Apr 05, 2012|
Sundays are the only days I don’t get knocked out of bed by jackhammer drilling and other typical Hong Kong construction antics, but lately I’ve been sacrificing a sleep-in and waking up early a couple Sundays in a row for a favorite national pastime: the Sunday brunch. One of them is Tapas Bar (Lobby, Kowloon Shangri-La, 64 Mody Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui, 233-87756), a small and laidback venue with a cozy alfresco area that serves—you guessed it—a tapas-style brunch. Don’t be deceived by the term though—because it’s not only Spanish specialties (which they do have, including tasty Iberico ham and mussel paella) that can be found here but delicacies from around the world, including flamed sushi and grilled lamb chops. The mains come in larger portions, and the succulent Boston lobster is highly recommended. Oh, and remember to save room for at least one freshly made omelet at the egg station. Brunch here starts at 11am and ends at 3pm, and starts at $398 per head, not including drinks. Pay an extra $150 for standard wines to go along, or an extra $280 for the sommelier’s top choices.
Not sure whether this next piece of news will appeal more to a foodie or car enthusiast, but Hong Kong now has its own Fiat Caffe (Shop G5-6, Leighton Center, 77 Leighton Rd., Causeway Bay, 2808-4777)—which serves some bang-on Italian dishes, and a Fiat 500 on the side if you really feel like it. One-part car dealership and one-part café, you’ll see the compact, brightly colored Italian vehicles lining the front and sides of the venue and a bunch of small tables and open kitchen taking up the rest. It might sound strange at first, but it’s definitely not a new concept for us Hongkongers who’re used to grabbing a cup of coffee while shopping for a T-shirt or a vase at the same place. (Concept stores and modern-day coffee shops, anyone?) The difference here is you might walk away $800,000 short at Fiat Caffe if that Abarth 695 Tributo Ferrari special-edition Fiat really caught your fancy during your meal. Food-wise, there’s a really juicy meatball dish with the sweetest tomato sauce and most refreshingly light riso that will win you over on first bite. The menu is very simple, consisting of salads and other starters, a pasta and/or main of the day and a selection of bruschetta and paninis to keep the whole thing casual. There are two starters I tried that I’m still dreaming about at this moment: the ricotta with figs, white truffle honey and olive oil, and the Callipo-brand tuna in olive oil with boiled eggs, caper mayonnaise, lemon and dill. So simple, so delicious! And the dishes, despite using many ingredients flown straight from Italy, are very reasonably priced. Pastas cost $75, starters range from $64 to $110, and the bruschetta and panini all average around $55 to $70. Coffees (by world-famous brand Illy) and teas start at $15 and don’t really go over $40. Wines and beer available too!
…for golden oldies and tasty snacks: The 50’s Restaurant (5/F, 8 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, 2523-0238). This 28-year-old institution has relocated from its former LKF haunt to Lyndhurst Terrace, and is back with a bang with an all-new menu of snacks and dishes. I can’t vouch for the mains (having never tried them), but definitely recommend nibbling on the restaurant’s deep-fried homemade dumplings, Thai-style fish cakes and crispy chicken wings while enjoying the tunes of the charming resident band, The Magic Touch. The space here is tiny but intimate, and the musicians are as much a part of the dining experience as the food.