By: Claire Locking
Armani/Prive has cemented itself as one of the city’s most glamorous nightspots so it was with surprise that we were invited to visit during daylight hours to sample their new summer White Saturdays brunch ($420 including one glass of Champagne or a Bloody Mary). Turns out, this wasn’t so much brunch as an all-day affair. The idea came from Ibiza-born manager Manuel Palacio who understands that the joy of partying doesn’t have to wait until the sun goes down.
The location is the club’s stunning and expansive open-air roof terrace high above Central. The vibe is stylish and understated – what else would you expect from a venue bearing the Armani name?
We kicked things off at 12.30pm with one of Manuel’s famous rose petal and cucumber gin and tonics served in what can best be described as a goldfish bowl. This is an aperitif to be savoured – mixology is revered at Armani/Privé as something of an art and the G&T is considered globally to be the coolest tipple of 2013. Alternatives include a glass of Perrier-Jouët Champagne or a perfect Grey Goose Vodka Bloody Mary.
The food combines the best of Japanese and Italian cuisine, an unconventional mix that works surprisingly well. Things start with a platter of international flavours including antipasti, king prawns, oysters, individual Caesar salads and cheeses. Japanese morsels include sushi, lightly battered tempura, black cod, soba noodles and yakitori. If you’re looking for more substantial plates then suckling pig sliders and mini burgers are in almost constant supply.
The food isn’t amazing, but the quality of the ingredients, the variety and the almost constantly changing offerings add to the appeal.
Unlike other brunches where proceedings are constantly interrupted by visits to the buffet, Manuel’s concept means the food comes to you either on sharing platters, in individual tasting portions or on giant wooden boards carried by the waiting staff. The result is a chilled-out, sunny, Balearic vibe right in the heart of the city.
The kitchen’s creations can be enjoyed from 12.30pm until about 4pm with entertainment from resident saxophonist and percussionist. As the sun starts to go down, the DJs take up their positions on the decks and that’s when the party really gets started.
2/F, Chater House,
8 Connaught Road, Central
3583 2828 | armaniprive-hk.com