Among all the different dining concepts that we went to during our Hong Kong trip in July, simplylife – a European-style bakery cafe by Maxim’s Group - is our favourite place.
In a busy city where people are always racing against time and missing out on the smallest things, simplylife is an oasis of calmness in Hong Kong, and quite simply what life should be. We fell in love with it, more than what we thought we would. The space is one that will have you slow down, relax and breathe in the simple pleasures of life. simplylife, indeed.
Since its opening in 2007, simplylife has not only expanded to 8 branches in Hong Kong, but it has also garnered a strong support among its loyal customers. Nothing is unnecessarily expensive, and only the freshest ingredients are used for every item they serve and put on your table.
We can go on and on about why we are head over heels in love with the concept, but the best way is for you to include it in your itinerary when you are in Hong Kong. Here is how simplylife stole our hearts:
Beyond the charming European-style decor, aroma of freshly brewed coffee in the cafe, and an amazing display of breads, cakes and pastries, simplylife offers absolute comfort. For locals who are dashing off to work, comfort is having freshly baked bread and pastries to start the day right. For those who are in need of a caffeine boost, comfort comes in the form of a cappuccino, while you nibble on a chocolate croissant, a blueberry danish, or a mixed berry tart.
For those who are famished and seek something more substantial, comfort means fresh salads and homemade pastas, or the many other savoury simplylife’s main courses, especially the signature Angus beef burger.
Interaction with the chefs and servers is encouraged, and the open kitchen concept is quite a show to boast. Patrons can take a few minutes to watch the creaming of a cake, or the cutting of fresh homemade pasta. The display of fresh bakes is so seductive that breakfast has never been better; and it is impossible to order only one.
The food at simplylife is the kind of stuff that you can eat every day and not get bored of. It is the type that you will crave when you want comfort food for the soul. Everything here is of premium quality, and no additives are added.
Think Crabmeat and Mixed Salad with Peanut Sesame Dressing and the classic English Big Breakfast as the first meals of your day; a whole series of Organic Brown Rice with power ingredients, and handmade Tagliatelle or Linguine in your favourite sauces like Truffle Cream Sauce and Spicy Tomato sauce.
At the desserts galore, it is a whole new world. We do not even know where to begin from, but to give you an idea, the endless options include Rose Yogurt Pear Mousse Cake, Chocolate Espresso Chestnut Mousse Cake, Mixed Berry Tart, all kinds of danishes that you can ever imagine… and by now, you really should be hungry.
And of course, it helps that the chefs are constantly putting on their thinking caps to come up with new creations so that even regulars will always something new to try.
Prices are exceptionally reasonable for the quality of food. The dinner menu is divided into Salad (HK$118 – HK$138), Meat (HK$118 – HK$208), Rice & Handmade Pasta (HK$98 – HK$148), and Pizza (HK$118). simplylife also has an impressive array of breads, pastries and cakes that are freshly baked every morning. The selection changes from time to time, but you will always be spoiled with choices from the 9 tarts, 8 whole cakes, 4 whole roll cakes, 6 danishes, croissants, baguettes and more.
“Less is more at simplylife” – its mantra describes exactly what the cafe is about. It aims to do fewer things well by using the freshest ingredients and a simple yet unique style of cooking.
As mentioned earlier, there are 8 branches in Hong Kong, but we will suggest going to the biggest restaurant at Festival Walk in Kowloon Tong. It has both indoor and “outdoor” seated – both are still within the mall that is fully air-conditioned, but the latter is a simulation of a European outdoor verandah, with natural sunlight streaming in and warming your souls as you sink in to your chair and relax over a cuppa and a slice of cake.
simplylife has great potential and we really hope to see it opening in more cities in Asia. The concept is simple and endearing, and somewhere you will go to no matter how you are feeling – to treat yourself to a good meal without bursting the budget, and to embrace life.
simplylife Bakery Cafe
Shop 30, L2, Festival Walk
80 Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon Tong
Tel: +852 2777 5168
Daily: 11am – 11pm
Nearest Station: Kowloon Tong
This feature is brought to you by m.a.x concepts’ work.