Room 16, 4/F, 16 Matheson St, Causeway Bay
Visited 9th July 2010
Zone D was the scene of what become a rather boozy dinner with a group of my work colleagues. The tiny restaurant - located up some dodgy stairs near Times Square - styles itself as a private kitchen (though I’m not really sure what makes this a ‘private kitchen’ rather than a small restaurant?). Inside it's a dark, intimate space, with room for our group of eleven plus a couple of other tables (and I did feel a bit feel sorry for the bloke who had the serenity of his date shattered by certain of my friends).
Zone D styles itself as an Italian restaurant, though I can't see how as the food on our visit was pretty generic western fare with only one pasta dish remotely resembling Italian cooking. Dinners are offered a five course set menu with a choice of main and dessert. The bread basket to start I thought was pretty average; some of my mates got excited about the ‘pizza’ in it, though I felt it was all way too dry. I enjoyed the first course of seared tuna; crusted with black pepper and served with finely chopped tomatoes; it was well executed and tasty. Next up was my favourite dish; a mushroom cappuccino soup. The soup was thick, balanced and flavoursome and had a hint of truffle. The spaghetti with pawns that followed was pretty boring. Served it a scallop shell there was no hint of scallops, but just two average prawns and a gluggy wine flavoured sauce. For a main I selected the beef short-rib at an $80 surcharge. I wasn't asked how I wanted the meat cooked, but it arrived medium, served atop a pile of mash. I'm not normally one to order a steak, but I had cravings and was really looking forward to a hunk of beef; unfortunately I was disappointed by tough, flavourless meat and boring mash. The final dessert was a great looking crème brûlée accompanied by a couple of delicious marinated strawberries. While the custard was tasty, it was kind of difficult to eat because the toffee top was so hard and thick that actually getting into it was near impossible. So was Zone D in the zone? I actually had a really enjoyable and fun night; the company was great, the wine flowed and the cosy atmosphere perfect for our group. However we were at a restaurant and the food is what really matters and the food at Zone D just did nothing to inspire me. Some of the dishes were good, some not so good, but most of it just simply OK. The couple of staff working the floor were pretty good, though a bit frustrating with the wine service, there were times when I was rather parched and one bloke didn't quite seem to get the point of decanting. $300 a head for five courses isn't a terrible price; especially as we were able to save a packet by bring our own wine corkage fee free. The $80 supplement for a bit of average beef took things to $380 which starts to look a bit pricey for a meal of questionable quality. While it's obvious I didn't love the food, I didn't dislike the restaurant and enjoyed my evening at Zone D. Visit restaurant website.