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  • Jenni Lien

Cafe Albergue 1601 | Brunch at this new Macau transplant in Times Square

I must confess that I usually avoid Causeway Bay. It’s just so crowded, I would rather go nearly anywhere else to shop and hang out. But I’m willing (and happy!) to make an exception for food whether I’m going to a tried-and-true favourite (Sijie) or trying a new restaurant. Recently, I tried a new Macanese restaurant on the 11F of Times Square called Club Albergue 1601 (the sister restaurant of Macau’s Albergue 1601). It bills itself as a four-in-one dining space with a restaurant, bar, cafe, and sky court (outdoor terrace).


The space itself is quite cute, and definitely feels a bit like a private lounge with leather banquettes, funky chairs, and colourful art. While it was too hot to eat outside on the day we went, the outdoor terrace is really lovely and I can see many tired shoppers enjoying a drink out there once the weather cools a bit.


But the reason for my visit was to try their new Spanish Mini Red Prawns brunch ($388 per adult, $198 per child). It's available during weekends and public holidays until further notice. Diners get 12 tapas (10 contain the mini red prawns, not unlimited), and if they’re still hungry they can enjoy roasted suckling pig, seafood risotto, and mashed potatoes (unlimited). There's also a small dessert platter.



The good

Overall, the tapas were pretty good! The mini prawns were very fresh and there were quite a few interesting dishes. Highlights for me were the following:

  • Raw red prawn with sea urchin and chives on baguette

  • Foie gras Belgian chocolate lollipop

  • Red prawn ceviche

  • Sauteed red prawn taco with chili mayonnaise


The not as good

I was a bit sad to find out that the mains were all very carb-y. The risotto was fine but unfortunately served cold. Servers make rounds with the risotto pan regularly, but then what’s leftover is sat under a heat lamp that unfortunately for me wasn’t that hot. The rice stuffed suckling pig was okay too. I found the pork was well prepared but the rice was a bit bland. And I'm not sure why mashed potatoes are listed as a main...



Verdict

We visited on the first day the brunch was available, so I’m pretty confident that the restaurant will be able to sort out the timing of the dishes so guests aren’t served cold food. The tapas were tasty and may be able to satisfy the appetites of small eaters. But those who are trying to avoid carbs may want to give this one a pass.


1105, 1 Matheson St, Causeway Bay, 2573 3344


*By Invitation


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