Ayuthaiya, 35 Hollywood Rd., Central, Hong Kong, Hong Kong S.A.R., China
Opening Hours:Mon-Sat noon-1am; Sun 6pm-1am
Open Since:March, 2010
With the Wyndham Street area being so pricy these days, we kind of assumed that we’d leave Ayuthaiya, a stylish bar/restaurant serving modern Thai street food, significantly poorer and with half-empty bellies. We’re happy to report however that we were wrong on both counts.
The prices are not as high as the swanky interiors and Aqua Group pedigree might have you believe (most dishes ring in at under $100), and the food is excellent and well portioned. We ordered three items from the Thai street food section, and were blown away by the seared tuna nam tok wrapped in lettuce leaves, which came dressed in a lemongrass sauce that burst with the complex, contradictory flavors of Thai cuisine. A little sweet, a little sour, and a hint of pungent fishiness with a spicy kick. Heaven.
The salmon confit with toasted coconut, peanut and fish sauce wrapped in betel leaves was perfect as bar bites to go with our $38 happy hour (5pm to 8pm) cocktails, as were the soft-shell crab rolls with mango. The main dish, a pork curry, was solid, but nothing special, and the addition of the underripe avocados was a bit weird. We’ve also had better Chinese kale with crispy pork in down-home Thai joints. No crispiness here—just more of whatever meat they threw in the curry.
Nevertheless, we feasted like Thai kings in Ayuthaiya, and the final bill (with four happy hour drinks) came to $629 for two very full diners. Not bad at all, given the location. We’ll be back for sure, but next time, we’ll skip the mains and save room for more street snacks.