The beloved establishment of Staunton’s has transformed into an all-day gastropub, delighting diners with British-inspired pub fare at its iconic location
It’s easy to spot Staunton’s when riding up the Central to Mid-Levels escalator. The two-storey building situated on the corner of Staunton and Shelley streets is known to many as a SoHo icon, first opened in 1997. It’s long been a popular hang-out for city dwellers to slip away from their busy lives and drink al fresco. Although this beloved neighbourhood bar wasn’t able to weather the storm of the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to hospitality veteran Vinay Kapoor, Staunton’s has recently marked a triumphant return.
The moment I entered the new Staunton’s, I was greeted with a warm and inviting atmosphere. The bar stools were almost fully occupied, with pub-goers enjoying the company of friends or relaxing with a drink in hand. The bar itself is a spectacle to behold. Heading upstairs, you’ll find an open-air balcony – the perfect spot to take in the sunset or enjoy people-watching from above.
Staunton’s all-day menu of classic British pub staples and popular international bar snacks is crafted to offer diners a gastropub experience from dawn ’til dusk.
As I raised a chilled bottle of San Miguel beer to my lips while admiring Staunton’s balcony, our first starter arrived. The perfectly golden fish fingers (HK$108) with their uniform shape and thickness are simply seasoned with sea salt and finely chopped parsley. My fingers were immediately tempted to reach out and submerge a fish finger into an dollop of Staunton’s homemade minty pea dip or creamy tartare sauce. As I sank my teeth into the delicate fish encased in a crunchy exterior, a burst of freshness engulfed my palate. The combination of vibrant mint and tender, sweet peas takes the fish to another level of mouth-watering goodness. This classic British dish is definitely fit for a king.
Staunton’s menu is well thought out and also boasts an enticing array of pub grub that pays tribute to Hong Kong’s reputation as a gourmet paradise – such as the Korean fried chicken (HK$98) with piquant kimchi mayo. The bite-sized chicken glistens in a beautiful orange glaze, leaning towards the bolder end of the spectrum in terms of spiciness; their fiery kick might be better suited to those who prefer more intense flavours. The KFC goes particularly well with an ice-cold beer (or two).
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Unlike some of my buddies who are pub regulars, I had zero idea that sausages are affectionately known as “bangers” in the UK until a plate adorned with bangers and mash (HK$168) landed on our table. It was delightful to see the chunky Cumberland sausages nestled atop a bed of pillowy mashed potato bathed in luscious beef gravy. I loved taking one bite of the juicy meat followed by a spoonful of the velvety, whipped-to-perfection mash swimming in savoury gravy. This is iconic pub fare at its finest!
Another longstanding British comfort-food favourite is chicken tikka butter masala (HK$168), here paired with steamed basmati rice and garlic naan. I enjoyed using the fragrant naan as a vessel to scoop up the creamy curry.
Staunton’s passion for paying homage to Britain’s much-loved quintessential foods is also evident in its dessert options. My eyes widened in surprise when the sticky toffee pudding (HK$78) was served. I had no clue (pardon my ignorance) that this sponge cake with its generous drizzle of glossy toffee sauce cascading over the plate is referred to as “pudding” by the Brits. As my fork descended, the homemade toffee sauce seeped into the chocolate sponge, revealing a luxurious and comforting texture. The beautifully baked cake displays the perfect balance of sweetness and density.
Staunton’s is no ordinary boozer – this iconic gastropub pays equal attention to both the food and drink served. Even if you’re not a pub regular, it’s worth going to enjoy some of their traditional British bites, which are all reasonably priced. And for those who are not beer drinkers, Staunton’s also offers a wide variety of wines and cocktails. Make sure you save room for the out-of-this-world sticky toffee pudding!
Where: 10–12 Staunton Street, SoHo, Central
For reservations: phone 2739 3666
This write-up is based on a complimentary media tasting provided in exchange for an honest review and no monetary compensation. The opinions expressed here represent the author’s.