Monday, June 29, 2020

Bottomless Dimsum

I quite like the idea when Hong Kong Land decided to open Centricity, a dedicated space in one of their commercial buildings (Chater House) completed with meeting space, lounge and F&B outlets exclusively for their tenants and their staff. With space at a premium and there's never enough places for coffee and quick bites in the area, this is certainly a welcoming addition. 

A few Saturday ago we went for their weekend brunch. Taking over what used to be Armani/Prive Cafe/Restaurant over two levels, the space went through a complete revamp and I love the modern, minimalist design with a metallic chic color theme and bright lighting which integrated both the practical and cool factors. Somehow it reminded us of CX's business class lounge at the airport. 

The restaurant, called Catchic on the lower level, offers both sit-down and takeout options plus the coffee stand with snacks and the bar on weekdays but on weekends, only the sit-down area is open with a la carte and set menus. Their a la carte menu was similar to those "All Day Dining" menu offered in hotels but this time we chose the Dim Sum Brunch menu which offered all-you-can-eat dim sum dishes with drink options. 

Given they are not specialized in Dim Sum or Chinese cuisine in general, I would say they delivered above our expectations. Heard part of their F&B team came from the now-defunct Excelsior hotel so maybe that's why they managed to be a jack of all trades. There were a dozen or so choices available from the menu, from the classic steamed or deep-fried dim sum items to a few different noodles, rice and desserts. My favorites were the Siu Mai (scallop pork dumplings), Prawn Spring Rolls, pan-fried Cheung Fun (rice flour rolls) and Fried Noodles. They were served in individual portion and most of the dishes prepared a la minute so it's perfect for eating in small groups. They mentioned a time limit of 2 hours but I doubt if they strictly enforce unless you stayed past their serving time or ordering obscene amount of food.

Tea was included in the set menu (and came with traditional choice of different Chinese teas and western/herbal tea bag selection) but we opted for the add-on drinks menu which included free-flow champagne, wines and cocktails. Of course bubbly - in this case a decent vintage Moet - always work with any dish and at any time of the day, but this time I also enjoyed the sparkling tea as a non-alcoholic alternative, with the golden color resembling a vintage champagne with nice bubbles, mildly tart mouthfeel and light bouquet of flavor coming from a blend of white tea, jasmine and chamomile leaves.

The quiet and modern setting probably won't give you the same authentic Yum Cha/Dim Sum experience at an old Cantonese tea house, but it's not a bad option at all if you are looking for something nice and chilled. It's a pleasant surprise and we are happy with this discovery of a somewhat hidden spot. 

When? June 6 2020
Where? Catchic at Centricity, Chater House, Central, Hong Kong
Menu Highlights? Pan-fried Rice Flour Rolls 
2012 Moet & Chandon Grand Vintage Brut
2019 Chateau d'Esclans Whispering Angel, Cotes de Provence Rose
Copenhagen Organic Sparkling Tea

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