Rick Ney, former executive chef at Mandarin Oriental and Shangri-la, has created a Mexican menu for .COM. He said the bar-restaurant decided on the new cuisine because Sai Kung Magazine ran a poll of residents in which large numbers said Mexican food was what Sai Kung needed.
“We’ve been looking for a site for a full-experience Mexican restaurant,” Rick said, “but have not found one yet.”
He designed each dish himself. The style is Cali-Mex. All main dishes are served with Mexican rice and black beans. “It is comfort food, the kind I like to eat and what I find most people like too. It’s no good having 50 items on a menu. People will stick to what they know.”
Picking out signature dishes, Rick chose among the starters:
- PRAWNS MOJO: Medium-size prawns sauteed in garlic, lemon and wine sprinkled with cheese and parsley and melted in a broiler on two blue-corn tortillas. $85
- QUESO FUNDIDO: “This is a classic Mexican dish.” Three cheeses baked in a gooey blend with chili con carne and salsa. You dip into the dish with chips. $85
Among the “mediano” or medium sized dishes, he selected:
- TACO SHELL SALAD: Tortilla shell filled with salad tossed in Caesar dressing with warm chilli con carne or charcoal-grilled chicken topped with guacamole, salsa, cheese, sour cream, olives and Jalapenos. $125
- SIZZLING FAJITAS: Beef or chicken with sweet peppers, onions, guacamole, pico di gallo and salsa. “It’s fun to eat. You mix flavours as you go along.” $165
Of the “grande”or main courses, Rick picked out:
- CHIMICHANGA: “Beef or chicken with refried beans, Jack cheese, guacamole, sour cream and salsa served with Mexican rice and black beans. We roll it all up, deep-fry it, then add garnishes.” $140
- CHICKEN ENCHILADA VERDE: We bake tortilla rolls in enchillada sauce with Quesco fesco cheese blended with onion, garlic, chilli and coriander. It is served with rice and beans. The dish is light and tangy, Rick said. $125
Deserts are not listed on the menu. “It is exciting, keeps people interested. They have to ask what the deserts are. We have four at present, for example banana, chocolate and walnut quesadilla with vanilla ice cream.
The food can be eaten in the 30-seat restaurant upstairs or in the bar area downstairs. Rick said .COM is one of the latest opening places in Sai Kung, usually not closing its doors until 2.30am. During December it will have promotional Happy Hour prices for beer and wine: San Miguel bottle $25 and Carlsberg pints $35. Wine by the glass at $45. The main menu of burgers, pastas, curry, nachos and quesadilla remains available.”
Rick, who is from Michigan, lives in Sai Kung Town close to the restaurant. His title at .COM is consultant chef. Formerly he was executive chef for Mandarin Oriental Hotels in Singapore and the Shangri-la Group in Shanghai along with six years of experience with Wolfgang Puck in the U.S.