A modern-day bacchanalia
District: Central, Hong Kong
Cuisine: New York style Italian
How much: $900 per person, plus $450 for free-flow prosecco and house wines, or $600 for free-flow Ruinart and house spirits
Best for: An over-the-top celebration brunch
Brunch in Hong Kong is nothing unusual, and by now, we all know what to expect. Whatever the occasion, in my opinion, brunch should include plenty of food, along with even more champagne. Sure, the price can run high, but for what you’re getting, it’s (normally!) worth it. The Fiasco at Carbone, however, is different. Clouded in an air of mystery, (the restaurant doesn’t even have an Instagram page), I was going into this brunch blind.
Okay, I wasn’t going in completely blind, I knew the cuisine that Carbone offered up – an indulgent array of New York style Italian fare – I couldn’t wait to feast upon plates of pasta, steak, dessert, and more dessert. Along with a drink (or 12). The rest, though, was a mystery. Ever-elusive, The Fiasco is not exactly new to the Hong Kong brunch scene, but has earned itself its exclusive air through word-of-mouth advertising – you’ve got to be in the know, to know – not to mention the hefty price-tag.
Upon arrival, we were greeted with a glass of champagne and led through to our table in the dimly lit dining room. Within minutes, the room was filling up with large parties ready to celebrate, and we were soon to be in for our first performance of the afternoon. As we tucked into our first course – a delicious selection of fresh oysters, crab and other seafood – a sultry singer sauntered through the room, oozing confidence (and an incredible voice to boot), the restaurant quickly transformed into something akin to a James Bond film. Then the real show began. Within seconds we went from Bond to The Godfather, and as the food continued – we were now onto a luscious Caprese salad, full of burrata and juicy heirloom tomatoes, along with a delicious Caesar salad – the action around us continued.
Now, I don’t want to give too much away, as it’s really best to be surprised by the whole experience as much as possible, so I’ll leave it there and move onto the food. After the salads, we gorged ourselves on a peppery beef carpaccio, platters of pasta (my favourite of which was the famed Spicy Rigatoni Vodka), before moving onto some of the juiciest King Prawns I’ve ever tasted, Chicken Parmesan and a whole lot of steak. All of the food was perfectly in keeping with the whole afternoon – over the top, indulgent, and executed flawlessly. The service was also faultless, warm, welcoming and attentive, yet never overbearing. Ever on hand to offer up more champagne (or wine!), the staff here really helped to make the whole experience what it was.
After the food (and maybe some dancing), with a climatic end, and plenty of Carbone’s Lemon Cheesecake, the afternoon was over. In a blur of indulgence, music and alcohol the three hours had sped by, and all I knew was that I wanted to go back again. Sure, this brunch comes at a price (with food and free-flow coming in at $1,500 a head), but for a really special occasion, when you just want to let your hair down (and still be in bed at a reasonable hour), this is the brunch to try.
The Fiasco is held on the last Saturday of every month, from 12:30pm to 3:30pm. Call 2593 2593, or email [email protected] for reservations.
Carbone, 9/F LFK Tower, 33 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong, carbone.com.hk