The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Brunch @ Madam S'ate, Hong Kong

On Sunday I celebrated my fifth Mother's Day. My day began at 4:20am (which reminded me of my first couple Mother's Days), but despite the too-early start, I had a pretty good day. My boy was sweet and (mostly) well-behaved, the baby had two solid naps (instead of the cat naps she'd been taking the past few weeks due to growth spurts and reaching developmental milestones), and hubby really wanted to make it an extra special day for me. On Sunday mornings I usually take the kids out to church so that hubby could enjoy some downtime on his own; however the baby fell asleep before we needed to head out, so the boy and I enjoyed a rare one-on-one time with each other. Once we were back home, hubby and I discussed lunch options, and for some strange reason, I didn't feel like eating out, so hubby said he'd cook. I didn't want hubby to bother himself in the kitchen on his day off (because cooking is a chore and not a pleasure for him), so we headed back out to a newish restaurant in the mall downstairs that we had yet to try. Just before heading out, hubby said I looked happy, and I was! I guess I must've been quite the harried sleep-deprived housewife/mother since the baby was born a few months ago, that just 2.5 hours being baby-free to fully enjoy my firstborn's company was enough to get me happy and relaxed.

Madam S'ate is the more casual sister restaurant of well-known Madam Sixty Ate, and it recently opened in October in the rooftop dining section of the Elements mall. It went on my list of restaurants-to-try since I first got wind of this restaurant-to-be last August, but it kinda fell off my mind in the months to come (having a baby would do that), and I was only recently reminded of it when we ate at one of our favourite restaurants. We hoped that the restaurant would have worked out most of its growing pains seven months after opening, but we found that there was still room for improvement. It's a lovely restaurant with a laidback and comfortable atmosphere, and the waitstaff were polite and friendly, but there was one waitress who needs to be either re-trained or re-purposed so that she doesn't deal with the customers. We consider ourselves to be fairly low maintenance customers, and we wouldn't have minded if it was a once-off occurrence, that perhaps she forgot our request, but it wasn't - three times we made requests with this particular waitress, and all three times she acknowledged our requests, yet we were left waiting and waiting until we had to call over another waitstaff who would promptly see to our requests. The food was excellent and nicely presented, which more than made up for the patchy service.

For the boy: Two Poached Eggs with sautéed spinach, béarnaise, English muffin, aka eggs benedict (HK$100, add thick-cut bacon or smoked salmon for extra HK$30). It looked great, and the boy ate all of that on his own, saying it was very yummy. The poached egg was more like onsen tamago (hot spring eggs), with runny whites and set yolk, and I believe these were slow-poached at around 65 degrees (explaining why we waited 30 minutes to receive it):

Hubby ordered a cappuccino while waiting for our food to arrive (we ordered the boy's food first while we decided on what we were going to have). Pretty good coffee:

Hubby's Tartine with Smoked Salmon, crème fraîche, capers and herb (HK$130). This was delicious! It was a good combination of flavours and textures - the smoky creaminess of the salmon with the salty capers, tart crème fraîche and crunchy red radish all pulled together on crunchy toast and fresh dill:

The Madam S'ate One-pan with poached egg, thick-cut bacon, grilled tomato, French mushrooms, pork and black pepper sausage (HK$130) - high protein and lots of vegetables make this a nutritious and filling meal on one plate:

The yolk from the slow-cooked poached egg

Babycino, with mini marshmallows and chocolate syrup (HK$10)

For the grown-ups: Affogato. The espresso was good (as we already knew from the cappuccino), but we felt it could be a bit hotter, and a little more ice cream would make this come close to the perfect one we had in Italy:

The Ice Cream Sandwich (HK$80), with coconut macaroon and strawberry ice cream. Wow, this dessert was executed well - it really was like eating a giant macaroon sandwich with ice cream filling

I really enjoyed the food at Madam S'ate. So although service could do with a bit of improvement, the food will bring us back here again.

[Prices quoted above do not include the 10% service charge.]

Madam S'ate
Shop R009, 3rd Floor
Civic Square Rooftop
Elements Shopping Mall
1 Austin Road West
Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
Hong Kong
Tel. +85 2 2537 7555

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