Seize the day

Opening-hour restrictions have brought rare sunlight to the gloom in the restaurant sector, making brunch a popular choice in the city.

To celebrate its 10th anniversary, 208 Duecento Otto in Sheung Wan has come up with a new menu – in particular, an authentic Italian weekend brunch (HK$498).

The experience is enhanced by staff educated in all things Italian – its two new managers, Giammarco Sai and Matteo Stefani.

Kicking off the journey is a selection of antipasti, salads, and cold cuts, including burrata, grilled vegetables, deep-fried seafood with vegetables, salted cake, smoked salmon, as well as a rocket and Caesar salad.

Guests can then choose one main course from the menu, which changes every month.

Dishes include glazed sweet and sour mangalica pork ribs on lemon-flavored mashed potatoes, lasagna alla bolognese with wagyu ragu, ravioli al tartufo (extra HK$118) featuring truffles flown in weekly and Mayura rib eye with roasted tomato (extra HK$208) – one of the new beef options.

A dessert platter containing the classic tiramisu, panna cotta with salted caramel and pineapple carpaccio and coconut sorbet is the perfect way to draw the feast to a close.

More of a meat lover? Smoke & Barrel in Central just introduced its new weekend Pit House brunch (HK$388). Designed like a real pithouse barbecue joint in the United States, the menu features old-school American brunch favorites with a smokehouse twist.

Brunch begins with shared appetizers that include Down South favorites such as baked beans with pulled pork and bacon, tater tots, crab salad and cornbread with Tabasco butter.

For mains, guests can choose one dish from a selection that includes 12-hour brisket beni with house BBQ spiced hollandaise and pickles, avocado toast with crayfish and Japanese furikake spice and an S&B smoked meats platter.

If you just have to have carbs, the sweet buttermilk pancakes with caramel popcorn, banana and granola and savory buttermilk pancakes with popcorn shrimp, hoi sin dressing and coleslaw are all options you can’t miss.

For dessert, a traditional Mississippi mud pie with cranberry and orange is a must. There is also the option of soft-serve ice cream with cookies and cream and marshmallows that will evoke sweet childhood memories.

Brunch is really just an early lunch, or late breakfast. Red Lobster in Causeway Bay is dishing out its lunches from 11.30am.

Carbo-load on flatbreads topped with premium ingredients, such as lobster or wild mushrooms with truffle and cheese (HK$98 each), shrimp pasta with lobster sauce (HK$78) or the lighter shrimp scampi pasta (HK$88).

More shrimp dishes come in the form of the moreish choices of Caribbean shrimp (HK$108) or crispy, golden Hawaiian coconut shrimp with vibrant mango salsa (HK$98) – both of which are must-tries.

Early risers can hop over to Feather & Bone, where its daily breakfast is available until 11am. The three English baps (from HK$38) with 11 kinds of different add-on fillings allow guests to create their own meal, while 11 dishes, such as the Full English (HK$178), eggs benedict (HK$128) and spicy crab crumpet (HK$158) offer the best of British cuisine.

(This article was published at The Standard on January 15, 2021: Weekend Glitz: Seize the day )

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