Review: Bread & Beast makes food fun - it’s an un’porchett’able experience
Wan Chai restaurant offers an original take on the humble sandwich, with names that make you smile and which deliver a taste and texture sensation - and are wallet-friendly to boot
With a menu listing humorously named sandwiches such as “porchetta me not” (HK$58) and un’porchett’able (HK$68), you quickly realise that Bread & Beast is going to sell something much better than cheap ham and cheese served on puffy white bread that leaves you full but not satisfied.
We’d been hearing good things about Bread & Beast’s wares, which they’ve been selling at street markets and music festivals, and so we were eager to visit the shop in Swatow Street, Wan Chai.
The room is decked out with yellow stools, grey concrete walls and wooden fixtures, with playful tile art here and there. The semi-alfresco design gives the venue plenty of natural light and breeze, and there are both small counters to cater to lone diners and communal tables for bigger groups.
It’s a fairly limited menu, with three standard sandwiches plus a daily special offered at lunchtimes. We were tempted by the un’porchett’able (porchetta with horseradish aioli) and Kentucky San (fried chicken with pickled ginger, HK$68), but craved the Ngau Lam Wich (HK$88). We loved it. It is like a bowl of deconstructed ngau lam meen; the slow-cooked beef brisket was tender and flavourful and in place of noodles, the crispy baguette with chewy interior provides us with carbs and contrasting textures. The pickled daikon and chu hao mayo are all crucial touches that make the sandwich so delicious. On Saturdays three sandwiches are offered at breakfast, such as scrambled egg with laap cheong [Chinese sausage] (HK$48) and porchetta with apple jam (HK$58).
The Lennon fries (HK$35) were an interesting take on okonomiyaki. The fries were limp (although we ate them immediately) and served with okonomiyaki sauce, a 63-degree egg and plenty of bonito flakes. Other sides include lotus root chips with fermented tofu mayo (HK$30) and chilled gazpacho (HK$40). They’ll be making changes to the winter menu, so expect items such as a warming broth and Duck the Halls sandwich.
They’re also selling their products at the Tong Chong Street Market in Quarry Bay on Sundays, where they will whip up exclusive items such as the Philly ox tongue sandwich and tea-smoked duck sandwich with pickles and spiced orange marmalade.
Bread & Beast, 3 Swatow Street, Wan Chai, tel: 9120 6869. Open: Monday-Friday noon-8.30pm, Saturday 10am-8pm