Courage Eighteen – all-day breakfast for less than HK$100 in Tsim Sha Tsui East
With its cosy atmosphere and reasonably priced menu, this is a nice place to visit if you are in the area. The coffee is a winner, but the eggs Benedict needs some work
If you’re wandering around Tsim Sha Tsui East and feel a little peckish, pop into Courage Eighteen. This dainty cafe specialises in coffee, and offers all-day breakfast, salads and pastas at a reasonable price.
Finding the cafe can be a little difficult: we wandered around the shopping centre looking for it, eventually entering via the back entrance, to the surprise of a couple enjoying brunch. The front entrance – on Mody Square – welcomes you with a decorated porch.
Courage Eighteen’s long, narrow and simple white space is decorated with two large dark wooden tables and half a dozen small ones, each with oversized light bulbs hanging over them. The walls are lined with shelves of books and plants, giving it a homey feel, while the background music creates a good ambience.
Customers can also opt to sit at a high table at the entrance porch – perfect for people watching.
Its walls are adorned with quotes in neon, or on a chalkboard, and include “Not all who wander are lost”, and “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue”. At the back, past the counter, is a narrow open kitchen. While the space is small, the lighting and design somehow makes it seem quite airy.
Describing itself as a “Western all-day coffee breakfast shop” we expected an extensive breakfast menu, with various types of eggs and pancakes. Instead, the menu was eclectic, with the dishes not just focused on breakfast.
The menu consisted of four pasta dishes, two types of all-day breakfasts, a bagel, toast and sandwich options, salads and some “light bites”, including wedges and cheese, Korean fire chicken, and fish fingers and chips. Not usually what I would go for in the morning.
We were served by a friendly young man who really adhered to the “service with a smile” attitude. After we ordered at the counter our two dishes came out fast and fresh, although not at the same time.
We opted for the salmon eggs Benedict (HK$76) and a bagel with avocado, egg and button mushrooms (HK$68). Both were well presented, although neither was very warm. Each dish included a coffee – we chose a cappuccino and an Americano, and both were very good.
The bread with the salmon eggs Benedict wasn’t toasted, so it turned soggy once the yolks were pierced. While the smoked salmon tasted fresh and the eggs were poached to runny perfection, the tomato felt like an odd addition, and the slightly curdled hollandaise sauce didn’t have much flavour.
For the sandwich, the bagel had also not been toasted, but was filled with well-scrambled eggs mixed with plenty of mushrooms and topped with thick chunks of avocado. The eggs had a light, creamy texture, a nice contrast to the bite of the mushrooms. But the meal lacked seasoning, was lukewarm and slightly oily.
With a steady stream of customers, Courage Eighteen seems to be doing well. I wouldn’t make the trip across the harbour for the food, but if you are checking out the museums nearby, or need a break from the shops, this is a rare Western-style cafe in the area that is cheap and cheerful.
Courage Eighteen, Houston Centre, Shop 55, 63 Mody Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2682 0665. Open: 7.30am-8pm.
While you’re in the area: