Blazes from the past

Updated: 2012-04-23 14:41

By Donna Mah (China Daily)

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Blazes from the past

The signature beef brochette flambe which Boston restaurant have been serving since 1966. Photos by Donna Mah / For China Daily

Blazes from the past

The Baked Alaska after being set aflame and covered in chocolate sauce.

Blazes from the past

Flambe is the word at Boston restaurant, and Donna Mah is alight with pleasure.

It seems that steak has become a popular choice for Hong Kong diners in the last few years, looking at the number of new steak restaurants that have opened. But for many, when they think of steak in Hong Kong, they think of Boston restaurant. It's an old-school Hong Kong-style Western restaurant, and from the long line which extends outside the restaurant, it has a strong following.

To a great number of Hong Kong people, this is the best place to go for good steak.

Times have changed and the dining scene in Hong Kong has become more sophisticated, but diners still flock here to enjoy sizzling plates and meat being set on fire at your table.

On the ground floor there is a bakery that sells cookies, cakes and bread, all popular with the lunchtime crowd.

The dining room is up a narrow set of stairs and fitted with plenty of booth seating. Care must be taken when walking here as the floors are slick with grease splatters from the sizzling hot plates.

The Boston restaurant has been serving its signature beef brochette flambe since 1966. Served flaming on a metal skewer, it is the most popular choice for diners - almost every table ordered it on the night we were there.

Large chunks of beef are set ablaze at your table and served piping hot. It's actually a little scary when they set the meat on fire, and as I was dining with a young child, I was more than a little concerned about the mini-inferno at our table.

Diners should be careful of any of the flaming and sizzling dishes that this restaurant seems to specialize in.

For many, the Boston restaurant brings back memories from days gone by or an opportunity to experience a bit of history. I decided to dine here because I wanted to experience an "authentic" Hong Kong-style steakhouse.

Having a quick look at the menu, I would say that the prices are very reasonable, on the low side really.

A T-bone steak sizzling plate set is only HK$98 ($13), grilled lamb chops are HK$103, garoupa (grouper) and tenderloin is HK$108, and roast spare ribs are HK$92. All main courses come with vegetables, rice or spaghetti, and sizzling sets are served with soup of the day and coffee or tea. You also get your choice of sauce: black pepper, garlic, onion or gravy.

There is also an extensive dessert menu. Cheesecake features with offerings that include American cheesecake, German cheesecake, and red-bean cheesecake (HK$23-25 each). Ice cream takes the spotlight in a banana split and an ice cream cookie sandwich.

However, it was the Baked Alaska that caught our attention. This dessert needs to be ordered 20 minutes in advance, and - you may have already guessed - it is set ablaze at your table when it is served.

You can also choose to finish your meal with a specialty coffee - mochaccino, cappuccino, latte or ice cream cappuccino.

For me, dining at the Boston was an eye-opening experience. It wasn't the best meal I've ever eaten, nor was it the worst, but it is an experience that I think anyone who lives in Hong Kong should try.

It's a taste of dining history that is slowly disappearing from Hong Kong.