Bread & Beast
G/F, 3 Swatow Street
Tel: 9120 6869
Grub: Sandwiches and salads
Vibe: Like several new eateries in the newly developed areas of Wan Chai (and Sai Ying Pun), this is very hipster: bare concrete walls, bright yellow aluminium bar stools, “retro” airport-style signage, graffiti. At the same time, it’s perfectly comfortable and chilled.
Who to take: Friends who love trying any hot new joint, North Americans bemoaning the lack of decent ’wiches, some friends if you have things to plan (the tables are pleasingly spacious) or a first date.
What’s hot: The menu is creative both in terms of actual substance, and the whimsical names given to dishes. There’s Un‘Porchetta’ble, a pork-stuffed roll with pickled apple; UR Veggie Welcome, which blends smoky aubergine, spicy mayo, pickled carrot and, naturally, avocado; Birdman, with fried chicken; and what seems to be a regular special called Kimoji, which is 24-hour slow-cooked smoked beef brisket, kimchi, melted Swiss cheese and preserved lemon aioli.
If you think you hate Brussels sprouts, give theirs a try: caramelised, with garlic breadcrumbs on top (and a 63-degree egg if you’re into that kind of thing), these are delicious.
What’s not: The day we went, we had just hiked to the Peak, and then headed straight down to Wan Chai, arriving at 12.30pm on a Sunday. But what had been the biggest attraction – the chicken skin crisps – had already sold out, because they only make it with the skin from the chicken they use that day.
The staff are a bit too-cool-for-school, which might be part of the image, but when there are only three other customers on a glorious and chilled Sunday afternoon, appearing harried and aloof seems a little unnecessary.
And if you don’t like to eavesdrop or be eavesdropped on, you won’t like this place – it’s small, and hard not to over hear people’s conversations.
Cost: Sandwiches: HK$68-HK$98; soup of the day is HK$38, salads and sides are HK$38-HK$68.