As I do most mornings, yesterday, come 11 o clock (ok fine, 10 o clock), I started thinking about what I would like for lunch. I was in one of those indecisive moods where I couldn’t figure out exactly what I wanted, but just knew that it was not pasta (having had this three days running). I wanted something different, something tasty, something that would revive me from the sleepy state I was in after my 6am Circuit25 start. Looking down my restaurant list on my iPhone (yes, of course I have a list!) I came across Brat, suggested it to my colleague, she thought it was a splendid idea, and so our lunch plan was hatched.
Brat, on the lower end of Elgin Street, is definitely different, certainly tasty, but actually pushed me into an even sleepier state than before! They call themselves ‘Purveyors of awesome sausages’, offering a wide range of interesting sausages: some made with chicken, artichoke and sun dried tomatoes, some with pork, beef, bourbon, garlic and spices, some with chicken, basil, romano cheese and garlic, and even some vegetarian friendly ones with aubergine, red wine, garlic and fennel to name but a few. There is the option of sausages on a pizza, sausages in pasta, ‘brats & mash’, or just a very simple, down to earth hotdog.
The décor is very minimalist – bare wooden tables, plain white walls with big framed explanations of some of Brat’s signature sausages in black and white lettering. It looks clean and inviting and most of all, as I have said before, as there is little emphasis on the décor, we know that their main concern is making sure that absolutely nothing stands in the way of the food.
Great sausages are hard to come across in Hong Kong. You won’t find Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference sausages, or Butcher’s Choice ones. Instead, unless you go to Pacific Gourmet or any other special butcher, you will find cheap-looking (but probably not cheaply priced) sausages which probably only contain about 2% meat and 98% God-knows-what-else. I’d rather eat my own arm.
The sausages at Brat are pretty special though. With so many varieties, I think it probably took me a good 10 minutes of studying the menu to make a final decision, for which I did require the aid of our very attentive waiter. For between $98 and $108 depending on the ingredients of the ‘awesome’ sausage, you can select your choice of bun, mustard, condiment and side dish. My colleague chose the Gruyère sausage (chicken, turkey, gruyère cheese, emmental cheese and garlic) in a signature bun with truffle Dijon, mature cheddar and fries. Probably due to the colossal amounts of cheese in this hotdog, it was a little on the salty side and had to be evened out by adding Ketchup (one of my least favourite things in the world) but it was still a success. My choice was Sun dried tomatoes mozzarella sausage (chicken, turkey, sun dried tomatoes, mozzarella and basil) also in a signature bun, with Dijon mustard, tomato and basil. Oh and fries of course. This was definitely also a little too salty, but the tomato and basil sweetened it up a bit. I was originally quite put off by the idea of having a sausage made from chicken and turkey but, as this seemed to be the most popular variety, I decided to chance it and was pleasantly surprised. The signature bun was very lightly toasted and beautifully light and fluffy. The fries were a little too delicious – I suggested that this meant they were probably outrageously unhealthy and cooked in some kind of extra delicious fat but it’s best to just enjoy them and not think about things like that!
I think I have previously mentioned that my colleague is a bit of a mac ‘n cheese fiend, (see review on JAR) so seeing it offered as a side dish on the menu, she insisted we order it to share. By this point I had completely forgotten that I had originally said I didn’t want pasta and so I accepted without question. It was only a very small portion but was probably completely unnecessary! Needless to say there was definitely no space in our stomachs to order a deep-fried Mars bar, which I probably wouldn’t have ordered even if I were starving anyway!
It was Monday lunchtime so we stayed off the juice, but Brat does offer a reasonable wine list and apparently some very good Belgian beers. One bottle of beer on the menu is priced at $200 so one would hope it is nothing less than spectacular! Total bill came to $301 for the two of us – pricey for a hotdog, but then again, this is not just any hotdog.
7 Elgin Street
Tel: +852 2549 3088
Date visited: Monday 23rd May 2011