The original Juhu Beach Club opened in California after the success of Chef Preeti Mistry on the hit TV series Top Chef, and given Hong Kong’s well-regarded claim as a foodie-haven, it’s understandable Preeti had her eyes set on this city for her next restaurant. The food served at Juhu Beach Club uses a mix of Indian spices with a Californian flare, both of which balance the dishes out well.
Vibe At Juhu Beach Club
Despite the interior’s small size, the restaurant has utilized eye-catching decor throughout in the form of mirrors and funky hand-painted cutting board displays, giving the restaurant a more spacious feel and a touch of warmth. The staff were very friendly and helpful, offering menu suggestions and a general welcoming demeanour. The background music had me slightly confused, as there was a mix of rap and pop that didn’t seem to fit with the overall vibe. In saying that, I did go to the washroom where there was some banging Indian music being played, so perhaps finding a balance between the two would create a more authentic experience.
Despite being warned about the spiciness of the Bloody Meera (HK$88) thanks to the addition of scorpion powder (what that actually entails, I couldn’t say), I opted to give it a try since I’m kind of obsessed with Bloody Mary’s. The flavours balanced themselves well and, though it was spicy, I heartily welcomed the kick. Another great cocktail for those who like tequila is Elephant’s Fury (HK$88) with homemade turmeric syrup, lime, and ghost pepper. The drinks at Juhu Beach Club all have some form of Indian spice/flare to them and are quite reasonably priced.
Before arriving for dinner, we had heard rave reviews about the Manchurain Cauliflower (HK$98) – fried cauliflower in a sweet, sour, and sticky sauce, so that was at the top of our list. The reviews were right; this dish was unbelievably tasty (we just wish it wasn’t so unhealthy!). In hopes of balancing out the deep-fried goodness we just ate, we tried the Brussel Sprouts Nest (HK$98) with ginger curry-leaf butter on a bed of fenugreek chutney. We felt this dish really embodied Juhu Beach Club’s quest to fuse ingredients and spices together to create well-balanced, yet distinct dishes. Though we certainly didn’t need another starter, we were persuaded by our server to try the Chili Paneer (HK$98) after he talked it up. Unfortunately, this was our least favourite dish as we felt the textures struggled to compliment each other and we thought it should have been served on a bed of rice to soak up the semi-watery tomato chutney.
By this point, we were both quite full, not realizing how large the “small plates” would actually be (though we can’t complain – we love food that’s both delicious and great value!). Since the Pav’s (essentially sliders) are Juhu Beach Club’s specialty’s, we’d be amiss not to try a few of the options, so we decided on the Trio of Pavs (HK$138). Our least favourite was the Chowpatty Chicken, where the chicken slightly resembled a pile of mush instead of an actual patty like we were expecting. The Beefy Baller and Pork Vindalated pav were both good, but nothing to rave about, as we felt they could have used more Indian spices. If that wasn’t enough to push us over the edge, then the Holy Cow Short Rib Curry (HK$258) did the trick. The smokey black cardamom braised Canadian short rib was so tender and wasn’t over-powered by the curry sauce.
We had absolutely no plan to order dessert after shoveling enough food for at least four people into our mouths, however, our waiter – yet again – managed to convince us to try the Crispy Tikki Puri (HK$68). Boy, were we thankful he did. The saffron shrikhand (made from strained yogurt), pistachios, and pomegranate, on top of a lightly fried puri was a heavenly combination, and despite our stomachs expanding at least five-inches from the previous dishes, there was nothing left on our plate.
With its funky, vibrant decor, solid service, and high quality food at very reasonable prices, I would highly recommend giving Juhu Beach Club a try. Given Elgin Street’s unforgiving turnover of restaurants thanks to high rent and competition, this is one restaurant we hope sticks around for awhile!
Juhu Beach Club
28 Elgin Street
Tel: 2177 3544