Five of our favourite brunches

By Mariam Digges

Top Deck – Aberdeen, Hong Kong
Top Deck – Aberdeen, Hong Kong
We seek out the best places around the world to enjoy the most 
indulgent of weekend meals – brunch.

Bill’s – Soho, London

It was after all, the Brits who coined the term “brunch” back in 1895, to describe a Sunday meal for “Saturday-night carousers”; so it’s only fair we bring you their take on this much-loved weekend pastime. Bill’s (not to be confused with Australia’s Bill Granger, who coincidentally, has a London eatery across town) is everything you could want from a British brunch joint. Think piled-up plates of streaky bacon, Cumberland sausages, and bubble & squeak. For something less stodgy, try the English porridge with hazelnuts and honey, or blueberry buttermilk pancakes. The walls are lined with jams and preserves, so you can enjoy a spot of shopping while you’re at it.

Cumulus Inc – Melbourne, Australia

Australians will know Andrew McConnel from Melbourne’s famed Cutler & Co restaurant. Nestled within the city’s art and fashion hub on Flinders Lane, Cumulus Inc, with its light filled and minimal interiors, was designed by Pascale Gomes-McNabb. The star tool employed for both design and menu, is restraint. Choose to sit at the bar, communal table, or in the regular dining area, while you marvel at McConnell’s mastery. Fans of Yotam Ottolenghi might recognise the Shakshouka – baked eggs with roasted peppers and shanklish (a type of cow’s or sheep’s milk cheese). Or if last night’s hijinks have seen you arrive later in the day, there’s a full à la carte and oyster menu too.

Jam Organic Cafe– Takapuna, Auckland

The key word at this seaside café – as the name suggests – is “organic”. Your minor wait will be rewarded with a velvety-smooth cup of fair trade coffee – with a Jaffa on the side. Look to the giant chalkboard menu for the day’s offerings, which will include the “Jam eggs” – poached on handmade hash cakes with creamed spinach, smoked paprika hollandaise, and crispy locally-sourced bacon. The corned beef fritters are also growing in notoriety around town, as are their house-baked bread and other treats.

Balthazar – New York City, New York

New York with a touch of French, Balthazar is home to the city’s hungry and hungover. Chefs Lee Hanson and Riad Nasr have been dishing out French-accented food since 1997, which for brunch, extends to bistro fare or a full Le Oeufs menu. You can have your oeufs (eggs) Bella Donna – with polenta, pancetta, and thyme, or Meurette – poached in red wine sauce with bacon lardons. Being New York, chances are you’ll be nursing a sore head, so the good chaps have devised a ‘Hangover Drinks’ menu featuring the quintessential Bloody Mary and a delightful-sounding Champagne Pick-Me-Up. How did they know?

Balthazar – New York City, New York

Top Deck – Aberdeen, Hong Kong

Overlooking the Aberdeen Marina in the floating Jumbo Kingdom restaurant, it doesn’t get more alfresco than Hong Kong’s Top Deck. Go all-out and order the brunch buffet – a mishmash of local and western cuisines including jet fresh seafood (Aberdeen is a famous fishing village), Peking Duck, a tandoori station, and unlimited champagne. Top Deck is also completely family-friendly, featuring a great children’s playroom. So sit back, soak up the stunning views of Hong Kong Island’s south side, and order another champagne.


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