Delish Eats: The Peak Lookout, Nostalgic Rustic Cottage Dining
June 15, 2023
Restaurant story: Having witnessed the weary Peak Tram line engineers take shelter within its walls, the 135-year-old building of The Peak Lookout possesses a memory stretching well beyond the 1900s. It was not until 1947 where the catering history of The Peak Lookout was established, fondly remembered as the ‘Old Peak Café’ to first patrons from the time. Changing hands and ownership throughout the decades, the stonewalled cottage has served as a chair shelter, a police station, and a café, before finding its purpose today as a cosy dinery serving international cuisine.
What’s the vibe and venue like: As one of the few remaining examples of Arts and Crafts architecture in Hong Kong, The Peak Lookout is a nostalgic look back at the buildings’ endurance throughout the years. Plucked right out of a Studio Ghibli production, the red pitched roof and thick chimney are reminiscent of an English country cottage – surrounded by lush greens and flowers to elicit a sense of whimsy.
Most of its’ interior ambience remains untouched. The inside of the restaurant is dimly lit, and the walls are busied with old photographs and old décor, recounting the rich cultural significance of the building itself. Romantic and tavern-like, the intimate chatter from table-to-table washes over the guests, entranced with a feeling of rustic cabin luxury and the warmth of a lived-in home.
How much does it cost: The dinner was an eight-course affair that costed HK$1086 per person including drinks, totalling HK$2172+10% service charge.
What is the menu about: Fusing eastern and western flavours in the updated menu, The Peak Lookout’s offerings symbolise the mingling of cultures – featuring an assorted range of authentic recipes from every corner of the world. Well-loved dishes from India, Europe and Hong Kong are the main highlights; from traditional to re-imagined – each plate is crafted with the culinary expertise of the international kitchen staff.
What did we order: Sunofureiku (Japanese Oysters), Plain Naan Bread, Papri Chaat, The Peak Lookout Burger with Fries, Crab Squid Ink Linguini, Chilean Sea Bass Tandoori, Chicken Tandoori, and Bread Pudding. For drinks, we ordered the TPL Cocktail, Estate, Amore, and a Mango Delight as the non-alcoholic choice of drink.
TPL: The Peak Lookout (or TPL for short), is the restaurants’ signature cocktail anchored by fresh cucumber flavours and gin. Subtle fruity notes of lychee from the Kwai Feh leaves a tart aftertaste in the mouth, and the addition of St. Germaine gives an almost brackish, warm finish. This cocktail was a great introduction to the night-ahead, full of hidden complexities that made themselves known with every sip that followed.
Mango Delight: For a non-alcoholic beverage, we picked out a creamy mango mocktail to visit some of the stronger-flavoured options to taste. Right off the bat, the ripe sweet-and-sour mango flavour was a pleasant barrage of uncompromising sweetness. Creamy, without losing any of the snappy botanics of the mango – this mocktail glides down your throat before you even have the time to say, “Mango Delight”.
Estate: The next cocktail on the list was the Estate, an aromatic apricot and pineapple-based bevvy. Notes of passion fruit and thyme shine through brilliantly, allowing the drink to satisfy and surprise both sweet-drink enjoyers and those that lean more into bitters.
Sunofereiku Japanese oyster: With less than a moment's notice, the fresh Japanese oysters were brought to our table. Briney and meaty, the oysters offered a salty start to whet our appetites in preparation for the heavier dishes to come. Served with Tabasco, a pair of vinegars, and a thousand island sauce – we had all the freedom in the world to get creative with our condiment pairings.
Plain naan bread: Pillowy yet crunchy in parts, the plain naan bread was a fun mishmash of complimentary textures that were too addicting to resist. A gorgeous char on the bubbled dough added a pleasant bitterness, beckoning each bite with few intervals in-between; it’s an absolute misnomer to call this dish ‘plain’ in any way.
Papri Chaat: As someone who is unfamiliar with this dish, I was surprised with the sheer aromatics that could fit in a single plate. Floral sweetness and tang complement the savoury aspects of the dish. While it took me a minute to process, the natural harmony between ingredients makes this dish a distinctive and enticing item.
The Peak Lookout Burger: Ooey-gooey American cheese draping down a perfectly medium rare patty, set atop a bouncy bun, topped with fresh tomatoes and onion. What more could you possibly need? The bun of the burger gave way to your grip but had enough integrity to hold the burger together, while the burgers’ contents burst through like a savoury motley crew that have come to take your hunger away.
Crab Squid Ink Linguine: Laced with fried garlic chips for crunch, the Crab Squid Ink Linguine was an oily breakaway from the meat-focused plate from before. Carb-focused and gratifyingly musky, the squid ink pasta was cooked to a perfect al-dente – with little crab giblets hanging onto the oily pasta strands with each forkful.
Chilean Sea Bass Tandoori and Chicken Tandoori: Served piping hot, the fragrant meats trapped in their own juices were coated and sealed with strong spices and a large flame. The chicken was tender and pulls apart with ease, tasting of a mellow garam masala mix. Similarly, the sea bass took on the spices well with a distinctly milder flavour.
Amore: Before getting to our highly anticipated dessert – we enjoyed a sweet pink rose cocktail to wash down some of the more heavily seasoned mains that preceded. Tasting of maraschino cherries and candy, the Chambord based cocktail was a sure-fire remedy to hit the reset button on our stomachs.
Bread Pudding: Soft yet somewhat dense, the bread budding was a milky departure from the tart cocktail. While the pudding was fluffy, it had enough weight to make us feel like we were enjoying something indulgent.
What we liked: The storybook setting and location continued to be the centrepiece of conversation throughout the meal, with its cute cottage character adding to the novelty of the dishes being served. We especially enjoyed the beverages for their balanced finishes and nuanced flavours. Each meal was well executed, but the burger and Indian dishes were our personal favourites.
What we didn’t like: If it were to come down to personal preferences, we felt the crab squid ink linguine was a little too greasy for our tastes.
What you should order: The Peak Lookout Burger with Fries, Plain Naan Bread, Chicken Tandoori, Bread Pudding, TPL, Mango Delight, and Estate.
Location: The Peak Lookout, 121 Peak Road, The Peak, Hong Kong
Contact details: +852 2849 1000 / [email protected]
This food review is based on a complimentary media tasting provided by The Peak Lookout in exchange for a truthful review and no compensation. The opinions expressed within represent the views of the author.
Enjoyed this article? Check out our previous Delish Eats reviews here
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