Brunch spot, Central, Hong Kong Restaurant

Shelter Lounge

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I’ve always been on the lookout for new brunch places and Shelter Lounge came onto the radar. Despite being located in the quiet lane of New street (the street behind Heirloom and Queen Trattoria), this place was far from being a secret hideout. Most of the tables were filled on a lazy Sunday and walk-ins were turned away as the place was fully booked

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I love how open Shelter Lounge felt, the communal table on the first floor was the center piece and even though all seats were filled it did feel overly crowded or that I was sitting on the laps of the people next to us. The ceiling to floor windows let in ample sunlight and it felt so refreshing and bright just sitting around, chilling.
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We picked from the brunch menu; I was in the mood for burger (again) so I picked the portobello burger? I know… for some reason I kept imagining that the portobello burger would come with meat and of course it din (DUH!). We also wanted the beef burger which we were told the item was sold out for the day but mysteriously appeared on a couple of other tables after we were done with our food hmmm… Brunch was not impressive but I wanted to try the rest of the menu so I returned again for dinner a couple of days later

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Shelter Lounge was definitely quieter on a week night, the first floor was dotted with 2,3 tables of patrons while the second floor dining room was half filled. We got a little carried away and order almost half the items of the menu. Before we knew it, the table was just covered with dishes and we had to cancel the pork belly coz we were just too stuffed

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The seafood and fennel salad was ok, the yuzu soy dressing was tad on the salty side and most of the dish was left untouched

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The beetroot salad with orange, mache, feta & white balsamic on the other hand was very good. The cirusy orange, sweet beetroot, salty creamy feta and sweet nutty mache are blend together in this light and refreshing perfect summer salad

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Forest mushroom black truffle cream with natto egg with toast had deep aroma and flavors while natto egg added gooey texture to the mushroom

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Seared scallops with pancetta, pea, onion foam had the perfect texture, soft and still raw and soft in the inside and beautifully caramelized on the sides. The pancetta, pea and onion foam on the side was made well while the scallop itself was a bit bland. I added sprinkled a few grains of salt on top of it and it instantly brought out the natural sweetness of fresh scallops.

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Steamed clams in chorizo and baby cabbage with bruschetta sauce, the tangy, flavorful chorizo sauce went very well with the lightness of fresh and firm clams.

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Miso cod eggplant, turnip, pickled ginger shoot was gone so fast I knew it was the crowd pleaser of the night. The miso added just the right amount of sweetness to the silky smooth, soft, buttery cod.

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Slow cook duck breast with pickled red cabbage was alright, the duck breast was a little tough to my liking even though it was perfectly pink on the inside

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Grilled hanger steak was grilled to perfection; nicely pink on the inside and slightly charred on the sides. The deep flavor was brought out with just a bit of salt and a dot of mustard.

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They are currently not serving alcohol beverages yet so corkage is free =) Do call ahead and check if conditions still holds before bring cases of wine along with you. Also, there’s a private dining area for about 18-20 people if you have a big group!  

Shelter Lounge
Shop A, G/f & 1/F, Universal Building
5-13 New Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
Tuesday to Friday 12.00 – 23.00
Saturday to Sunday 10.00 – 23.00
Public Holidays 10.00 – 23.00
Tel: 2517 6211
http://www.shelterlounge.com.hk

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Brunch spot, Hong Kong Restaurant, Travel

28 days

😦 So sorry for being MIA! I haven’t posted anything in almost a month.. 28 days to be exact!! It’s just been such a crazy month with traveling, preparation for mission trip/ voluntary work, the actual mission trip and not to mention, I’m just about to move after having viewed a gazillion apartments (Thank God I’ve got the best deal EVER!!!!) I promise I’ll be more consistent once I’ve moved and am settled into the new apartment!!

Before the actual post of each event, here’s some of the highlights of the past 28 days

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I used to LOVE going to taipei for the weekend but I hadn’t gone in a long long time, this trip really made me realize how much I miss Taipei!!

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Girly dinner at Quemo, I know I know, it’s almost been 2 weeks now! the review will be up very soon!! =)

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Piggy and I in Phnom Penh

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Cupcake overload at Bloom Cafe .. droolz…

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My beautiful niece was in HK for a couple of days, she’s grown so much and is such a jolly kid!!!! 😉

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Jenn’s birthday brunch at Catalunya, Happy birthday babe!!!! =)

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Brunch spot, Hong Kong Restaurant

Lazy sunday at BurgeRoom & Kindergarten

I’ve been feeling incredibly restless since I got back from Israel, I think I’ve caught the travel bug **faints a little** and this crappy weather doesn’t help one bit. I have ZERO motivation to do anything, no motivation to eat (ok, I lied..) **correction** no motivation to eat AND write ( that sounds more like it) which resulted in stockpile of notes from the restaurants I’d been to the past month or so….  I’ll get to those new and fancy restaurants very soon, I promise, but today, on this crappy rainy day, all I can think of is comfort food…

I’m not a big fan of burger but now and then I have my burger craving and would have burgers 4,5 days in a row. Mostly coz I’m just not satisfied with the quality of burgers in Hong Kong. Today I had one of those burger cravings and Ver and I went to BurgeRoom to get my burger fix (Thanks Ver!!).

The tiny burger joint was packed to the brim when we arrived but we were lucky to take up the last two seats. I ordered the mushroom beef burger while Ver had the pineapple chicken burger

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My mushroom and beef burger was delicious, the patty was well done (most burger patties are only moist and tender coz they are still pink in the middle) but so juicy, tender and flavorful, the tomato was fresh and lettuce crunchy, the bun was pillowy soft and springy and was grilled to perfection. I had a bite off Ver’s pineapple chicken burger, hmm.. it was ok, it’d have been better if the pineapple was grilled a little longer and the chicken was a little on the dry side, all in all, I prefer the chicken burger at common ground.

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Since there were still patrons waiting outside of the restaurant, we decided to get the bill and go somewhere else. While driving around Causeway Bay Ver suddenly thought of the iced chocolate drink from Kindergarten in Tai Hang, we had tried walking in twice and got rejected at the door. Even though we din make a reservation (AGAIN!), we thought we could try our luck. It surprises me every time I go there, it’s always full house and the bookings are always full.

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We waited for awhile and ended up ordering the iced chocolate for take out. The iced chocolate was intense, like drinking melted dark chocolate (tasted like 70% dark chocolate) with tiny bit of ice. While we loved the intensity, I wish it were smoother, maybe with lesser chunk of ice?  I don’t know if it’s worth going to Tai Hang for thou, maybe one of these days I’ll finally make a reservation and try the rest of the items on its menu as well =)

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The Burger Room
7 Caroline Hill Rd
Causeway Bay, Hong Kong,
Tel: 2890-9130
http://www.burgeroom.com
Hours: Sun-Thu 10:30am-10pm
Fri-Sat 10:30am-midnight

Kindergarten
G/F, 35 Sun Chun Street, Tai Hang
Tel: 2657 7562
Hours: Fri: 17:00-23:00;
Sat&Sun: 14:00-23:00

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Brunch spot, Hong Kong Restaurant

Caféine

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Located on the quieter end of Queen’s Road Central is this cozy cafe- Cafeine reminded me of Café O with its red and white deco. The ambience is cheerful and easygoing and staffs are very friendly. Chef and owner Dean moved from Brisbane to Hong Kong and brought with him delicious dishes he’d been serving for years back in the original Cafeine in Brisbane.

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It was hard to decide what to eat as Cafeine offers a good selection of brunch dishes as well as pastas and desserts

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We started with the trio soup –Tomato with pesto, pumpkin, mushroom with truffle oil. The pumpkin soup was my favorite out of the three, it was rich and complex in flavor. The subtle sweetness and richness from the pumpkin, the saltiness and melt in your mouth lightness from feta cheese and heat from ginger and a secret paste added complexity to the seemingly simple looking soup

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The sandwiches were all very good, I love the texture of Turkish bread, how it’s chewy and crispy all at once on the outside and airy and soft on the inside. Grilled sandwich with feta, spinach, sundried tomato and pesto was my favorite. The flavors went very well with each other.
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Porcini mushroom and feta omelette with toast– while the omelette looked like soufflé, the texture was more like Spanish omelette or a crustless quiche, I liked how the mushrooms were like sponges, releasing moisture and flavors with each bite. The tomato almost stole the show, the homemade pesto on top of the grilled tomato brought out the sweetness of the tomato while balancing the tanginess in the tomato =)

The other dishes tried around our table:

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Poached eggs, truffled mushrooms, roast tomato and hollandaise was a simple dish done well.

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Banana and walnut bread was served hot, it was crunchy on the outside from the baking and the salted butter and maple syrup caramelized the outside while the inside is moist and soft. The generous portion of walnut added texture and nuttiness to the banana bread

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Friendly service, probably one of the best, understated brunch food in the area. I would go back (again, haha even though I’ve been twice already) for their trio of soup, the poached eggs truffled mushrooms, roast tomato and hollandaise and the porcini mushroom and feta omelete w toast

Caféine
Shop A, G/F,
The Putman,
202 Queens Road Central,
Sheung Wan
T: 2544 1988

 

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Brunch spot, Hong Kong Restaurant

Weekend Eats- For Kee, Common Ground

Veronica and I wanted to catch up over quiet, extended brunch so we decided to go to common ground. They have expanded their menu since my last visit to include burgers!

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The fresh beef burger was a delightful assembly of homemade beef patty, a slice of grilled pineapple and lettuce with homemade sauce. The bun was crispy on the outside and airy and pillow-soft on the inside; the beef patty was juicy and flavorful. A bite into the burger unleashed a barrage of flavors; the sweetness and tanginess of grilled pineapple on top of the patty, the hint of spiciness in the homemade sauce; the sharp distinct flavor of tiny cubes of chopped onions mixed in the patty (on top of giving a good crunch)..mmmmm.. The burger was every bit satisfying and pretty filling, we decided to walk it off by strolling around my hood.

We took a long detour around POHO, Nana who’s behind  the popular Teakha had opened a new place called Plantation

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looks interesting from the outside with the bath tub displayed in the “frontyard”?

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I love their next door neighbor; never quite figured out what they do thou (I only have a picture I took of them at night). Down the road is the Austrian cafe Loisl cafe, I love hanging out at the cafe coz it really makes me feel like I’m in Vienna!

A picture took awhile back on a visit at loisl with the Jann sisters :)

A picture taken awhile back on a visit at loisl with the Jann sisters 🙂

Brunch in a cafe in vienna last fall

Brunch in a cafe in vienna last fall

We continued down pound lane staircase to near where magnolia is, when Veronica suggested checking out For Kee, yes we were both very full from brunch but getting hot juicy satay beef sandwich sounded irresistible.

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For kee is a Cha Chan Teng who had made a name for itself for its pork chop rice but what we were craving for that day was their satay beef sandwich. The aroma of freshly toasted bread, satay sauce and stir fried beef was alluring. We almost forgot about taking pictures before eating.

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The beef was tender and the satay flavor was prominent without overshadowing the flavor of beef. Even though the beef was slightly oily (it is satay sauce afterall), the oil did not affect the crispiness of the bread which was toasted to perfection- it was golden brown crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside. Veronica was bummed that the miscommunication between the waiter and the kitchen cost us our caramelized onion, we could only imagine how the the smoky, sweet onions adds richness and texture to our already soul warming satay beef sandwich. Veronica said I have to come back and try their pork chop!!! After trying For Kee’s satay beef sandwich (which was delicious), I can only imagine how good their no.1 signature dish- pork chop is…. Looking forward to re-visiting when I am less stuffed!!!

For Kee
Shop J-K.
200 Hollywood Road,
SOHO, Sheung Wan

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Brunch spot

Green Waffle

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Green waffle is one of my favorite spontaneous brunch spots, those who know me will know that I like to make lists and plan my days weeks in advance (making reservation way ahead, study their menu etc). But occasionally I leave a few empty spots here and there. And it’s on those days that the “no reservation” policy comes to my advantage! Lisa and I were both having really lazy morning, lazing around the house; we were supposed to eat at 12 but didn’t end up meeting till 1:30.

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The wait at green waffle was surprisingly short, we were seated within 5- 10 minutes. I like the casual vibe, the open coffee bar and the American diner sofa booths go well with the comfort food it offers. Their menu is loaded with hearty breakfast choices, from the usual omelette, pancakes, egg benedict and the likes to sizzling skillet, and I love that they have quite a good selection of waffles. You can even customize your perfect waffle dish with their selection of toppings, sides and different ice cream flavors. Even though I examine the menu every single time, I always end up ordering the same thing- the berries delight with green (pandan flavor) waffle; Lisa was deciding between getting pancakes or getting something savory. There are a few options on the menu which offers both sweet and savory but she picked the spicy tomato and sausage skillet in the end.

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I was gonna make my own toffee or salted caramel sauce for the waffle (-_-“) yes, I take my food very seriously and…. Yes.. I’ve done that before **sad**. BUT, I was too lazy to do it that morning and opted for the caramel ice cream to go with my waffles instead. The pleasure of eating green waffle is on the first bite, after you first cut open the waffle and the aroma of panda leave rushes to your nose. Surely the waffle can be fluffier but honestly there is really no place in hk that does waffle/ pancakes right. I wonder if it’s coz buttermilk isn’t readily available (buttermilk is one of the ingredients for making fluffy pancakes). Anyways back to the waffle, Lisa watched with slight disgust at my dorkiness as I divided my ice cream evenly so each small square in the waffle gets a chunk of ice cream. The contrast between the cold, slightly melty ice cream and the warm, crispy surface of the waffle was heavenly. The caramel ice cream also went very well with the sliced bananas.

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Trying to smile with food in my mouth :p

Trying to smile with food in my mouth :p

Lisa found her skillet far from faultless, while it looked decent with the poached eggs piled on top of the mixture of potato cubes, onion, sausage and cheese.  We were slightly disappointed as she cut into the eggs on top, we were expecting runnier egg yolk but they seemed to be slightly overcooked. The small cubes of potatoes were crispy on the outside and soft and hot on the inside. In the perfect world (Lisa was really missing NYC at that moment), the potatoes could have been more “burnt” to give an even crispier texture; the onions could have been caramelized and the skillet loaded with cheese. The cheese was a little on the thin side and the gooey, cheesy effect we were looking for with the ideally runny eggs and cheese overload was sadly not realized.

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Despite the critique, the food was very decent compared to the popular brunch spots like the Brunch club and Oolaa where food is crappy and you really pay just for the vibe. The unpretentious and relaxed ambience at Green Waffle put us at ease on a lazy Saturday and we had a great time catching up!

Shop 3, G/F, Kar Ho Bldg,

35-39 Graham St, Central,

 2887 9991.

 Mon – Sun 11.00am -11.00pm.

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Brunch spot

Common Ground

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Away from the hustle and bustle of soho, lies this charming cafe in the quiet neighborhood of Shing Wong Street. Even though it’s just minutes away from Oolaa, it’s shield away from the noise and the crowd. It offers refuge to those who are seeking simply peace and quiet

I chanced upon this charming cozy cafe one day as I was strolling in the hood after a huge brunch. I couldn’t possibly eat anymore but walked away with a cup of salted chocolate in my hands.

The salted chocolate won my heart, like what pinch of salt does to dessert, not only does it enhanced the flavor of the hot chocolate, it added dimensions to the otherwise typically flat chocolate-y sweetness. Note to self: MUST GO BACK TO COMMON GROUND

Something about Common ground puts me at ease, might have been the potted plants or wooden tables which adds a touch of nature, the casual yet chic décor or maybe it’s the friendly smiles. Doesn’t matter, I’ve finally found my pocket of tranquility in this overly hyped up area of SOHO, NOHO, POHO..

Joshua- part owner of common ground is a food and beverage consultant and started this place with his twin brother, Caleb.

They have started with a simple menu for now- J and I ordered the scrambled eggs with ciabatta toast; the rib sandwich and cappuccino.

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V: is there cream in the scrambled egg? It’s very creamy and smooth

Joshua: yes, the eggs were cooked with cream and milk in double boiler **smilez**

V: No wonder they are so good! **light bulb** gonna try that at home

The eggs were creamy, tender and smooth, served on toasted ciabatta with pepper salad on the side drizzled with balsamic vinegar. Definitely a winner!

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Rib sandwich was equally good, tender juicy rib cooked in homemade barbeque sauce served with caramelized onions and fresh ciabatta.

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J had to rush off so I din get to try their dessert but I’ll definitely be back for it! Why can’t we have more cafes like this? A perfect hideout not far from center of action where simple food is made WELL?

Common Ground

19 Shing Wong Street, Central

11am – 8pm

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