Hidden in plain sight is the best way to describe R&R Bagels. Located in busy 28 Li Yuen Street West, the specialty bagel joint is hidden behind one of the myriad of stalls that dominate the busy little street. If you weren’t looking for it specifically, it would be easy to walk by.
Walking by would be a mistake for any avid coffee fanatic because the little food outlet, run by a couple of Brits, has some of the best coffee in Central. While not a specialty coffee house, it might as well be, the lads from R&R know that coffee will bring people from far and wide to sample their quite delicious bagels.
Step inside and order a coffee, then head to the back of the store for a little respite from the busy laneway outside. Cool music plays and if you’re lucky, you can grab one of the comfy chairs and take a break from busy Hong Kong. There are some shared tables too and the black and white tiles on the floor make for a distinctive and memorable visit.
A jet black La Marzocco FB80 EE two group head espresso machine and a Mazzer ‘for grocery’ professional grinder.
The house blend is from Allpress Espresso, where sustainability is key and top quality Arabica beans are sourced from small farms globally. Beans are roasted in Dunedin New Zealand and shipped to Hong Kong.
My first latte was presented in a turquoise cup and saucer with a tulip pattern. The initial aroma was a light caramel, which followed through to a nutty flavour that carried hints of caramel. There was a smooth and well rounded body that sat on my palate for a while and developed into a beautiful sweet taste. Helping the coffee was a perfectly blended milk that was the perfect temperature, delivering a very yummy and delicious latte.
I followed up quickly with a takeaway latte that was equally delicious. As I savoured my second cup, I noticed a very slight burnt caramel flavour that was actually quite lovely. The coffee was incredibly well balanced with a medium acidity that ensured that the coffee was very drinkable.
R&R’s barista Marco was only too happy to talk about the brew, noting that he strives for a well balanced coffee, one where there is no distinction between the milk and the coffee. He’s certainly succeeded, the coffee at R&R is just about the best in Central.
Where: 28 Li Yuen Street West, Central
Cost: Very reasonable
Visit: Make it your daily coffee