May 24, 2012|
The newest player to push the trend is ‘Wich, an all-day bar serving all types of glammed up ‘wiches from upscale English muffins to “sprouting” pork belly and porcini buns (left). And the difference between gourmet and gour-meh, for all intents and purposes, is more than the visual appeal alone.
“It’s about the ingredients and bread we use,” says ‘Wich founder Olivia Cheung. “We also focus on the source of our ingredients, the condiments. Our sandwiches are freshly made and not refrigerated.” Cheung also pickles her own lemons and makes her own apple sauce—and for something as basic as a sandwich, these extra touches mean plenty.
Meanwhile, Castelo Concepts’ newly opened Harrington’s (1/F, Ho Lee Commercial Building, 40 D’Aguilar St., Central, 2522-1823) is taking the gastropub concept to a whole new level with its $170 steak baguette drizzled in caramelized onions and horseradish cream (fries included). And of course, Lane Crawford’s red-hot The Library Café (3 Canton Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui, 2118-3528) can’t serve anything less than posh bacon and egg ciabattas created by fashionable local chef Duyen Hackett.
One shop that helped propel gourmet sandwiches into the spotlight is Frey & Ford (Shop 69, LG1/F, Hong Kong Station, Central, 2530-1298), a humble MTR stall that quietly started supplying quality sandwich sets to lunch crowds just over a year ago. Stocking open-faced sandwiches that are delicate in size and light on calories, Frey & Ford will put prosciutto melon, salmon dill cream, Peking chicken, crumbed fish and many other things onto the dainty bread slices for an inspired lunch experience.
New and newish places aside, more established venues like Le Salon de Thé de Joel Robuchon (Shop 315, The Landmark, 15 Queen’s Rd. Central, 2166-9000) and Levain (G/F, 39 Aberdeen St., Central, 2559-0889) continue to serve quality sandwiches that keep the customers going back. Levain sells a mouthwatering parma ham, brie cheese and tomato on ciabatta with white truffle oil as well as jazzed-up ryes and six-grain wheats, while Le Salon de The has brimming baguettes of soft cheeses, ham and even steak that disappear off their takeaway racks come lunch time.