Supersized American diner fare at Harbour City that is worth a try after the hype dies down, with much room for improvement.
Words Iris Wong
While The Cheesecake Factory’s dim yellow lighting may not jive with Instagrammers, the seating is rather spacious with a bar area and a counter displaying an exciting selection of over 30 cheesecakes that can be ordered to dine-in or to go. If you’re not just here for a drink and a slice, we recommend waiting for a proper table, as the bar tables simply will not accommodate all the large plates on which jaw-dropping portions of whatever you ordered are served.
Before you order anything, know that you’ll be eating the leftovers for lunch and dinner the next day (or week), as portions are enormous (we ordered one appetitser, two mains served in lunch portions and a dessert between the two of us and barely ate a quarter of our food).
The complimentary warm, soft honey wheat bread was a nice start to the meal, and one of the highlights of our lunch. Unfortunately, the peach smoothie ($72) was not the refresher we were hoping for – the saccharine syrup of peach and raspberry was all sweet and nothing else. The buffalo wings ($148) that followed, however, did not disappoint. The fried wings, which were coated with piquant hot sauce and served with blue cheese dressing, had thin and crunchy skin, while the flesh within remained juicy. Our only complaint? There seemed to be more drumettes than wings.
For mains, we had Evelyn’s Favorite Pasta ($136/lunch portion; $176/regular portion) – rigatoni tossed with broccoli, oven-dried tomato, zucchini, roasted eggplant, peppers, artichoke, Kalamata olives, garlic and pine nuts. The combination sounded great on paper, but the flavour was rather bland overall (sorry, Evelyn). Next was the Chicken & Biscuit ($208). Despite being soaked in gravy, the chicken breasts were far too dry. The biscuit didn’t have a dense, buttery texture, but was more fluffy and cake-like, which is fine, if you prefer cake over biscuit, that is.
The item we’ve been looking forward to the most was, sadly, too sweet for our liking. Covered in cream cheese frosting, the Ultimate Red Velvet Cake Cheesecake™ ($79/slice) had layers of red velvet cake and cheesecake finished with white chocolate and a large swirl of whipped cream on the side. It needed to be much more tart, plus the combination was neither airy nor dense, which left us feeling a little disappointed, but by then, we were too full to order a difference slice.
We didn’t have to wait in line for three hours, thank goodness, as very little things in life are worth three hours’ wait, and The Cheesecake Factory certainly isn’t one of them. In terms of the dining experience, there were a few misses, and while we won’t be raving about the red velvet cheesecake, curiosity will probably bring us back, once the public’s excitement wanes, to try one of the other cheesecakes.
Spending: $650 for two at lunch
Highlights: buffalo wings, honey wheat bread
What else: The Cheesecake Factory’s 20-page long, 200-dish strong menu is sure to make anyone indecisive.
The Cheesecake Factory
Shop G102, G/F Harbour City Gateway Arcade, 25 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
Tel: 2791 6628