Be transported to Paris in the heart of Ship Street
The winning formula of Michelin Star Chef, Akrame Benallal’s Paris flagship has arrived at Hong Kong’s very own Atelier Vivanda; an affordable fixed-price brunch featuring quality ingredients, with a modern take on all your favourite French classics. Chef Akrame also deserves a mention in our list of Hong Kong’s Hottest Male Chefs, just sayin’….
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It’s nice to have found a quieter, intimate brunch space for a quality catch up, and I loved the striped black and white interior and wooden fittings, along with the rustic countryside butcher studio backdrop.
We began with the Bread Basket, an old school paper bag filled with house-made sourdough that’s so fresh it’s still warm, alongside Akrame’s croissants and pain au chocolat. After struggling to find legit sourdough on par with what you get in Sydney – here it is! Even better with Akrame’s pineapple and vanilla jam and butter.
We washed this down with a couple of cold-pressed juices from Water Juicery, Akrame’s very own brand (what can’t this guy do?!). I often find cold-pressed juices to be overpriced and a bit same-same, but one juice here is only a $35 add-on, and the Pineapple Power – with coconut water and zingy tarragon – is worth it.
Starters are unlimited and for sharing: the Duck Leg Terrine wasn’t our thing (although a dish you either like or you don’t), but we demolished the Baby Tomatoes Confit with ricotta and olives, Soft Boiled Eggs with a crunchy almond crust, and the light Vegetable Carpaccio; just the right amount of crisp and not at all soggy.
For mains, we had a choice of several premium cuts of meat. My brunch date went for the Black Angus Persille, medium-rare, and I ordered the Yellow Chicken Breast for something lighter. The chicken was great, but had nothing on the steak, which we couldn’t believe was so tender. The melt-in-your-mouth cut fall under the reasonably priced set menu too. I stole more than my fare share of bites.
Unlimited portions of house potato specialties come with the mains; I stuck to the Sauteed Potatoes, but if you’re after carby comfort food you’ll be in your element, with everything from mash to Pommes Dauphine (think gourmet potato puffs).
I’m a chocolate girl all the way, so the desserts aren’t ones I’d typically order: the Fig with Custard is nice and light although a little bland, but we scraped the vanilla and almond Crème Brulee clean (this one sells out every day). The Avocado Cream with Muesli and grapefruit sorbet is refreshing and the perfect palate cleanser, with two excellent espressos completing the meal.
At $398/head – plus the House Wine Free Flow option we went for at $138/head – I’d say this is one of the best value brunches in HK… but you won’t just come here because it’s reasonable; you’ll come here because it’s top quality and damn delicious. Get the steak and thank me later!
Atelier Vivanda, 9 Ship Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, Tel: 2109 1768, www.ateliervivanda.com.hk