Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Coffee in Hong Kong - Wanchai

It's not often that I'm roaming around Wanchai on any given day, especially on a scorching, pre-typhoon summer's day, but I was last week because I had a couple of hours before a dinner in Causeway Bay and realised I had (miraculously) some spare time, so I flipped out my 'want to try list' (yes, I really do carry one with me all the time) and under 'Wanchai' found Zambra. Zambra is by no means new - I'd been to their very first branch in Central, on the corner of Wellington and On Lan Streets, but I wasn't so impressed - the blend that day was quite acidic and not, for lack of a better phrase, my style, and before I could make it back, it closed. From memory they seemed to have moved or opened in a quite a few places - none of which were in areas I frequent, hence the delayed visit.

Caffe Latte

The coffeeshop is on a busy, but unlikely corner in Wanchai - steps from putrid girly bars and nightlife that makes Lan Kwai Fong during the Rugby 7's look refined, but there are a lot of offices around here so I suspect that's the rationale for the bizarre location (it's not even close to the MTR). Funnily enough, there's also a Pacific Coffee right opposite. It's a 2-storey cafe, fairly spacious, but aesthetics and comfort were obviously not the first thing that came to mind when they did the boring, medium-tan wood interiors. Although a nicer environment in which to drink my coffee would have been nice, I'm really here for the brew - which was nothing like the stringent, dark liquid I had had years ago in their Central shop. I stupidly forgot to note what their bean/blend was that day, but this was very mild, yet not so mild that I couldn't taste the coffee. It had a distinctive, velvetly, chocolately texture and taste. Very interesting. Oftentimes even seasoned coffee drinkers attribute strength of flavour to quality, but this proved that that's not always true.

The milk was frothed perfectly and I got a little doggie drawn on too (sorry my photography really sucks, and I still haven't gotten myself a camera yet after my old one died while in the Cameron Highlands), though I was a little surprised that the girl who took my order immediately assumed I wanted skim milk (blasphemous in my books), though I don't blame her, given my pudginess...

Anyway, Zambra's coffee is really good, though the blend of the day makes a huge difference (thankfully, unlike Starbucks or Pacific, I don't know why they bother). Again, I would really like it if they had better seats, and if they were in more convenient location... (they have free WiFi too!)

Cafe Zambra
239 Jaffe Rd (cnr Stewart Rd)
Hong Kong
+852 2598 1322

For more good coffee, see a previous post about Fuel Espresso

View coffee in Hong Kong in a larger map


  1. ooh, now that i'm in hong kong i will have to take note of these posts... this coffee shop is a little too far out for my liking though!! can you recommend a coffee shop in central? like an all-rounder in terms of good coffee, okay location, nice atmosphere? :) saw your indonesian restaurant post.. have you tried Padang restaurant in causeway bay? lemme find the address... Shop 1&2, JP Plaza, 22-36 Paterson Street. Causeway Bay. the satay here is gorrrgeous as is the otak otak (always good to gobble a few of these before the real party starts) and the curries/rendang/gado gado are yummy. in my humble opinion anyway!~ xxx

  2. thanks for the Indo restaurant suggestions - I haven't tried it, but am keen to!

    Not much in the way of decent coffee in Central. The best is Fuel Coffee in IFC (see post here http://www.e-tingfood.com/2009/02/coffee-in-hong-kong-mall-find.html). Segafredo on Wellington Street, just up the slope from (and opposite) Yung Kee, is ok. There's also a place that does hand drip/filter (or something non-espresso) called TaTa (401, 4/F Kamming Hse, 49 Queen's Rd Central) but I've never been, it's just on my wish/eatlist :) have fun in HK!

  3. Hi geisharock, you can give Coffee Assembly a try. It is located right at Soho but might take you some time to find it for the first time. They blend their own beans and the place is a very cozy place with some sofas. If you are looking for a place to chill during lunch hours or weekdays evening, good location to do so. However, please note their opening hours, they close on Monday to Weds I think ... haha .. better check to be sure =P have fun !!

    Coffee Assembly
    Cockloft, No.6 Elgin Street
    Central , Soho
    Tel: 2858 8153