Al Pasha review
Al Pasha is on level 4 of ‘Gourmet Tower’ in the new K11 mall in Tsim Sha Tsui. When you stepping out of the lift you find yourself in a dimly lit lobby looking at two huge red clay urns. It’s dimly lit and there is a hint of frankincense. A smartly dressed young man steps forward and ask me if I have a reservation. I tell him I don’t and ask if it matters. “Just for one only?” He enquires “I’m sure we can find you a table.” He leads me off through the restaurant.
It’s a large place but it’s already quite crowded. I’m led to an outside area which is lit almost entirely those charming Turkish lanterns. He ushers me to a table, presents me with a menu and leaves me to read up on what, exactly, “Silk Road Cuisine” is.
It’s a large menu which, as one might expect, covers dishes from both the middle east and central China. From barbecued meats and tandoori to stir fried dishes. If you are a large enough group you can order a whole lamb for $1,380 but you do need to order a day in advance.
I couldn’t have the whole lamb but quick fried camel saddle with white asparagus ($85) I could and since I’d never tried camel before I decided I must. But I wanted something for starter. Chicken cigar rolled in filo pastry with mint was a strong contender but in the end I plumped for the cold shredded chicken salad with pear and bell pepper in chilli oil ($78).
An excellent choice it was too. Fresh and fruity and a generous serving to boot. I would question the chilli oil though. This didn’t set the roof of my mouth on fire the way I would normally expect chilli to. Instead it made my tongue and lips tingle in the way that the fagara pepper does in those wonderful Sichuan dishes.
The camel itself wasn’t all that spectacular, though I think that is the camels fault rather than the chef’s. The meat was a little on the chewy side for my tastes. Still. I had no problem with eating it and the rest if the stir fry dish was just fine.
To go with it I had ordered braised wild mushrooms with bean-curd, chilli and garlic ($78) and a nan for mopping up. There appeared to be at least three types of mushroom in a hot pot kind of dish. Both this and the camel were spicy dishes but there are plenty of non-spicy dishes to choose from. There are also plenty of vegetarian choices.
While I was waiting for dessert the back ground music, which had been vaguely middle eastern pop with a disco beat, stopped and was replaced by loud drumming. Inside there was a belly dancer and another girl with a tray of candles balanced on her head.
It was good fun, everyone was up taking photos and having a good time but I was happy to get back to the final instalment of my dinner which was to be almond and chestnut puree pancake ($55). The puree was piping hot and I had to let it cool for a few moments but it was otherwise a pleasing end to a very satisfying and entertaining meal.
Shop 401, Level 4, K11
18 Hanoi Road
Tsim Sha Tsui
Tel 3122 4444