Albeit a lot slower than the rest of the world, Hong Kong is beginning to gain a bit of a coffee culture. More and more coffee shops are opening up that place a real importance on coffee – where it is sourced, how it is roasted and how it is brewed. One such coffee shop is the adorable Artisan Café in Tin Hau.
Artisan Café is a cosy little spot that prides itself on its high-quality coffee sourced from around the world and roasted here in Hong Kong. Seats are packed together pretty tightly and there aren’t many of them, meaning there might be a bit of a wait for a table, particularly on weekends, when the whole place is packed.
I have personally never been much of a coffee drinker, partly as I don’t like the bitter flavour and partly due to the effect that caffeine has on me, but I do often feel envious of people who do drink coffee. It sounds so boring to say to someone “let’s meet for a herbal tea.” I have, for a while, been trying to like coffee, and have so far started by getting rather addicted to tiramisu! Although that’s only because there’s also a lot of chocolate involved in a tiramisu…
Therefore, at Artisan Café, I decided that I needed to attempt to like it – so I ordered a “weak mocha”, which to me still tasted strongly of coffee, but the other half insisted was nothing more than a hot chocolate! Regardless, I am pleased I took that first step and did rather like my weak mocha! He, meanwhile, ordered an affogato – who says you can’t have ice cream for breakfast? – which apparently just hit the spot.
Artisan Café’s food menu focuses largely on waffles and crêpes, since the owners used to live in New York and miss the casual coffee houses they loved there. We started with the all-day waffle breakfast, which consisted of scrambled eggs, sausages, mushrooms and salad served with a giant waffle. The waffle on its own was, for me, a little too dense and bland, but it paired pretty well with the accompanying sides. I particularly enjoyed the sauteed mushrooms and salty sausage that nicely balanced out the flavours.
The crêpe with sunny side egg, Parma ham, Swiss cheese and mushrooms was excellent. It was perfectly cooked and not too heavy, just as it should be.
As a sweet treat, we then tried the crêpe with caramelised banana and salted caramel sauce, which was also very satisfying. It was topped with a dollop of sea salt ice cream, which nicely balanced out the sweetness.
Although there was sometimes a slow wait in between dishes, service at Artisan Café was very friendly and efficient. Husband and wife team Francis and Hilda are more than accommodating and constantly smiling, showing that they really do love what they do. Prices are also very reasonable, with all dishes between $68 and $108. It’s a cute little spot that I would definitely frequent if I lived in the area, so that I could continue my journey towards liking coffee!
G/F, 118 Electric Road
Tel: +852 2563 0055