Jun 28, 2012|
We were chatting happily at a media lunch at Yunyan (4/F, Miramar Shopping Centre, 132 Nathan Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui, 2375-0800) with the Mira Group ladies the other day, when all of a sudden, poof, this brilliant jet of orangey blue flames shoots up from our table, stopping our conversation and soliciting shocked gasps. It was chef Chan Kai-tak at work, calmly setting a baked spicy mud crab on fire with some potent Sichuanese wine. Shock factor over, we dug right into the juicy, sweet and tender crabmeat that was also fragrantly spiced up, like Sichuan dishes are—but it was nothing that couldn’t be handled. If you’re a fan of chilies and crab, then allow me to introduce you to the special crab promotions at Yunyan, which include the aforementioned dish (at $488—you can share so remember to bring some friends); mud crab tossed in pickled chilli sauce and lime juice ($488); hot and sour soup with crab meat and soft poached egg ($60 per person) and a whole bunch of other deep-fried, sautéed and soupy dishes that use delicately flavored crab meat as an essential ingredient. Thought I’d tell you as well that Yunyan has one of the best lunch deals in town, at $80 per head for an appetizer, main course, a bunch of different dumplings and even a glass of Chinese herb juice. And there’s a four-for-the-price-of-three deal, too—so make sure you bring in enough lunch buddies to take advantage of the deal.
Brotzeit German Bier Bar & Restaurant (G/F-UG/F, Tsim Sha Tsui Centre, 66 Mody Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui East, 2316-6666). You can probably guess what types of dishes this restaurant serves. Hailing originally from Singapore (surprise, surprise!), Brotzeit (“bread time” in German) roughly translates to a homely meal with beer. Which is exactly what you’re gonna get here. Open for lunch, dinner and beyond, Brotzeit offers draft and specialty beers alongside oven-roasted pork knuckles, sauerkraut, goulash, schnitzels and pork and veal sausages.
This just after Café Deco Group decided to Mickey D its German digs, Berliner (4/F, W Square, 314-324 Hennessy Rd., Wan Chai, 2891-8689), with a fourth (and probably not last) branch in Wan Chai. Guess the Sai Wan Ho, Olympic and Discovery Bay branches really sold themselves well—or the Café Deco Group could just be looking to capitalize on the pro-Germany spirit amidst this whole European crisis mess. Looks like Hongkongers are favoring the stronger euro zone constituents even when it comes to food!
I finally found a breather one lunch and went alone to the newish Mini Dans La Ville (UG/F, The Pemberton, 22-26 Bonham Strand, Sheung Wan, 2868-2002), a spacious café with communal tables, chalkboard menus, industrial-chic décor and a white, retro Mini (as in the car) at the front. The place serves everything, from sandwiches and hot lunches to Trucillo coffees and soy milk smoothies. And the day I went, it was busy, but not packed—which is always the perfect balance for a place like this. Turns out Mini is part of the same group as wellness café Kosmo (which used to have a prime spot right on D’Aguilar Street); I noticed a nearly identical health drink menu between the two places, and the waitstaff confirmed my suspicions. But it looks like they want to keep this connection on the down-low, as there is no mention of Kosmo anywhere—plus the vibe is totally different; Mini’s less perky, more edgy. Either way, this place is a great casual lunch spot whether you go with a group or on your own, and whether yo choose to be healthy (with a tofu salad) or indulgent (with a BLT burger and fries).