Sometimes it takes very unusual circumstances to drag us out from our regular, comfort zone to explore new places. We never would have discovered Elementary otherwise.
We had friends visiting from out of town. We had originally suggested The Optimist, a fun Spanish restaurant on Hennessy Road in Wan Chai near our apartment. However, our dinner outing happened to coincide with a large protest happening right on Hennessy Road. In the interest of staying safe, we unfortunately thought it was best to change locations.
It was a challenging decision on where to meet instead. We didn't feel comfortable taking the subway (the MTR near us often had issues during a protest), and it didn't make sense for our friends to come out to where we were (very close to the protest route). After some back and forth, our friends suggested Elementary, situated in Tai Hang just south of Causeway Bay.
What a great find!
I was pleasantly surprised to discover such a warm and cozy little contemporary spot serving various types of plates designed for sharing.
Elementary is one of several restaurants by the Catch Concepts group, who also run Catch, Mama Malouf, and Chickpea Hummus & Pockets. The restaurant serves "modern Australian cuisine" but draws influence from Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.
Elementary is located on School Street, the inspiration for the restaurant's name.
The menu has a nice selection of all sorts of options, such as raw items, vegetables, small plates, larger plates, pastas, sides, vegetables, and desserts. It's an approachable menu, with just enough offerings that make you want to come back, but not so much that it's overwhelming.
We were a group of four so we were able to try a number of dishes.
Elementary Hong Kong - The Food!
Elementary Hong Kong - General Thoughts
The food was great, the ambiance was cozy, and we had a really nice dinner. The favorite of the night was definitely the Spicy Crab Pasta. Even our friend who was on a super low carb diet gave in and ate several bites because it was worth it. Other dishes were also very good.
This restaurant reminds me of those farm-to-table type restaurants that are very common in the US but less so in Hong Kong. The one major difference is that the menu at Elementary does not change that much (most of the dishes we enjoyed a year ago are still on the menu now), unlike the fast-paced (sometimes biweekly) seasonal menus we see more often in the US.
Still, we felt a sense of nostalgia while eating at Elementary. Furthermore, we really enjoyed sampling so many dishes from their menu. It's definitely more fun to come with a few people so you can try more dishes.
We were very relieved that we could just walk home from Elementary that night. Sure, it still took 25 minutes, but it was all along quiet roads and we got home safely without running into any situations.
Despite this crazy year, I'm glad to see that Elementary is still open and offering various types of meals before 6PM and also take-away after 6PM. I'm really looking forward to a time (soon!) when restaurants can open back up for dinner. Until then, I hope to support then in numerous ways, including ordering delivery, take-away, and even writing as many blog posts as I can during this time.
Elementary Hong Kong
15-16 School Street
Tai Hang, Hong Kong