When I say I grew up in hotels, I mean that literally. As an infant, my first steps were taken at Tiffin, the coffee shop at the Grand Hyatt in Hong Kong. We went to the Chinese restaurant, One Harbour Road, at the same hotel so often that when I went back years later, the waitress recognised me. She even asked if I wanted blueberries, remembering a childhood food obsession I had around the age of 4. Yes, I would order blueberries at a Chinese restaurant. And they would bring them to me, in a silver bowl.
The Mandarin Oriental in Central was another hotel I grew up in. We went to the Clipper Lounge quite often, although visits were often tainted by anxiety. They would either follow or preempt visits to my paediatrician, the formidable Dr Choi in Princes Building next door.
Whilst my visits to these hotels have become somewhat infrequent in the last few years, the Mothership has definitely kept up the tradition. This includes frequent visits by herself to Cafe Causette, the casual dining venue at the Mandarin Oriental.
We get there and she’s upset that they don’t know her. “I come here all the time,” she tells me, proudly. I definitely believe her, especially because after this visit we end up at Cafe Causette again 2 days later. She wants to eat their Hainan Chicken Rice. Fair enough.
I welcome the world’s ugliest-looking smoothie to the table. Unfortunately this is what happens when you make a blueberry smoothie; it turns grey. Just close your eyes and enjoy it, because it’s really good. I’d highly recommend the Recharge juice (HK$108) – Almond milk, blueberries, banana, strawberries, ground flaxseed powder, medjool date, ginger, vanilla.
The Mothership’s breakfast is an unremarkable mix of egg and toast that she’s decided to put together herself – off-menu. I don’t take a picture of it because, well, you can’t really get it unless you’re her. I go for the Homemade granola (HK$138) – honey, yoghurt, seasonal berries because I feel like something wholesome, healthy and non-Chinese. Having yum cha every day seriously takes a toll on you / your digestive system. I love that the whole thing comes disassembled, with the granola in its own little jar. Mix in as much or as little as you want!
I love coming back to the Mandarin Oriental, I hope you get the chance to do so too!
Café Causette at the Mandarin Oriental
5 Connaught Road Central