The word 'brunch' means something entirely different in Hong Kong to most other cities. Not at all breakfast and only vaguely lunch, brunch somehow means "let's meet post midday, usually hungover, and crawl to some other restaurant/hotel lounge/rooftop that involves free-flow champagne, suckling pigs. a lot of oysters and invariably a buffet of some description".
Sometimes we are into this, but sometimes we just want to eat actual breakfast, and we've thus been on a rampage to find some actual breakfast items around Hong Kong. These are the type that involve one dish, no alcohol, can eaten during a weekday and hopefully come alongside an amazing iced tea or flat white.
Here are ten awesome breakfasts we have discovered lately in Hong Kong:
1. Teakha II
Eggs Benedict at Teakha II
If we loved Teakha the original, we love the new Teakha II even more. Teakha II sits underneath HKU on Po Tuck Street in Sai Wan, and is a lot larger, brighter and airier than it's older sister in Tai Ping Shan. We love the eggs benedict here, where the sriracha and english muffin are homemade, and the hollandaise is spiced up with the use of brown butter. Also delicious is the shakshuka (header image), a dish that's making headlines in New York, Sydney and London but is strangely absent in Hong Kong. The dish (originally Tunisian but popularised as a Jewish dish) is comprised of eggs poached in a base of tangy tomatoes and braised peppers and spiced with cumin to which potatoes and chorizo are added. On top a generous sprinkling of feta cheese and parsley is then served, of course, in a skillet.
Website or Tel: 3956 9009
18 Po Tuck Street, Western District
Opening Hours: Tue-Sun: 11:00-19:00; closed Monday
2. Yue Hing
Image via orangenews.hk
Yue Hing is one of the few food stalls, or dai pai dongs left in the hustle and bustle of Central. And its survival is certainly not undeserved, as it’s known to dish up some of the best breakfasts in town. Their must-order items are their scrambled egg sandwiches ($32 with hot drink or $34 with cold drink), with your own choices of two additional ingredients. Try their spiced pork dices, cheese and scrambled egg sandwich (make sure to tell them to toast it), and we’re quite confident that you’ll find the minimum half hour queue any morning oh-so-worth-it. The freshly toasted, hot and crispy wheat bread offers a great textual contrast to the gooey interior of the perfectly blended cheese and scrambled egg, while the pork gives a little perfect spicy kick afterwards. They also apply a thin layer of peanut butter and shredded cabbage that offsets the oily core and adds on the 100th layer of texture and flavour which synchronise perfectly.
82 Stanley Street, Central
Open Hours: Mon to Fri from 8:00am - 1:45pm; closed on Saturday and Sunday
3. Butcher and Baker
Fresh juices, smoothies and shakes, Kim & Co Coffee and some yum town a la carte breakfast choices. Our suggestions are the mushroom toast (sautéed mushrooms topped with goat cheese, watercress & walnuts, served on toasted turkish bread $110), breakfast burrito (scrambled eggs, bacon, salsa, beans & avocado wrapped in a flour tortilla $110) and avocado toast (they call it smash and it is fresh avocado on toasted sourdough with crispy bacon bits $95).
There is also the Bakers' health loaf choice of: fig date & wild seed mix or carrot & raisin loaf served with homemade strawberry jam & maple butter ($45), almond milk porridge served with coyo, banana, date syrup & cacao bits ($75) and chia pudding served with almond milk, coconut yoghurt & date syrup ($75) for the more health inclined.
Our absolute favourites: pumpkin fritters served with avocado, grilled tomato & goats cheese topped with onion jam ($110) because ONION JAM.
Butcher and Baker
Website or Tel: 2591 0318
On Fat Building, 57-59 Cadogan Street, Kennedy Town
Opening Hours: 7am to 11pm Monday to Sunday
4. Mano Café
The rebranded Mano Café, now under the same owners of Corner Kitchen Café on Hollywood Road, is known to fare as well if not even better than its already amazing cousin. “There has never been a sadness that can’t be cured by breakfast food” is their breakfast philosophy and we couldn’t agree more, especially when it comes to Mano’s Huevo Rancheros ($125) or all wheat wraps ($86) which come with combinations of spinach, avocado and scrambled eggs or smoked salmon, yoghurt, tomato and coriander among others. Mano Café is an all rounded winner with a cosy, laid-back vibe and also a killer selection of artisana coffee.
Website or Tel: 2362 6997
G/F, The L Place, 139 Queen's Road Central, Hong Kong, Central
Open Hours: Mon to Fri from 10:00am to 11:00pm, Sat from 9:00am to 11:00pm; closed on Sunday
5. Hop Yik Tai
Image via annfung
Recently making an appearance under the street food section of Michelin Guide Hong Kong 2016, this little gem tucked far away at Sham Shui Po has been a favourite among locals long before its rise to international fame for their extremely economical yet mindbogglingly tasty steamed rice noodle rolls. Sold for $7 for four, $9 for six and $12 for eight, their rice noodle rolls trump the rest you find around town because they are tightly rolled so they don’t fall apart easily, are extremely smooth and also firm to the bite. They are mixed with an array of different seasonings like dark soya sauce, black bean paste and chilli sauce which creates a perfect concoction of sweet, hot and savoury. Their production process also involves a dash of pork lard which gives them an unbeatable aroma. Pair the mid-sized portion (which is more than enough for the average individual) with a glass of cold soy milk ($6) and you have an extremely hearty breakfast for $15, which is pretty much impossible to match in Hong Kong.
Hop Yik Tai
Tel: 2720 0239
G/F, 121 Lam Street, Sham Shui Po
Open Hours: Mon to Sun from 6:30am - 8:30pm
A favourite French brasserie in a city full of French brasseries, Metropolitain is a little more laid back and has some outstanding croissants on offer, everyday from 10am. We also have heard great, great things from prolific croque monsieur eaters, who rave about the one at Metropolitain.
Website or Tel: 6271 6102
46 High Street, Sai Ying Pun
Opening Hours: 9am to 11pm Monday to Sunday
7. Papillon Cafe
For a mid-sized coffee shop, Pappillon Caffe truly serves an impressive list of breakfast options. From eggs benedict to croissant, danish, muffin, salads to cereal and toasts, there’s practically something for anyone. Grab a wonderfully airy and crispy Danish and pair it with a beverage for $35 on days you want something light on the stomach, or go all-out on an extremely indulgent breakfast with their all-day deluxe breakfast that comes with truffle scrambled eggs, homemade baked pinquito beans, Cumberland sausage, roasted vine tomatoes, sautéed wild mushroom, bacon, homemade avocado and corn salsa and a slice of toast for a slightly heftier $108, all in the comforts of a homey, cosy vibe.
Website or Tel: 2527 9282
Shop 1701-1705, 17/F., Hopewell Centre, 183 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai
Open Hours: Mon to Sun from 7:30am - 10:00pm
8. Grassroots Pantry
Updates from everyone's favourite vegetarian restaurant, they now have a bunch of takeaway options; either via Deliveroo or grab and go in store. The chia seed pudding with blueberry compote and matcha-moringa coconut kefir yoghurt parfait are the best for a mid-week breakfast, every Monday to Friday from 7:30am.
Website or Tel: 2873 3353
108 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday from 7:30am, 12noon and 6:00pm
9. Café Gray Deluxe
If you’re in the mood to really step up your breakfast game (in the monetary sense) every once in a while, Café Gray Deluxe offers spectacular breakfasts that are complemented with extremely attentive service and an impeccable Victoria Harbour view. The Bakery and Toast breakfast, for example, is elegant to say the least. It comes with an array of different homemade pastries like raspberry nut-roll, grapefruit puff and blueberry Danish that’s paired with homemade spreads and fresh pressed juices ($225). Their power breakfast called Soho Breakfast is a winner too, with Greek yoghurt topped with almond silvers, honey and dried apricot, a papaya mango salad and ten grain hot cereal with stewed raspberries milk ($255). If this isn’t enough nutrients for you to power through the day, we don’t know what is.
Cafe Gray Deluxe
Website or Tel: 3968 1106
L49 The Upper House, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty
Open Hours: Mon to Sun from 6:30am - 10:30pm
10. The Continental
We know we talk about them a lot, but they just do everything right here. Al fresco eating, service that's as good as at a luxury hotel, down to earth British food that doesn't mess about and a gorgeously bright restaurant with huge windows and tall ceilings.
We're obsessed with their croque madam and eggs royale in particular. But really, you won't be let down by anything on the menu. Also their tea; their tea is very good. As all British tea should be.
Website or Tel: 2704 5211
One Pacific Place, 88 Queensway
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri: 07:00 - 22:30 Sat-Sun: 10:00 - 22:30