By: Brooke Chenoweth
When you’ve lived in Asia for a while, you can tend to get excited about finding certain foods in supermarkets or restaurants. When I approached the brunch buffet at Giando and found not one but six varieties of tomato, I could have wept with joy!
My husband, meanwhile, kept going back for the tender pieces of aged prosciutto delicately wrapped around the sweetest, juiciest Sardinian melon you can imagine.
There are so many brunches in Hong Kong these days, and each venue does things a little differently. What we loved about Giando was its quiet refinement. After leaving behind the heat and chaos of Admiralty, the neat little venue, tucked away at the end of Star Street, is a cool and clean surprise, and the greenery outside gives it a fresh ambience you don’t often find in the city.
There was a bridal shower happening in the private dining room on the day of our visit, and families were sharing dishes all around us, but ensconced in a little booth we felt quite removed from it all – allowing us to fully focus on the food.
Giando’s set brunch (HK$348 per person) gives you the choice of an appetiser, main and dessert from the menu, or you can take your appetiser from the buffet. We chose the buffet (wouldn’t you?), and there were so many options that we could easily have skipped mains.
The salads, cheeses, smoked salmon, cured meats, salamis and vegetables were all direct from Italy. It was all so very good – did I mention the tomatoes and melon? – and fresh. We also had a selection of breads brought to our table, with olive oil and balsamic of course.
We selected mains from the menu – not an easy task. There are a range of options, from light dishes like lobster salad to pastas and risottos, while the secondi were primarily meat-based or seafood.
I went with taglietelle ai funghi, homemade ribbons of pasta with a creamy mushroom sauce. The pasta was a little overdone, but the sauce was delicious and the serving size generous. David tried polletto al rosmarino, roasted spring chicken, with potatoes and spinach (add $58), cooked perfectly and very tasty.
While there isn’t a free-flow option, we both liked being able to choose a wine. Having a sommelier on hand made it that much easier.
Dessert was another difficult choice. My taste buds always lead me to the sweets at the end of a meal. I couldn’t go past the parfait di nocciole, hazelnut parfait with vanilla sauce. David’s tiramisu was on point.
The brunch at Giando is simple Italian food, perfectly prepared, in a lovely setting, and with great service. Just the way we like it!
9 Star Street Shop 1, G/F, Tower 1 Starcrest, Wan Chai
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This article first appeared in the August/September 2017 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.