Hong Kong’s skyline is so beautiful, it’s no surprise that we’re often asked to recommend restaurants with a view. At Expat Living, you ask and we deliver! This month, we visited two restaurants with a view. Both venues are in great locations that are easy to get to if you’re meeting a friend for lunch on Hong Kong side.
Alto offers all the ingredients for an impressive Hong Kong lunch. Stellar view: check. Multiple menu options with buffet: check. Decent wine list: check.
I was impressed by the daytime view here, but our waiter assured us the evening view is even more spectacular – a front-row seat to the city’s famous light show. With that in mind, the floor-to-ceiling windows and the location on the 31st floor in Causeway Bay make it an impressive venue for visiting guests whether they be business or social.
There are three lunch options: you can opt for the buffet; the buffet and a main; or à la carte from the main menu. We chose the buffet and main option. The buffet offers well over ten different salads, fresh vegetables, cold meat cuts, as well as bread and a small selection of cheese and desserts. However, if you’re hungry or dining with someone with a large appetite, you’ll need to order a main.
We ordered the pan-roasted salmon with sunchoke, asparagus and sun-dried tomatoes, and the cheeseburger, both of which hit the spot. The salmon offered a slightly crunchy crust of salt that was delicious. The burger was well cooked, juicy, with fresh ingredients and came with a very generous serving of rich melted blue cheese.
The highlight of the dessert buffet was the red velvet cake. But there’s also a chocolate fountain with marshmallows, and fresh fruit for something healthy. We had a leisurely lunch and by the time we made it to dessert there was only a small amount of each dish left. However, not only was there still more than enough for the two for us, it was also reassuring to know that this is a business that doesn’t engage in food wastage by over-catering, as so many buffets across the city do. We loved that about Alto.
Pirata is another Hong Kong restaurant with a view, perched on the top floor of a high rise – this time in Wan Chai. It offers honest Italian food, which, on our visit, came with a side dish of warm Italian service (via a Spanish waiter!). This is a really good value lunch, one that guarantees great food, a friendly vibe and a bird’s eye view of the city.
You might know Pirata for its Sunday brunch – which is another great value dining experience, by the way – but it’s most definitely worth a visit for a midweek lunch. On offer are an antipasti buffet, main courses and desserts.
The antipasti buffet to start is a well stocked selection of salads, cheeses, cold meats, bruschettas, frittata, breads, fresh vegetables and more. For mains, if you choose the most expensive menu option at $248, this grants you a choice of Pirata’s famed homemade tagliatelle with truffle pasta or the butcher’s cut flank steak. There was also a seafood option at this price point.
We shared both the pasta and the steak, on the waiter’s recommendation, and it proved to be a brilliant combination. The homemade pasta was nicely cooked and comes with a very generous serving of truffle shavings. This is a rich dish that we enjoyed as a shared plate. The butcher’s cut flank steak, while a smaller portion than that served for a dinner main course, is ample for lunch and was cooked correctly to order. It was another great choice, topped with cherry tomatoes and peppery rocket leaves.
For dessert, there’s a choice of three options, each served in individual glass pots. We shared the panna cotta and the tiramisu. These were moreish but perfectly proportioned. The whole Pirata lunch was a very positive experience.