Gorging on a buffet brunch with free-flow drinks must be one of the most popular Sunday pastimes in Hong Kong. Although we complain about the cost of groceries in HK supermarkets, spending hundreds of dollars on some food and bubbles doesn’t take a second thought. Until you realise that not all brunches need cost an arm and a leg. Ayuthaiya, Aqua Group’s Thai restaurant on Hollywood Road, has recently relaunched its Sunday brunch menu, which might just be the most affordable free-flow brunch in town.
I’ve always been a fan of Ayuthaiya; though it probably can’t be classified as the best Thai restaurant in HK, it is certainly satisfying and very affordable, particularly its weekday set lunches, which start at $88. The Sunday brunch starts at only $188, or $288 including free-flow Thai wine, Singha beer and cocktails.
A selection of appetisers is set up around the downstairs bar area, offering things like papaya salad, pomelo salad, satay, rice paper rolls, spring rolls and Thai prawn cakes. Everything, bar the tom yum soup, is either chilled or at room temperature, including the satay.
What I immediately noticed is that almost all of these items are acutally included in the restaurant’s set lunch menus, suggesting there isn’t a great deal of creativity involved. Don’t get me wrong, they are still tasty appetisers, but if you frequent Ayuthaiya for lunch during the week, it would be nice to see a few changes over the weekend.
The pork betel leaf was one of my favourite appetisers, as it had a nice balance of spicy, sweet and salty, with the freshness of the leaf and shredded ginger bringing it all together.
The chicken, pork and beef satay were also very tasty and tender, but it was a bit of a shame they weren’t served warm. The one warm item, the tom yum soup, wasn’t nearly spicy enough, and nor did it have that crucial sourness required of tom yum soup.
For main course, you can choose from a selection of traditional Thai dishes. We chose to share a Pad Thai with prawns and a Thai green curry with beef. The Pad Thai was absolutely delicious, although the two prawns seemed more than a little stingy.
The green curry was comfortingly creamy and rich with a decent level of spice. The addition of chopped cucumbers seemed a little odd initially, but it did actually work nicely with the creamy sauce.
Dessert is served from the buffet counter once again and includes tako mango pudding and sweet pumpkin pudding, neither of which we were able to try on our sugar-ban.
Thailand is known as the ‘land of smiles.’ Although the staff who work at Ayuthaiya may not be from Thailand, it would be nice if they could at least attempt to smile and give the restaurant a hint of authentic Thai service. Again, brunch at Ayuthaiya cannot be said to be the best in town, but if you’re looking for something easy, tasty and most of all affordable, it’s definitely a good choice.
G/F, C Wisdom Centre
35 Hollywood Road
Tel: +852 3105 5055