[Hong Kong] CIRQLE at Ovolo Hotel - Weekend Brunch on the Southside
If you're bored of the same old places for brunch and want to shake things up, why not head over to the southside for the weekend brunch at CIRQLE, located in the hip and quirky Ovolo Hotel in Aberdeen! The casual Mediterranean restaurant turns into a snazzy place to hang out on the weekends with free flow sangria and champagne, live DJ and BBQ on its terrace. Offered on Saturdays and Sundays from 12PM-3:30PM for $448 per adult and $248 per child, the only difference between Saturdays and Sundays is that the restaurant will be more kids friendly on Sundays with a play corner plus the music will change accordingly too. I came here with J to check out the brunch on Saturday over the Easter holiday where the sunny weather was perfect for outdoor eating and drinking while gazing at views of the sea and mountains that HK nature has to offer!
Those who do not drink alcohol will be glad to know they also have Virgin Sangria available with passion fruit and berries flavors along with an array of fresh juice like green apple, watermelon, orange, cucumber, pineapple and pear.
For an additional $150 per person, you can also get free flow Perrier-Jouet Champagne with your brunch too if you're feeling that you need some bubbly in your life.
With an array of choices like watermelon, quinoa, chickpeas, couscous, tomatoes, cheese and eggs, the salad bar was a fantastic start of the meal. I'm not someone who is usually into salads but all of the options offered were of high quality with fresh ingredients and natural flavors.
The Seafood Bar only had a few options to choose from - salmon, shrimps, crab claws, sea whelks and fish salad - but they were all very fresh and delicious plus I love the fact that they also declawed the crab claws for your so you don't have to fumble with the cracker.
At the Egg Corner, you can choose from three different types of eggs from Quail, Japanese and American with the toppings of your choice. If you can't make up your mind, you can also choose your omelet with one of the three Chef's recommendation like the Medina with chermoula and cilantro, Spanish with chorizo and cherry tomato or the Classic with ham and cheese. Once you place your order, they will deliver the omelet to your seat so you can continue eating!
J went for the quail eggs and to be honest I haven't had quail eggs before as omelets but they didn't taste that much different to me though from chicken eggs.
I ordered a Spanish omelet with Japanese eggs and I have to say that the omelet was very nicely cooked as it was light and fluffy while I just love anything with chorizo in it!
Live BBQ at the Terrace
With the music thumping, it was time to check out the barbecue happening on the terrace! Options include chicken thigh, chicken wing, sausage, pork cheek, mushrooms, eggplant, pork belly, lamb kaftas, big head shrimp and mussels which were grilled on the spot and paired with an array of specialty sauces.
I liked the grilled meat items more than the seafood though which can be delicate to barbecue. The choices for sauce were pretty awesome and my favorite was this tangy and spicy barbecue sauce which just went so well with everything!
Southside Street Food Stalls
Also next to the BBQ was this International Food Station with Mushroom Quesadillas, Nachos and Fried Chicken!
This Louisiana Style Fried Chicken was irresistible with its extra crispy skin and juicy meat - I would have gone for more if I had more stomach room.
The Mushroom Quesadilla was well-made but it would be better if other flavors were also available besides mushrooms while the nachos were fresh and crispy.
After we had a chance to sample from all of the food stations, we each ordered one main dish and one side dish as well as part of the brunch. I was told that the mains were meant to be on the small side so people will not feel overwhelmed with too much food.
Breakfast Sliders - with beef patty, quail egg, bacon and cheese, the sliders were decent but I felt that the beef patty could have been more flavorful.
Baked Cuttlefish - with Ancha spices, butter beans, oven tomatoes and toasted sour dough, the cuttlefish were perfectly cooked but the sauce could have been spicier and more flavorful to provide more of a kick in flavors to the entire dish.
Fume French Fries - loved these crispy and crunchy fries.
Truffle Mac and Cheese - this mac and cheese was a bit wetter than I'd expect for a mac n cheese dish while the truffle flavor was not apparent enough. I think either the flavor of truffle or cheese needs to take the lead but neither is in this case so it's neither here nor there. Perhaps some crispy texture on top would be great as well to balance the dish out.
Who doesn't love a sweet ending! My eyes lit up at the dessert bar with brownies, orange cakes, candy carnival, fresh fruits, toffee pudding, white and milk chocolate fondue, but compared with other brunches in town, the dessert choices will seem lacking here. Some ice cream would have been good too as that's always a crowd pleaser.
I liked the earl grey chocolate cup the best while the brownie was good too.
Too bad the chocolate fondue wasn't hot enough because the chocolate used was actually pretty decent and not too sweet or oily.
Coffee to round off a long and satisfying meal!
When I was chatting with the chef at the BBQ station, he told me that I have to check out the rooftop bar ABOVE on the 23/F of the hotel so I did! The views were even more spectacular here since you can see more of Ocean Park and even Deep Water Bay. Definitely a place to keep in mind if you are looking for places to grab a drink outside of LKF!
Verdict - quality food, reasonable prices and al fresco dining with panoramic views, CIRQLE is a great new hangout spot for the weekends and I can't wait to come back for more!
* By Invitation
4/F Ovolo Southside
64 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Aberdeen
Tel: 3460 8100
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