Monday, June 22, 2009

Magnolia: Ongoing report of HK's private kitchens

On Saturday, we went to Magnolia, another restaurant on our private kitchen list. Magnolia is different, first and foremost, because it serves Creole food. I'd be hard-pressed to name another Southern restaurant in Hong Kong. Second, when you walk into the restaurant, you are, quite literally, standing in the owner's kitchen. Lori is the head chef. She's from New Orleans and she knows how to cook up some raging Cajun.

My friends and I were there to wish a couple bon voyage. Magnolia helped us get festive by handing out some fruity cocktails and delicious appetizers. My favorite was the fried goat cheese topped with a small slice of smoked salmon. Other crowd pleasers were the pesto cheese spread and crab legs.

After those teasers, we were ready for the main course. The staff ushered us upstairs into a private dining area. Lori personally came up to tell us about the menu, and ask about any special dietary concerns. With the formalities out of the way, we were ready to get at the food. And what food there was. The meal started with a shrimp gumbo, followed by a soft shell crab served fried to perfection on top of a green salad. Then, it was on to the main course of the juiciest, sweetest ribs I've ever tasted, accompanied with potatoes, collard greens, rice and piping hot corn muffins. All of the food it served family style and there's plenty of it to go around. By the time we got to the pecan pie for dessert, many of us were popping open buttons to make room.

Magnolia is hands down the best Cajun food I've ever had, and, yes, I have been to Louisiana. It's also BYOB, which keeps the prices reasonable. AWESOME!

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