Tai Ping Shan may just be the coolest area in town these days, with new independent shops and eateries opening left, right and centre. The recent opening of adorable café NOSH can now certainly take credit for making this area even cooler.
NOSH, opened by two lovely ladies (chef Danielle Yuen and executive pastry chef Aki Yamamoto, who met working together at a Michelin-starred restaurant here), focuses on simple yet delicious European-inspired cuisine, in a comfortable, homely setting.
The café is designed by the talented Helen Lindman, who brings her Scandinavian background to the fore, creating a beautiful chic and airy space. The far wall is painted with a watercolour image by local illustrator Lee Chi Ching, adding a cute neighbourhood feel to the café.
Besides a tasty selection of breakfast and ‘afternoon grazing’ items, as well as a weekend brunch, NOSH offers a great set lunch including fresh soups, sandwiches and salads, as well as a special dish of the day.
We started with the soup and sandwich combo of the day: tomato soup with hummus and chicken breast sandwich. Tomato soup would never be my first choice from a menu – I find it often has that same store-bought, acidic taste, with no other deeper flavours than solely tomato. This soup, however, was delicious! It tasted homemade and carried a subtle hint of chilli and fresh herbs that complemented the tomato, without completely stealing its thunder.
The sandwich, though not particularly flavoursome, was freshly made with the softest, most moreish bread I’ve found in Hong Kong for a long time. Dipping said bread into the yummy soup is highly recommended…
The two daily salads – fig, pear and goat’s cheese salad with pomegranate and lemon dressing; and strawberry, walnut, bacon and avocado salad with raspberry dressing – were as interesting as they were delicious, with bold flavours that made them more exciting than your average salad. We particularly liked the tanginess of the strawberry salad that played well against the saltiness of the bacon.
The dish of the day was fish and chips, served with freshly made tartare sauce. It was not only the perfect-sized portion for a light lunch, but the delicate light coating, as opposed to thick beer batter, made it not the slightest bit greasy –and perhaps even a little bit healthy (…ok, maybe that’s wishful thinking!).
It would be rude to go to NOSH and not try some of Chef Aki’s delicious “NOSH-made” treats. These are the first things you notice at the counter as you walk in, and you should without fail remember to save space for them! We tried the tiramisu and the lemon meringue tart, both of which had their own unique twist on the classic desserts.
The first bite of the tiramisu was somewhat deceiving – you think all you’re getting is mascarpone cream and chocolate, with only a mere hint of coffee. Delve deeper into the dessert, however, and you’ll find a rich, moist, coffee-infused centre that complements the creamy exterior.
The lemon meringue tart was beautifully presented. Beneath the lovely golden meringue was what seemed to be a layer of frozen lemon cream (almost like ice cream), which encased a blob of tangy lemon curd. If we had liked it any less, we would have stopped eating to take a photo of the centre… but obviously that was not possible!
Lunch dishes at NOSH cost between $45 and $80, whilst the “NOSH made” pastries will set you back around $50 too. It is a lovely little place, with friendly staff and tasty, fuss-free food. I can imagine long afternoons spent here, whiling away the hours whilst sipping hot chocolate and nibbling on delicious pastries. Welcome to the neighbourhood, NOSH!
NOSH Tai Ping Shan G/F., 11 Upper Station Street Sheung Wan
2559 8508 www.facebook.com/…
Check out more from Ale on her fab blog, The Dim Sum Diaries!