Given that I somehow find myself a resident of this bewildering corner of Hong Kong, it’s a wonder that I haven’t written about Zak’s before now. I think I just kind of assumed that people would already know that it’s a family-friendly kind of place and that there was no need to further elaborate. Seems I was wrong though, as not one, but two friends have recently quizzed me separately as to why I’d not yet written about Zak’s, given that it is smack bang on my doorstep. Fair enough. So I’ll preface this review by saying that it’s unlikely to uncover any surprises and that I won’t be too offended if you choose to skip on. Here goes…
Situated right on the waterfront at Discovery Bay’s main plaza, Zak’s is a DB institution in a pleasant setting. Even if you’ve yet to visit, you’re probably already broadly familiar with the menu. Being a Castelo Concepts restaurant, Zak’s shares much of its DNA with the group’s other venues, so if you’ve ever been to Jaspa’s, High Street Grill, Oolaa or Wagyu, you know what to expect – namely decent quality, consistently prepared, mid-range western food. And that’s not to do it down at all; sometimes you just want a reliable plate of pasta or a fresh salad that – while it may not set your world on fire – also won’t break the bank or cause mass consternation. And Zak’s achieves this perfectly, making it the perfect place to eat with kids.
What sets this place apart from the rest – and the reason I couldn’t in all conscience recommend it to those looking for a peaceful meal à deux – is the sheer family-friendliness of the place. From the pirate ship play area, to the shaded canopy allowing for year-round outdoor dining, the vast square footage to the massive stack of Ikea high chairs and plastic cutlery; this place knows its target market and serves it well. It’s easy, reasonably priced, has good service and you won’t get chucked out if Junior decides to throw a hissy fit. Job done.
We’ve visited so many times that I could probably recite the extensive menu by heart: pizza, pasta, salads, steaks, ‘Asian’ dishes (including a notable take on Singapore noodles), and desserts, including an epic banoffi pie. The kids’ menu features all the faves like mac and cheese, pizza, chicken, fish and chips and so on, and the drinks list plays host to the usual beers, wines and spirits, along with some classic cocktails that pair nicely with Zak’s breezy outdoor terrace.
On this particular occasion, Young Master T-T and I decided to hit up Zak’s for breakfast and test-drive the menu at the opposite end of the day. For monsieur, a kids portion of blueberry pancakes paired with banana, and for the indecisive pregnant lady with mixed cravings, a fruit bowl with yoghurt, followed by a plate of raisin toast.
The pancakes were, as you might expect, a big hit, with what looked like an adult-sized portion of three disappearing in record time. I managed to nab a corner when the boy was distracted by a passing dog, and can confirm that these were fluffy and packed with fresh fruit. My only gripe here is that these usually come served with syrup and ice-cream, which to my mind is a weird accompaniment for a breakfast dish, and one guaranteed to ruin the rest of my day (seriously, ice cream for breakfast means I have NOTHING left in the parenting bribe bag. Help a mother out, Zak’s).
My fruit bowl was large and came with a decent selection, all of which was obviously fresh-cut to order. I would have preferred a little more yoghurt, but then I’m just a bit of a pig. The raisin toast was very good – chewy, sweet and cinnamony, this really didn’t need the accompanying jam and would have sufficed without the fruit as a filling brekkie. Did I mention I’m a pig?
The final bill, including juices for both and coffee for me came to just over $300, including 10% service, which is not bad at all, and was perfectly reasonable for what we ate.
Will we be back? Without a doubt. If this place had a loyalty programme, we would be platinum members, as, I suspect, would the majority of DB.
Would I travel here from outside DB? It depends. Especially to eat at Zak’s? Probably not, unless you have a ridiculously early riser that would be appeased by an morning ferry ride. But if you’re heading this way for a day by the sea, to check out the fab Discoveryland, the Handmade Hong Kong craft fair or the newly launched Beach Market, then yes, absolutely. Order up a plate of pancakes (or a G&T if the sun’s over the yard-arm) and let the kids run riot while you enjoy the view.
Opening Hours: Daily, 7.30am – 11pm
Please note that I paid for this meal myself.