To brunch or not to brunch; can’t say we’ve ever faced this dilemma in Hong Kong, to be honest. But in a city as brunch loving as this one, where seemingly every cuisine offers a weekend feast of staggering proportions, the choice is overwhelming and a task too daunting for the hungover diner. Which is how, through a lot of trial and error (and mimosas and eggs ingested), we’ve learned to rely on our old favourites.
We know to get comfortable and cosy up when we’re at BlackSalt – the restaurant is small, seating is limited and it’s almost always packed at the weekend as discerning diners flock to this past Foodie Forks winner for its award-winning subcontinental fusion cuisine. Chef Taran Chadha’s intimate cul-de-sac nook brings the best of Indian, Nepali and Sri Lankan foods together on one distinguished platter, and the new brunch menu playfully reinvents classic Western breakfast staples with a subcontinental emphasis.
Nothing perks us right up like a freshly made mango lassi ($55) first thing in the morn’ – or early afternoon – after a night on the town. BlackSalt’s is heavenly smooth and velvety, with a surprising lightness that belied the drink’s creaminess, quite unlike the heavy-sitting lassis we’re normally used to; this one was a pure treat. Of course, if you’re seeking something a bit more “hair of the dog”, tap beer ($70) and glasses of mimosa ($75), bubbly ($70), Bloody Mary ($75) and espresso martini ($75) can also be had, amongst other libations.
BlackSalt provides biodegradable potato-starch straws for all beverages.
Laal maas dip
We looked at the laal maas dip ($130) like a breakfast twist on the doner kebab; think shaved, spiced lamb shoulder nestled in a soft, buttery French roll and a hot gravy dip of kashmiri chilli to perk up your taste buds, plus a salad on the side to take off some of that heat. The soft consistency of the roll held up well against the dripping meat juices, the outer crust didn’t buckle and the tender, flavourful lamb needed almost no chew.
Grilled chutney and cheese croque-madame
The grilled chutney and cheese croque-madame ($130) sounded beyond majestic on paper and looked the part too, stacked sky-high with layers of thick-cut grilled toast, gooey Comté cheese, thin-sliced cucumber, tomato, homemade paneer and a sunny-side up egg as the golden crown. The mint chutney that we were so looking forward to was a tad too mild to leave a lasting impression on our taste buds, but the two cheeses packed a rich, umami-laced punch, and the other toppings made for good bread mopping – though, all in all, the dish didn’t quite match up to our expectations of an exceptionally savoury, next-level cheese sandwich.
Other new items on the menu (and must-orders) are the sticky toffee buckcakes ($120), a creative gluten-free stack of buckwheat and date pancakes served with a thick, jam-like pear compote and sweet maple pecans, and the BS-Dilla, BlackSalt’s wholemeal breakfast quesadilla that holds a belly-warming combo of spicy scrambled egg, lentils, house curd and your choice of an additional filling that ranges from the vegetarian cauliflower and potato ($105), to lamb ($120), to crab ($150), if that’s the sort of food-coma-inducing richness you prefer for your first meal of the day. We also had eyes for the kata murga Benedict ($130), a dreamy fusion dish of chicken tikka masala served with poached egg and yoghurt Béarnaise on a house bap.
Spice-filled delights quite a bit different from your usual brunch offerings are on the table at BlackSalt, and it was a refreshing change for our palates. We loved the aromatic laal maas dip and the silky mango lassi, and we’ll be back to give the quesadillas a try. With its winning combo of an ideal, serene location for people-watching, the countless dogs lolling leisurely about looking for a stroke and a varied, affordably priced menu, BlackSalt stays – deservingly – on our reliable favourites list.
14 Fuk Sau Lane, Sai Ying Pun, 3702 1237
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.
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