Breakfast

Where:
Why50
Shop E, G/F, Fu Fai Commercial Centre
27 Hillier St, Sheung Wan
Hong Kong

Phone:
+852 5239 8013 (but when I tried to call this number to pre-order shit, no one picked up)

Price:
HKD86 for a Cubano sandwich.  About HKD40 for coffee?  DON’T QUOTE ME ON COFFEE PRICES.

The deal:
Ms Two Serves got a sweet taste for Why50’s Cubano sandwich a few weeks ago and I was on the receiving end of a flurry of excited text messages.  But just like a raver desperately trying to catch that sweet high of her first pinger, her subsequent visits to Why50 were still all good Cubano times but plagued by execution issues.  Like when she called 20 minutes ahead to put her order in because Why50 apparently take fucking forever to make a sandwich and when she arrived she was still told that it’d be another 30 minutes while a girl behind the counter lovingly and delicately cut up a banana for 15 minutes which was eventually going to be pulverised through a blender.

So despite the warning shots of impending ineptitude flying past my head, I teed up Ms Two Serves to meet me at Why50 so I could try this Mr Cubano sandwich because fuck, I just want to believe that my big fuck yeah sandwich dreams can come true in HK:

wanttobelieve

Based on the shitshow we were anticipating, I tried to call ahead to pre-order two Cubanos but one number I found online didn’t work and the other rang out.  I messaged Ms Two Serves and said that I couldn’t pre-order and she immediately exclaims “HELLZ NAWWW, ain’t nobody got time to wait for them to make sandwiches” and stomps down there ahead of time, putting in our order as the ONLY customer in the shop.  When I arrive at Why50, I realise that we’ve got another homie on the way so I try to order another Cubano.  That’s when I’m met by a blank stare by a waitress that we like to call Silverlox and she says “No Cubanos….We are sold out”.  I take a moment to pause and with an incredulous look at the empty cafe which hasn’t even really hit lunch time yet, I ask Silverlox “Really?  How??”  and she says they’ve run out of bread.  Why50, this ain’t good news for your lunch trade if our order for TWO Cubanos at 12:15pm has completely cleaned out Why50 ‘s lunch supply of bread.

kevingarnetareyouserious2

I look at Silverlox, wild eyed and desperate, while gesturing at their menu and asking “What else can I order instead?”, seeing that of the eight menu items, no less than THREE contain my darkest nemesis, brioche.  Sensing my weakness she looks at me glassily, saying that they have plenty of brioche left.  Ms Two Serves had already ordered the Brioche French Toast before I got there.  But ugh, I give this scenario a fuck noooooooo, seeing as I’m not a 4 year old French child who wants something to dunk into my cocoa and especially because my greatest contribution to the internet to date has really been the below:

fuckbrioche

Denied our third Cubano, Ms Two Serves and I watch the Why50 Cubano machine slowly sputter into life, with its three-man kitchen staff indolently making our sandwiches.  25 minutes after our order, they appear and despite what I consider to be a fucking outrageous time to wait for a sandwich when there is NO ONE ahead of you in the queue, it looks fucking glorious.  Slices of ham, roasted pork, melted Swiss cheese pickles and mustard on two fuck yeah pieces of toasted Bread Elements bread which was all working together for fuck yeah sandwich times. There’s also a side of tomato and mango salsa on the side which is a nice touch and the sweet and sour thing it’s got going on, pairs well with the ham, cheese and mustard. It’s hefty and a big feed for one person and perhaps there is still reason to dream that good sandwiches are possible in HK.  Even if in typical HK service terms, it’s such a fucking drama to actually obtain one.

At this point, Ms Two Serves’ French Brioche Toast is 40+ minutes post order and still not in existence.  She chases it up with the kitchen to see if they’ve forgotten and Silverlox confidently reassures us that no, they haven’t forgotten about her order, it’s still in process.  LIKE WHY50, WHY ALMOST 50 MINUTES FOR BASIC TOAST BASED FOOD?  JUST LET ME CHECK MY WATCH TO SEE HOW LONG THIS IS TAKING:

casiofuck

When the Brioche French Toast finally arrives it’s so fucking sad, even once I account for my burning hatred for fucking brioche.  It’s barely been battered by egg, so it’s effectively just toasted dried out brioche, with creme fraiche dumped on top with a few strawberries scattered around.  For HKD80 and almost 50 minutes of our precious time.  Ms Two Serves pushes it around her plate, lamenting her sorry excuse for French toast, swearing that she’s gonna make her own tomorrow for breakfast.  Which she did and texted me about, proudly declaring that it took her less than 15 minutes to make French toast that was properly battered.

I always think about HK restaurants who complain about their blood thirsty landlords who make profits a near impossible, due to their rent.  But then I think about HK restaurants who are leaving so much money on the goddamn table because they do stupid shit like not keeping me awash in liquor or turning shit around at a pace faster than a snail’s crawl.  Why50, I know you’re meant to be named after the fact that there’s 50 beans in every cup of coffee but fuuuuuck, that Sheung Wan rent can’t be cheap so Y U no have enough bread to make more than two Cubanos at lunch and more importantly, WHY ALMOST 50 MINUTES FOR BASIC BREAD BASED FOODS??

Verdict:
Fuck no because I just cannot with waiting 30+ minutes for a sandwich when you have less than five people ordering food.  Despite the fact that their Cubano sandwiches are a big fuck yeah which I would most definitely like to eat again.

Where:
Nosh (fuck yeah, functional HK website)
11 Upper Station Street
Sheung Wan, Hong Kong

Phone:
+852 2559 8508

Price:
Just under HKD200 for the big breakfast + a coffee.

The deal:
I normally find breakfast in HK really fucking dull. Add it to any Australians ‘Having a Whinge’ list in HK – “You know what I really miss about Australia. COFFEE.  And you know what else I really miss? Brunch!”.  Don’t get us going, we start to get all teary eyed over paying someone to cook us eggs, berry compotes and how much fucking choice we had at Woolworths.  Oh the meat section!  Oh the fruit & veg! Ahh, the heady life of an expat – trapped in a nostalgic reverie about a goddamn supermarket.

Snapping back to reality, I briefly contemplated the option of “Homemade Granola with Yoghurt & Fresh Fruit”.  Lolz seriously though, whoever really fucking contemplates CEREAL when eating out – boring ass lameos and fat fuckers making a half hearted attempt at healthy living, that’s who. Don’t kid yourself wannabe healthy homies, just embrace life and have some eggs at least, instead of choking down cold cereal in front of friends.  I went for the ‘Nosh brunch’ option (HKD140) – a solid feed with two poached eggs on sourdough, two German sausages with spicy harissa yoghurt, a grilled portobello mushroom, roasted cherry tomatoes on the vine and potatoes.  I was totally that hypocritical fat bastard who asked to skip the bread but then they let me sub it and of course I went for BACON. Yeah, just pour me a diet coke and bring me a slice of cake with extra cream while you’re there.  OK, I settled for a long black instead for HKD30 while trying to stop my left eye from twitching when I spotted the offer of an EXPRESSO.  Nosh, Y U spell espresso, EXPRESSO?! JUDGING YOU.

disapprove

Breakfast shouldn’t be that hard but so many people fuck it up with poorly poached eggs, sad ass tiny sausages and cheaper non-protein vegetable filler (yes, every brunch establishment that serves a flaccid flavourless grilled half tomato – I’m onto your tight ass ways). Nosh avoided these pitfalls for FUCK YEAH breakfast times – amongst appropriately yolky poached eggs was crispy bacon and two fuck yeah fatty boombah sausages satisfying all my size queen requirements.  The grilled mushroom and cherry tomatoes were actually fucking good, versus just providing a means for Nosh to dollar cost average breakfast components down.  They even thoughtfully split the cherry tomatoes to avoid inappropriate exploding tomato times.  While I may have sidestepped the sourdough bread I made sure to fall headfirst into the ‘Nosh potatoes’ – ensuring I had crispy little carbohydrate filled fuckers to fuel me through an aggressive Saturday of not hiking with Mr + Mrs Ain’t No Mountain High Enough and a rosé drinking and mahjong marathon. Get your pong on, my friends.

Verdict:
Fuck yeah!

Where:
Duck & Waffle
Heron Tower
110 Bishopgate, London EC2N 4AY

Phone:
+44 203 640 7310. But fuck yeah, not talking to people – dwreservations@sushisamba.com!!

Price:
Savoury breakfast mains range from £10 – 15. Add 12.5% service charge. We got out at £60 (around USD100) for two people.

The deal:
Everything in London was ‘& something’. Patty & Bun, Duck & Waffle, Burger & Lobster – it’s like a whole series of working titles that were never improved upon by their lazy ass owners before opening night. Why don’t you just leave lorem fucken ipsum dolor in the menu while you’re there? Fuck, I know HK is right on this trend too with their lame ass restaurant names – imma lookin’ at you Meat & Fish, Ham & Sherry and Fuckin’ Overpriced & Tiny Tacos (OH WHOOPS, you mean that’s not what Brickhouse is officially called?!).

I was sceptical on how Duck & Waffle was going to pan out because I’m of the opinion that God doesn’t give with both hands – so just like you meet someone who’s heartbreakingly hot but then you ask them what they’re into and they go “I dunno…I guess, like, stuff.” before shrugging, with a nonchalant flick of their splendiferous, shit hot mane, you either get The View or Fucking Tasty Food, but it’s hard to get a generous handout from both camps. We didn’t get given the most amazing table in the restaurant – jammed towards the kitchen and next to a venetian blinded window but even from this bullshit table, I can pay points for being able to see all of London.

I mocked fake outrage with Mr Noms, declaring:

Don’t Duck & Waffle know that they have HK’s MOST PREEMINENT FOOD BLOGGER in their midst?!

To which he rolled his eyes:

First of all, “Most Preeminent” – you’re either preeminent or you’re not – just say Preeminent, don’t use an unnecessary double affirmative. Second, I’m sure UK Border Control was calling it into the restaurants as soon as you crossed over going “Excuse me Heston? Jamie? Gordon? Duck & Waffle? HK’s Preeminent Food Blogger, SGT NOMS, is in your goddamn country

Wow, build me the fuck up, buttercup – what the hell happened to all the honouring and cherishing we were meant to be giving each other?

To take away the crushing blow to my newly realised status as a non-preeminent food blogger (I’ll be real, even the use of the word blogger makes me want to vom a little bit in my potty mouth), I threw myself into the title dish and as suggested, no alarms and no surprises, it was indeed a Duck & Waffle. Or perhaps to be more fucking accurate, Duck Leg & Half a Waffle. This was definitely a Heart Foundation approved healthful as fuck breakfast – a deep fried duck leg on a waffle, which you cover with maple syrup studded with whole mustard seeds. NGL, it was pretty fucking tasty. I gazed adoringly at Mr Noms’ full breakfast and while he mistook this for true affection and a tender holiday moment, I used this distraction to snatch up his black pudding. I definitely needed more of dat bloody sausage in my life and ordered an additional serve. “That’s going to be another three minutes”, my friendly waiter informed me – Y U give such specific time if it’s going to be longer?! Fuck yeah black pudding though!

Then Mr Noms lost his grip on reality and decided it’d be a fucking great idea to order a feral sounding and super expensive cocktail, the Marmite Black Velvet – a Marmite + Guiness reduction + champagne cocktail. I mean, I fucking love all of those things separately but together they formed a muddy brown bastard concoction that was as fucked up as you might imagine – it was a fucking atrocity against all that is good and holy for the super rip off price of £14 (USD25!!!!). I don’t fucking know why he does these things sometimes – I would have been more than happy to punch him in the balls for free to produce the same amount of tears and regret for much less £££.

So Duck & Waffle is one of those places that I imagine if you lived in the city, you’d never fucking go unless you had visitors from out of town. Like living in HK and going to Nanhai No. 1 or my stalwart-for-visitors, Hutong. I’ve always believed that restaurants with a view are like going to dinner theatre – a series of distractions which never results in a best in class experience. Someone’s throwing some terrible food at you while a moderately talented entertainer is singing and dancing, to distract you from the food – which results in you stumbling out of a mediocre experience feeling Confused & Dazed, unsure of what you have just endured. Duck & Waffle was above this on the experience scale and sure, it’s not fucking cheap but as a visitor in a new town it was pretty fucking enjoyable.

Verdict:
Fuck yeah if you haven’t been before. Or your parents are visiting and you’ve got to take them to some high ass place.

Where:
Cafe Deadend
72 Po Hing Fong
Sheung Wan, Hong Kong

Phone:
+852 6716 7005 (no bookings)

Price:
HKD170 each – poached eggs + 2 coffees

The deal:
On a beautiful and gorgeous Sunday morning, one of my besties and I decided to check out the much raved about Cafe Deadend!  This bijoux, quaint brunch spot is tucked away in upper Sheung Wan and when you turn around the corner to see it nestled behind the sublime Po’s Atelier you know that you’re in for something special!  Cafe Deadend has both inside and outside seating, so you can choose to sit outside under a spectacular spray of resplendent magenta bougainvillaea but given the heat, we took a seat inside this modern and airy space. Cafe Deadend is awash in just gorgeous natural light which just bathed our much needed morning coffees in this dazzling, perfect sunshine. Just superb!!  A girl cannot live without a good coffee on a Sunday morning with friends!  Of course, we spent the next 15 minutes taking Instagram #nofilter pics of our most pleasing coffee cups with an artfully placed fork and sugar packet just in frame (#girlyfriends #enjoylife #pretty #chill #kikme #kik #yolo #yummy #hkigers #iphonesia) instead of actually talking to each other.  Everything on the menu just looked divine but I eventually settled on ordering the super scrummy eggs benedict…but it had a bit of a twist! It came with crab meat instead of the normal bacon or prosciutto!  Can I just say it was just soo scrumptious and delectable?  Super yum! I finished every bite with relish!!  So delish!!  This was my first time to Cafe Deadend but it really is such a fab little resto that I will definitely be back!

My rating:  Four gorgeous kisses out of five xoxo

TL:DR – I want to fucking kill myself after writing that, coffee was a fuck yeah, eggs were a fuck yeah, service was well intentioned but a bit of a fuck no.  Saw a crazy line forming as we left and I wouldn’t be part of waiting 30 minutes for fucking pricey eggs + coffee on a Sunday morning.

Verdict:
Fuck yeah – but shit, I ain’t waiting 30 minutes to eat here though.

Where:
Praise House
Shop 705, 7/F, iSquare
63 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

Phone:
2368 2202

Price:
HKD240 for 2 people – 2 bowls of congee, a plate of roast pork/char siu and some veggies.

The deal:
I fucking love preserved egg + pork congee.  People will say to try the chicken, maybe sampan/boat (it’s a mix of seafood and intestines, keep trucking on Asia!) or the pork/liver congee.  But in the similar way that you go to a Thai restaurant and decide that you always get the pad thai and you should get the red crying tiger shebangabang, only to receive it and look wistfully at it and you think ‘Oh, should have had the pad thai’, you know that when you get the congee, you have to go the preserved egg + pork congee.  There’s a reason why my tones are perfect when I say pei dan sai yuk juk, because it’s the shizz.

So Ms Two Serves and I hit up Praise House and their pei dan sai yuk juk is nom approved.  Very decent chunks of preserved egg, tasty as fuck pork which wasn’t salted too much and the congee itself was very ‘wan‘ (smooth).  We had some roast pork / char siu, because what’s the point of morning yoga if you don’t follow it with a roast meat chaser?  A+++ will be back, in fact we were already talking about going back after yoga tonight.  Om before nom motherfuckers.

Verdict:
Fuck yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

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