Remember the time when authentic Mexican food was hard to come by in Hong Kong? Well, sadly, it still is. These days, however, there are a number of American-style Mexican restaurants that still just about fill those cravings. The latest of these is the appropriately named Americanos, run by 3 Americans – Leroy, John and Ryan – who were bored of the over-priced, average Western food in Hong Kong and wanted to create a cool neighbourhood hangout with good, affordable food of the kind they loved back home.
Americanos has taken over the space that was previously Il Moro (the one with the rather rambunctious (slash obnoxious) Italian chef who wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea), and has been completely transformed. Gone is the dark, dated décor; gone are the shelves piled high with pasta, olive oil and wines, making the space feel smaller; and gone is the attitude. Americanos is bright, open and inviting, with the staff to match. It’s the kind of place in which you can sit for hours, sipping on your horchata, agua fresca or margarita and enjoy the laidback vibe and chilled out music, where, according to co-owner Ryan, “dancing is obligatory.”
The regular menu offers a selection of burritos, rice bowls and salad bowls, some of which follow a more traditional line, whilst others feature Korean barbecue sauce and kimchi. Apparently Korean-Mexican fusion is quite a trend in the States at the moment, and since Hongkongers love their Korean food too, the guys thought it would be fun to bring the trend to HK. We tried the brunch menu, which is simple and pleasingly concise.
Americanos’ drinks menu is also simple, featuring only one kind of coffee – the typical pour-over coffee you see all over the States. Leroy explained that they were fed up of all the fancy coffee places cropping up all over the place, when all people need is a good, simple coffee done well.
The Huevos Americanos were a form of breakfast taco: two fried eggs, sunny-side up, with refried beans, chipotle salsa, pickled red onions, cheese and bacon on corn tortillas, with an add-on of guacamole. The flavours worked well together and I enjoyed the hit of chilli that wasn’t too mild, whilst personally I would have preferred a little more cheese. The side of guacamole that we smeared over the top was refreshingly priced at only $10 – where some restaurants get the nerve to charge $25 for a scoop of guac I just do not know.
The breakfast burrito might possibly have been even better. Scrambled eggs, sausage, black beans, sweet potato hash and cheese came tightly wrapped in a soft flour tortilla, creating a tasty roll of comfort food. Again, we added a side of guac and I drizzled over some hot sauce for good measure, but all in all, I’d say this is one of the best breakfast burritos I’ve had.
Although it’s not on the brunch menu, we had spotted the spiced brownie on the regular menu and knew we had to have it. This flourless fudgy brownie was absolutely divine, with a decent punch from the chipotle chilli and chunks of tasty dark chocolate.
Prices at Americanos are seriously refreshing; the total bill came to just over $250 for the two of us. There is no service charge, but with service as good as it is there, you’ll find yourself more than happy to leave a generous tip. I can definitely see a return to Americanos on the cards and, since the guys are big fans of dogs and there’s a bit of outdoor seating, next time we’re bringing the pup!
G/F, 2 Lok Ku Road
Tel: +852 5976 4730
Closed on Mondays