I am determined to ramp up my blogging, and as I wade through the metaphorical mountains of food photos and notes I’ve made of meals past, I realised I haven’t yet written about Oolaa.
Open since September and taking up a hefty 6,000 sq. ft of space on Bridges Street, Soho, Oolaa has cleverly managed to combine restaurant, bar and cafe all in one. Very useful especially when you’re struggling to get a seat in any of the establishments in Soho at peak times, or if you simply can’t decide where to go and you want to have a chilled afternoon sipping a coffee, eating a pastry or have a leisurely lunch while you watch the world go by. (Photo courtesy of Openrice, I’ve lost my own photo of the front of Oolaa somewhere!)I’ve been a few times now, and I love their brunch selection. I’m not gonna lie, it’s the best after a massive night out in LKF and you’re nursing a rather painful hangover. With shades in tow and armed with a cup of their Illy coffee and a hefty breakfast plate, you’re good to go.I’m an Eggs Benedict obsessive. My favourite place of all time to go for this particular dish is The Wolseley, which is sadly in Mayfair, London. Boo. However, I have been on a rather ceaseless quest to find the next best thing, and I believe Oolaa does a fab job. It’s difficult to explain quite what I love about Eggs Benedict, but I think it’s the combo of creamy Hollandaise sauce, the runny yolk from the poached egg and mopping it all up with the muffin.
I adore Oolaa’s eggs benedict (2 poached eggs) with either the smoked salmon and buttered spinach, or the smoked bacon and avocado. Gorgeous presentation and then an extremely satisfying feeling when you cut into the egg and spill the yolk everywhere, yay. Another nosh-tastic breakfast item is the Smoked Salmon Rosti- avocado, spinach and smoked salmon on a fried potato rösti and the look completed with a poached egg and their hollandaise sauce. Other recommended dishes, if those don’t take your fancy, are the Breakfast bruschetta, the Big Breakfast and the Brekky Burrito. In this place, it’s all about the eggs. LOVE IT.
Very exciting, is their dessert menu. They have Smoores!!! I’ve enjoyed their Banana split and the cheesecake, but the real deal is their Strawberry Pavlova. Take a look at that. *drool*.I’m an Oolaa breakfast frequenter , but I did go for dinner once and their a la carte menu is vast and has something for everyone- pastas, salads, a huge selection of starters, pizzas and a great variety of Western style mains. Don’t have a photo of it, but I had their Veal Scaloppini with truffle mashed potatoes and marsala mushroom sauce. Unbelievably delicious. I was also starving at the time but it was a seriously good meal. Anything with mash pretty much gets my vote and the truffle added a little “Ooh la la” (pardon the pun) to it.
The only let down perhaps is the sheer size of the space Oolaa occupies. It can take a while for the waiters to notice you, especially if you’re in a corner, but the service is still excellent, so be patient. In the evening, the noise is tremendous. The interior is all wood, including the flooring so the noise just bounces back and forth, amplifying and reverberating. You have to sort of shout at your friends (in a nice way) to be heard or stage whisper very close to their ears. Probably not the best for an intimate dinner date.
So if you want a hearty meal, this is the place for you. Make a reservation for your brunch else you’ll find yourself waiting for your meal with the dogs outside.
Chopstixfix rating: 4/5
Oolaa, G/F, Bridges Street, CentreStage, Soho, Mid-Levels, Hong Kong. Tel: 2803 2083 Opening times: 7.30am till late