In a fast-paced metropolis like Hong Kong, breakfast inevitably gets left out of the everyday routine for many citizens. As the saying goes, the earliest meal is the most important one of the day, so there’s really no excuse to be negligent. Getting that early refreshment helps you start the day in stride and provide some much-needed fuel for your brain.
When done right, breakfast can be an exciting affair that involves so much more than the pastry from your local bakery or congee from a street corner stall. We’ve rounded up a variety of hearty morning dishes with an intriguing international heritage — along with the local spots that do them justice. With these five power meals, you will look forward to waking up bright and early.
Japanese Breakfast at Amber
If a filling meal is what you have in mind, look no further than the classic Japanese breakfast, a protein-heavy meal with fish fillets, miso soup and steamed rice. Amber at the Landmark Mandarin Oriental serves a deluxe version of this set, featuring grilled-to-order Tasmanian salmon glazed with soy and mirin. Side dishes such as daikon, kyuri cucumber and natto — delivered six days a week from Japan’s Kyushu area — balances the savoury with a bit of piquancy. The refreshing JING Sencha green tea cleanses the palate at the end of the meal.
Amber, 7/F, The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, 15 Queen's Road, Central; 2132 0066; amberhongkong.com
Omelette au Fromage at Plat du Jour
Sometimes, it’s the simple things in life that are the most extraordinary. This dish might look like an ordinary cheese omelette, but it’s so much more. No professionally trained French chef can make the cut if he or she can’t deliver a flawless version of this simple classic. The omelette au fromage at Plat du Jour houses an irresistible combination of Emmental and parmesan cheese wrapped in three duck eggs, a substitution for regular chicken eggs for their richer and darker yellow yolks.
Plat du Jour, Unit 007, Level LG1, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty; 2715 0511
Shakshuka at The Kinnet Café
The word shakshuka means “mixture” in Arabic, and the eponymous dish stays true to form. The poached eggs bathed in tomato sauce are surrounded by a medley of bell peppers and spices. Complex in flavours, the dish is a breakfast staples in various Middle Eastern countries. The Kinnet Café makes a feta-topped version, with a side of sourdough bread for dipping.
The Kinnet Café, 3/F, 33 Hillier Street, Sheung Wan; 3968 7623; thekinnetcafe.com
Bagels from Schragels
The secret to New Yorker’s plenteous energy might just be morning bagels. The Polish bread product is a mainstream breakfast food in American cities with large Jewish populations. Brooklyn, in particular, has perfected the “everything bagel” — a variety covered with poppy seeds, sesame and garlic — and the “schmear”, a cream cheese spread. Thanks to Rebecca Schrage of Schragels, you can now enjoy this delicious combo in Hong Kong. The Sheung Wan-based business delivers freshly-baked bagels by the dozen, making them an ideal way to gain the goodwill of your colleagues.
Schragels, Shop 1 G/F 17 Po Yan Street, Sheung Wan; 9730 6727; schragels.com
Egg Rancheros at The Flying Pan
Egg rancheros — or huevos rancheros — are practically a cultural institution in Mexico. The dish translates to “eggs ranch-style” and was first conceived as a mid-morning refuel for Mexican farmers. Robust in flavours, the delicacy typically consists of two fried eggs served on corn tortillas, topped with a healthy heap of spicy salsa. Opened 24 hours, The Flying Pan serves an iconic rendition of the dish.