48 Peal St, Soho
Visited 1st June 2010
It' a steep trudge up Peal Street, but when it’s for dinner at a private kitchen, along with a sparkling wine tasting it's definitely worth it. Our meal was at Fridge; a restaurant that's recently relocated from Causeway Bay. It's a small, thin space without four tables inside and a couple on their balcony. One wall is lined with a decent selection of fairly priced wine and the tiny kitchen occupies the back corner.
When I arrived there were a couple of big plates of cheese adorning the tables: comté, gruyere and some nice brie accompanied by a hot baguette; tasty stuff. Next up we were served 4 different types of fresh oysters. All were delicious and I was impressed with how noticeable the flavours were between the different varieties. We were given an advance choice of three mains: chicken, beef or scallops. I went for the sirloin steak and the tender meat was really well cooked. However it was squashed onto the smallest plate imaginable and only accompanied by a couple of tiny herbed potatoes; it really could have done with the company of another side or two. Desert was meant to be pavlova with fresh fruit instead I got a small white rock topped with a single strawberry and a couple of blueberries. As an Aussie I’m passionate about our national desert so took this hard, flavourless, toppingless ‘thing’ as a bit of a personal affront.
Along with a selection of American, Italian, German and French sparkling we also had an overly grassy Cullen Margret River Semillon and great value bottle of Cote du Rhone. My favourite wine of the evening was Delamotte Brut Blanc de Blanc Champagne 1999; a rich and textured wine with plenty of fruit and an interesting spicy edge.
My meal seemed to deteriorate as it went on. The cheese and oysters to start were awesome, the beef decent and the pavlova heart-breaking. To me the strength of Fridge was the excellent quality of their ingredients. I think they started life as a delicatessen and obviously have a good supply network for cheese, oysters and steak. I can't quite remember what I paid for my meal, though while it wasn't particularly cheap it was good value for such high quality ingredients. The cosy atmosphere was perfect for our group and the fact they waved corkage worked well for our tasting. I also have to give the staff a big nod for being ultra friendly and accommodating. Though not getting any points for its pavlova, Fridge offers up some tasty food and is worth visiting purely for the oysters.