Sleeping early the previous night, it happened to be that everyone rose up early-- meaning before six in the morning! So after waiting for a while (since according to cafe TOO hours that the buffet didn't open until 6:30 A.M.) we went downstairs to an empty cafe TOO. We found out downstairs that we actually could have had the buffet open to us before 6:30A.M.
At such time frame there were not many guests eating inside cafe TOO other than business travelers. The food was barely touched, but the chefs were already busy preparing more food for the morning rush.
What was really great visiting early was that the food really was fresh-- the steamed dumplings had been barely touched and everything was very hot and fresh tasting. On this plate: fried rice, fruit (dragon fruit, watermelon, honeydew, papaya, pineapple), four dumplings (pork, juicy pork dumpling, clear vegetarian, and siu mai), grilled items (tomato, zucchini, and chicken), and some stir fried rice cake. This plate was a bland in terms of flavor-- the fried rice especially and the stir fried rice cake too oily but bright with the onions-- but otherwise everything was quite decent. The chicken was even seasoned with some herbs including tarragon.
I also decided to visit the congee corner and order some fish congee. The chef was very friendly and suggested I add some ginger when he gave me this bowl of congee. In addition, I added some preserved duck egg (the black object you see in the photo), black pepper, and green onion. I certainly enjoyed this bowl of porridge; it was lightly seasoned with a fresh sea scent from the tender fish slices (probably grass carp since it is widely available), and the ginger and green onion did wonders in providing some brightness.
I love pouring myself plenty of juices when I travel and happen to visit a breakfast buffet like cafe TOO which offers tons of juices. And so here are glasses of orange juice and watermelon juice, both of which tasted fantastic being freshly made. The milk was also creamy and fragrant; but then again it was the "fresh milk" or full fat milk that I chose.
After having the first plate I thought I would try some other options. So, I placed some kimbap, vegetable curry with batsmati rice, a "sandy" egg yolk bun, soba noodles, and a granola parfait onto my dish. What I really enjoyed in this plate were the "sandy" buns and the vegetable curry with rice. The curry was fragrant and flavorful with plenty of hearty vegetables, while the "sandy" buns had a hot egg yolk filling. If you happen to see these during your visit to cafe TOO, I highly suggest them!
The soba noodles were not as impressive-- not very chewy or cold, and the kimbap tasted the same as the ones I had the day before.
As for the granola parfait, it consisted of a yogurt layer on top, saccharine granola, and a sweet raspberry sauce on the bottom. I think it would have been better if the raspberry sauce had been placed on top, as it provided lots of sweetness to the granola. While the granola also became sweeter, it also lost its crunchiness. I did like the garnishes on top though- a candied pecan, strawberry, dried pineapple, and blueberry.
To end the meal I ordered a waffle-- a very familiar food in my experiences at cafe TOO. I remember being impressed by this clover/heart shaped waffle years ago as it seemed very unusual for a waffle. After ten years it has still stayed the same-- familiar but still just as delicious as before. This time, I put some Bonne Maman jams (apricot, fig, blackberry, strawberry) along with some pancake syrup and whipped cream to go along with the waffle- all great accompaniments! I did prefer the fruity flavors from the jams more than the pancake syrup- they provided more interesting flavors to the light and crispy waffle.
Thanking the employees for the meal, we headed out around the hotel and the nearby area. The pictures that I took of the fitness area in this post were all taken right after this filling breakfast!
cafe TOO at Island Shangri-La
Supreme Court Road
Central, Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2820 8571
Find the rest of the posts in this series at this trip's TRIP INDEX.