I FINALLY made it to Chôm Chôm, after so many months of walking past the seemingly huge queues of beautiful and hip people gathered outside, and that tempting big tin bucket full of beers – I made it. I thought, perhaps after all this time, the hype might have died down and I finally wouldn’t have to wait for a table. Sadly of course, that was not too be – but I must say, they make the waiting easy, and surprisingly not too long. If you’re lucky, you can park yourself on the cushioned ledge running the front of the restaurant. Here, the time being a beautifully hip person passes quickly. Grab a beer, or a cocktail and next thing you know, there’s a table with your name on it.
The restaurant is small, the staff very friendly. The kitchen, which is located in the centre of the restaurant and can be surveyed from the bar seats (a great place to sit if there are only two of you), is efficient and do an amazing job with the small amount of space they have. The food is something that you just have to keep on going back for.
I have heard so much about the incredible pho that chef Peter used to serve in his previous establishment, which is no where to be seen on Chôm Chôm’s menu. Here, the food is street smart. The menu is said to be inspired by chef Peter’s favourite street foods – whether the location inspired the menu or vice versa, I will have to ask him one day. He is an ever present fixture in the restaurant, either managing the flow in the kitchen, or chatting to diners.
The eggplant salad was very mild tasting, with a wonderfully smoked flavour. The pho roll is delicious, the rice noodle has the right amount of bounce when bitten into, and that wonderful dipping dressing is tangy and sweet all in one go.
The VFC lives up to the hype, and has to be one of my favourite starters – marinated overnight, the chicken is juicy, crispy and moreish.
The black cod is a serious explosion of flavour, a dish that chef Peter is clearly proud of as he recommended it to us personally. The wok-fried vegetables are under-rated as merely a ‘side-dish’ – it’s a great vegetable dish that I feel even a vegetable hater would like, vibrantly coloured with a great variety of textures.
My final verdict of this restaurant which I avoided for so long (I really do hate waiting for tables) – soon, everyone here will know my name because I’ll be going so often. It has the formula for my perfect restaurant – the food is great, the people are nice, the prices are reasonable (average HK$600 for 2 people with drinks), and the good stuff is served on tap. By the by, Vietnamese food goes quite well with rosé wine too! Don’t take my word for it, go check it our yourself. It’s worth the wait.
Add: 58 Peel Street, Central, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2810 0850
The menu is available on http://www.chomchom.hk