VOLUME XIII  No. 56 W E D N E S D A Y March 23, 2011


Dining and Wining ...
Where To Go ...
Where Not To Go







Name of Restaurant The Pawn
Address of Restaurant No. 62, Johnston Road, Wanchai, Hongkong
Date of Visit Monday, March 21, 2011  

TARGETs  Rating

    First Impression Excellent Acceptable Poor
    Attentiveness to Customers’ Needs Excellent Acceptable Poor
    Flexibility Excellent Acceptable Poor
    Product Expertise of Serving Staff Excellent Acceptable Poor
    Speed of Service Excellent Acceptable Poor
    Cleanliness of Uniform and Serving Staff Excellent Acceptable Poor
          Lighting Excellent Acceptable Poor
          Music Excellent Acceptable Poor
          General Excellent Acceptable Poor
          Presentation Excellent Acceptable Poor
          Taste Excellent Acceptable Poor
          Quantity Excellent Acceptable Poor
Wine - Not Sampled  
          Choice Extensive Limited Unbalanced
          Cost Reasonable Unreasonable Expensive
          Storage of Wine Good Poor Unknown
          Expertise of Sommelier Excellent Acceptable None
Total Cost of Meal    

          Very Expensive

Moderately Expensive       Very Reasonably Priced
Name of Food and Beverage Manager Unknown
Name of Master Chef Mr David Tamlyn  


The location of The Pawn Restaurant, at Number 62, Johnston Road, Wanchai, the Hongkong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), is perfect.

It faces a very large rubbish dump which abuts a concrete playground and the sounds of Wanchai, with its drunks, pimps and prostitutes lend colour to the listed building that houses The Pawn.

Sitting on the verandah of this restaurant, last Monday night at 6:45 pm, listening to the screeching sounds of the siren of an ambulance whiz by and the occasional scream of a lady of the night, one was reminded of the famous 1960 film: The World of Suzie Wong.

Even the ambiance of The Pawn is reminiscent of the stage settings which complemented the acting styles of Nancy Kwan and William Holden, the stars of this very popular film.

While one might enjoy looking at a rubbish dump and listening to the sounds of Wanchai, one is unlikely to enjoy eating at The Pawn, as TARGET (泰達財經) discovered last Monday night.

On scanning the dinner menu of last Monday, the following dishes were selected:


Seared Scallops with Green Pea Puree, Pork Sausage and Tomato Salsa

Deviled Chicken Livers with Bacon on Toast


Risotto with Wild Mushrooms, Shaved Parmesan and Rocket

Hot Smoked Barbary Duck Breast, Roast Foie Gras, Rosit Potatoes,
Red Pepper Essence, Port Wine Jus


Beetroot and Green Bean Salad

Buttered Peas

Desserts and Savouries

Apple and Blackberry Crumble, Custard Sauce

Strawberries, Clotted Cream, Vanilla Shortbread

The Pawn has a large selection of nondescript wines, covering a number of 11-inch by 8-inch pages and, aside from the majority of the Champagnes, this reviewer determined that it was too much of a gamble to try to imbibe uncharted, fermented grape juice.

Instead, a bottle of Perrier was ordered.

When a large transparent bottle of something appeared, the waiter said that it was Perrier Water.

That was a lie because it hailed from England, according to the bottle’s label.

It turned out to be a bottle of Blenheim Palace Water from England, costing $HK60.

The Starters

The first thing that TARGET noted when the 2 Starters were placed on the Verandah table was that the plates were cold, while the Starters were supposed to be hot dishes.

As it turned out, it did not matter very much because the Starters were inedible, anyway.

The scallops had been of the frozen variety. That could easily be confirmed by slicing open the marine bivalve mollusc and noting the water, seeping out of the dead flesh.

The poor things, obviously, had been taken straight out of a freezer or a very cold refrigerator and popped onto a cold frying pan, wok or something else.

To this, lots of pepper had been added.

The resulting concoction of cold scallops and pepper was tasteless.

As for the chicken livers, on close inspection, they were chicken livers, but a close inspection was required because, as with the scallop dish, they were tasteless, too, in spite of copious quantities of pepper, being applied by the Chinese, fast-order cook in the open kitchen of The Pawn.

When the waiter returned and saw that the 2 Starters had hardly been touched, he just said: ‘Finished?’

With that, he left the Verandah and returned, about 2 minutes later, with the second course.

The Mains 

The risotto resembled Scottish porridge, made of rice instead of oats.

It, also, was insipid.

Missing from this pretender to the Italian dish was the shaved Parmesan Cheese, but the rocket vegetable was very visible because it hid a goodly portion of the ‘porridge’.

The duck dish was another loser of the first order of rubbish – which goes along well with the rubbish dump, obliquely opposite The Pawn.

The duck meat was, almost, completely raw; it was tough and one found it difficult even to slice the meat with a sharp knife; it was tasteless; and, it was almost cold.

As for the side dishes, these, too, were on a par with the other dishes – terrible!

The Desserts

The desserts were quite good, actually.

Of course, slicing up a couple of fresh strawberries and putting dob of cream, right out of a bottle, on the plate along with the strawberries takes little creativity from the kitchen people.

The Apple and Blackberry Crumble was, also, quite edible, but TARGET suspects that it was of the store-bought variety.

The Staff of The Pawn

Throughout the one hour that TARGET’s reviewing team was in The Pawn, most of  the shabbily dressed serving staff was standing in the open kitchen, exchanging jokes with five Chinese men and women, dressed in white, not wearing any hats, and pretending to do the cooking.

Cleanliness is not a strong point of the serving and the cooking staff who, aside from scratching their hair, rubbing their noses, and answering mobile telephones as they played at being chefs, they did little else.

It appeared that none of the serving staff was a professional waiter/waitress and cared not a jot for the quality, appearance or taste of the dishes, placed before customers.

Not once was TARGET asked the reason that the first 2 courses were not eaten at all.

The best part of the evening was leaving the restaurant and going somewhere to get dinner.






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TARGET cannot be held responsible for any errors and/or omissions.




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