Friday, January 20, 2017

Mercato's Sunday Brunch

After a rather hectic Saturday running around, we got to spend our Sunday afternoon at a much leisurely pace, at Mercato by Jean Georges to check out their new weekend brunch menu. We loved the food here at our last outing to this restaurant right in the center of Lan Kwai Fong, so there’s every reason to believe this is going to be another great meal and a great afternoon.

Similar to their dinner a la carte menu, they offered a good range of a la carte choices as their brunch selection, in addition to some off-menu items offered as special. On the menu it said dishes were served family style so we picked a few to share.

We started with the Italian warm seafood salad, one of the daily special items, with a marvellous display of various seafood items (shrimps, squids, clams) with avocado chunks, edible flowers, lemon confit, tomatoes, garlic, herbs and generous drizzle of olive oil. At the same time, our burrata with clementine jam and basil arrived, which was another colorful dish with punchy citrusy flavor and pleasant aroma with slices of grapefruits and oranges served with clementine jam, with the creamy burrata and toasted bread on the side. Just perfect dishes for brunch and one won’t go wrong with them no matter what season we are in.

While we were tempted to order their signature pizza to share, we decided to try something new and ordered one egg dish each. Mine was the special item which came recommended by our waiter, a crispy soft-boiled Japanese egg with maitake mushrooms, tomatoes, and a rich sauce made with veal stock. The egg looked just like Scotch egg with the breaded, crispy batter surrounding, and once it’s cut open, inside was soft with egg yolk flowing, and the combination of all the ingredients accompanying the dish was amazing, especially the veal stock carrying all the rich meat flavor. That’s their chef Tony Burd’s entry to the “Eggs all day” promotion currently running across a few restaurants in town in anticipation of the coming of “Year of the Rooster”. That was well done – classic with a touch of creativity.

We were getting quite full already and that created a dilemma in our dessert selection since there were many that we wanted to try. So at the end we took a deep breath and tried to convince ourselves “there’s always room for desserts”. The cinnamon sticky buns with cream cheese frosting certainly brought back good memories of the good ol’ cinnamon roll, the staple of Sunday brunches. Last time we found their gelato a bit bland, but this time, the salted caramel icecream sundae was just out-of-the-park excellent, served with candied peanuts, popcorns, whipped cream and hot fudge. What’s not to like, right?

Glad to have the chance to compose ourselves over a relaxing brunch at this laid-back venue. Will definitely be back.

(The meal was by invitation and courtesy of Mercato Hong Kong)

When? January 15 2017
Where? Mercato by Jean-Georges , Level 8, California Tower, Lan Kwai Fong, Hong Kong
Menu Highlights? Crispy Soft-boiled Japanese Egg, Tomato Confit, Maitake Mushrooms, Tarragon

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