Nutritious and delicious fare in the heart of the city…
Short on healthy lunch options around Queens Road Central during the week? The newest 3/3rds Central has you sorted. While the original location is in Wong Chuk Hang, 3/3rds no. 2 is located at Manning House, so Central dwellers, be sure to check out this healthy spot on your next lunch break!
Walking in, I fell in love with the clean, simple and modern stripped back interior: think white tiles, marbled counters, a wall-length brown paper menu, plus a handful of wooden tables and a counter with barstools. If you manage to grab a seat at lunch hour, 3/3rds is a nice little office escape.
As a nutritionist, I’ve been on a mission to find quality salads in Hong Kong since moving here six months ago, so I was super excited to see the large range of colourful, Mediterranean-style salads behind the glass counter.
Of course I had to try a little of each, starting with Roasted Aubergine (eggplant) with Saffron Yoghurt; Tania from the office had raved about this one. The aubergine melted in my mouth, and wasn’t chewy or bitter (which can often be the case if not prepared properly and with patience!). The creamy, nutty dressing added a well-rounded, lingering flavour and I loved the finishing touch of the pomegranate arils for a pop of ruby red colour and some astringency.
Some other salad favourites: Brussels Sprouts with Tahini and Panko Breadcrumbs, and the Broccoli with Garlic and Chilli – so simple, yet so good! Even my lunch date, Sassy Girl Niki, who’s not a salad person, was a fan of the light and crisp sweet Snow Pea Salad with orange slices and hazelnuts. Need some carbs in your salad (I know I do!)? Try The Other Wild Rice Salad, with tart dried cranberries and toasted almond flakes for some crunch and healthy fats. If you’re gluten-free, all the salads apart from the Brussels Sprouts are suitable… yay for a salad bar that’s not all about croutons, couscous and wheat noodles! Choose as many salads as you’d like; the small ($60, or $100 with any soup) was more than enough for me, but if you’re hungry, you’ll be happy with the large ($90, or $130 with any soup).
Onto the main event. 3/3rds’ signature three Cheese Toastie ($65), which is comfort food at its finest: thick, crunchy, buttery bread oozing with a mix of sharp and mellow cheese, the addition of chopped onions giving this a real kick. A bit too rich and decadent for me, but if you’re after a next-level grilled cheese, this is your go-to… Perfect for dipping into one of the six daily soups on offer, from the Pumpkin and Parmesan Soup ($55) to the Portuguese Fish Stew with chorizo ($65), in a light tomato broth.
I was after something a bit lighter, and glad that the pizzas on offer were just that. The bases were paper-thin, not oily at all, and crisp and almost cracker-like in texture. Daniel, a member of the 3/3rds team, explained that they don’t want their pizza bases to detract from the toppings. And shine the toppings did; the Three Cheese Pizza with Parma Ham ($150) was all about the gorgonzola, mascarpone and parmesan, complete with a drizzle of honey for a hint of sweetness. Niki loved this, but I don’t do ham, so the team were happy to make a vegetarian version for me; the rocket piled in the middle was the perfect finishing touch, adding some colour and a little bitterness to cut the richness of the cheese… a good way to get your greens in, too! Size-wise, the pizzas here are enough for one.
Of course we couldn’t leave without trying one (or two!) of the house-made desserts, starting with the lighter option of the Lemon Drizzle Cake ($30); citrus desserts aren’t really my thing, but I really liked the glaze and that the cake wasn’t too sweet. Next came the Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Tart ($42) – no words… Let’s just say there were two minutes of silence (bar several “Mmms”) while we devoured this; bittersweet, creamy and dense, it really hit the spot. Don’t skip this if you’re a dark chocolate lover! It’s generously portioned too, one slice is more than enough for two to share. Niki and I agreed that we’d come back here just for coffee and this tart in the afternoon, post-lunch rush… did I mention 3/3rds also does almond milk coffee? Sold.
Whether you’re after top-quality wholesome food or comfort food, 3/3rds Central has it all… and props to a place where the pizzas are so light that you won’t feel like you need a nap afterwards. It’s a shame the space isn’t larger for during the lunch rush, but you can always order to takeaway as they’re on Deliveroo too!
3/3rds Central, Shop 1, Manning House, 38-48 Queen’s Road Central (Alternative Entrance: Stanley Street), 2562 8805. Monday to Saturday 11am-9pm, Sundays and Public Holidays Closed; www.three-3rds.com