Where would you go to have an early morning chat with your friends over a good cup of coffee or something to munch in Hong Kong? Check out the places below that are worth visiting for incredibly good breakfast on HK island side.
1. Cupping Room ( Shop LG, 287-299 Queen’s Road Central, Sheung Wan)
Sheung Wan is gaining crowds of royal followers in culinary scenes for the recent few years and this place is leading the cafe trend with its barista winning two-time HK barista championship. From the facade on Cleverly street entrance, you might easily mistake Cupping room for a cafe somewhere in Brooklyn, New York, with its unique ambience and hipster patrons.
Their house-black coffee is what they earned a reputation for and all breakfast menu are divine. If you go for savory options, look no further than “Eggs Benedict with house-cured salmon”, “Avocado on toast with poached eggs”. For sweet choice, “French toast” here is great as the flavor is not overly sweet but very delicately presented with real bananas and good maple syrup. (Taste 4.5/ Ambience 4.5/ Service 3.5/ Price 4 /Value 4.5)
2. Le Salon De The de Joel Robuchon ( Shop 314,334 Landmark Atrium, Central)
If you are visiting HK, chances are you will be encountered with (at least) one of Robuchon’s cafes located in fancy shopping malls, like Landmark central, IFC Four seasons entrance and Elements in Kowloon station, etc. Reputation being Michelin three-starred restaurant with its international presence always attracts many visitors as well as residents in search of good croissants and baguettes.
Their baguettes and croissants are one of the best in HK and recent find of “Banana chocolate croissant” covered with almond slices and cinnamon powders literally put me in a sinful spiral. Flaky exterior texture of the croissants surprisingly matching the moist banana flavors inside, my attempt of trying only half of those two my favorite croissants (leaving half for later consumption) never succeeds. However, it gives me another compelling reason to work out at the gym, so it is not too bad to devour all those calories.
While their pastries are relatively reasonably priced, price for coffee is not, but this famous “La Marzocco” espresso machine that they use will surely satisfy you no matter what. People-watching in the open atrium of this luxurious mall while munching your morning croissants is another joy that can’t be missed. (Taste 5/ Ambience 4.5/ Service 5/ Price 4.5/Value 4.5)
3. The Mandarin Cake Shop (Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 5 Connaught Rod Central, Central)
This bakery in Mandarin Oriental Hotel is the one that I’ve most frequented while living in HK before finding two above-mentioned places. Eating these beautifully presented pastries with a cup of Americano has been my weekend morning ritual, usually followed by a grocery shopping at Oliver’s in the adjacent Prince’s Building.
Looking at those elegantly displayed cakes, it always occurs to me that eating cakes as a breakfast can be a good idea and it really is. Also, don’t miss out their renowned scones available at 3 pm daily, shining star of the afternoon tea set. If you want something more than pastries, head directly to either “Cafe Causette” or “Clipper Lounge” right next to this bakery, which serves from its famous Hainanese chicken rice, wonton noodle, pancakes to full breakfast buffet, literally everything. (Taste 4.5/ Ambience 5/ Service 5/ Price 5/Value 4.5)
4. Coffee Academics (223-227 Wan Chai Road, Morrison Hill)
As its name suggests, this place treats coffee quite seriously and uses THE espresso machine ” La Marzocco” (If you find coffee shop using this coffee machine, the quality of their coffee is 90% guaranteed.) While Coffee Academics has a few presence in HK, this quiet venue on Wan Chai Road is the best of all, giving you serene moment of reading books and working on-line.
They boast vast food options in its almost magazine-looking menu booklet and their breakfast set menu that comes with a choice of coffee is quite a steal, given rather steep (but understandably) price for the coffee here. Coffee Academics also runs coffee workshops so if you are really into coffee, this place is more than just for your breakfast . (Taste 3.5 / Ambience 4.5/ Service 4/ Price 4.5/Value 4)
5. Oolaa ( G/F, Center Stage, Bridges Street, SoHo, Sheung Wan)How can I forget Oolaa when talking about breakfast scene in Hong Kong? Straddling Staunton and Bridges Street on the borderline of SoHo and Taiping Shan, Oolaa is an ideal place for enjoying group dining or having a relaxed time by yourself with its wide open space full of cheers lifting up morning spirits. Frankly, the food itself is not the most delicious but the truly relaxing ambience and cool vibe make up for this. While they tout their signature menu is Oolaa’s big Breakfast, I like to have Greek Yogurt with quinoa and berries for a lighter option. My kids’ school is just 1 min-walk from Oolaa, making this place look like a school canteen, as I always bump into parents, children or teachers here. (Taste 3/ Ambience 4.5/ Service 3.5/ Price 4/Value 3.5)
Verdict: If you are a visitor to HK, Mandarin Oriental cake shop and Joel Robuchon bakery are perfect places for great pastries and coffee in a snug setting of luxurious hotel and mall. You won’t miss Oolaa if you follow the travel guide route of happening SoHo and trendy Taiping Shan district and this place is always popular with both visitors and residents alike. If you are serious about coffee and food, head directly to Cupping Room and Coffee Academics(for the coffee) and the unique ambience exuding hipster vibe will truly make you feel like a cafe trendsetter.