14 Tai Wong Street East
Grub: Freshly baked pastries and sandwiches
Vibe: The artisanal bakery and cafe is in what looks like a renovated warehouse with exposed brick walls and black hanging lamps which give off serious industrial chic vibes. Customers are met at the door by a mouth-watering array of pastries and breads in the glass display case.
Who to take: Bakehouse is not designed to take large parties – the tables seat at most four people. Take a friend, or two at most, and don’t plan to spend hours there chatting.
What’s hot: On the day we went, the daily soup was a tomato basil soup with cheesy ravioli. It was richly savoury, and delicious with the toasted sourdough bread served alongside it.
The not-so-aptly named “pulled pork bagel” wasn’t a bagel at all, but more like a donut-shaped pretzel. But this turned out fine: it was fluffy on the inside, with a chewy exterior and was the perfect vessel for the salty-sweet pulled pork and runny fried egg.
Of course, the pastries are the main attraction here, and they deserve your attention. You can’t leave Bakehouse without sampling at least one. We recommend the croissant, a French masterpiece made up of dozens of buttery layers of pastry. The recently introduced egg tart is worth trying too; the creamy custard complements the base (which, by the way, is made of the same dough as the croissants) very well.
What’s not: Although Bakehouse has been open for a few months now, its popularity shows no sign of declining. This means there is guaranteed to be a line during peak hours, i.e. noon to 2pm, meaning a wait of at least 10 minutes. Luckily we managed to snag a spot after five minutes, but then again, we went at 11 am; when we left the cafe an hour later, the line stretched to the end of the block. As a result, service was a bit rushed and customers were encouraged to leave as soon as they were finished eating.
The menu is rather limited, as there are currently only three set lunches and a drinks menu to choose from. The sets start at HK$98 and include the daily soup or salad, a main course and a drink; upgrades can be made to the options, but your choices are still restricted.
The only alternative is to pick some pastries from the display case at the front and enjoy them with a cup of coffee.
The early closing time also means dinner is unfortunately not an option, but hopefully, given the cafe’s popularity, that will change in the near future.
Cost: Set lunches range from HK$98 to HK$128. Drinks cost from HK$26 to HK$48. The price for pastries and loaves of bread ranges between HK$12 and HK$42.