I am a creature of habit. My daily routine hardly varied, and that includes my dining out choices. If you are foolish enough to ask me to plan for eating out, invariably you will end up at some place you and I have been to before.
But that changed, for once, when the birthday boy said, “I am sick of thinking of where to eat.” Only then I realised, gosh, that sounded exactly like me every time I attempted a dinner out.
So, as a treat for the birthday boy (whom, incidentally, I last met a year ago and was amongst my first few friends in Hong Kong), we took the road less traveled to… the Champs Bar & Restaurant in Wan Chai.
I have been to this place once for drinks with colleagues, and it was kind of a love at first sight. Well, probably love is too strong a word, but I do like how uncrowded it was, and the sofa seats were very comfortable and cozy. The phrase “American Bistro” came to mind.
There were different areas for drinking and dining. Champs Bar & Restaurant seems popular with the nearby office crowd, and I think it can be rather packed during peak sports season, especially soccer (the hint lies in the name, see?). The service was impeccable… though the over-enthusiastic waiter who served my table on both occasions can be a little intimidating. In halting English, he ranted off suggestions after suggestions in rapid fire while we tried to digest the menu, while simultaneously looking nervously at him at the possibility of him keeling over, out of breathe.
And so we ordered some dishes to be shared between us.
The Combo Plate (HK$168) was easily one of the best snack platter I had in a long, long time. I am not exaggerating. The potato skins were groovily baked with cheese and bits of bacon, the chicken tenders would give KFC a run for their money, the nachos were oh-so-crunchy and topped with healthy dollops of all things delicious imaginable, and the buffalo wings were crispy and spicy, though not so much so as to assault my taste buds. The only “mediocre” part of the platter was the onion rings, but even that was better than most other places.
Not being outdone by the combo platter was the popular Al Dente Spaghetti, the carbonara (HK$78). This pasta is a common dish found in most Italian and American restaurants, so it is hard to be an outstanding dish on its own right. But the one here did just that. Creamy pasta with hams and stuff the noob in me couldn’t even begin to name, we slurped up every last strand and licked up every last drop.
Ah, well, to hell with my carbless diet.
With two pints of beer each (it’s happy hour for most of the drinks from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. every day), the total cost came up to just slightly over HK$400 for two. A great value, I must say, and considering that it is just a short walk from my office, they can expect frequetn patronage from yours truly from now on.
Hmmm… perhaps I should really have a word with the overenthusiastic waiter.
All in all, recommended for casual dinners with delicious food and and comfortable conversations (read: no need to shout just to be heard, unlike most mid-range restaurants in Hong Kong).
Champs Bar & Restaurant (蒲點美式酒吧)
UG, The Charterhouse Causeway Bay Hong Kong, 209-219 Wanchai Road, Wan Chai
2833 9086 / Website