Sunday, 29 March 2015

Breakfast Series - Wagyu Lounge

When the Big Boy recently visited us in Hong Kong, he wanted to have an "Aussie breakfast".  After living in Taiwan for so long, he was looking forward to tucking into some bacon and eggs, something that you would find in any suburban bistro in Australia, but which is more difficult to find in Asia.  With its bustling expat culture, there are a lot of places in Hong Kong set up to attract that Western palate, so we did a little bit of research and arranged to have an early start on the Saturday morning.

The most difficult part about finding a breakfast spot in Hong Kong is finding somewhere that opens at a time that is more in line with breakfast rather than brunch.  Not being the party animals that we used to be, breakfast for us is usually consumed before 9am, but many places in Hong Kong don't open until later, catering more to the 'bleary-eyed' crowd.  We did, however, manage to find Wagyu Lounge, which is open for we early risers, but also doubles as a  bar for later in the day.  So we hoofed it across the HK zoo to above Lan Kwai Fong where Wagyu was ready for our business.

Wagyu Lounge is one of the many restaurants operated by the Castelo Group in Hong Kong, with the group also having restaurants in Vietnam.  Locals will recognise names such as Jaspa's, Pepperoni's in Sai Kung, High Street Grill, KTown Grill, Wilburs, and Piccolo's.  The Castelo Group's philosophy is to offer exceptional food quality and impeccable service and friendly environment, and their restaurants are popular with the expat crowd.  Wagyu Lounge is no exception, with a breakfast menu that was right out of suburban Australia.  

Of course the first thing I ordered was coffee - I'd been awake for over an hour so this was well and truly overdue.  When it arrived in a tall glass, I could have sworn I was back in Australia, but about 10 years ago (or at the Coffee Club).  Fortunately the coffee was good, so that made up for the presentation!  The Big Boy ordered an Americano, which came in a more acceptable cup.  FMUS was able to order a smoothie, and went for the mixed berry version.  This looked more like a cocktail than a smoothie, with a couple of raspberries on a toothpick on the top, but at least it tasted good.

The Big Boy got his breakfast wish, and was able to order eggs benedict, with salmon.  Strangely it was served with potato and arugula, but it didn't seem to bother The Big Boy, who was just happy that he could eat some good eggs bene.  The eggs were not overcooked, with the yolk still runny when he cut into them.  The hollandaise sauce was also well done, with a couple of capers on top as a nod to the salmon underneath.  

FMUS of course had to try the bacon and eggs, and decided to go with the Wagyu Lounge Big Breakfast, but minus the baked beans.  He's learned the hard way that sometimes it's just easier (and cheaper) to order the big breakfasts that you can find at most places, and take off some items, rather than order eggs with a bunch of extras.  He was happy with his eggs, which were light and fluffy and the bacon, which was just about perfect (with little burnt bits around the edges - yum).  Unusually for HK, there were also nicely seasoned mushrooms - it was a good example of a more traditional Aussie breakfast.

Having had my coffee requirements met, I decided that something sweet was in order.  The 3 stack of pancakes certainly fit the bill, and they were served with maple syrup and ice-cream, with a side of berries and banana.  My pet peeve when ordering pancakes is that you never get enough maple syrup - by the time you get to close to the end of the pancakes, the syrup has been absorbed and the remaining pancakes become a little dry.  Yet again there was not enough syrup at the Wagyu Lounge, but the pancakes were light and not too dry, which helped when I ran out of syrup.  

We were seated near the front, with a view out towards the remnants of the night before.  While watching the cleaners sweep up discarded beer bottles and pile up more and more garbage bags full of detritus from the clubs across the street is not as pleasant as say having breakfast on the waterfront, the food and service were good enough that you forgot you were in the party zone.

The fit out includes a lot of booths on the wall, good for either nursing a hangover, or relaxing with a few drinks.  We did notice a few Western tourists and locals wander in, clearly early risers like us trying to find a decent breakfast in Central early on a Saturday morning.   Wagyu Lounge offers enough variety on its breakfast menu (and, most importantly, decent coffee) to make it worthwhile to head up into Lan Kwai Fong for the morning after the night before.  


Big Boy's Americano coffee
Cocktail or smoothie??  
A little bit retro
Big lounges for those mornings where it is a little bit harder to sit up straight

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