Entering The Flying Elk in Hong Kong is like walking through a door straight into Sweden. In fact, for those who have been to The Flying Elk in Stockholm, the Hong Kong one feels a sense of deja vu, everything from the rustic wooden lodge feel down to the brown paper table covers.
The Flying Elk Hong Kong comes to us from Sweden via Chef Björn Frantzén, the chef-owner behind one of Stockholm's most famous restaurants, Restaurant Frantzén, which serves Nordic food with Japanese and French influences. Restaurant Frantzén has been open for nearly a decade and in 2018 became the first and only Swedish restaurant to receive three Michelin stars.
The Frantzén Group first entered the Hong Kong market with Frantzén Kitchen, which has done quite well here. More recently, in 2018, it partnered with local restaurant group Maximal Concepts to open a second location of its more casual restaurant in Stockholm The Flying Elk.
The Flying Elk Hong Kong focuses on fancy pub food and beer, inspired by Chef Frantzén's years of living in London. It has a unique collection of Swedish beers and even a beer sommelier on site!
Trying to be a Viking?
The menu is built for sharing, with "snacks" and medium sized plates. The menu recommends ordering 3-4 medium plates per person, though our server was much more lax about it, suggesting that we start with a couple per person, and then gauge how we felt before ordering more.
I appreciated that approach, so we started by ordering three snacks and two medium plates. We soon added two more medium plates (they really aren't that big), and still were able to comfortably finish everything. I think 3-4 plates per person is a fair assessment.
We started with Croquettes (HKD55) filled with beef short rib and thyme and served with a smoked chili emulsion. I thought these were excellent. I loved the really crunchy, breaded exterior, and the short ribs inside were exceptionally soft and tender.
The Gougeres (HKD 40) were nice, filled with Allerum cheddar, fennel seeds, and topped with chestnut honey to give it that sweet and salty combo.
I really enjoyed the Halibut Tartar & King Crab [HKD 215], a delicate salad of king crab meat and raw halibut tossed together with a sour carrots in a refreshing lime hollandaise sauce with cayenne pepper and coriander cress. The flavor combination was lovely. The richness of the creamy hollandaise sauce was nicely balanced by the sour carrots and the lime.
The restaurant's most popular and signature dish is the Roasted Scallop (HKD 215), a brilliant dish with the smoothest most creamiest scrambled eggs you've never had, beurre noisette, topped with fine crispy potato strings, smoked soy, and black truffle.It is very rich but very good. It's a good one to share if you want to limit the richness of your entire meal.
The Open Sandwich (HKD185) is another recommended dish. The open face sandwich consists of a single piece of toast topped with a rich truffle béchamel sauce, pork cheeks cooked for 24 hours, red cabbage slaw, wild mushrooms, black pepper, and shaved black truffles. It's very good but very rich. Again, good for sharing!
I didn't expect this, but the Venison (HKD210) turned out to be my favorite dish of the evening! I'm not usually a huge red meat fan, but venison is very lean. Plus I loved the preparation here. The combination of the rich celeriac crème, fruity juniper and preserved blueberries, honey glazed endive, and crispy onions came together in a fantastic balanced combination of flavors and textures.
For dessert, they recommended the “Marängsviss” (HKD75) a light and airy baked meringue dessert served with blueberries and lemon thyme.
My personal favorite was the Swedish “Syltkakor” (HKD45), a shortbread like cookie filled with raspberry jam. The server said this was nostalgic for Swedes who ate these since they were kids.
We finished with a classic Scandinavian distilled spirit, which was enjoyable and fun to try.
General Thoughts: The Flying Elk Hong Kong
We were very impressed with the food at The Flying Elk. I especially appreciated how different layers of flavors came together in each dish. It's rare to find a Scandinavian restaurant in these parts, especially one with such a collection of Scandinavian beer, so it's fun to feel like I am being transported to Stockholm, even if just for an evening.
The food can be a bit rich, so come with a few friends so that you can share more dishes. I wish the menu had more lighter, vegetable-focused dishes, but then it's meant to be a pub, so perhaps that's why. The restaurant is pretty new so it's still trying out different formats. They have considered whether to change The Flying Elk to be more like some of the Frantzén Group's higher end restaurants. Perhaps if they do that, more vegetables will show up on the menu.
We'll see! In any event, the food is quite good as it stands, and it's worth checking out if you're curious about Scandinavian "pub" food and beer.
The Flying Elk Hong Kong
32 Wyndham St, Central
(entrance on Glenealy Street)
Disclaimer: I was invited to dine here and I did not pay for my meal. I was not paid to write this post. All opinions are my own.
This is the thirty-first post in the updated #50Postsin50Days – Take 2 Challenge. Other posts in this series will be added to the bottom of the original post.