Weekends are made for brunch and The Optimist is made for weekends. If lots of delicious Spanish food (think cheese, cured meats, grilled seafood, broken eggs, and much more) sounds like your kind of meal, then The Optimist certainly won’t disappoint. The fresh and vibrant atmosphere will pull you in right away and the ample amounts of food will undoubtedly leave you satisfied.
There are three different floors to The Optimist, all of which exude a different vibe. Brunch is served on the first floor (above the bar) – it’s large windows at the back allow for plenty of natural light, and its polished decor is modern without being pretentious. Whether you’re a table for two or with a large group of people, brunch at The Optimist is perfect for all.
Cold Pintxos Buffet
We began our feast with The Optimist’s cold pintxos buffet. With a range of cured meat (I had an entire plate dedicated to this deliciousness), a variety of salads (pasta, rocket, barley), and mini tartines, this buffet is a meal in and of itself. A word of warning: be sure to exercise caution and restraint when piling up your plate, as you still have three incredibly filling courses to go.
Hot Sharing Starters
After you’ve had enough of the buffet nibbles, get ready for a spread of four hot sharing starters. The Broken Eggs (Heuvos Rotos) with Iberian ham, chorizo, potato, and egg, was a show-stoper – we couldn’t wait to cut the yolk and mix everything together. Another Broken Eggs (Heuvos Rotos) dish was next, this time with mushroom, truffle, potato, and egg. I actually think I liked this meat-free version more than the other, though both were incredibly delicious. We also shared Ham & Mushroom Croquettes with Iberian ham and Boletus mushrooms. The ham croquettes were amazing, while the mushroom croquettes were just average. The final sharing starter was the Charcoal Grilled Octopus with potato, garlic, and Ajada sauce. The octopus was grilled perfectly, however, the dish on a whole could use a bit more flavour.
Despite already regretting not wearing stretchy pants, we were ready for our mains. The Whole Seabass “A la Espalda” (for two people at an additional HK$68 per person) was covered in fragrant garlic, making this one juicy fish. While we loved the taste of the seabass, we didn’t love the bones we kept having to pick out of the fish. Wanting to also try a meat dish, we opted for the Charcoal Grilled Flat Iron Steak (additional HK$28). Cooked to a medium rare, this steak could have literally been cut with a butter knife. We all fell in love with the vegetarian dish of Eggplant “Berenjena al Horno”. The combination of juicy eggplant, rich sauce, and the ample amount of goat cheese brought this dish together so well that we wished we had ordered two.
To finish off our brunch, a chef selection of three desserts were brought to our table. The first dessert had an almost liquid-like cream-colored base with what resembled (and could very well have been) Rice Krispies. After shaking some cinnamon on top and taking a bite, we were hooked. The smooth texture of the pudding with the crispy crunch of the Rice Krispies, made for an interesting combination. Next was the Vanilla Custard “Natillas” with corn flakes and strawberry coulis. This was equally as delicious as the first dessert – we loved the addition of the strawberry coulis, which really gave it a wow-factor. Lastly, we tried the Flan: egg flan, lemon cream, and almond crunch. While we did enjoy this dish, it certainly wasn’t on the same level as the other two desserts.
If you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of weekends in Central, The Optimist in Wan Chai is a great option: welcoming atmosphere, friendly service, and enough food to keep you full the entire day. The brunch here is also very good value, and with the option to add on free-flow drinks, you really can’t go wrong with spending a Saturday or Sunday at The Optimist.
The Optimist’s brunch starts at HK$368 per person, which includes a cold pintxos buffet, sharing starters, a main course, and dessert.
Add an additional HK$180 for free-flow sangria, prosecco, and wine.
239 Hennessey Road
Tel: 2433 3324