Most of my friends work in Central, so if ever I want to meet up for lunch, we either have to wing it (meetings/deadlines/projects/a*sehole bosses depending) or engage in complicated Whatsapping messaging to work out if they can risk committing to a time and booking something in advance to avoid rush hour crush and disappointment. My friends are just as food obsessed as I am and are always asking, ” Is there anywhere new you want to try?” I like to think they are being nice as they say they are ‘helping me out’ as a food blogger. Hmmm. (Joking, love you guys :P)
One lunchtime excursion, my friend R and I decided to go to Comfort by Harlan Goldstein. This had been on my list of places to try for a while but the Food Gods have been sending me elsewhere for the last few months. So when R said the magic words, “You HAVE to try the Mac’n’cheese”, Food Gods’ itinerary be damned, I had to hotfoot it down there toute suite.
Harlan Goldstein’s other establishment Gold and now newly opened Sushi To, will appeal to those looking for a classier, finer dining experience, but Comfort offers meals for us mere mortals- more affordable and simpler, like the Armani Exchange to Armani.
At first glance at the menu, I liked what I saw. Dishes are split into various categories such as Something Small, Something Green, Something Raw, Pizza and Pita and Comfort Dishes. Being only two of us, and with an hour window, we didn’t want to be too greedy nor did we want to send R into a food coma at her desk.
Obviously we only had one goal. Mac & Cheese. I naturally assumed, being a staple, comfort dish, that it would be on the normal a la carte. But, it seems that I assumed wrong. The waitress had to whip out the Daily Specials menu where “Kick Ass Mac & Cheese Is Back” was emblazoned in the middle. Well, this is just silly, I thought. Why on earth have something so KICK ASS as a Daily Special. Just put it on the main menu so we can gorge on it everyday!
And it was damn good. Gooey, cheesy, rich, with a beautiful breadcrumb crusting on top and a smack of black truffle aroma in the face. This dish is death for the lactose-intolerant. Thank goodness I got over my dairy allergy years ago. Whoop. I loved the surprise nuggets of Argentina pork sausage buried in the cheese, which gave it even more savoury deliciousness. This was definitely one of the best Mac and Cheese dishes I have had in Hong Kong.
Aside from the Mac & Cheese, we decided to order the Field Greens with Mango, Pear and Tomatoes which was light and refreshing and the Black Truffle, Taleggio and Sausage Pizza for more truffle, more cheese and more sausage. This was the dinkiest, cutest, little pizza I had ever seen and the ingredients so prettily scattered atop the dough. The pizza itself was quite excellent. The sausage was flavourful and the dough soft and pillowy to bite into.
To end a rather carb-heavy meal, we thought, why not send ourselves over the edge and order the Old School Apple Crumble with Vanilla ice-cream. This really hit the spot and we both appreciated how they had achieved a good pie to crumble ratio. The apple wasn’t too tart and the crumble did not go soggy as it does all too quickly in some versions. I smothered each mouthful with vanilla sauce and ice-cream and was left truly satisfied.
The service is smooth and friendly, the atmosphere fun and I feel that Harlan has done a great job introducing a cheaper option without compromising on the quality of the food. Comfort 100% comforted my stomach that day.
Chopstixfix rating: 4/5
Harlan Goldstein’s Comfort, 5/F Grand Progress Building, 15-16 Lan Kwai Fong, Central, Hong Kong Tel: 852 2521-8638 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org