Monday, August 11, 2014

Harbourside Sunday Brunch

In Hong Kong, there's no shortage of hotels and restaurants offering "all-you-can-eat" buffet meals at almost every street corner and round the clock - from breakfast to lunch to afternoon tea to dinner, with some even having a late supper option for the night owls. Setting aside the debate of whether "buffet culture" may lead to food over-consumption and wastage, in reality there's always a market for it - some popular places were even booked out months in advance.

Personally I don't consider myself a particularly big fan of buffet meals, but I don't mind going every now and then, and on the first Sunday of August, I was at Intercontinental's Harbourside restaurant to check out their buffet brunch hosted by their marketing team, attended by a few old friends, and I met a few new ones too.

The location of the restaurant was unbeatable, sharing the lower level space of this legendary Tsim Sha Tsui hotel with the more formal Steakhouse. Stretched across the entire restaurant on one side is the floor-to-ceiling window offering arguably one of the most stunning views of Hong Kong's city skyline. And on the other side against the wall, it's the almost as stunning view of the seemingly endless display of different food items laid out neatly in different "stations" - starting from the salad and appetizers on one end, to the juices and desserts on the other, and everything in between. You name it, and most probably they have it. I could imagine this being an ideal venue for say, a big family gathering kind of an occasion to save the trouble of dealing with everyone's different dietary preferences.

For those who fear that quantity and quality don't usually co-exist need not worry - the food here was excellent. My eyes were fixated on the whimsical "mountain" of poached lobsters the moment I stepped in the restaurant, and they were delicious and refilled so often that they never seem to run out. The grilling and roasting stations have six or seven different choices of meat - my favorites were the grilled ox-tongues done on the skillet, and the prime rib roast carved on order from the cart. Usually I don't bother with the cooked dishes at buffet but I must say the baked stuffed crab and the dim sums were very decent.

Intercontinental has a number of other specialty restaurants under one roof, and it seems like they tried to bring a little bit of each restaurants in their buffet offering at The Harbourside - so there's a bit of grilling and roasting, a bit of Japanese, a bit of Chinese, etc etc, so whoever want a "sneak preview" or having difficulty choosing which restaurants to go could have their cravings satisfied at one place and at one time.

Another interesting thing they did was to have special courses passing around by your table during the whole time - whether that be summer shooter drinks (the afternoon we were there yuzu and tequila cocktail was offered), freshly-baked pizzas, Chinese steamed buns stuffed with foie gras and truffles or mini Portuguese egg tarts -  which I thought was fun to try.

Dessert always attracted the biggest crowd at the buffet tables, and here there were a great number of western and Asian sweet treats - from all kinds of cakes to colorful macarons to Chinese sweet tofu pudding to different flavors of ice creams (plus condiments). The only problem was I wish I had a bigger stomach to fit them all in by the time we got to the end of the meal.

If you are into the sight of sumptuous display and endless choices of food, and have a big appetite to satisfy, or if you are with a group of people where everyone have different preferences as in what to eat, I think the Sunday brunch at Harbourside is the ideal place for occasions like these. And for me, I sure don't mind sitting at the corner sipping my lovely bubbly in the "bottomless" flute (there's an option for free-flowing Perrier Jouet here), enjoying the gorgeous view of the city skyline, taking my time to pick my food I happened to crave at that particular moment.

Thanks Intercontinental Hong Kong for the sumptuous meal and a relaxing Sunday afternoon in such a beautiful restaurant.

When? August 2 2014
Where? Harbourside, Intercontinental Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsimshatsui, Kowloon

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