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Sunday, April 12, 2015

Bite-Size Review: Brick Lane Gallery in Kowloon, Hong Kong

Anyone who's ever joined me for a meal would know that I simply adore restaurants, diners, cafes, bistros and food trucks who have a solid all-day breakfast menu.  I'm not talking about those that grudgingly list reheated pancakes, waffles or some sad little two-egg omelette on the bottom right corner of their menus; no, only establishments that feature more than one, make that, five types of eggs benedict, and who proudly proclaim they serve breakfast throughout their operating hours need qualify.

Enter Brick Lane Gallery in Kowloon, Hong Kong.

Irish Egg Benedict - two poached eggs over corned beef, all doused with Hollandaise sauce. I skipped the extra topping of the black truffle paste.

I'd checked the Brick Lane's website which initially brought me to their Tsim Sha Tsui's location.  It's tucked into a side street a few hundred meters from the craziness of Nathan Road and the notorious Chungking Mansions.  At first glance, I was somewhat dismayed to see how tiny the space was, and that every table and chair in that squeezy place were occupied.  One of the servers near the main entrance then helpfully informed me that they had another outlet - Brick Lane Gallery - just down the street and around the corner.  It turned out to be a good call: this alternate location is way more spacious and has better ambiance than that first TST outlet, complete with alfresco seating.

I quickly got down to business.  Although yes, Brick Lane prides itself on its all-day breakfast menu, it also features appetisers and mains from other times of the day.  So on top of the extremely tasty corned beef eggs benedict that I'd ordered, next on the list was the warm lamb tenderloin salad, artfully and deliciously mixed with rocket leaves, cherry tomatoes and mint dressing (photo below.)

On to something tart: the linguine with crab meat, chili and sun-dried tomatoes were a nice complement to the previous dishes of savoury corned beef and the slightly bitter rocket salad.  Now, when the crab meat is immersed in all that tomato sauce, it's harder to determine its provenance in terms of fresh or canned, but I'm just happy there were no metallic aftertaste (hint: that's never a good thing) and the pasta was cooked to my al dente preference.

To end the meal, it was back to the breakfast section of the menu for one of the last two dishes:

Egg-drenched French toast with strips of pork bacon and slices of bananas

Red velvet cake with cream cheese mousse
The next time I'm there, I'll be sure to order the Brick Lane Combo - three eggs any style with bacon, black pudding, ham, Portobello mushrooms, hash brown, roasted vine tomatoes, sausage, smoked salmon, Yorkshire pudding, cheese, baked beans, corned beef, and of course, toast.  Every other diner ordered it and it looked awesome.  I'd also heard good things about their bangers and mash, Shepherd's pie, and the 8-oz Brick Lane beef burger, so yes, another visit is in order.  Soon.

Brick Lane Gallery
G/F, 17-23 Minden Avenue, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Telephone +852 2721 0628
Open daily from 11.30 a.m. to 1 a.m.

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