We’re California dreaming over this West Coast-inspired cafe…
It’s rare to find a place that can please the eyes as much as the palate. So often we forgive a dish’s shortcomings for looking good enough to post on the ‘Gram, or are conversely willing to forgive a slapdash dish when the flavour makes up for its looks. But we may have stumbled upon a cafe that serves up plates that taste just as good as they look!
Enter Melrose Coffee. Named after the famed LA shopping strip, this recently opened Cali-inspired brunch spot brings the cool and breezy spirit of America’s West Coast to Hong Kong’s Central café scene. Read on for what we thought of the space and the dishes we’d come back for.
Sunset-Inspired Interiors With A Touch Of Terazzo
Melrose Coffee sits atop Elgin Street (we recommend taking the Mid-Level Escalators all the way up). The obvious draw of the cafe is its aesthetic shopfront: picture a large circular window that fuses with the glass door, terrazzo steps and a terracotta boarder framing the entrance. The interiors are just as Instagrammable as the outside. Though only able to squeeze in a single row of tables (with one outdoors for those bringing along a furry friend), the space is brightly lit and doesn’t feel too cramped.
Not Your Average Drinks Selection
Being a cafe, we dove straight into the drinks menu. There were many tempting choices, but we went with and iced S.O. Mocha and Apple Tea Cap. We were told that a homemade caramelised apple jam is made especially for the tea, and that the mocha is made with single origin beans from Honduras and a dark chocolate from the Philippines, giving it a rich, bitter and slightly tangy flavour.
California Brunch Classics With A Creative Spin
To accompany our drinks we ordered all three signature dishes (yes, we came hungry), the Tiger Prawn And Egg Salad Toast and Croffle Churros. The Royal Potato Rosti topped with smoked salmon, hollandaise sauce and salmon roe made for a satisfying starter. The thin potato cake was perfectly light and crispy.
We were big fans of the open-faced sandwich. The prawns were cooked and seasoned to perfection and the egg salad got high praise around the table. The Kimchi Bacon Pasta was another hit for us. It was creamy and moorish, with a bit of a kick from the kimchi. Definitely one to order if you’re feeling more than peckish.
To end our meal, we had to try the Insta-famous Popover Pancake. It’s a comforting dish (especially if you’re partial to bread pudding) and paired well with the custard and fresh berries. A winning combo of three of our favourite sweet treats, we knew we wouldn’t regret throwing in the Croffle Churros as well. The double chocolate dip was to our taste – not too sweet – and partnered excellently with the cinnamon-dusted strips of croffle sliced soldier-style for dunking ease.
A Treat For The Eyes And The Palate
Honestly speaking, we were quite taken aback by the quality of the food and drinks served. We knew people came for the ‘Gram – and understandably so, the interiors are gorgeous and dishes artfully plated – but what stood out was the attention to detail and amount of thought that went into the ingredients used. To say the least, this was a meal we would have gladly enjoyed blind-folded.
Cuisine: Creative Californian breakfast and brunch staples
How much: Drinks range from $35 to $65; $38 to $58 for fresh pastries, A la carte dishes range from $68 to $138
Must order: Tiger Prawn And Egg Salad Toast, Kimchi Bacon Pasta and Croffle Churros
The best for: Brunch and casual lunches
Melrose Coffee is open Monday to Friday, from 10am to 6pm, and Saturday and Sunday, from 9am to 6pm.
Brought to you in paid partnership with Melrose Coffee. All opinions are from the editor’s genuine experience.
All images courtesy of Nicole Moraleda for Sassy Media Group.