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. $