Caribbean cuisine is a fusion of many different styles, full of the exotic and powerful flavours from the host of countries that have left their mark on the various islands dotted around the Caribbean Sea. Imagine the influences imparted by the Spanish, Portuguese, British, French, Dutch, Scandinavian, East Indian, Asian and African nations compiled together, cherry-picked and then combined with the fresh fruits, spices and seafood of these tropical islands. You get a pretty groovy mishmash of flavours.
Having said that, there isn't much access to these fancy Caribbean flavours here in Hong Kong, and anyone hunting for them will have already found the delights on the authentic menu at Rummin' Tings, as well as a fun vibe that injects that colourful Caribbean warmth right into Hollywood Road. Upon opening in 2015 (and winning a Foodie Forks award for Best New Bar), they drew favour amongst a loyal following of fun seekers and fiery-flavour hunters.
So what's new at Rummin' Tings? Brunch! That's what. And it's delightful. They haven't gone overboard with their choices but are listening to their punters with their frequent requests to put eggs on the menu, unleashing a scattering of subtly spicy dishes.
We deliberated over the drink offerings and settled on a Caribbean Pimm's chock-full of grapefruit and mint, and despite a powerful measure of booze, it provided an uplifting, healthful vibe. This is available as free flow, along with wine and beer, for $288 or you can splurge on the free-flow champagne for $468. This offer includes Red Stripe beer, the indie-favoured lager of choice, which is exclusively sold in Hong Kong at Rummin' Tings – so if you're looking for your Jamaican beer fix, this is the only place to get it.
We started with the ubiquitous avocado smash ($80), utterly necessary to seduce the millennial crowd through the doors. And it's a solid offering, served on sourdough and beefed up with an added kick from the insanely moreish house-made pepper sauce.
Most foodies will be familiar with jerk, the quintessential flavour of Jamaica, full of warm spices and hot chilli, most famed for serving as a dry rub for chicken but also as an all-purpose seasoning that enhances many different dishes. The jerk eggs Benedict ($100) appeared with a hefty serving of salty bacon under a thick shroud of hollandaise that was generous enough without being sloppy and could handle being fully contained on each forkful, which is an rare thing in the eggs Benny world.
The masala omelette ($80) was a huge offering of a wonderfully thin and fluffy omelette with pepper, red onion and a hint of aromatic garam masala spice nestled within.
The pancakes ($110) were a hit. These fluffy little rounds came with a choice of coconut or rum and raisin ice cream, which were both pretty addictive (as ice cream tends to be). The coconut was a particularly thrilling addition to an already indulgent maple-syrup-topped dish.
The Trini scrambled eggs with jerk chicken ($110) was a surprisingly magical little union of eggs fried with shado beni, spring onion, coriander and tomato alongside mouth-watering slices of flavourful chicken. There is also a grilled half jerk chicken ($170) on the menu (but this little number needs to be pre-ordered one day in advance). It comes served with a mound of red bean rice and peas and crispy plantains.
We recommend booking the back corner table (and pre-ordering the half jerk chicken at the same time) for its cosy positioning where you can watch all the action and appreciate the lively atmosphere fully immersed. It's good value, good fun and good food.
Post-brunching, they'll hit you up with a free basket of buffalo chicken wings for the table on Saturdays along with the first alcoholic beverage purchased, and every Sunday they have acoustic sessions from 6–9pm to get your jam and jerk on, all in one place.
28 Hollywood Road, Central, 2523 7070