Lifestyle Eat

Brickhouse: a genuine taste of Mexico

The Panda
Written by The Panda

This article first appeared in the Sep/Oct 2012 issue of World Gaming magazine.

20A D’Aguilar St,
Central, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2998 4101

The Panda found himself over in Hong Kong with The Dragon and decided to checkout the culinary delights on offer at Brickhouse, a stylish Mexican restaurant in the heart of LKF.

Sometimes you feel like something different. I have said before that the Asian cuisines are my first choice, but sometimes I have a hankering for some Latino-themed hearty goodness. Having heard there was an honest-to-God genuine Texan cooking up some Southern delights in downtown Hong Kong, my rumbling belly and inquisitive nature found me heading to Brickhouse.

This is a simple feel-good restaurant that is both warm and inviting. It’s hard to describe exactly what type of restaurant Brickhouse actually is. An interesting blend of Texan and Mexican, I won’t do it the disservice of calling it Tex-Mex as the menu is far more exciting and draws from various Latin American cultures, with Mexico being the main focal point. While not usually a fan of mashing too many ideas into one restaurant, I have to admit head chef Austin Fry has made it work well here. One of the reasons for this diversity may be due to his interesting culinary background.

Hailing from Austin, Texas, Austin is aptly named and his hometown is famous for its music, heat and food. Austin discovered his passion for gastronomy while cooking his way through school in a little bistro situated in the eastern part of Texas. If you ever find yourself in the right part of the US you will see for yourself how good Southern hospitality really is.

Taco platter - venison rib eye, pork, fish and chicken

Taco platter – venison rib eye, pork, fish and chicken

After becoming an executive chef and acquiring all the necessary culinary skills Austin decided to take on a project in Mexico City and expeditiously fell in love with every aspect the city had to offer. The impact of Mexico was so influential that Austin shifted his direction from fine dining to South American street cuisine.

Hong Kong is one of the culinary capitals of the world, and is now where Austin calls home. He has added his own unique culinary style to a landscape where it is difficult to grind out your own niche. Brickhouse has a range of food that goes great with a cold beer, shot of tequila or an icy margarita.

Brickhouse's Back to Life

Brickhouse’s Back to Life

The home beet fries were fantastic as were the corn chips, which come with an original twist – the stone ground chips are served just how they are in Mexico and come with chicharrón (pork crackling). Freshly prepared guacamole, pickled vegetables and a choice of four salsas compliment this classic dish perfectly. Fresh, crisp ingredients are the key to this style of food and the tostadas and salads are all deliciously creative.

Restaurants of this ilk sometimes go overboard with too many items on the menu. Brickhouse hasn’t fallen into this trap and offers its customers some real gems. The Witches Brew ceviche is a South American dish comprised of fresh fish marinated in a tangy salsa of avocado, citrus and tomato and is particularly noteworthy. Of course no visit to a Mexican restaurant would be complete without mention of the tacos, and Brickhouse’s are particularly good. Offered as blackboard specials they come served in homemade tortillas with the fillings varying from day to day, some of the most noteworthy being the rib eye with manchego cheese, tomato salsa and cilantro, and the venison with spicy chipotle harissa, pickled cucumber and fennel yoghurt.

This is the prefect place to visit with a group of good friends where you can share many different dishes together over a few drinks. This is atmospheric food and one that should be enjoyed in good company

The other key ingredient to this fare is a good bar. Brickhouse has an impressive selection of cocktails for the adventurous and a long list of tequilas, which will always get any night off to a good start. Add in crisp, cold imported US microbrewery beers and a cheerful wine list and you have everything you need.

This is not high cuisine but it doesn’t pretend to be. By Hong Kong standards the fare here is very reasonably priced. Brickhouse is a fresh and exciting place with unpretentious service and it’s the perfect place to start off a big evening on the town. The Dragon was also very impressed with a note at the end of the menu suggesting patrons need not tip at the end of their meal. Nothing puts a smile on The Dragon’s face more than saving a few dollars!


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