Next stop on Mirander & Rach’s cute café tour of Hong Kong – Café Corridor in Causeway Bay.
Tucked away down a… surprise, surprise… corridor opposite Times Square, Café Corridor is a homely little independent joint that’s become surprisingly well-known and loved despite its positively diminutive size. Its owner, Felix Wong, knows his way around a coffee bean (he also founded two other companies, Coffee Assembly and Barista Academy, to promote HK’s coffee culture) and Café Corridor’s reputation quickly grew, meaning the space is always packed with people looking for a quality caffeine fix.
However, if you’re looking for a coffee review, I’m afraid you’ll have to go elsewhere. I don’t drink the stuff (other than in highly diluted, sweetened, milkified and no longer bearing any resemblance to actual coffee, dung ga fe form) so can’t give you my opinion on that… but I’m happy to tell you about everything else!
Café Corridor has an almighty tempting cabinet of homemade pastries and desserts and I had a hard job picking just one… So I picked two, of course! Luckily, Mirander was there to order our second sweet treat, lessening the heavy side order of guilt (calories shared don’t count, right?)! On my second visit, the desserts cabinet was much less well stocked, so I guess it depends on getting lucky on the day!
Our first dessert was Earl Grey Chocolate Tart, which managed to look both elegant and sinful, one of the best possible combinations! It tasted great, made with proper rich dark chocolate, not the wishy-washy stuff you find in many places. The Earl Grey was rather too subtle to make much of a difference – more a hint of mellowness that kept the whole thing on the right side of not too sweet. The buttery base was similarly delicious but it was the texture of the chocolate that threw us off – we were expecting a gooey ganache consistency, but it was quite firm and difficult to break into. It got softer, better and more melt-in-mouth towards the wide end of the slice… we just wish the whole thing had been like that.
Our second dessert of Caramelised Apple Tart was pretty flawless, with presentation SO cute that it’s just crying for shedloads of Instagram pics. Thankfully, the adorable presentation was backed up by the taste – soft sticky syrupy caramelised apples, but still with a hint of bite, heaped generously into a moreish flaky buttery pastry shell. It managed to be homely, comforting and cute but done with considerable style.
I also managed to fit in a main dish of bacon and scrambled eggs on toast. I’m generally a sunny side up kind of girl but this was surprisingly scrummy – it had been seasoned and herbed up to perfection, making it taste more than the sum of its parts. But Café Corridor, why so stingy with the bacon?! I admit to loving my bacon more than most (I can tuck away a whole pack in one sitting), but one and a half tiny rashers divided over two pieces of toast is just not enough!
Next trip, Mirander went for peanut butter and banana on toast – a combination I’ve clearly not eaten nearly enough of over the years as it was more-ishly addictive. I loved the lashings of syrup and cinnamon on top; I didn’t love the uber-charred crusts that had been left on the toast though.
I washed all this down with a pot of lemongrass and ginger tea, which was so weak that it didn’t taste much different to tap water (which, incidentally, staff are happy to give you free of charge); I’d try a smoothie or hot chocolate next time instead. With desserts costing around $30, mains around $60 and drinks $20-40, prices are reasonable enough given how good the desserts are and the lack of a service charge. Judging by its popularity and quality, Café Corridor could easily open up a larger shop elsewhere or have several other Café Corridors popping up all over town… but that just wouldn’t be the point of the place.
Inside is small and cosy (a euphemism for cramped… the toilet being particularly grim), with wooden tables and chairs packed in tightly like a game of sardines, although there is also a small outdoor space too. A floor-to-ceiling wall-to-wall mirror at the back of the room cleverly gives the illusion of space, so much so I almost wandered directly into it! The décor isn’t much to write home about, but I did like the abundance of personal touches, with one wall covered in Polaroids of staff, customers and other little scribblings.
For such a cosy café, the range of the menu and desserts is truly impressive and there is plenty I want to come back for. With such lovely presentation and homespun local charm, it’s the kind of place that just puts a smile on your face (even if you’re so close to the table next to you that you could join in their conversation) and happily transplants you to a kinder corner of Causeway, a world apart from the rest of its commercial cookie cutter-dom.
In short, the place, just like the food, has been obviously created and filled with love. And for that reason, although it doesn’t benefit my afternoon tea comfort, Café Corridor thoroughly deserves to be packed out every hour of the day.
Café Corridor, G/F, 26A Russel Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, 2892 2927