JIA Group and Australia’s Morgan McGlone bring SoCal to Pacific Place, highlighting the vibrant flavours of Mexico, Latin America and the American South.
Text by Tiffany Chan
A lively and clean space decked out with a touch of sixties. The outdoor terrace is illuminated by string lights and enveloped in lush foliage, which makes one (almost) forget she is sitting next to a taxi stand.
Reflecting the vibrant cuisines of Mexico, Latin America and the American South, the menu highlights fresh produce and bright flavours, and is made up of snacks, starters, sides, mains and sweets. To start, the kingfish crudo ($168) was served with paper-thin slices of pink radish and drizzled with chopped soy onions. The fish was firm and slightly fatty (which we like), its delicate flavour lifted by the umami of the soy onions. The tuna poke tostada ($178) followed, arriving with two crispy tostada boats smeared with avocado, cradling tuna, onions and cilantro for freshness. The avocado was slightly bland and needed a bit of salt and acidity for balance.
In the fish tacos ($138), the beer-battered sea bass strips were perfectly golden, not overly greasy and topped with a cabbage slaw that was fresh, crisp and not overdressed. The Commissary double cheeseburger ($158) was more diner-style than gourmet, in which two fluffy buns held two chuck and brisket patties. The patties were pounded thin and quite dense, but beefy nonetheless. The skinny fries were deliciously seasoned and rather addictive.
For dessert, we were served a more-than-generous slice of red velvet cake ($68), which had clean, distinct layers of Christmas red and cream cheese. The cream cheese icing was just tart enough to cut through the sweetness. Yet while the sponge itself was very moist, it was slightly pasty and stuck to the inside of the mouth.
Commissary’s lively space and warm ambience make it great for groups, especially when sitting out on the terrace on a nice evening. It’s also an option for light but satisfying Western comfort food. We’d go back for the tacos alone and to try the fried chicken sandwich.
Spending: $710, dinner for two
Highlights: fish tacos, double cheeseburger
What else: happy hour is 4:30pm – 8pm
4/F Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty
Tel: 2602 0707