In the spirit of capitalism, a bit of friendly competition can be a decent motivator to ensure standards are held high. Such was the case that eventuated last week with the introduction of Schragels Bagels to Hong Kong, proving that a New York bagel is now discoverable in the otherwise bagel-drought-ridden city that experienced a breakfast famine akin to that of its Irish counterpart. When it rains it pours, however, and shortly after discovering Schragels, Bagoes burst onto the scene. Things just got heated. And by things, we mean bagels. Bagels, just got heated. Baked, actually….
And thus we now have Bagoes; another decent bagel in this city. Bagoes was founded upon the revelation bestowed to owner, Jim, when breakfasting in Bali, of all places. Munching on a superb New York classic, Jim started to question why he had been denied such a chewy yet crispy, dense but fluffy, satisfying baked good all his Hong Kong life. And he promptly went about changing it. Bagoes Ltd has been founded to bring authentic New York style bagels to Hong Kong. In pre production for almost a year, they now feel as though they can meet the Hong Kong market with an unparalleled standard of bagel. And how did it hold up?
We tasted the lunch set that, starting in October, will available from pick up points all over the city, a new model employed in Hong Kong intending to make breakfasts and lunches a little more convenient and varied. Each day a selection of different bagel sandwiches can be ordered quickly and easily through their website and then collected from delivery staff at pre-determined collection points. Good idea! Saves the queuing (we’re not all British) and makes for efficient lunchtime munching.
On the taste: they’re good. They’re very good. The flavour of Bagoes is lush, and their lunch time offerings quite superb. The choice of pastrami OR smoked salmon is an undeniably winning line up of candidates meaning that every fish or meat inclination in the office or family can be met. The pastrami itself is shaved wonderfully and well seasoned, and the included rocket, pickles and American mustard makes for a standout Reuben sandwich, one that we have never ever seen this part of town. However, without a toaster you might be a little in lurch, as these bagels were quite chewy and gave our jaws quite the workout when in un-toasted form. A greater variety of toppings and cream cheeses might be a winner too, as everybody loves a nice, spread…
The salmon, capers, red onion combination is lovely, but again would come to life with a distinctive onion cream cheese base, rather than the standard cream cheese which is what we were presented with. The structure of the bagel itself is exactly what a bagel should be, nice and dense and a very well sized halo of dough. Flavours were onion, sesame and poppyseed, as well as plain.
The Bagoes order system is stunning, it has to be said. Very easy to navigate, crisp, with alluring photographs of the selections and clear instructions detailing how to go about the order and pick up process.
Bagoes really encourage feedback/personal requests and can be contacted on their websites and Facebook pages. So go on Foodies of Hong Kong, give a few tips of what you’d like to see and perhaps in a few months times we will run another bagel war! What’s certain is these little carbo-loader rings of delight are causing quite the fuss.