Tag Archives: breakfast

Breakfast in Hong Kong

One of the things that kept coming up in guide books and online tourism blogs is that Hong Kong doesn’t have a breakfast culture. Shock and horror! Surely, we thought, Hong Kong residents cannot be starting their busy day on empty stomach. After arriving to Hong Kong we have discovered that their breakfast does exist but it is nothing like London where you sit down for ‘the most important meal of the day’, roll out your napkin, arrange cutlery and await your fruit salad with eggs Benedict and a pot of Earl Grey.

Since Hong Kong is a real mix of foreign styles and cuisines we have decided to try both ends of the breakfast spectrum. We didn’t want to be thrown in the deep end so  decided to start off with the familiar ‘western style’ breakfast first.

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Urban Bakery has a number of branches across the city. Decorated in a very hip industrial style, this shop offers freshly baked croissants with a range of creative fillings.

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We opted for somewhat Asian inspired egg custard croissants with coffee. I have to be honest I was very pleasantly surprised because unless I am in Paris I have very little faith in croissants. But this piece of pastry was perfect!

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Crunchy top layer and the middle flaked easily. The egg custard filling was dreamy. Not too sweet with lovely smooth texture.  It was such a delicious breakfast! So tasty in fact, it made me feel a little bit guilty.


The next day we finally gathered enough courage to try the traditional Chinese breakfast.

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After a brief queue to get in, we sat down at a table at a very small and crowded  Kam Fung cafe on Spring Garden Lane in Wan Chai. Kam Fung cafe has been established in 1956 and is a classic example of a Hong Kong cafe.

As there were only two of us, the waiter wasted no time squeezing a local couple on a bench at our table. We tried not to let a sign that said ‘NO SPITTING’ to spoil our appetite and ordered cold milk tea with sweet buns.

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I have never been a massive tea drinker but somehow white being in Hong Kong i have developed a real taste for it. Milk tea is now my favourite cold drink. I have tried it in Starbucks in a form of a ‘frappaccino’, which was lovely and light, and it is also a very surprising flavour for ice cream (Lab Made Cafe).

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Kam Fung’s milk tea was nice and strong which is exactly what you want to start your day off with. Sweet bun was served with a slice of butter, which wasn’t particularly needed as the bun was really fresh, soft and moist already. Taste was similar to a brioche bun, but perhaps a touch less sweet. I could definitely do with a meal like this everyday.

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Our bill was served on a tiny piece of paper, for 54 HK dollars in total we could not complain.

Although this breakfast was very different to Urban Cafe, I would definitely recommend Kam Fung as a place to experience Hong Kong culture and how locals live.  But if you want your soya milk flat white and place to catch up with a few emails, then do head to Urban Cafe for some peace and quiet.

Urban Cafe
Room 322, 3/F, The Landmark, 12-16 Des Voeux Road Central, Central Connaught Pl, Central, Hong Kong

Kam Fung
G/F, Spring Garden Mansion, 41 Spring Garden Lane, Wan Chai

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Teakha

A trendy and kitch tea shop, Teakha really made an awesome tea experience this morning. Home blended teas and freshly baked cakes and pastries, this little sanctuary really put a smile on our faces as we took shelter for the code black torrential rain that swept across Hong Kong this morning.   

  
We got to the tea shop at 11am to staff who happily told us their tea was not ready and their cakes hadn’t finished baking. One thing you will realise in Hong Kong is that they are not early risers and nor are they breakfast people so expect the start to the day to be slow. Usually Elena would have had a heart attack at the thought of being denied food yet as we saw they were brewing their own teas and were frantically mixing batters and shoving them into ovens, well we knew we were in for a treat. 

   
 
The staff kindly allowed us to take shelter indoors while they finished and we shift through their menu. I ordered the Rose Tea which came with a frothy top, caramel drizzle and edible rose petals. The aroma is that of fresh rosa petals and the taste is just like sweet rose water. Will definitely try and make something like this at home. Elena ordered an aromatic black tea which was earthy in flavour and rich. 

  
We ordered the most amazing cakes. Elena ordered a chai caramel brown which came straight out of the oven so was warm and gooey on the inside. I ordered a chamomile, buttermilk and custard tart which reminded me a lot of a traditional New York cheesecake, milky, light and airy. Delicious. 

  
Beware, it is not a traditional tea house and is very modern. It is an expat hotspot as the flavours here are more for the western diner. This place is cute and stunning and we wish we could try the other things on the menu. 

  
Two things Teakha made us realise were: 

1. We should always pack a scarf or sweater as the air conditioning inside was freezing and that goes for all restaurants in Hong Kong 

2. We really want to try a traditional Chinese tea house before we leave and obviously share those details with you

Teakha

Shop B, 18 Tai Ping Shan Road SOHO Sheung Wan.

The Food Lab

It was a grey Saturday morning and we (slightly hangover) fancied a good filling breakfast that would boost us with energy. Great spot for a meal just like that is The Food Lab on Essex road. Cute Italian cafe with a healthy twist. They sell everything from hot breakfasts and lunches, to wraps, paninis and cold meats. We ordered a few smoothies, that were delicious without being overly too stiff and sweet.

IMG_7826For mains we both had eggs Benedict Simple, hot and delicious, that was the fuss free breakfast we were after!

These is a really lovely friendly atmosphere in this restaurant, i like coming here when i want to catch up with friends without feeling like we are being hurried through our meals. I am really happy that it’;s just around the corner from my home, which means i pop around quite often!

Star Rating: ***

The Food Lab
56, Essex Road N1 8LR London

http://foodlablondon.com

Bill’s

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Two visits in the space of seven days, it’s either because we have a gluttony for punishment or Bill’s is actually pretty awesome. Let’s go for the latter.

Bill’s has a very cosy barn house feel to it, with its rustic wooden seating, dried spices and herbs hanging from the ceiling, their own brand preserves cascading the walls and the ambient lighting.

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Diners at Bill’s have an added twist to their visit. You can actually sit and order your weeks shopping from Bill’s whilst you savour the delights of their menu.

This morning on the rare occasions that Elena and I are awake before 12noon on a weekend we decided to head down to Bill’s for a spot of breakfast. We were in a ‘no disappointment’ mood so new we could go to Bill’s and have a good meal with minimal fuss.

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I had the Eggs Royale and Elena had the scrambled egg with bacon. Both were served with the most delightful sour dough bread which is a break away from these dishes being served from a traditional English muffin but it works. The Eggs Royale on any breakfast menu is my fan favourite but this version/adaption has to be one of my fan favourites. The homemade hollandaise is so rich, creamy and tangy. I often get annoyed with restaurants about the quantity they serve of it but here I asked for a little more and they gave me a jug of it without any fuss. Look, I like my food hot and wet, so yes I asked for more.

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They have a range of drinks at Bill’s but my fan favourite will always be the Elderflower cordial served hot. Never had I tried it hot until I was encouraged to do so by a waiter here many years ago and I haven’t looked back.

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Bill’s may be a chain but boy is it a chain of happiness. The food can only be described as fusion food so you will find something for even the fussiest eater and to suit everyone’s budget. An average spend here for us would be £15 which is a rare thing these days.

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Star Rating: ****1/2

Bill’s
9 White Lion St, London N1 9PD
http://bills-website.co.uk/