Highline: A New Scope of American Food
282 Middle Huaihai Road, Hong Kong Plaza
6F, Ascott Service Apartment
AVRG: 400 kuai
GOOD FOR: Date, Chill, Hanging with friends, Casual party
I never thought I’d like Highline at first sight.
Yeah I’ve missed the opening party. After reading a few reviews and articles I decided to hold off a little bit. The ribs, the meat, the fried chicken and the overly sweet looking dessert makes me wanna cringe…well, Anna Bautista, after all, is a Southern girl. This whole range of southern comfort food, just by a glance at the menu, is killing me.
That’s why I sort of waitlisted the place...
不巧错过开幕派对，看了不少媒体报道，有点灭high：不是肋排大肉，就是炸鸡和齁死人的甜品。曾经领衔Coquille和Chez Maurice的主厨Anna Bautista，果然还是美国南方姑娘，这一手的南方大菜，光是看看就觉得，血稠了……
Truth is, besides food, you should come appreciate the design: stunning use of color, airy space filled with light through glass ceiling, a trendy outdoor rooftop deck, rendering it an instant classic in shanghai…I can totally see a massive wave of selfies and instragram pics approaching...
But seriously, it’s always the food matters the most.
One visit on a whim resulted in two visits during the following week, I guess that says something about my love for this new establishment.
Go for lunch, you'll see the property at its prettiest! Don't forget order the smoked brisket sandwich. Get it for lunch, makes me miss Katz’s Deli in New York. Do pack the rest of the sandwich, leftover meat makes perfect “home special”, namely ban mian or fried rice.
午餐的大肉三明治（Smoked Brisket Sandwich），分分钟秒回Katz Deli，吃不完可以打包回家肉抠出来做你自己的Chef’s Special，拌面炒饭都可以哦~
Besides the fried chicken and New Orlean favourite rice dish Étouffée, they also have slowed roasted steak from New York and quite a few number of vegetable driven dishes reminding of californian cuisine. A deeper study of the casual yet funky menu led to one conclusion: this surely is not Southern cuisine and it's a little similar to my favourite restaurant in New York, Narcissa, from Standard Hotel East Village.
Oh, did I mention Highline actually drew some inspiration from Standard Hotel Downtown LA? PlusAnna, like Narcissa's acclaimed John Fraser, was full of CAL spirit.
I just can’t believe it took me so long to discover this place properly…what a waste of time.
除了南方的炸鸡和新奥尔良的烩饭，还有纽约的牛排，加州的草，才不只是美国南方硬菜，休闲风的菜式，却好玩又清奇，再加上酒店餐厅的整体氛围，一下子就想起了纽约东村的Standard Hotel East Village我最爱的餐厅，Narcissa。
听说Highline的设计灵感，有部分就来自Standard Hotel的另一家店，Standard Downtown LA? 而且，Anna和Narcissa的主厨John Fraser一样，都曾在加州闯出一片天。
I learned this word, Tete de Conchon, from an ex-colleague of mine (he’s French. ) We spotted this term on a menu together in New York and he went “Oh you guys are so funny, why not just say pig head?” But incoperating a little French in the menu did result in a little face lift, making it sound much “properer”. Well, after all "pig head" doesn't sound very exciting.
But, I have to confess that I am, indeed, a fan of pig head. The plushy and chewy pork skin mixed with meaty pork cheeky? So good. It’s brilliant to call for black garlic as the pig head does not have much flavor in itself. But I was quite impressed with the presence of pear, not imported but rather local ones, carefully selected. it’s not the watery and blend Chinese pear you had before, but rather a kind that boasts the sweetness and sourness at the same time. A pleasant addition to this cold cut!
Tete de cochon这个词，是前同事、法国人D君教我的。在公司对面吃饭，看到菜单上这样写，讪讪嘲讽道，“你们纽约人，好好的猪头不说猪头，非要说tete de cochon。” 但法语菜名，的确有种莫名其妙的高级感，你想想，写Pig head就一点都不嗲了好伐！
The smoked trout salad was the eye candy in the salad section. Honestly I’ve had it a couple times before (possibly from some michelin starred place in NYC), but with this very classic recipe, it doesn’t really mean you have to go all force on being super creative. As long as it’s tasty and fits the identity of the place. If you are a fan of the foie gras, get the foie gras torchon here, it’s beautiful with the strawberries, chocolate and the edible flowers.
午餐吃到的Smoked Trout Salad（烟熏鳟鱼沙拉），样子极美，就是一整颗菜往上端，有点不好切……老实说，这算不上什么新菜，但这种非常经典的recipe，本来就是开放题库，谁都能拿来搞一搞、锦上添点花的，好吃才是硬道理 ~ 鹅肝冷盘，配了草莓巧克力，又见春意盎然的食用花，爱吃肝的可以尝试。
The most impressive dish that stroke me the first time was the Étouffée. The blackened shrimp was full of bold flavors. Anna cooks this southern favorite with her usual twist - engaging a few pieces of smoked dried tomato, then there’s layers of spicy, sweet and sour…making it one of the best rice dishes I had this year so far.
Promise me you won’t skip the wild clams. Otherwise you are REALLY missing out. Rumor has it that one of the owners fell in love with a Qing Dao girl, thus we have this beautiful local clam from QD.
It kills. Possibly the best clam I’ve had in my entire life. The point is they are HUGE, like three times the size of a regular clam (and it’s not mutation.)
I’ve heard many good things about QD, this clam makes me really want to book my flight.
The slow roasted prime wagyu rib, which is the signature of this restaurant, didn’t really sound so special to me…and it didn’t look special. Well you know, just a piece of meat, stripped down, lying in the middle of a plate, without any attempt of garnish...
But this was actually the most impressive dish of all. It takes a big chuck of meat to be slow roasted for up to six hours (low temp), when you cut it you don’t see any fluids coming out of it!!!
It was actually the dessert that swept me off my feet.
The pity I had with Narcissi was all about dessert. I’ve given it many chances, I’ve had my patient to try out every single dessert from the menu and all of them was a little disaster in its own way...
The very similar Highline had done its dessert right.
Mint chocolate ice cream, one of my favorite but be careful of it if you do not like mint. Lemon chiffon cake, layered up with dreamy soft texture, would probably be the darling of any girl who seeks a not-so-sweet palate cleanser type of dessert.
Cookie and chocolate pudding dip, so straightfoward and no fuss, was a calorie bomb that cures almost everything instantly. But my favorite goes to the banana volcano cake, plus It really showed how to make decent salted caramel banana ice cream…the mere thought of that ice cream gives me goose bumps...
But no one was born perfect. The only weak spot of this place lies in the drinking program. Trust me the long drinks are fine.
Okay la, I guess I've said enough of it...book your table and savor some America of its trendier side.
好啦你看，我都安利成这个样子了，这家店名字还叫Highline（插播New York State of Mind），你真的不想去试试吗？