After a busy week of work and the weekend comes, it’s easy for everyone in Hong Kong to wallow in a sweet coma – sleeping for 10 hours until late morning on Saturday morning. Men would take their time to watch their favorite football match while women taking 2 hours to apply makeup and set up a nice hairdo. With a blink of eyes, breakfast time is already gone while it’s not yet for lunch and voila, you take the “brunch” instead.
“Brunch” is a word combined by “breakfast” and “lunch”, meaning a late morning meal eaten instead of breakfast and lunch.
The idea of brunching stems from the United Kingdom and it got popular around 10 years ago. Initially, brunching was a privilege for the aristocrats. Those nobles never needed to work on weekends so they could sleep until noon then go to their garden to have brunch with their bosom friends, laughing all the way until 3pm.
From Noble to Normal
The relaxing and carefree nature of brunching kept spreading amid the rapid economic development around the world. The working crowds were getting busier and busier. The more overwhelming they were at their work, the more time they would allow themselves to rest during the weekend. Nowadays, brunching is no longer a privilege for the rich and famous, it’s something that every metropolitan can enjoy.
Of course, brunch is still yet to be prevalent enough to be found in every Chinese restaurants (the “Cha Caan Tang”) or noodle shops. Only those western-style restaurants located in business districts like Central, Wan Chai, Causeway Bay and Tsim Sha Tsui would offer brunch sets. And only those management staff, middle-class and nouveau riche can afford and desire to enjoy brunch.
Brunch as a style statement, not a meal
Since brunching is not something everyone can enjoy and because brunching is a way to cry out “I’m lazy I get out of bed and get brunch”, Hong Kong people since then have an obsession on brunch. To Hong Kong people, brunching is now equivalent to being fashionable and cool. You can find stylish looking people brunching at western restaurants in Central’s SoHo district, Wan Chai’s Star Street and Causeway Bay’s Paterson Street etc. Sometimes, it can look like a mini fashion gathering.
Different brunch-goers got different styles
You can find different style among the brunching crowds. The first type is the casual style. Since there are no strict dress codes for restaurants offering brunch, many mean-goers just wear their T-shirt, shorts and flip-flops to have brunch, so that they can claim their territorial rights and show that they’re the neighbors around the restaurant area.
Another type is the classy style. As there are also restaurants located at high-profile hotels that offer brunch, female customers would wear a proper dress, a pair of high heels; while men would sport a tailor-made blazer, wear a tie or even a pocket square.
The last type is the attention-seeker style. The people who rock this style are those youngsters who want to grasp as much attention from other brunch-goers as possible. They would wear red lipsticks, a neon-yellow cap, a bold flower-printed shirt or a tight provocative dress that one would only wear for nightclubs. As long as they win a few stares from others, or gain some likes on Facebook and Instagram, it could be enough for them to feel happy for the entire day.
Styles might be different, but one thing is common
Although there is no written dress code for brunch restaurants, the meal-goers do have an unspoken rule – wearing sunglasses. Even if they don’t “wear” the shades, they would still bring the sunglasses, putting them on the head or just inside the purse for later use. The reason, of course, can be that there are alfresco areas at some restaurants and wearing sunglasses block you from UV damage to your skin. Another reason could be that many women are wearing a “naked face” (without makeup) for brunch, so the sunglasses help keep their bare faces in mystery.
Deep down, all those reasons above could be just clichés. Don’t forget that brunching is a sub-culture derived from the relaxing and indulgent. The best time for brunch is from noon to 3pm during which the sun is the strongest. The brightness of sun intruding your eyes is a message to tell you “time for brunch”; it’s a message symbolizing that your beautiful lazy weekend has arrived. It’s a sign of positiveness, hope and relaxation, it’s an attitude that the busy working crowds are striving to pursue and never tired of having more.