If you’re in desperate need of a weekend get-together that isn’t at the usual afternoon tea spots, why not get the girls together for Sunday brunch instead? For our much overdue catch-up session, Rach and I decided to do just that at The Principal to try its newest Sunday brunch menu.
When I think of Sunday brunch, an image of a huge buffet selection usually comes to mind – platters of cold food, hot food, desserts… and a whole lot of people! But if you’re looking for a quieter, more creative brunch, The Principal is a great option. There’s no huge queues or rowdy children running around; instead, you’ll feel right at home this laidback, spacious venue with its airy high ceilings and cosy atmosphere.
Sunday brunch at The Principal includes a set six-course menu, with each dish brought straight to your table – yup, no need to battle over the buffet here! There’s also a free-flow drinks menu, which includes a range of fresh juices, champagne, beers and wine; Rach and I opted for the juices, the first being a strawberry watermelon juice which tasted like a whole lot of watermelon (where were the strawberries?!). Even though the murky green colour of the mango mint juice put me off at first, I enjoyed the thick mango puree with a hint of mint.
First up on the menu was “The Picnic”… and literally, get ready to feast on a picnic basket full of goodies! From the fluffily delicious strawberry and rhubarb yogurt mousse to a cute tin of salty anchovies in vinegar, garlic and olive oil, this was just the thing to kick start my Sunday. I loved how the bread came in a little hemp bag along with a delicious thick hummus spread. If only they brought along a picnic blanket and a patch a grass – my life would have been perfect!
Next was a flintstone ceviche and this felt somewhat odd coming straight after The Picnic as the courses felt like totally different cuisines and styles. The highlight of this dish for me was the dehydrated corn, which while absorbing the acidic tones of the lime, still retained its crunchy texture.
Sending my apologies out to the tempura fans – as adorable as the presentation of The Principal’s veggie tempura was, it was neither here nor there for me. Rach did finish off all the mushroom tempura though, so if you fancy these, get ready to fight for them!
Things started perking up with the “Sunny Side Up Egg”, which was cooked tableside. I always love watching my food in action – and these free-range eggs were beautifully cooked and presented before us, with add-ins of bacon, spinach, watercress sauce and crispy-thin croutons. This is just the thing for brunch – a wonderfully simple, yet elegant and absolutely delicious dish.
The “Sunday Roast” arrived in the form of a platter for us to get down and dirty with making our own lettuce wraps. Sadly, the suckling pig element of this course was ridiculously fatty; trust me, I usually love a bit of fatty pork but after my first bite, I literally had to wash my mouth out with lettuce leaves! The Korean-style beef fared much better – I’d suggest adding The Principal’s homemade kimchi and garlicky dressing for a bit of heat and Asian flair.
To end our brunch, we were indulged with a variety of desserts. I’d suggest sampling each dessert in order based on their varying levels of sweetness, so you can end on a sugar high! The raspberry pop rocks were so much fun, with little specks of sherbet added a fizzy tang to each bite. In contrast, the chocolate meringue lollipop was much too sweet for my liking, although for those who are cacao-nuts, this may be your thing!
The chocolate doesn’t end just there… the cinnamon-sugar coated churros and chocolate were delicious and a total crowd-pleaser. Snickers lovers will also fall in love with The Principal’s very own version of a Snickers bar – an addictively sweet concoction of peanuts, caramel and nougat all crammed into one bite. However, my pick of the desserts was the piña colada profiterole, which reminded me of a pineapple bun with a ridiculously yummy cream filling!
Overall, although there were both hits and misses at The Principal’s Sunday brunch, I did admire its creativity and that it’s not just the usual all-you-can-eat buffet spread. Clocking in at a somewhat hefty $740 per person (so take advantage of that free-flow!), there were a few dishes that did not call out to me, but I still loved the airy comfortable atmosphere at The Principal – a total sanctuary compared to most other restaurants in town on a Sunday afternoon. So for a brunch that’s just different from the rest, see you at The Principal!
The Principal Shop No. 1, G/F, Tower 1, Starcrest, 9 Star Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, 2563 3444, www.pressroomgroup.com