Sorry for the one-day delay guys!
So as luck would have it one day I was wandering around Causeway and stumbled upon a cute little coffeehouse near President Theatre. After a successful first taste, upon Openricing I found that it’s now in three locations round town, the other two in Tsim Sha Tsui and Mong Kok; I chose to try the latter.
Located in the basement of Gala Place (家樂坊), a compact mall on Dundas Street, 18 Grams (the weight of ground coffee in an espresso) is squeezed in between a couple other eateries. But push through and find that fortune does favour the bold!
The 30 or so seats were just over half full on a Saturday evening, the crowd being as young as the polite staff who’ll still serve you with a smile. They had a comfortable brown, woody theme going on, but although there are more seats than Causeway they’re still close enough that you’re forced to eavesdrop on neighbours. However this is tempered by the bonus of free wifi from Gala Place…any hipster’s delight!
I opted for a regular cafe latte ($28) and eggs Hemingway ($88).
The cafe latte had some kind of leaf art (have you seen latte art videos by the way? So that’s how it’s made!). The clear short glass which lets you see the layers is apparently an Aussie thing, which makes sense as 18 Grams also serves “flat whites“. Freshly ground of course and smelled like coffee should, and temperature was just hot enough – unlike a certain few large chains which seem to have a perverse pleasure in burning both your hands and throat.
The eggs Hemingway, a variant of eggs Benedict using smoked salmon, was pretty good. The poached eggs were done just so, the salmon had flavour but wasn’t overpowering, and the bread was slightly crunchy at the bottom. The Hollandaise sauce, which although I’ve never made it seems difficult to master, was nice and smooth. Nothing much to say about the spinach inside. Oh and the salad sprinkled (not drowned) with balsamic vinegar was decently crunchy. But the main attraction had to be warm goodness of the golden egg yolk running everywhere. This dish definitely has to be enjoyed quickly before it goes cold!
The total damage was $116. As an all-day breakfast full meal kinda deal, it’s alright. For some reason, Western breakfast in HK isn’t all that cheap. But if you only go for the $28 coffee, I’d take it over the similarly-priced Starbucks or PCC any day. Starbucks may’ve been indie and hip back in Seattle in 1999, but now it’s gone the way of so many other things in HK…mass-produced with no attachment of the creator (overworked teenager) to the end product (weak coffee/sugary mess). As opposed to say representing HK at the World Barista Championship in Vienna.
Anyway, I think the other menu items like the pasta, breakfast and desserts (basically everything) looked to be worth a try. Time to check out Harbour City!
Restaurant rating: NOM NOM NOM NOM (out of five).
Address: Shop B04, B/F, Gala Place, 56 Dundas Street, Mong Kok 旺角登打士街56號家樂坊地庫B04號舖 (just follow the smell of the stinky tofu)
Tel: 2770 1339
Opening hours: Mon – Sun, 11:30am – 9:30pm