10 best outdoor Western brunches in Hong Kong
In space-starved Hong Kong, some terraces offer a great brunch spread combined with a laid-back vibe. Here are our favorites:
Take a seat under the whirling fans of the long veranda at The Parlour at Hullett House, for a rare reminder of Hong Kong's colonial era. But the weekend buffet (HK$528) of cold and hot dishes -- spread on tables indoors where diners can opt to sit in wood-panelled air-conditioned comfort -- has a decidedly more 21st century presentation. As well as creative taster-size delicate dishes, fine cold cuts, congee, dim sum and Western brunch items, the diner can pick one a la carte item cooked to order and unlimited Veuve Clicquot bubbly, fresh fruit juice and unusual juice blends. Mains include Norwegian salmon with creamed potato and prawn; and roasted lamb rump with baby vegetables, rice and tamarind sauce.
12pm-2.30pm weekends. The Parlour, Ground Floor, Hullett House, 2A Canton Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel +852 3988 0101 www.hulletthouse.com
Domani restaurant's weekend brunch (from HK$348) also features a help-yourself selection of appetizers and desserts, plus a freshly cooked main course. Its well-spaced outdoor terrace garden tables allow for kids to have some space while parents enjoy the long feast. For an extra fee (HK$198) there is free-flow of prosecco and house red wine, beer, bottled water and soft drinks. The high caliber of ingredients and service are both standouts here. The antipasti buffet includes fresh soups, and house signatures of tuna carpaccio with parmesan; and cold slices of veal in white wine cream sauce. Hot buffet dishes include the likes of sauteed lobster, and pork and lentil stew. Prices depend on the main dish selected, with a choice of pizza, a pasta and risotto, or meat and seafood.
12pm till 4pm. Domani, Level 4 Pacific Place, Admiralty, tel +852 2111 1197 www.domani.hk
Sprawling two-story Zuma has an excellent large wood-decked terrace, on which two different brunches are possible at weekends. A special list of 18 dishes that are being served to complement premium regional sake being showcased on Sake Saturdays, a brunch held on alternate weeks (HK$490, HK$450 without the sake; 12pm-2.30pm); though dishes and sakes change, the one signature is raw oyster, doused in shiso flower vinegar. On Sundays, brunch (HK$428; kids HK$198, 11.30am till 3pm) pulls crowds with its loaded counters of sushi, yakitori skewers, silky tofu, soups and salads. Sushi hand-rolls are served to order -- soft-shell crab and salmon arrive as standard for each table. Each person may order a fresh main dish, that includes mixed tempura, and salmon fillet with teriyaki sauce. A dessert platter finale is dramatic and generous.
Zuma, Level 5 and 6, The Landmark, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Central, tel +852 3657 6388
Treat with a View
Pearl on the Peak, with its tiny terrace, serves an la carte weekend brunch; it’s top quality, reasonably priced and little known. Starting at HK$288 for one main course plus one other, take a seat on the understated wood decking and bask in the glorious views. Reflecting the a la carte menu by reputed Australian chef Geoff Lindsay, light options are listed alongside gourmet fry-ups such as the Pearl big breakfast. Or opt for heartier items: risotto of wild forest mushroom with black truffle; pan-fried sea bass with chantarelle mushroom; blue mussels in white wine sauce; or fish and chips. Supplementary dishes come under the categories of egg, entrée and dessert and a modestly priced surcharge allows free flow of sparking or still wine or juices.
12pm-3.30pm. Pearl on the Peak, Shop 2, 1st floor, The Peak Tower, 128 Peak Road, tel +852 2849 5123. www.maxconcepts.com.hk
Lounge on the wooden backed, low-slung sofa-strewn roof of iconic floating restaurant Jumbo Kingdom, where Top Deck is perched. Its Top Catch Sunday brunch buffet (HK$388; kids HK$158) is big on chilled poached seafood, and has a large spread of cold and hot Asian and Western dishes; sashimi, sushi, Indian cuisine and pastas often feature. There are separate pizza and grill stations, the latter offering highly rated steaks. There is an inclusive free-flow of sparkling wine and carbonated soft drinks. A spacious kids' play area keeps the little ones occupied and lets parents get on with the serious business of eating and drinking.
11am-4.30pm, Top Deck, Shum Wan Pier Drive, Wong Chuk Hang, Aberdeen. tel +852 2552 3331; www.cafedecogroup.com.
Right above the arty café-style surrounds of the Fringe Club's Fotogallerie, take a seat on the Astroturf that carpets its ample rooftop. The Saturday-only brunch menu is divided into three sections: Wholesome, Hearty and Vegetarian/ Vegan. Under the first heading, Eggs Marian is a highlight: two poached eggs on toasted English muffin with smoked salmon, spinach and Hollandaise sauce; or there’s smoked salmon, asparagus in scrambled eggs, served on wholewheat toast. Caesar Salad offers a choice of bacon strips, roast chicken breast or smoked salmon with Romaine lettuce and the classic dressing. 'Hearty' stretches from Indonesian fried rice to fish and chips, and beyond. The veggie list includes muesli and fresh fruit with milk and a Thai-style vegetable curry served with rice.
Around HK$120, with a drink. 10.30am-4pm, Fringe Club, 2 Lower Albert Road, Soho, tel +852 2521 7251 www.hkfringe.com.hk
Longstanding popular bakery-café Ali Oli in Sai Kung serves fry-ups, bagels, and great home made bread and preserves, and home made granola and muesli with yoghurt. It's all served daily on streetside tables. Select a savory dish from the likes of omelet with ham, smoked salmon or mushroom, bagel with smoked salmon and cream cheese, or chef's pasta of the day and you can get a discount on yogurt and cereal combos, salads and drinks. The Brunch Breakfast is a particularly good deal: Cumberland sausage, bacon, eggs (your style), grilled tomato, baked beans, potato cake and toast and butter -- all for HK$65.
Around HK$90, with a drink. 11am-3pm. 11 Sha Tsui Path, Sai Kung, New Territories, tel +852 2792 2655 www.alioli.com.hk
Within sight of Lantau Island’s Mui Wo pier, weekend brunch is served at Bahce Turkish Restaurant's six street-side tables from 10am to 12 noon. The Turkish breakfast dishes up olives, feta cheese, fresh tomato, home made yogurt, Turkish bread, jam and honey, with coffee or tea. There's also a Turkish omelet set, toasted or not sandwiches and a cooked English breakfast. Thick, sweet Turkish, juices or a cheeky beer or glass of wine can be ordered from the drinks list. All is reasonably priced.
Around HK$80 per person with a drink. 10am-12pm. Bahce Turkish Restaurant, 19 Mui Wo Centre, 3 Ngan Wan Road, Mui Wo, Lantau Island, tel +852 2984 0222
Three-story organic veggie and vegan restaurant Life Café, co-launched by one of the same team who founded Lamma Island’s Bookworm Café (see below) has a rooftop terrace, where a rare low-key brunch in otherwise buzzing Soho can be had. Several gluten-free dishes make for brunch-time bliss for the food hypersensitive. Weekends see brunch items listed on a special menu, from morning time till late afternoon. Within several cooked breakfasts, only free-range organic eggs are used, as is organic sunflower seed toast and roasted potatoes. Spinach and feta cheese omelet comes with roasted garlic and oven dried cherry tomatoes. There’s also organic cereals, porridge, wholegrain croissants, banana bread and soy milk yoghurt.
Around HK$130, with a drink. Life Café, 10 Shelley Street, Soho, tel +852 2810 9777 www.lifecafe.com.hk
Some years ago, the Bookworm Café, a Western- and Middle Eastern-style vegetarian restaurant on Lamma got so popular that a canopied terrace opposite the restaurant was added. From its half a dozen or so tables, with their own chill-out sound system, alongside a footpath at the end of a string of small shops, order brunch any day of the week here, from an a la carte menu that is both wholesome and tasty. Scrambled tofu, a light alternative to eggs, comes with sautéed mushrooms on whole grain toast, with a small side salad. Or try a falafel: deep-fried chickpea balls with homemade pitta bread and hummus and babaganoush dips. Accompany with juice blends, tea and juice combos and organic coffee.
Around HK$110, with a drink. Bookworm Café, 79 Main Street, Yung Shue Wan, Lamma Island, tel +852 2982 4838