Fans of chef Nate Green’s brilliant live fire cooking at Sai Ying Pun smokehouse, Rhoda, have just one short month left to get their fill of slow-cooked lamb shoulder and short ribs on toast: With rumours floating for weeks now, JIA Group has officially announced that Rhoda’s last service will be on Saturday, 8 September.
First debuted in summer 2016, Rhoda was instantly well-received for its eclectic smoke- and flame-kissed menu, from the chargrilled free-range chicken (our favourite order, paired with the tangy beer bread), to the blistered corn under a fluttering of katsuobushi with a perfectly poached egg. In addition to master butchery skills, Green — former head chef at another JIA Group favourite, 22 Ships — had the innate ability to weave in influences from Japan to Spain to France, while still fashioning a singularly interesting and unique voice for Rhoda.
Living up to the menu was an equally striking aesthetic in the dining space — one we named one of the most stylish restaurant interiors in Hong Kong — with distressed surfaces and warm copper detailing bringing the ‘cool’ factor back into the somewhat overplayed minimalist, industrial-style look.
For those looking to get one last meal in, you’ll want to mark 22 August and 5 September on your diaries, as Rhoda presents two last pop-up events focusing on the sustainable use of whole animals and larger cuts in a fun, family-style format. On 22 August, “The Final Hog” combines delicious roasted pork, rock ‘n’ roll and booze (HK$398, plus HK$248 for free-flow; tickets here); while on 5 September, it’s an “All-You-Can-Beef” blowout featuring premium grass-fed beef cuts (HK$648, plus HK$248 for free-flow; tickets here).
While the prolific F&B group has stated that the joint decision was made to allow Green more time with his family while JIA Group explores new opportunities for the space, we have a feeling that Rhoda’s out-of-the-way location on Des Voeux Road West in a quieter stretch of town, might also have played into the equation with a less-than-ideal amount of food traffic. As JIA Group plans to debut a brand new concept in the space, we are hopeful that whatever comes next is just as exciting and delightful as its predecessor.