Amanda Boby shares her experience of visiting Hong Kong and seeking out the best places to eat brunch...


Tips for Visiting Hong Kong for the First Time

I recently went to Hong Kong with my husband and a good friend from home. We spent a week there, which sounds like a vast amount of time, but if you know Hong Kong well you understand that there is plenty to keep you occupied. We spent a while wandering around the smaller communities and some of the walking trails that we haven’t ventured along before. As our friend had travelled all the way from the UK, we decided to provide her with the ultimate city weekend experience, a free flow brunch!

Living in Guangzhou, where a new 5* hotel ‘pops up’ every so often, we have been to some that have left a lot to be desired and some that just make you feel overly full and just plain greedy! We wanted a different experience to the usual overpriced buffet, yet one that was still within our needs; we were conscious of our friend’s vegetarianism, while still making sure that we were sampling plenty of cuisines. With other restuarants that we sampled, I think we pretty much took a worldwide trip in the culinary capital that is Hong Kong. 

Knowing that we all liked a good drink and food, my husband and I spent time agonising over the suitably fitting brunch for a Saturday. We didn’t want anything that provided too much food, or was too flash, and we wished to rule out those restaurants that didn’t have a vegetarian option or meat hanging up on their walls.

We narrowed it down to two… if you know Hong Kong you know it’s a ‘Mecca’ for brunches at the weekend. One was a Portuguese restaurant that offered tapas-style dishes, free flow decent wines and other options for later; this seemed perfect for all our requirements. However, we discovered they were closed for refurbishment! A word of advice for businesses: putting a notice on your websites would be most helpful! 

We only had one option left, as we wanted to make sure we were all going to enjoy the experience. We settled for a Venetian restaurant that served an Al a Carte menu, not a buffet, and free flowing quality Italian wines and a rosemary spritz, which I was most intrigued by. 

All booked, we sent the details to our friend and we were most excited to know that she enjoyed Italian food and, of course, free flowing alcohol. The trip provided us with more memories and funny moments that will come up again and again, as always. We all seem to have mutual respect for Hong Kong and the variety of activities it has to offer.

We’ve been here a number of times, on our own, with friends and family from home and from Guangzhou. Each time provides more opportunity to explore a new area; new trekking trail; sample a new restaurant, and in the past…shop until you drop. 



On our first night of meeting our friend we ventured to the Midlevels; our friend wanted to explore the escalators so we kept going up and up until we reached a part we’d not been to before. I turned around and noticed a quaint, traditional Italian restaurant, and jumping up in excitement, I spotted the name: SEPA. It was the restaurant we had booked for brunch. It made the lead up to it even more exciting.

The next morning, after much deliberating over what to wear at 11:00 in the morning that would also be suitable for later in the day, we ventured to SEPA for brunch. It was a quiet, relaxing atmosphere, even when there were a few groups inside. We decided to make the most of it and pace ourselves. We started off with fruit juices (freshly made) and little nibbles.

My husband and I had a Caprese salad and a steak tartar to share and our friend had one of their spinach and ricotta focaccia breads. We went on to try the rosemary spritz (if you like Aperol spritz then you should try it with a sprig of rosemary) and continued on to sample the wines. The pasta was of a good portion size (not too much) and cooked to perfection. I have been to Italy and I am retuning this year but it’s some of the best pasta I have eaten. 


2. Mandarin Oriental

SEPA turned out to be the best option for our brunch experience. Although buffets seem to provide you with value for money they’re too much for me, along with alcohol. The exception is the Mandarin Oriental in Guangzhou. An Al a Carte menu, along with free flowing drinks was the perfect pairing for a chilled Saturday of spending time with one of our good friends. 


3. Blue Butcher

One other suggestion for the meat-lovers out there is the Blue Butcher. They now offer a brunch menu on a Saturday and a Sunday! This is fast becoming one of our favourite restaurants in Hong Kong. Although more than the average cost of a steak, it is one of the most memorable ones I have had, not too large and a perfect cut.

You can order sides (I recommend the Mac and Cheese and the Truffle Fries), which compliment the menu perfectly. They do appetizers, however it’s worth just jumping straight in with a steak and not ruining your appetite. If the brunch is anything like the Al Carte menu then it is one that would be worth sampling in the future. 

Although there are many options for brunch in Hong Kong, this suited our needs the most. I am sure there will be another few to choose from when we next decide to sample Hong Kong’s ever-growing choice of weekend brunches that will be just as experimental and creative as the ones continually popping up on the brunch scene. 


Whether you would like to visit Hong Kong for a short break or stay a little longer we have some great opportunities availabe: