10 Hong Kong Brunch Hotspots by Carla Quevedo
Though we are just one year apart in age and actually the same age for 10 days, my cousin Carla Quevedo and I have many differences. She is petite, I am tall. She is introverted, I am extroverted. She likes to play squash and badminton, I like to do yoga and Pilates. To de-stress, she does BarreAmped and I go out drinking and dancing. I lived in three different countries before I turned 10, she was born and raised in Manila. Despite these differences, our bond as cousins are as strong as our commonalities: our mothers are sisters and we both have a passion for food and travel. Over nine years ago, Carla decided to move to Hong Kong to work at a brokerage firm in the Asian Credit desk and it has been one experience after another in the cosmopolitan city.
Whenever I plan on a trip over there I always consult her first on where to eat and all her recos have hit the nail on the head, every single time. A city where people work hard and play even harder, brunch is special in Hong Kong where friends converge after a big night out and recap the evening’s events or to simply meet up for a leisure Sunday before the working week begins. We Gypsetters would like to share with you Carla’s secret list of her top 10 places to brunch for the next time you too are in Hong Kong. Enjoy!
1) Brunch Club. My go-to place for brunch and they always get my Eggs Benedict right. I’m also in love with their drink called Red Chi (it’s their concoction with ginger in it). I know of two branches – Soho and Causeway Bay but I prefer the Soho one because 1) it’s in my neighborhood, and 2) it has a more cozy feel to it compared to the CWB branch. Address : G/F, 70 Peel St., Central; Tel no : + 852 2526 8861
2) CIAK -In the Kitchen. Owned and run by three-star Michelin Chef Umberto Bombana of Otto y Mezzo fame, this Italian comfort food restaurant located at The Landmark serves a good weekend brunch. They serve appetizers and dessert buffet-style and you choose your main dish from a menu. In my opinion, I believe dining here is good value for money. Address: Shop 327-333, 3/F Landmark Atrium, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Central; Tel no: +852 2522 8869
3) Lily & Bloom. A lovely and relaxed place for a weekend brunch. They have a semi-buffet arrangement whereby cheese and cold cuts are served on the counter and the hot viands are served by the waiters. You can ask your waiter for seconds! From the a la carte menu, I suggest you try their carbonara. It’s rich but the portion is just the right size that you won’t be overwhelmed by it. Their carbonara is in my comfort food list. Address : Hotel Lkf By Rhombus, 33 Wyndham St, Central; Tel no : +852 2810 6166
4) Fofo by El Willy. Here they serve contemporary Spanish food. They have a special brunch menu showcasing their specialty dishes. The 62 degree egg with chorizo is my favorite dish from Fofo so if it’s not part of the brunch menu when you visit, order it separately as it’s a must-try. Did I mention their brunch set comes with a glass of Cava? Address : 2-8 Wellington St, Central; Tel no : +852 2900 2009
5) Mott 32. Obscurely located in the basement of Standard Chartered Building in Central, if you’re big on ambiance and if you want to enjoy your Peking duck unhurriedly, then this is a place for you. This restaurant does not have the look of a typical Chinese restaurant. You won’t even feel that you’re in Hong Kong at all! Note : the Peking duck must be ordered one day in advance and specify how many ways you want to have it done. Address : Basement, Standard Chartered Bank Building, 4-4A Des Voeux Road, Central; Tel no : +852 2885 8688
6) Tim Ho Wan. The world’s cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant. They are famous for their BBQ pork buns. Expect long lines so go at odd hours. I suggest you visit their Olympic station branch as it is four times the size of their branch in IFC. In this branch, you can enjoy your dim sum in peace without the waiters badgering you to hurry it up. Address : Shop 72, G/F, Olympian City 2, 18 Hoi Ting Road, Tai Kok Tsui; Tel no : +852 2332 2896
7) Fu Sing Shark Fin Seafood Restaurant. I know it’s a seafood restaurant but oddly enough, I have not tried any of their seafood! My favorites are : the crispy chicken, deep fried bean curd, and their BBQ pork. I’m not a big fan of char siu but this is the only place in Hong Kong, where I eat this staple HK roast. They also have their version of the BBQ buns ala Tim Ho Wan but theirs is less sweet. I have tried their branches in Central, Wan Chai and Causeway Bay and they’re all good service-wise.
8) 22 Ships. Spanish tapas place in Wan Chai. You can sit around the bar and watch the chefs prepare the food. This tiny place can get busy so I suggest you go early. Take note that they don’t accept reservations. Their big hits for me are the truffle toastie and the mini foie gras burgers. Address : 22 Ship Street, Wan Chai; Tel no : +852 2555 0722
9) Zuma. If you want to have a late weekend brunch, try Zuma and book for their second seating which is from 2-4 pm. Don’t be too overwhelmed by the items on the buffet that you’ll forget to make room for your main dish. The dessert platter is a delight as well; it is a combination of fruit and ice cream served on a huge bowl of ice for everyone on the table to share. You can choose to top up to a champagne brunch and be served with overflowing champagne. Address : 15 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong Tel no : +852 3657 6388
10) Man Mo Café. An East meets West type of restaurant. Presentation is very Eastern but the flavors of their food are distinctly Western. I will definitely go back for their Truffle Brie Dumplings and Foie Gras Xiao Long Bao. The restaurant doubles as an art gallery so do take time to appreciate the art on their walls. Address : 40 Upper Lascar Row, Sheung Wan (aka Cat Street); Tel no : +852 2644 5644
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We are two friends who were former magazine editors. Having moved onto other things, we both realized that the creative flow the publishing world used to offer us was missing from our lives. Armed with a common love of travel to the exotic and familiar, a penchant for the bohemian, an obsession with food and a lust for writing, we decided to collaborate our unique and fashionable journeys through life together in one passion project.
We are The Gypsetters.