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First impressions of Commissary, Admiralty – busy during happy hour but flavours need work

With temperatures dropping, a great spot to hang out is Commissary on Level 4 of Pacific Place, right by the taxi stand. We went just a few days after it opened and the outside area was packed with customers for happy hour.

It’s a comfortable space with a contemporary design. The menu says the food draws on influences from various cuisines, including Californian and Mexican, but what we tasted didn’t justify the prices.

We were pleased to find on the drinks menu a section called “Mindful Drinking”, using fermented ingredients, such as kombucha, fermented pineapple and kefir. We wanted to try these but were told they were not available, so we tried the natural cream soda (HK$65) from the house sodas section. It came in a small glass with lots of ice and a thick head of foam that quickly dissipated. The taste was like an amateur experiment made from whole milk – it tasted of salt but not of cream soda or any other flavourings. We also tried the cacao nib cola (HK$65) that had a hint of cola flavour, but again, not much taste.

From the snack list we tried the kingfish crudo with radish and soy onions (HK$168). On its own, the raw fish was bland, but when mixed with the finely chopped soy onions, the dish was refreshing.

Next came the sea bass with tomato mole and greens (HK$168). The fillet was slightly overcooked, and didn’t have much flavour on its own so it needed the mole sauce.

Commissary’s double cheeseburger seems expensive at HK$158, although it’s about the same as other burgers around town. It’s a beautiful looking burger accompanied with what the menu called “seasoned fries” although they didn’t have much seasoning. The burger was a thick, juicy patty with a large slice of tomato, but the overwhelming flavour was of the processed cheese that came on the meat.

For dessert, we assumed the chocolate pudding with salted caramel (HK$68) would come in a bowl. Instead the pudding arrived looking like two ice cream sandwiches in between cookie slices. This was the best part of the meal, thanks to the quirky presentation and satisfying taste.

Commissary, Shop 405, Level 4, Pacific Place, Admiralty, tel: 2602 0707

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