For me, Cafe Causette in the Mandarin Oriental has always been associated with two meals: breakfast and afternoon tea. On sunny Saturdays, there’s nothing better than bringing your newspaper along, ordering up the full Mandarin Breakfast, and gorging yourself on the full English breakfast and delicious bread basket with a big cup of coffee. It’s great people-watching, and the service is always a treat. For afternoon tea, its great for friends with babies, as the non-stuffy atmosphere and run-able floor mean that little kids can have a bit of a toddle around while the mums enjoy tea and scones. I’ve never really thought of Cafe Causette as a dinner place though, so I was interested to try out their new Family Style menu in the evenings. Full of the kind of dishes that can be considered “winter warmers”, the menu is full-on comfort food, from Roast Chicken to Osso Bucco, Mussels cooked in white wine, Huge Steaks and of course the sinful desserts: Black Forest Gateau, Crepes Suzette and a Napoleon.
The menu is a little bit retro, in a good way, taking those classic dishes you have nostalgia for, and mixing them up with a couple of more Asian-influenced items, like the pulled pork served with spicy kimchi, butter lettuce and fresh herbs. The portions are absolutely huge, so if you’re only four people, you will probably only need two dishes between you even if you have a hearty appetite! By far the best thing will be to come with a large group to maximize your ordering potential – around 8-10 would probably be perfect.
Of course, this is The Mandarin, so we can’t expect prices to be cheap (around HK250 t0 300 per dish), but considering the quality of the ingredients (the roast chicken is a Poulet de Bresse) and the size, I would consider this menu as good value. I’d definitely recommend trying this out if you’re feeling a little homesick for some familiar favourites, and want to get that warm feeling of sharing “family style” that comes from sitting at a long table, drinking wine, eating and indulging. The Osso Bucco and Pulled Pork in particular are stand-out favourites, so don’t miss!