I am somewhat embarrassed to admit that, having lived in Hong Kong a total of almost nine years, it is only on my most recent stint here that I ventured for the first time into Sheung Wan. I’m a bit lazy with new places so I usually like to stick to what I know. Back in September I walked past The Press Room which I thought looked right up my street, yet it has taken me this long to actually get myself down there. I went for brunch on a Saturday with a group of friends and am definitely glad that I did. From the moment you walk in, there’s a really great atmosphere. It used to be part of a newspaper printing building, so has high ceilings and a great use of space. It’s has a sort of French style New York feel to it with wood panelled walls mounted with paintings, tiled floors and obviously a huuuuge blackboard detailing the daily specials – a modern take on a French brasserie.
First thing I did when I was notified of our brunch venue was obviously check out the menu. (I was very pleased to see that The Press Room does actually have it’s own website. Well done Press Room.) So I narrowed it down to steak sandwich, Eggs Benedict, Croque Madame or The Press Room Burger, depending how hungry I felt on the day. Come brunch-day, I had wisely not gone out the night before and managed to get up at 9.30 to walk up to The Peak. Every time I do this I ask myself why. It’s a ridiculously steep climb and I always wonder why I didn’t just get the peak tram up. Nevertheless, got to the top, very sweaty but felt great and instantly thought “yup, burger it is then.”
Although I knew I was going for the burger, I obviously still looked at the menu and considered my options. Steak sandwich was still up there… But I followed my instincts and went for the burger (medium-rare) with bacon and cheese. The burger is actually not in the ‘brunch’ section of the menu which is what most of my fellow diners went for. Evidently the meals from outside the ‘brunch’ area of the menu are perhaps about twice the size! Corned beef hash = tiny and apparently not incredible. Smoked salmon bagel = self-explanatory but, again, small. Macaroni au gratin = delicious and cooked in an individual iron pot, but not quite what I’d call a hearty portion. The burger, however…well I couldn’t even get my teeth around it! I usually take the top part of the bread off anyway as too much bread disagrees with my stomach, but, unless I chose to take out my rolling-pin (which I obviously always carry in my handbag) and squish it down to bite-size, removing the top bread was absolutely necessary this time! Jolly good burger though: the meat was cooked to perfection and the chips were spectacular! Ask for the garlic mayo…deeeelish. It tastes like a real homemade Aioli. Be careful though as it’s rather pungent. The taste stayed with me for hours afterwards and even made me feel a little queasy. Hmm… maybe avoid the garlic mayo if you’re on a hot date.
Not much of an oyster person myself, but The Press Room prides itself on its oysters and crustaceans so I’m guessing they’re rather tasty if you’re that way inclined.
Service was not five-star but we were tucked away right in the corner so can’t expect them to get round corners quite that fast.
All in all a very pleasant experience, made the more so of course by wonderful company. I will add here, however, that although when it comes to bars and clubs, you can say that it’s the people that make it; this is absolutely not the case when it comes to restaurants. For me, it’s always the food.
The Press Room
G/F 108 Hollywood Road
Tel: +852 2525 3444