Castelo Concepts is known for its successful cookie-cutter concept that it opens in every district and continues to attract the crowds. Every so often, however, the group throws a wild card into the mix (such as Missy Ho’s or El Loco Gringo) that catches people completely by surprise. I think this could be said for Castelo’s new Sai Ying Pun all day eatery, The Winery.
Tucked away on Connaught Road West, you wouldn’t find The Winery unless you were looking for it. When you do find it, it’s hard to miss, with its bright green façade and open windows with stools spilling out onto the street. It’s a two storey restaurant that is quite simply beautiful. With red brick walls juxtaposed against tropical wallpaper, plants everywhere and toweringly high ceilings, it has a kind of indoor-outdoor feel to it that just makes you want to spend hours there either over a lazy Sunday brunch or an evening of wine and nibbles.
When looking for a good breakfast in Hong Kong, you generally know you’re safe at any Castelo Concepts restaurant. The breakfast menu here is different to the standard Castelo places and much more concise, something I appreciated, since large menus can often be overwhelming.
The Big Breakfast was true to its name, consisting of eggs (any style), bacon, sausages, mushrooms, tomatoes, peas (even though the menu said ‘beans’ – but I would prefer peas anyway), a hash brown and sour dough toast, all of which was pretty standard and hard to mess up.
The Breakfast Bowl is a healthier option, full of superfoods like kale, almonds and quinoa and is vegetarian – until you add a side of bacon to make it a real breakfast! Although I like my poached eggs soft, this one was way too undercooked, with some of the egg white still transparent. The bacon was also a little undercooked for my liking too. Aside from that, it had a delicious flavour and I liked the addition of the hummus and dukkah.
I can’t say I could taste the ricotta in the ricotta pancakes, but they were still very tasty and satisfyingly fluffy.
Service was friendly, but a little on the slow side. Although the restaurant wasn’t too busy when we arrived, it still took over half an hour for our food to arrive and then it didn’t all come at the same time. Breakfast dishes are priced between HKD85 and HKD150, but once you start adding sides (at HKD30 each for pretty small servings), your bill can really mount up and you could end up with quite an expensive breakfast. I think the same might be true of the dinner menu, as it is all small plates designed for sharing, although I haven’t sampled it first hand.
I really want to like The Winery and love the feel of the place, but it still needs a little bit of work on the service and attention to detail before it can succeed in truly wowing me.
Shops 8 & 9, Kwan Yick Building Phase 3
158a Connaught Road West
Sai Ying Pun
Tel: +852 2517 0288