A Bubbly Italian Brunch in Sheung Wan
Long, lazy brunches have become a Hong Kong institution; with new venues and menus popping up weekly. Whether you’re simply celebrating the weekend or waving goodbye to another friend fleeing the nest (sob!), the amount of choice on the brunch scene can be overwhelming.
Read more about our fave boozy brunches here.
We’re all too familiar with the old reliable staples and after three years of over-indulging in the champs and seafood, I was becoming pretty jaded with bubbly blowouts. First world problem, I know!
So, I was intrigued to hear about the latest offering from the buzzy neighbourhood joint 208 Duecento Otto, who kicked off their new free flow champagne buffet brunch in May. I have been a long term devotee of 208 ever since I arrived here and it’s one of Hong Kong’s favourite fixtures that everyone readily recommends. Their mouthwatering cuisine is dependably delicious and their weekend Happy Hours are perfect for toasting the beginning of a night out or nursing those hella hangovers.
Nestled on Hollywood Road, 208 is conveniently central and located in the “so-hip-it-hurts” neck of the woods. The restaurant is an impeccable amalgamation of east meets west; the split-level space is airy and comfortable and the breezy ambiance embodies La Dolce Vita. The walls are adorned with Chinese tiles and subtle oriental accessories which celebrate the the charismatic surroundings. 208 is one of those eateries that manages to effortlessly strike the balance with an enticingly casual atmosphere and consistently good food.
The weekend brunch includes unlimited helpings of Chef Mick’s antipasti with popular dishes such as Poached Slipper Lobster, Beef Carpaccio, as well as an array of Italian breads, salads, meats and cheeses. Each plate is prepared to perfection and only ingredients of supreme quality are used. I was especially impressed with the Caprese Salad, because although it’s a simple creation, it can be really tricky to find a decent one in HK. Luckily, I have met my match here with the sinfully creamy buffalo mozzarella, the ripe and sweet tomatoes and basil, with a drizzle of premium olive oil to pull everything together.
The brunch package includes the option of one main course and I couldn’t resist one of 208’s signature pizzas. The base was light and crispy and the toppings were rich, gooey and tangy – in all the right places. I also have it on very reliable authority that the steak was juicy, tender and cooked faultlessly. We finished off our dining extravaganza with a slice of lemon pound cake and a shot of rocket fuel coffee which helped to ease the bubbly buzz.
The staff at 208 were very welcoming and helpful and the buffet was plentifully and regularly topped-up. They were also extremely generous with pouring the champagne and our glasses were never empty. Needless to say, we may have had to pop back to the Happy Hour the next day – for purely medicinal purposes, of course!
The buffet is available at 208 from 12 -3pm on Saturdays and 12- 4pm on Sundays, priced at $208 per adult for just the buffet, or $338 per person, including a choice of one main dish. Diners can add $200 to enjoy free flow Veuve Cliquot champagne, red and white wine and Peroni beer.
Read more about brunch options in Sai Ying Pun here.