PUBLISHED : Sunday, 09 January, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 09 January, 2011, 12:00am

41 Yik Yam Street
Happy Valley
Hong Kong
Tel 2838 2689

Grub: A small menu of snacks and sandwiches. There is also a selection of salads and main courses, plus coffees, shakes and smoothies.

Vibe: This funky little coffee shop and bistro is tastefully decorated in black with grey sofa seating along one side. There is also an upstairs room for private parties. If things get crowded, or you are stopping only for a quick coffee, there is a little bar with stools, and magazines and books if you're eating alone.

Who to bring: It's the perfect place to visit with a small group of close friends.

What's hot: There are half a dozen starters on the menu - all familiar dishes, but with that little bit extra. Corn on the cob, for example, is described as 'butter roasted with spicy aioli, parmigiano, sweet paprika and lime'.

The macaroni cheese, baked with smoked mozzarella, fontina cheese and white truffle oil, tasted every bit as special as it sounded. It was served piping hot with a layer of crispy shaved garlic on top. The only thing missing was a small slice of crusty bread to wipe the last of the cheesy sauce from the dish.

Before you order the macaroni, think carefully about your main course option - three of the six choices on offer include pasta. Meat-lovers won't be disappointed if they go for the baby back ribs - the meat is so tender, it falls off the bone and melts in the mouth.

But the call of the Gusto burger proved to be irresistible. The care and detail that goes into this makes it truly special. Made from hand-ground Angus sirloin, it is lightly seasoned with thyme, bacon, and served with caramelised onion, and fontina and cheddar cheeses. It is usually served with a salad on the side, but this can be changed to French fries.

The fries are thin cut, but what makes them stand out is the seasoning of rosemary, paprika and garlic. Ketchup is also provided, but they are delicious without it.

Gusto offers a small selection of desserts, including cherry and apple crumble and chocolate bread pudding.

However, the 'cookies with milk', a coy take on that American sitcom favourite, is the most popular - a small mug of cold milk accompanies five bite-sized capsule of warm chocolate sauce encased in a crunchy, biscuity, exterior. Great for sharing or snarfing on your own.

What's not: There's very little to complain about, really. A selection of cakes and pastries for those who want to while away a wet afternoon with a coffee and a book wouldn't go amiss.