE boogieing to Luther Vandross, but was it appropriate dining music at 7.30pm? Probably not.  I realise that Lime portrays itself as a Thai Cocktail Lounge and Kitchen, but the music was a little distracting (I kept dancing in my seat) and not really conducive to dining conversation.Decor and ambience assimilated, the next thing that irked me was being told that hot water (boiled as specified on the menu) would set us back $5 a glass and a “dash of honey” would cost you $6! Outraged, a couple of us ordered a lemongrass tea ($38) and to our chagrin found that it was boiled hot water plus a dash of honey, with a stick of lemongrass in it. Not hopeful, my friends and I flicked through the solid menu/book which was wordy and packed with lots of dishes with unfamiliar Thai names. “Where’s the Pad Thai?!” we all whimpered. Luckily, the manager was very attentive and came to our rescue, generously taking me through the entire menu which has a mixture of traditional Thai and fusion dishes and also offers beer battered dishes for the bar.

We eventually ordered Kor Moo Yang- grilled pork neck with dipping sauce and Yum Goon Chiang- a deep fried Thai sweet sausage sour and spicy salad to start. The pork neck was well cooked but a bit on the dry side, the sauce however, was fantastic. A couple of my friends can’t take spicy, so we asked for the salad to be as mild as possible. The flavours in the dressing were powerful and punchy but unfortunately mild was still very hot, so my friends had to sit that dish out.Next up, for mains, we ordered the Geang Phed Ped Yang- a red curry with roast duck, which was again very well cooked and tender. The gravy was lovely but with only 3 pieces of meat in the dish, I would recommend that you each order your own curry otherwise you’ll be craving more!We also tried a dish unique to Lime: Laab Pla Thord- minced deep fried fish fillet mixed with lime, coriander, chilli and ground uncooked fried rice served with lettuce. This fell short of expectations, the combination of spices overwhelmed the fish and they were too heavy handed with the chilli. There was also only 1 lettuce leaf and 2 cabbage leaves to accompany the dish which was a bit odd.My favourite of the night was the Boo Nim Phad Pong Gari- stir fried soft shell crabs with yellow curry. We ordered a Pla Thord Phad Pong Gari- fried fish fillet in the same yellow curry sauce, but for me, the soft shell crab came up tops. The sauce was mild and fragrant and I drowned my pandan rice with it.We probably shouldn’t have ordered dessert but we couldn’t resist having a try of the honey glazed deep fried bananas, the mango sticky rice pudding and the 6 layered coconut jelly pudding. The desserts were nothing to write home about: the fried bananas were too sweet for me but the coconut jelly was quite a refreshing end to our meal.Our thoughts on Lime? While the service was faultless- the manager was wonderful and really helpful, we felt that it was a little pricey for the quality and the portion sizes. I’d say it’s the place to go to for a fun first date, especially with the music choice and their range of cocktails and beverages, but for a culinary experience, it is still in its infancy.

Chopstixfix rating: 3/5

Lime @ SoHo 38, Shop 1 Level 1 “SoHo 38”, 38 Shelley Street, Central. Tel: 2179 5779