HK Magazine - - DINING -

Café. Shop 1, 1/F, Man­ning House, 38-48 Queen’s Rd. Cen­tral, 2562-8805. This home­grown café started off in Wong Chuk Hang and has since moved to Cen­tral to cater to lunchtime crowds.

HIT Walk­ing into the bright and cheery space, you’ll be drawn to the tempt­ing se­lec­tion of sal­ads on of­fer, many har­bor­ing a Mediter­ranean and/or Mid­dle Eastern in­flu­ence. Sal­ads are sold by the box ($60 for small, $90 for large) or in a soup and salad combo ($130 large) and you can pile in as many sal­ads as you want that can fit. We went for a bit of ev­ery­thing, from the Mor­ro­can car­rots with an ex­otic Mid­dle Eastern spice mix­ture cling­ing to the skin, to beans and potato wedges with a zesty pesto sauce, and sweet roasted beets off­set by crunchy wal­nuts. The wild rice was also a win­ner, dot­ted with dried cran­ber­ries and al­mond slices. Our freshly baked pizza of chorizo and mush­room ($138) boasted a wafer thin crust that still man­aged to have pil­lowy bub­bles around the edges, mak­ing it a lighter al­ter­na­tive to the more doughy crusts found at other pizze­rias in Cen­tral. Top­pings were plen­ti­ful, with black olives, roasted onions, thin slices of chorizo, melty moz­zarella and roasted mush­rooms.

MISS We were con­fused by the ad­di­tion of sweet chili sauce on top of the pizza, which didn’t mesh with the rest of the sa­vory in­gre­di­ents. The “Hanoi beef” soup had a ro­bust beefy fla­vor, but the broth was over­whelm­ingly oily and we gave up af­ter a few bites.

BOT­TOM LINE A solid se­lec­tion of piz­zas, sal­ads and soups mixed in with a healthy, home­grown vibe should suit Cen­tral’s busy worker bees just fine. Open Mon-Sat 11am-9pm. $

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