I used to eat brunch in fancy restaurants all the time before I had a little monkey called Brady. I’m not showing off – truly – I’m actually complaining (I do that a lot, ha). Because, as much as it was carnage to both my bank balance and my waistline to brunch like it was going out of business, there was no better way to kick off the weekend than devouring eggs benedict and free-flowing prosecco in the comforts of my not-home. But then, beautiful baby came along, pretty much annihilating relaxed brunches, lunches, massages, sleep-ins, sleep-outs, sleep on planes – anything involving sleep, really. (Did I mention I can be a bit of a whiner?)
Luckily for everyone in my vicinity, whining was the last thing on my mind when I recently tried the new family-friendly weekend brunch at Galley Café & Dining – a gorgeous restaurant at the exquisite 1881 Heritage. To be honest, I’d go to 1881 Heritage to eat a cracker, given it’s one of Hong Kong’s most beautiful heritage buildings conveniently located in the heart of TST. Located on the second floor, Galley Café & Dining is a fine-dining restaurant in a comfortable and relaxed setting, with both an alfresco patio on which to ‘watch the people go by’, and an indoor balcony overlooking Kowloon. The walls are adorned with captivating photos of old Hong Kong, and the large dining tables are spaced comfortably apart. You’ll also have no trouble keeping an attention-seeking toddler deliciously quiet, because the restaurant provides complimentary activities like crayons and paper to keep the little tots tantrum-free. Genius.
The weekend brunch at Galley Café & Dining is a new addition to the international menu prepared by Nepalese head chef Kharel Tika. The three-course menu is excellent value for money, beginning with a choice of yummy appetisers, including a combination of chorizo, salchichon, pork loin, and pressed ham shoulder cuts; or a lighter option of fresh strawberries and avocado salad with seasonal Alaskan crab meat – nom!
The list of main courses is nicely long, including a ‘big breakfast’ of eggs, cumberland pork sausage, twisty pancetta bacon, sautéed mushrooms, semidried tomatoes and thick toast with truffle butter; classic eggs benedict with either smoked salmon, gammon ham or sautéed spinach and asparagus; char-grilled Angus beef strip loin with peppercorn sauce, grilled Mediterranean vegetables and potato wedges; a frittata served in a cast iron skillet with spinach, mushroom, tomato and buffalo mozzarella; and orange maple pancakes topped with maple syrup, served with mixed berries and a side of Nutella sauce (um, do you need a tissue to wipe up that drool?).
The food coma continues with a refreshing dessert of fresh fruit salad topped with lemon sorbet. Drinks-wise, you can choose from complimentary juice, handcrafted tea or freshly brewed coffee. Free-flowing prosecco, beer or wine is also available for an extra charge (you mean not everyone chooses that?).
Despite the lusciousness of the adults’ menu, when my toddler’s meal came out I suffered a serious case of food envy (a bit like being on an aeroplane). The kids’ choices are all melt-in-your-mouth stuff, including bacon, egg and toast cups with wedges; buttermilk pancakes with maple syrup and yoghurt granola parfait; a toasted French croissant with melted cheese and ham; or ham and cheese macaroni. Seriously. My child is never going to appreciate jam on toast from me again. Definitely don’t leave before your little one gets his or her dessert or it may qualify as child cruelty, given it’s a brownie sundae with vanilla and caramel ice cream, topped with chocolate sauce and crumble (yup, goodbye jam on toast). Kids are also welcome to a free juice or soda, with the option to upgrade to free-flowing drinks for the more thirsty ankle biters.
Galley Café & Dining is spacious and relaxed, in the beautiful surroundings of 1881 Heritage. The menu is good value for money and has plenty of options for the brunch extremists. There are complimentary activities to keep the little munchkins busy so the big people can relax, and the food was delicious across the board. As brunch is served until 3pm, you won’t need to bust a gut to get there before noon.
No decaf coffee was available for the wired or pregnant, and the main meal portions were a little on the smallish side, but that may just be because we recently returned from North America, where each plate is the size of earth. So it’s no biggie (pardon the pun – nailed it!)
Yes, ma’am – at the back of 1881 is an elevator that stops on every floor.
Yeah, didn’t you read my review? Jokes.
Very reasonable for three courses. Adult menu prices start from $298 + 10% service charge. Kids menu prices start at $168 + 10% service charge.
Galley Café & Dining is open from 11am to midnight Monday to Thursday and Sunday, and 11am to 1am on Friday and Saturday; however, the weekend brunch menu is only available from 11:30am to 3:30pm on Saturday and Sunday.
Galley Café & Dining, Unit 208, L2, 1881 Heritage, 2A Canton Road, TST, Hong Kong, 2604 1881