'What,' I hear you say, 'you mean, the insulated container brand Thermos has a café? What kind of food do they possibly serve? They're not a restaurant. What is this crazy concept?!'
Concept, yes, but crazy, not so much. Located in the Wanchai eatery hub The East, Thermos Café is a collaboration between Lao coffee brand Bolaven Farms and trusty container company Thermos, whose household name needs no introduction. With Bolaven in the kitchen and Thermos on the floor, the two brands come together to showcase traditional Lao cuisine and organic coffee beans from the Bolaven Plateau in southern Laos, as well as present ingenious ways to use Thermos-brand products for purposes other than keeping your soup warm. What, don't believe me? Cooking with a Thermos is totally a thing. Definitely a thing. I'm telling ya, it's a thing. It's so cool, right?
During our short visit, we tried both hot and iced traditional Lao coffee, using Bolaven's exclusive beans, as well as an assortment of signature bahn mi and house-made chocolate brownies. Rich, sweet and tasting much like Vietnamese coffee, Bolaven's Laotian coffee carries a mild-bodied flavour. Our drinks were prepared using a drip filter, which we were told brings out the best taste in the delicate beans. The superior quality and agreeable flavours are without a doubt a step up from most of the coffees that we indiscriminately ingest every day. Paired with chunks of soft chocolate brownies, this was an indulgent and pleasant afternoon snack.
The Philly cheesesteak bahn mi was the most innovative of the sandwich selection and the most stand out. Though the pork option was tangy and succulent and the chicken sandwich was mouthwateringly tender and juicy, the Philly cheesesteak version was gooey and savoury and had us grabbing more than one serving.
If you're around the Hopewell Centre area and craving a nibble, Thermos Café is a reliable eatery you may not have heard of before. There's a good variety of choice on their lunch menu, from bahn mi, to pho, to curry, and the sets are reasonably priced at $89, which will get you a main, a side salad and tea or coffee. We only wish that the location and interior of the café offered more opportunities for us to kick back and enjoy our delicious drinks in a more relaxed fashion, but alas, there are no cushy armchairs or outdoor lounging area...
Still, kick back, munch on delicious bahn mi sandwiches and pick up a 'treat yo'self' gift to try your hand at making a curry dish cooked in your very own Thermos vacuum pot. We've been told that curries cooked via this speciality method give the meat a softer and more tender texture while still retaining all the sweet aromas.
Shop 705, 7/F, Hopewell Centre, 183 Queen's Road East, Wanchai, 2323 6655