Monday, 30 June 2008

Classified @ the Press Room

108 Hollywood Road, Hong Kong
Visited 27th June 2008

Friday night saw me trudging down Hollywood Rd with shoddy directions and instructions to find number 104. When I stumbled into Classified - which is definitely in Sheung Wan, not Central - my fatigue quickly turned to excitement. A less formal café attached to the prestigious Press Room restaurant, Classified specialises in wine and cheese as well as offering snacks, coffee and desserts. Downstairs it's an open cafe with a few tables, magazines and a tempting cake display, but the magic is all on the second floor. Climbing the stairs you are greeted by a room dominated by a massive, communal table, but it's the walls that grab your attention - three are covered in bottles of glorious wine while the fourth offers magnificent views of the temperature controlled cheese room.

Enclosed in such temptation I managed to hold firm and order 'proper food' - a serve of mushroom risotto - before indulging in the sweet ecstasy of cheese heaven. The plate of risotto wasn't a huge, but was well made and tasty. It was creamy and the richness of the mushrooms was nicely contrasted with a handful of fresh, peppery rocket. It came time for cheese and we shared five different varieties between three of us. We were able to try a few sneaky samples before deciding and the selection we chose came with quince paste and heavy brown bread. The cheeses were perfectly ripe and truly divine. There's a little more to life then cheese and we worked our way through bottles of Bisol Prosecco and Perrin Muscat de Beaumes de Venise 2005. The fresh, crisp Prosecco worked a treat with dinner; while the sweet Muscat was a nice match with the cheese; though I'm not sure it impressed me enough for the $430 price tag.

What's not to love about Classified? The service by friendly and knowledgeable staff was exceptional, the environment is relaxed, yet pleasant and the range of wine and cheese is outstanding. $85 for the risotto was certainly fair and while the booze wasn't cheap, the quality was excellent and selection well thought out. Classified is the sort of place you could visit for lunch, afternoon tea, dinner or a late night snack, the only worry would be making yourself leave; highly recommended.
Visit Restaurant website.


YellowFozzie said...

$85 for a risotto is good value? I beg to differ. I've just been to Classified for lunch, having been there before and being a cheese fanatic myself. I've always had a bit of an issue with the rather pricey menu but because of the cheese in me (and the proximity to work) I'm still tempted to go back every now and then. But today was the last straw. I had a Greek salad which consisted of about 10 pieces of cucumber, 3 or 4 chopped up cherry tomatoes, 3 olives and a bit of tateless feta which came to about four mouthfuls and cost $65! My friend also had a salad (tasteless goats cheese this time) and we both had a cup of tea and the bill came to $220! I will be boycotting Classified from now on which is a shame because it has a cosy atmosphere and the cheese room is a nice idea. It's time for them to review their prices.

Andrew said...

Hi YellowFozzie

When I visited Classified it was for dinner and paying $85 for dinner in Soho isn't bad especially compared to the lot of the competition. The serve of risotto I had could have been bigger, but I was pretty happy at the time.

The salad you had sounds terrible and the bill expensive, especially as most of the restaurants nearby offer very good lunch deals. $110 each for salad and tea is a rip-off.

I do love the idea of Classified; the wine selection and cheese room makes it the sort of place I could easily loose an afternoon in, but I do think the wine is overpriced (as it is in many HK restaurants) and buy the sound of it so is the lunch menu.

Thanks for the comment