Green Queen Foodie: Turkey Tales – Blue Butcher’s Brilliant Birds

4 Mins Read
The festive season is upon us. Whether it’s Thanksgiving or a Christmas party bash, there’s no escaping the gluttonous eating and or the over-imbibing of booze. So if you have a choice, why not pick a venue with a farm-to-table, nose-to-tail dining philosophy where quality produce is sourced from local, Australian and French farmers. Makes sense, n’est-ce-pas? Uber restauranteur Maximal Concepts’s Blue Butcher is renowned for serving up the juiciest, finest cuts of meat, the likes of which are hand-selected from some of the choicest suppliers on the planet. For the holiday season, they have cult Australian free range turkey rearer Hunter Valley birds. We went for a tasting and were blown away by how delicious everything was so just had to share our experience with you. 
 

bread

 

It’s worth mentioning that turkeys aside, Blue Butcher is the perfect setting to gather with friends or family during the holiday season. The downstairs bar will appeal to the after work drinks crowd or but also works well for a pre meal aperitivo. Beyond the bar is a long steep metal staircase (against which is local artist Marc Allante’s awesome wall of cleavers sculpture) giving off a feeling that you’re about to enter a funky ex-industrial warehouse. The high ceilings, dark interiors, large heavy dining tables and exposed light fittings are all reminiscent of New York in the Prohibition-era, or what we imagine prohibition dens of decadence would have looked like. The service, as with all of the other names in the Maximal family, is impeccable. The staff are well versed on dishes and ingredients (usually a low point in Hong Kong dining experiences) and are upbeat, attentive to patron needs’ without being sycophantish and lovely to chat to if you are so inclined. 

 

jar pic

But back to the most important part: the bird! The star of the feast certainly lived up to the hype. For turkey to be successful, it must be moist, succulent and plump and Blue Butcher’s chefs delivered on every front. Sadly even the best home chefs struggle to keep their birds juicy. Plated on a large wooden board and served with perfectly cooked accompaniments: perfectly seasoned stuffing, creamy mashed potatoes, roasted candied bacon brussels sprouts and all the usual trimmings – it’s a little platter of foodie holiday heaven! The turkey flavour is sublime- it is melt-in-your-mouth good. Perhaps the bird’s high protein diet of organic sorghum, also grown in the rich and fertile red soil of Hunter Valley contributes to the unique flavor and texture of the bird! But we also got in on Head Chef Danny’s secret trick- he divulged that in order to retain the moisture and flavour of the turkey, it needs to be slow cooked at a specific temperature for a very long time. Turns out we have had it wrong all these years- this is why some things are better left to the pros.
 

turkey bites

Let’s not forget that the meal climaxes with a holiday classic: Chef Danny’s famous pumpkin pie! He uses a recipe from his own childhood recipe, courtesy of his mum and it is an absolute winner with diners. The pie hints of nutmeg, has a soft base that doesn’t crumble, a perfectly balanced salty to sweet ratio- the homemade cinnamon whipped cream adds an exquisite finishing touch. Feel free to have starters too, although you’ll probably have to pop your top button once you are done with the turkey if so! Don’t say we didn’t warn you- but if you’re game, we suggest the Veal Sweetbread Nuggets with Black Truffle Emulsion (soft cloudy pillows of fried veal bits dipped in a pungent truffle) and the Foie Gras & Chicken Liver In A Jar served with sweet onion relish and brioche (foie gras in a pate = heaven in a jar!). If you fancy a bit of a tipple, then you have to try the Apple Pie Moonshine, a cheeky prohibition-inspired drink wrapped in a brown paper bag (!).
 

pie

Whether it’s the ambience of chilled sophistication, the perfect service or the undisputedly delicious cuisine,  we can’t think of a better place to go for your festive celebrations.  

 

Hunter Valley turkey menus will be available from November 27th through the whole of December. The birds must be ordered at least 72 hours in advance (slow cooking, remember?). A half turkey will serve 3-4 people whilst a whole one can feed 6-8!

 

Blue Butcher, 108 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan. Open daily for lunch from 12pm and dinner from 6.30pm- Sundays brunch starts at 12pm. For reservations, call +852 2613 9286.

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