The Hottest New Venue in Sai Ying Pun

The Hottest New Venue in Sai Ying Pun

Great family restaurants are all about sharing, a concept that is central at RHODA, the classy new Hong Kong eatery helmed by the accomplished hands of Chef Nate Green.

Since opening in the middle of last year, RHODA, found on the ground floor of The Upton in Sai Ying Pun has been pushing its model of family dining to ever greater heights. RHODA is the latest restaurant from the JIA group and a family restaurant influenced heavily by its Chef Nate Green, formerly of Jason Atherton’s 22 Ships, in terms of food, culinary values and its stylish design.

RHODA features a menu that changes daily; a notion that’s defiantly gaining popularity with some of the region’s most innovative chefs, and one that ensures not only variety but that the dishes created and served use only the freshest seasonal produce.

Great family restaurants are all about sharing, a concept that is central to RHODA and reflected in the fabulous menu. There’s a collection of regular snacks such as the whole baked camembert and lotus root chips served with chicken liver cream to enjoy tapas style. From the cold selection items like Hokkaido scallops with pink grapefruit, basil and pickled ginger vie for your attention whilst the main event occurs at the grill with a choice of seafood, poultry, meats and vegetables, all cooked to perfection.

Families or groups should check out the Something A Little Bigger menu – a selection of big, delicious dishes and enough for four people to share along with a side or two. For seafood lovers there’s an impressive casserole – filled with freshly caught clams, squid, shrimps from the local seas and Canadian lobster, or maybe fresh fish like the snapper baked in kombu, oregano and lemon dressing will tickle your taste buds.

The carnivores will no doubt choose to feast on the likes of Brink’s farm free range chicken served with spring onion and ginger dressing or the 12-hour slow-cooked Hawke’s Bay lamb shoulder. Hearty and succulent, like most of the dishes, it is carefully cooked over a charcoal grill, adding the distinct smoky flavour the restaurant is becoming famous for.

The smoky theme is at the heart of the stunning interior design too where internationally acclaimed designer Joyce Wang creates a remarkable and unique celebration of Nate’s personality and his style of grill-inspired cooking.

Casting a near theatrical effect, guests enter RHODA, which incidentally is named after Nate’s grandmother, through oversized industrial doors and into the main dining room where the open kitchen and cocktail bar dramatically compete for centre stage.

From the Shou Sugi Ban on the walls, a traditional stained oak wood cladding used in Japanese architecture, and the leather aprons of the chefs to Tudor rose motifs branded into the wood tables and the etched and oxidised copper, the superb space features a range of subtle stylised references.

Suspended by copper wires, the striking chandelier is a worthy centrepiece and constructed from reclaimed washing machine drums bound together with heavy chains. Here Wang once again pays tribute to Nate’s cooking style; the drums have been smoked under a flame, and then bathed in vinegar to give the required finish.

In another tip towards family dining, guests can choose the communal table, situated under the chandelier and finished with charred cedar wood with copper melted into the cracks and knots. Nate’s concept of family and group dining is reflected throughout including the handmade tableware, which has been designed by ceramics company Flow Plus, which believes well-designed crockery can help bring back the ritual of family dining.

With RHODA the JIA Group seems to have yet another winner and a winner that will no doubt be sweet music to the families who adore quality food.