Admittedly, I walked into Bizou skeptical of how the evening would pan out. Primarily because I’m slightly skeptical of restaurants that are located inside malls (even really nice ones), Bizou’s claim to be an “American Brasserie” was confusing, and it’s yet another Dining Concepts venture. By the end of the evening, my wariness had long passed; the restaurant had a comfortable-sleek atmosphere, the majority of dishes were superb, and I would venture to say that Dining Concepts has certainly stepped up their game and attitude towards opening restaurants. Lesson learned: don’t judge a book (restaurant) by its cover.
The newest brunch offering in Hong Kong is at Ham and Sherry; the quaint Spanish tapas restaurant in Wan Chai with a whole lot of personality. The a la carte menu is reasonably priced, with most dishes around HK$98, and the staff ensured my glass of bubbly was never empty. Trying to separate themselves from the plethora of other brunch spots in the city, Ham and Sherry offers diners a selection of Spanish tapas to share, alongside free-flow cava and Estrella, every Saturday and Sunday.
While I never got caught up in the KFC craze that took over Hong Kong, I figured it was about time to give it a try. Dodam Chicken, a popular restaurant in Korea, has recently opened up in Causeway Bay. Their chicken is meant to be healthier because it’s cooked in temperatures above 400 degrees, removing excess fat. Now, I’m not sure how true this actually is, but I’ll take just about any excuse to make myself feel better about eating excessive amounts of fried food.
If you’ve ever done a bit of wandering through the alleyways around LKF, you’ve likely walked past Westwood Carvery along Wo On Lane. This is one of those restaurants you probably wouldn’t take much notice of, as it’s quite small and doesn’t really stand out among the other restaurants and bars lining the street. That being said, I ended up going to Westwood Carvery for dinner the other night and was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed the food, vibe, and service.
Beef and Liberty has recently opened up in California Tower in LKF, boasting an incredibly large dining area with ample seating outside on the terrace, and a beautiful open kitchen and bar. While most people are familiar with Beef and Liberty’s burgers, this is their first location to serve a weekend brunch (that doesn’t just consist of burgers and fries). There is something for everyone on the Beef and Liberty brunch menu; from granola and yogurt to a mac ‘n cheese sandwich, the vibe is great, and nothing is over HK$80, which is unheard of in Hong Kong. Basically, this is one kick-ass brunch.
Elgin Street in Hong Kong’s SoHo is well-known for an incredibly high turnover rate for restaurants thanks to excessive rent hikes, so it’s somewhat surprising to see new concepts willingly open up. One such restaurant that has disregarded Elgin Street’s curse is 12000 FRANCS. Unlike other restaurants serving modern European cuisine, 12000 FRANCS brings diners refreshing ingredient-driven dishes that uses both traditional and modern preservation methods. Even the name, 12000 FRANCS, comes from the intriguing story of Napoleon Bonaparte who, in 1795, offered this amount in cash to anyone who was able to develop a food preservation method for his armies. Just that alone should have you wanting to pay this restaurant a visit.
Brunch and Thai food lovers, rejoice! Mak Mak has recently launched a brunch comprised of all their favourite a la carte items in a buffet-style format that won’t disappoint. Mak Mak brunch offers 20+ dishes in single-serving sizes that you can order and re-order as many times as your stomach can handle. There’s also a free-flow drink option of mocktails, Thai cocktails, or Veuve Champagne to really get you in the boozy brunch spirit. Basically, be sure to wear your stretchy pants and don’t plan anything, save for a nap, afterwards.
Having been to Maison Eight in TST for dinner when it first opened, I was excited to hear they recently launched a brunch menu (since I’m all about that eggs benny goodness). Maison Eight isn’t exactly in a convenient location (but that could just be me being stuck in my HK Island bubble), but the views from the dining area as well as the outdoor terrace make the trek worth your time. As for the food, Maison Eight brunch offers diners the option of one, two, or three-courses and attempts to please all with a good mix of typical brunch dishes, as well as a handful of fine dining dishes taken from their a la carte menu.
Casual, fuss-free Southern Californian food is what newly opened Commissary is all about. The concept is a mash-up between Yenn Wong (JIA Group) and Morgan McGlone (Belles Hot Chicken in Sydney and Melbourne), so expectations for this newcomer were high. The atmosphere is surprisingly easy-going and the food is a mix of light and hearty colorful dishes, offering diners a handful of items that you won’t see on many (if any) other restaurant menus in Hong Kong.
Despite facing a few recent hurdles, Mamasita’s Cantina promises diners authentic Mexican street food in an upbeat Latin atmosphere. With a Cuban-inspired bar on the 6th floor, offering a range of drinks and cigars, and a quaint outdoor patio, and the restaurant on the floor below, Mamasita’s Cantina has an appeal that reaches out to many. The menu includes your typical Mexican dishes like tacos, guacamole and chips, and pork carnitas, while also offering a modern Mexican take on other dinner staples.