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.