St Betty restaurant review – the roast of the town

st betty hk roast beef

UPDATE: *Sniff sniff* Sadly, St Betty has now closed. In the meantime, try Sunday roast here instead!

Having recently returned to the UK for the first time in over three years, I can safely say that one of the (very) few things I miss about the place is the food. That’s not to say I don’t love eating out in Hong Kong – and trust me, do I LOVE eating out here and would miss it madly if I were ever dragged kicking and screaming somewhere else – but you just can’t get things like fish and chips, kebabs, Magnums, Penguins, sticky toffee puddings, smoky bacon crisps, Domino’s pizza deliveries, great big whacks of gammon, beef Wellington from the supermarket and the little family-run Italian down the road over here.

However, what you now can get over here is a beautiful top-notch Sunday roast – thanks to the wonderful Shane Osborn, head chef at St Betty.

I don’t even want to think about attempting to cook a Sunday roast myself here – the difficulty and expense of finding a good cut of the beef, the many hours it would take to cook in our tiny microwave oven, and the fact that I’d go through all that for a meal that I’d essentially be eating on my own! In the UK, the omnipresent Sunday carvery at your local pub is such a given that we practically take it for granted… but since you can barely find a traditional British pub in Hong Kong these days, it’s hardly surprising that the proper Sunday roast is becoming a bit of a dying breed. True, you can often find some roast beef in most luxury hotel’s buffets (good luck finding any Yorkshire puddings though – I once saw some cake-like bread labelled thus!) and The Globe does a mean and extremely reasonable take on the roast every Sunday (which I reviewed here). However, I’m a beef girl through and through, so The Globe’s rotating approach to its meat and that the place often sells out before I’ve even woken up on a Sunday… let alone the fact that’s it’s a bloody long trek from Central MTR for a lazy arse like me… means it’s not always an option.

st betty hk sunday roast and all the trimmings

So you can imagine the undisguised glee, salivating and little jigs of joys I did on learning about St Betty’s Sunday roast – which is always beef!

St Betty, the creation of Wagamama founder Alan Yau known formerly as the by-all-accounts mediocre Betty’s Kitschen (stupid spelling and all), has been transformed courtesy of the Michelin-starred magic ways of Osbourn – and his Sunday roast may just be the best bit.

st betty hk sunday roast

For just $298 per person, you get a prime cut of beautiful medium-rare Aberdeen Angus sirloin with all the trimmings – and even a dessert each too! The beef, quite rightly, is the star of the show. It’s cooked to perfection, roasted in a Josper grill (fancy chef-y oven thing), heart-poundingly pink, mouth-wateringly juicy and sighingly tender, sliced thinly but not too thin with a little sprinkling of salt on top and that unmistakeable synapse-sparking charred roasted delicious flavour. It tastes like the best beef should – rich, intense and pre-programmed to bring out all of your caveman primal urges. You get roughly three slices per person and I’m not exaggerating (just ask my Mum!) when I say I could easily and happily finish all three people’s portions without breaking a sweat.

It is made even better by the fact it comes with gravy. Yes, gravy! Someone in Hong Kong actually knows what the stuff is! I’m obsessed with gravy (and used to drink it like soup from the gravy boat when I was younger… and totally still do whenever I get the chance) but had lost hope in finding good beef, a good restaurant and good gravy in the same place. I tried asking for gravy in a steakhouse here once – after much debate and explanation, I was eventually served a saucer of pure fat that had come out of the beef as it was cooking. Nice.

Anyway, the gravy at St Betty is intoxicating stuff – a little too thin to be my total gravy nirvana but I’ll take it – and is best lashed over your meal generously. Don’t worry, the waiters will refill your gravy coffers multiple times if needed.

st betty hk roast potatoes

As for the trimmings… there are Yorkshire puddings. They are actual real Yorkshire puddings (miracle!). Majestic puffy mountains of buttery, golden-brown home comfort, perfectly crispy until I transform them into edible little gravy goblets. It’s one per person although I’ve heard a rumour they may be able to replenish supplies of these too – I’ll have to put that to the test one day! There are roasties – glistening nuggets of pure Sunday roast gold that you might know better as roast potatoes. Crunchy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside, incredibly moreish… and the ones at St Betty are as good as they get.

st betty hk roast veggies

There are also two other sides; confit of Chinese cabbage and Japanese bacon (the bacon bit always gets my vote though one of my friends found it too salty) and crushed roasted root vegetables (a little too sweet for me and I wasn’t keen on the baby food texture – I’d rather just have whole roasted carrots and parsnips please). There’s also some horseradish cream, but since I don’t like horseradish in the first place, I have no comment. Honestly, I don’t think I even noticed it, I was too busy pouring the gravy down my throat.

st betty rhubarb apple crumble

After all that, you’ll be settling nicely into a food coma, ready to snuggle into your armchair and vegetate in front of a Come Dine With Me marathon on Channel 4. But St Betty instead gives you each a cute little pudding of rhubarb and apple crumble, served with a dainty jug of cream. Honestly, it’s too much – one to share between everyone would be enough. I don’t like rhubarb so I’m hoping St Betty might one day change the fruit because whilst I adore the buttery scrumptious of the crumble, soaked with light fresh cream and stirred into a gooey delicious mess, I’m just not a fan of that distinctive tart tang of rhubarb.

Make no mistake, St Betty is not a pub and the roast is a cut above whatever you’d get at your local – but thankfully, in terms of quality as well as price. However, what I do love about St Betty’s bright and breezy surroundings in the IFC is how unstuffy the place feels given the pedigree of the chef and his dishes.

In case you hadn’t noticed, I LOVE this roast. I loved St Betty’s a la carte menu too (which I reviewed for Sassy here) yet it’s still a tad pricey and fancy for the everyday. The Sunday roast, however, I can see myself coming back for time and time again… and in fact, I already have. If you’ve been having Sunday roast cravings, get yourself down there pronto – and trust me, this Sunday roast is even better than any of the ones you might remember!

rach mirander jake sunday roast

St Betty’s Sunday roast is served from 1-3pm every Sunday and costs $298 per person (for a minimum of two people); you are advised to pre-book at least 24 hours in advance.

St Betty, Shop 2705, Podium Level Two, IFC mall, Central, Hong Kong, 2979 2100

10 responses to “St Betty restaurant review – the roast of the town

  1. Oooohhh finally a new food post 😛 Yes, St Betty’s Sunday Roast was totally gorgeous.

  2. Pleased that you found your Sunday Roast! Make it a regular, it won’t break the bank, but do watch your waistline!

  3. I don’t know why but I’ve been craving English food recently. Not that I really know anything about it haha. This place looks awesome though, let’s go when I’m back 🙂

    • Razlan – Yes, see, I AM a #HKFoodBlogger really! 😛 My recent post on TWG was food as well though… more recent than my last nail polish blog in fact!

      Iris – Gonna start building an epic list of everywhere we can eat when you’re back. In-between all the awesome meals you’re gonna cook for us as well 😛

  4. I can totally feel your love for the roast! Haha I enjoyed it a lot too 🙂

  5. nice food you got there~ XD

    Regards, (A Growing Teenager Diary) ..

  6. Awww.. It makes me drool, how I love to taste all of these!

  7. I’m afraid any roast needs to be of a joint – basically attaching a bone or some, hence roasting it in an oven. That’s why stirloin will not be the chosen cut for it in the uk – no matter how expensive the meat is supposed to be. I’ve heard an English bloke in pokfulam just opened his gastropub that does Sunday roast is pretty authentic. I think I’ll give him a try. Thanks for your review Rebecca. Nice work.

    • I think roasts are open to interpretation to be honest – and St Betty’s is definitely not the first example I have seen of roasted sirloin (a quick Google search shows recipes for roasted sirloin from the likes of Delia Smith, Gary Rhodes and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall so I guess it’s reasonably well-recognised in the UK) and I’ve certainly had my fair share of boneless roasts in the UK in my time!

      Although St Betty’s is a little fancier than my typical Sunday pub roasts back in the UK, what I can say is that it is definitely one of the best tasting I have had in Hong Kong, regardless of the cut. I’ve had the Sunday roasts at The Globe (reviewed here), The Chinnery at The Mandarin Oriental, Brick Lane, Yorkshire Pudding etc etc, and St Betty’s is the one I keep returning for. I’ve taken many Brit and non-Brit friends there and they’ve always enjoyed it too, so I do suggest you give it a try to see what you think!

      Let me know the name of the place in Pok Fu Lam and what you think once you’ve visited though, as am always eager to add more places to my list. And thanks for dropping by to comment Virginia!

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