Chinesology will explore the depth and complexity of Chinese cuisine through a contemporary lens. The venture is helmed by Chef Saito Chau, who has over 24 years of Chinese expertise having formerly cut his teeth at the likes of Hutong, John Anthony and the Queen. Boasting a panoramic view of Victoria Harbour, the expansive space is reminiscent of the Garden of Eden and features landscaped oriental gardens and rich, colourful accents, while the dishes on offer reflect this opulent complexity. The Oolong Tea Smoked Chicken utilises local three-yellow chicken, which are air-dried for two nights and tea-smoked for subtly sweet notes of Osmanthus and Oolong. Another creative dish is the Preserved Plum Mousse, Cherry Dressing, inspired by traditional Northern Chinese candied hawthorn, comprising plum mousse spheres encircled by hawthorn jelly.
Shop 3101, 3/F, ifc mall, Central; ChinesologyHK
Chicano is the homey Mexican joint with nostalgic home cooking and flavours inspired by founder Gabriel Perez’s abuelita (grandmother). The warm and intimate neighbourhood joint is tucked away on Gough street and dishes out no-nonsense Mexican fare courtesy of Chef Edgar Vigo, with a tinge of Los Angeles influence that nods to Perez’s upbringing. Sink your teeth into a juicy Birria taco featuring slow braised beef tacos served with a rich, spiced consomme broth, or opt for the gooey Chicken Enchiladas topped with salsa verde, crema, and queso fresco. The sizeable dishes encourage a family, sharing-style format, while the extensive menu also spotlights less common yet equally comforting Mexican dishes, like the breakfast items including chilaquiles (fried tortillas with saucy accoutrements) and Café de la Olla con Conchitas (coffee from the pot with Mexican sweetbread).
G/F, 15 Gough Street, Central; @ChicanoHK
Chef Olivier Elzer of two Michelin-starred L’Envol has launched a unique, Asian-inspired French eatery in Central’s H Code, helmed by his protégé chef Simon So. Divided into four distinct zones, Clarence will be home to a sommelier, a raw and wine bar, a lounge, and a main dining room complete with an open kitchen. Olivier has created and patented a “Yakifrenchy” concept to accompany his new establishment, employing traditional Asian cooking methods to cook classic French dishes. Challans duck confit, frogs’ legs pastis and snails Burgundy are skewered and cooked over a robatayaki, for bite-sized bursts of flavour. The raw fish and wine bar offers light yet refined plates of premium seafood, including Arctic char gravlax with bottarga muggine (a traditional dried mullet roe) while Olivier’s well-known love for champagne and wine is evident across the extensive wine list.
25/F, H Code, 45 Pottinger Street, Central; clarencehk.com
Peony is the first and only fine dining establishment embracing traditional Chinese fare in Discovery Bay. The grand interiors reflect its namesake, exuding the elegance and refinement of the emblematic flower with a notable peony-inspired ceiling centre-piece. Replete with high ceilings and panoramic views of Discovery Bay, the space is awash in shades of buckeye belle red, grey and auburn, punctuated with bronze metallic accents. Head chef Chu Ting Kwok, formerly of T’ang Court, works alongside specialised dim sum head chef Tony Chan, previously at Ying Jee Club and Duddell’s, to present authentic dim sum and siu mei using traditional technique alongside seasonal ingredients. Notable dishes will include Chef Chu’s signature wok-fried lobsters with purple onion, spring onion and shallot, alongside the nourishing and flavourful double-boiled fish maw soup with sea whelk and black garlic, and Angus beef puffs moulded in the shape of miniature handbags.
Shop 153A, 1/F, DB Plaza Discovery Bay, Lantau; dbpeony.com
Kennedy Town welcomes Yaichi Kura, a one-stop destination housing four different Japanese-inspired concepts. Toge by Jyungin, the izakaya, is led by esteemed chef Shimoji Atsuhi, whose 25-year career includes time at famed Tokyo robatayaki, Inakaya. The dining concept at Toge has notable French influences, with star dishes A4 wagyu beef tataki in uni sauce and French onion soup with a Japanese twist. For more casual fare, Eclipse by Luna Café & Bar presents all-day dining, with dishes including cod crab eggs benedict and Hokkaido uni carbonara, while renowned bakery chain from Osaka, Painduce, dishes up exciting baked creations including a smoked chicken and burdock toast. Last but not least is 81Station, a Japanese retail space bringing all things Japan directly from Japanese suppliers to round out the holistic and authentic experience.
1/F, Imperial Kennedy, 84 Belcher’s Street, Kennedy Town; @Yaichi.Kura
Chef Vicky Lau of TATE Dining Room has teamed up with Romain Hertebreau and Head Chef Percy Ho to present Mora, a contemporary Chinese restaurant that pays homage to the divine versatility of soybeans. The restaurant’s Chinese name, 摩 is a nod to its historic location on Upper Lascar Row (摩羅上街) in Sheung Wan, while also referring to the dynamic texture and unique malleability of soy as an ingredient. Many of the soy-based products on the menu are carefully crafted in MORA’s own factory, which extracts soy milk with an innovative technology to preserve its intense flavours while allowing a thicker, richer texture. Dishes are crafted with Chef Vicky Lau’s meticulous attention to detail, from a light yet nourishing soy milk and chicken noodles to a baked sweet potato with soy milk ice cream.
40 Upper Lascar Row, Sheung Wan; mora.com.hk
Grand Majestic Sichuan
Black Sheep Restaurants can add a tongue-tingling, mouth numbing Sichuanese restaurant to their dining repertoire with the opening of Grand Majestic Sichuan. The restaurant is helmed by Head Chef Robert Wong, with the menu informed by Fuschia Dunlop, who authored two books on the complex cuisine while also appearing as a Chinese food expert on TV shows including Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown, and David Chang’s Ugly Delicious. The restaurant’s opulent space is replete with plush velvet booths and a custom tiger carpet, dripping with nostalgic glamour of the past. This directly alludes to its namesake, Majestic Restaurant & Night Club, a popular restaurant in North Point from the ‘60s.
Shop 301, Alexandra House, 18 Chater Road, Central; grandmajesticsichuan.com
Woo Cheong Tea House
The historic Woo Cheong Pawn Shop on Johnston Road is now home to Woo Cheong Tea House, a brand new destination for refined Cantonese fare, premium teas and tea-infused cocktails. Set over two floors, the new space replaces former tenant The Pawn, with revitalised, floral interiors inspired by a garden oasis. Dim sum is thoughtful and inventive: pan-seared buns are infused with the flavours of Thai tom yum soup while a classic egg tart is spiked with Bailey’s for an equally smooth, yet enticing update to the Hong Kong staple. Certain dishes, like char siu, are preserved in their traditional glory, with chefs of the establishment using only pork shoulder blade for the ultimate char siu that is the perfect balance of lean and fatty.
62 Johnston Road, Wan Chai; woocheongteahouse.com
Contemporary steakhouse Bifteck offers a refreshing change amidst the wave of familiar eateries serving typical Western-style steak and fries. A French-Japanese fusion, Bifteck’s star dish is its Japanese A5 snow-aged Wagyu beef, which is aged using a ‘yukimuro’ technique at an icy 1-2 degrees with 90% humidity. The resulting beef is unbelievably moist and tender, melting in your mouth with a subtle yet distinct sweetness. Executive Chef Ken Kwok, formerly of VEA, CIAK, Beef Bar and Wagyu Takumi, was intent on bringing something fresh and inspiring to Hong Kong’s eating scene – other unique dishes that showcase the restaurant’s top-notch beef include the A5 wagyu tataki Roll with Spanish red prawn & amaebi tartare, the A5 wagyu mini burger and the porcini-crusted dry aged 35 days Belgium sirloin.
23/F, QRE Plaza, 202 Queen’s Road East, Wanchai; @BifteckHK
Northern Chinese restaurant Hutong has shifted venues to join sister restaurant Aqua in TST’s H Zentre. Traditional Chinese dishes are elevated with depth and complexity, while familiar flavours and techniques are still carefully preserved. Xiao long bao is made unique with a beef brisket filling, a bao is pan-fried and stuffed with mapo tofu and a traditional sour fish broth (酸菜鱼) becomes rich and creamy with the addition of salted egg yolk. Those looking for the perfect Asian dessert will be delighted by Hutong’s offerings – a homemade tofu panna cotta and oolong tea ice cream round off the meal for a perfect, “not too sweet” finish.
H Zentre, 18/F, 15 Middle Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui; hutong.com.hk
Chueca brings the vigour and vibrancy of Spain to Hong Kong’s Gough Street. Barcelona native Chef Jordi Vallés, formerly with aqua and Pirata restaurant groups, presents a refreshing tapas menu with dishes from Spanish nibbles and charcuterie to moreish staples. The lobster rice is made with tomato sofrito and squid and boasts an entire lobster, while the Chef’s canelon sees tender, truffled chicken, beef and pork wrapped in a delicate sheet of pasta and doused with a creamy, porcini béchamel. The serene space was dreamed up by Yuki Yasukagawa of Design East, and is awash in shades of pastel blue with pale wooden elements and sleek brass accents.
8-10 Gough Street, Central; chueca.hk
Celebrated and award-winning sushi master Hisayoshi Iwa and his apprentice, Chef Tsukasa Kaneko, have brought their famed Edomae experience from Tokyo to Hong Kong’s Harbour City. Interior designer Junzo Irikado created the sophisticated, minimalist space, with a commanding 30-seat sushi counter constructed from a 250-year-old Japanese cypress Hinoki. The signature omakase menu takes guests on a thrilling journey through the rich culture and culinary heritage of Japan across 23 courses, with signature dishes including the abalone and ankimo (monkfish liver). The fermented Oo-toro (tuna) is also an unmissable highlight, as the fish is aged for two weeks and then lightly seared over charcoal for a uniquely complex flavour with a subtle charred taste.
Shop G111, G/F, Gateway Arcade, Harbour City, 3-27 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui; @sushi.hisayoshi.hk
The newest addition to Sham Shui Po’s growing restaurant scene is Ppalli Ppalli, a fusion Italian-Korean gastropub concept. Translating to “Hurry Hurry”, Ppalli Ppalli’s futuristic facade is accompanied by vibrant neon signage, glass bricks and concrete walls, while the inventive menu includes the likes of wagyu beef cheek sourdough, Korean steak tartare with pears, horseradish, cucumber, chilli and honey and homemade pain au lait served with fruits, lemon sauce and white chocolate mousse. Drinks are also an unmissable part of the experience, with a vast array of Korean craft brews, makgeolli and soju cocktails, while teetotallers will be pleased to find a variety of mocktails to supplement the expansive drinks menu.
230 Tai Nan Street, Sham Shui Po; @8282hk
Aptly named, Fireside humbles each ingredient that enters its kitchen, enlisting the help of Hong Kong’s first Mibrasa Parrilla – a state of the art open-fire grill – as the sole cooking device. Directed by Executive Chef Miguel Gallo, the space highlights a curated array of rare meats alongside uniquely cured seafood that are all dry-aged in-house or cold-smoked for increased complexity and depth of flavour. The raw and simplistic cooking style spotlights distinctive flavours of each ingredient – the Ora King Salmon encapsulates this very sentiment, cured for 3 days then smoked over apple wood and served bare to preserve its flavours without any distraction. The Hokkaido surf clams is another notable dish, fire-basted in aged Mangalica pork fat using a special flambadou for juicy morsels of flavourful meat.
H Code The Steps 5th Floor, 45 Pottinger Street, Central; fireside.hk
At Italian restaurant Estro, Chef Antimo Maria Merone takes guests on a thoughtful journey that honours his heritage while still managing to delight and surprise. The ‘Pigeon Under Ashes’ sees a pigeon wrapped with burned artichoke buds and fig leaves and buried in clay before it is then baked. Inspired by the ruins of Pompeii and Chinese Beggar’s chicken, the resulting pigeon is tender and flavourful, while the accompanying red-wine sauce and artichoke puree add a tangy creaminess. Be sure to save space for an unexpected highlight – the petit fours. While typically an afterthought at many restaurants, each component of Chef Antimo’s petit fours have been carefully considered, presenting refined, miniature takes of classic Italian pastries and desserts. The pistachio gelato also deserves kudos – the potent dish is prepared a la minute for each table, and is a rich, indulgent and creamy delight.
2/F, 1 Duddell Street, Central; estro.hk
The Arcane Collective presents Moxie, a brand new restaurant at Alexandra House which offers all-day dining in a clean, contemporary space. Inspired by Japanese and Scandinavian elements, the restaurant will be directed by Chef Michael Smith who will dish out primarily plant-based, modern European fare. The menu will spotlight Michael’s love for creativity and international cuisine while also highlighting his culinary prowess as former Chef de cuisine of Michelin-starred Arcane. Ingredients will be sourced from local farms and regional suppliers, while the vegetarian-centric menu will also include sustainably sourced seafood. While the dishes will be mindful and suitable for the health-conscious among us, Smith has also constructed the menu with delightful flavour and fresh innovation.
Shop 203, Alexandra House, 18 Chater Rd, Central; @moxie_hk
Experience innovative Italian fine dining with a backdrop of Hong Kong’s iconic skyline. Situated on the 101st floor of the International Commerce Center in West Kowloon, RadicalChic offers a creative Italian degustation menu crafted by native Italian Chef Andrea Zamboni. The menu is a display of Zamboni’s expertise in Italian cuisine, having formerly worked alongside some of the world’s greatest Italian chefs including Gualtiero Marchesi – AKA the ‘father’ of modern Italian cuisine. The Egg in Four Ways is a creamy, textural delight, featuring Ikura, Uni, Caviar & Black Truffle for a complex amalgamation of flavour profiles. The eccentric and unpredictable dishes are complemented by the striking interior design, intended to resemble a museum art gallery. Hanging art adorns the walls for striking accents to the otherwise minimal space, while the private dining room is decorated with quirky wallpaper and unique light fixtures.
Shop B1, Level 101, International Commerce Center, 1 Austin Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon; radicalchichk.com
Margo is an intimate European dining concept led by chef Mario Paecke, who cut his teeth at Michelin-starred Luce d’Oro in Germany, and then SOMM as Chef de Cuisine in 2017. Premium ingredients are sourced from across the globe, including flour from Japan, cheese from the Swiss Alps and local greens and honey from Yuen Long, culminating in German-inspired dishes with contemporary, international twists. The Ozaki Rump Steak Frites comprise wagyu beef from Japan’s Miazaki prefecture, served with thick-cut potato chips, kale salad and a roasted garlic lemon dressing while a notable dessert highlight is the aromatic and refreshing White Peach & Jasmine Tea Crumble with yogurt sorbet. Drinks upstairs at Kyle & Bain are also a defining part of the experience – the bar program was directed by award winning mixologist John Nugent, with the same concept of reinvented European creations permeating throughout the expansive drinks selection.
Shop 6, 9 Queens Road, Central; margohk.com
Octavo Management, the team behind Michelin-starred Octavium, will grace Central with an authentic Italian gran caffè experience. Transporting guests to the streets of Venice with its quaint, European sensibilities, Venédia was dreamed up by Venetian designer Antonio Zuppati, with elegant details including marble floors and countertops, accents of brass and a majestic blue light fixture. Octavium duo Chef Rolland Schulle and Chef Bjoern Alexander have directed the menu, with mouthwatering dishes from delicate pastries and jet-fresh starters to wholesome pastas and of course, an exceptional lineup of coffee. Venédia presents its own aromatic blend, while also highlighting other Italian delights such as homemade gelato, bellinis and sgroppinos.
G/F One Chinachem Central, 22 Des Voeux Road Central, Central; venedia.com.hk
Chef Hirofumi Chiba brings his third-generation mastery of traditional edomae sushi to Sushi Mamoru, located at the heart of Wan Chai. Mamoru, meaning “protect”, reflects Chiba’s commitment to safeguarding the time-old tradition and craftsmanship of sushi-making, while the restaurant will spotlight carefully sourced ingredients with a focus on sustainability: wasabi is provided directly from the famed farmer Keiichi Tashiro in Shizuoka and vegetables are sourced locally, while the Chef receives line-caught fish from his personal suppliers in Japan. The serene and minimalist space was designed by Hong Kong-based M.R. Studio, the interiors lined with Japanese hinoki and gingko wood while a bespoke blue carpet punctuates the entranceway with a burst of colour. The thoughtful Takumi Omakase sees a curated selection of over 20 dishes, showcasing seasonal, fresh ingredients and carefully balanced dishes that preserve the integral flavours and freshness of each ingredient for an elevated and authentic edomae experience.
Shop 2, G/F, 32 Oi Kwan Road, Wan Chai; sushimamoru.com
Awa Awa is inspired by the food, drink and culture from the island of Okinawa, a Japanese prefecture frequently lauded as the “Hawaii of Japan”. Highlighting the meld of cultures and influences from the Carribean and Cuba to Tokyo, Japan’s mainland and more, each dish is nuanced with global influence yet still decidedly and unmistakably Okinawan. Awa Awa is no stranger to delightful drinks and bar culture, with the team behind Sake Central alongside two other F&B veterans joining the venture for an international convergence of tastes and ideas. The food program is led by Chef Joe Chan and designed to pair perfectly with the expansive cocktail lineup and Awamori collection. Renowned designer Sean Dix was enlisted to design the space, while creative agency Panglossian informed the branding and authenticity of Okinawan food and culture. The culmination of these efforts formed a neon-lit space with art-deco accents, drawing upon the golden days of Cuba, Las Vegas, Taiwan and of course, Okinawa.
42 & 44 Peel Street, Central, Hong Kong; instagram.com/awaawahk
Boticario Bar & Grill
This destination cocktail bar and grill transports guests to the grooving bustle of Buenos Aires during the ‘20s, with a spacious two-level dining area and an expansive alfresco patio. The bar’s namesake, Boticario, is the original South American pharmacy, reflected in the space with dark timber hues, antique metal ceiling panels and apothecary cabinets packed with captivating mixtures and contraptions. The extensive cocktails list is divided into “serendipity”, “sanguine”, “melancholy”, and “nostalgia”, each carefully crafted drink laced with anything from home-made sodas and tonics to house infusions, tinctures and craft spirits. The menu sees South America’s finest comfort foods and street snacks, including choripán, a grilled chorizo dish served on crusty bread and drizzled with salsa criolla, as well as red snapper ceviche with avocado, dressed with Leche de Tigre and lemon oil, and smoked lamb shoulder served with jalapeño and coleslaw.
Shop G5 & UG 15, Tsim Sha Tsui Centre, 66 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui; facebook.com/boticariohk
The Peninsula Boutique & Café
The Peninsula has shaken up the stereotypical hotel afternoon tea experience, merging a curated boutique with a luxurious gastronomic adventure. Tucked away on an upper floor, the chic space is decked out in sleek emerald marble and green lacquer and accented with pops of brass and bubblegum pink. The Afternoon Indulgence set allows guests to customise their tea-set with any proportion of sweet and savoury nibbles, while 3D-printed chocolates and vegan parfaits add a contemporary, future-forward twist. Guests are also encouraged to peruse the selection of gifts on offer or to even pause and read a book as they take in their surroundings.
The Peninsula Arcade, Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon; peninsulaboutique.com
ODDS is a contemporary Asian eatery in the heart of Central, dishing up a vast variety of Japanese cuisines from beautifully charred yakitori and teppanyaki to delightfully fresh sashimi and sushi. The versatile space is suitable for both a round of coffee and a charming dinner and cocktails experience, evolving throughout the day from a relaxed atmosphere to one charged with electricity and vibrance. Signature cocktails include the Bushido Spirit, which is made from gin, campari, umeshu and peach bitters, while an extensive sake and wine list offer guests a comprehensive selection of tipples.
Shop G2, G/F, Standard Chartered Bank Building, 4-4A Des Voeux Road Central; facebook.com/ODDSHongKong/
Roji is a Japanese izakaya infused with French accents, neatly tucked away from the chaos of Lan Kwai Fong down an unassuming backstreet. Its Japanese namesake, roji ura, befittingly translates to alleyway hideout, while the relaxed and laid back atmosphere makes for a welcome escape from the madness of the city. Dishes range from raw, fresh small bites to hot plates and rice boxes, while notable highlights include the hamachi topped with salmon roe, grated bottarga and crispy garlic chips, and a delightful, unassuming tomato dish, the fresh and sweet oxheart, cherry and jubilee tomatoes energised and perfectly balanced with a zesty yuzu dressing, pickled onions and shiso. Drinks are also an unmissable part of the experience – the classic highball fuses bonito umeshu and sherry with Miyagiko whisky from Sendai, the drink exuding smoky apple and floral aromatics while the bonito umeshu adds a unique savoury hit. The Nori elevates flavours from Japan with seaweed sous vide with campari, jalapeño, lime and strawberry for the perfect balance of sweet, salty, sour and spicy.
G/F, 20A D’Aguilar St, Lan Kwai Fong, Central; facebook.com/Roji.hongkong
Helmed by Michelin-starred Chef Jun Tanaka, Salisterra is The Upper House’s latest establishment, replacing the beloved Café Grey Deluxe which closed its doors in December of last year. Salisterra takes a decidedly different culinary direction, calling upon the vibrant flavours of the Mediterranean while peppered with influences from the coasts of France and Italy. Yet the relaxed energy and warm atmosphere of its former tenant remains, permeating across the space which was reimagined by renowned designer André Fu. Tanaka’s colourful creations mirror the refined yet rustic atmosphere: expect comforting pastas and chargrilled surf and turf alongside bold vegetarian offerings, while an enticing drinks programme is curated by talented mixologists and sommeliers.
49/F, The Upper House, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty; salisterra.thehousecollective.com
WING is Chef Vicky Cheng’s latest venture, a restaurant dedicated to the Chef’s culinary heritage and expertise in classic Chinese cuisine. While Vicky’s Michelin-starred VEA offers a decidedly French-Chinese philosophy, WING, named after Vicky’s Chinese name, will highlight dishes from the Eight Great Chinese cuisine that have been updated with Western culinary techniques including dry-ageing. The results are thoughtful, innovative twists on traditional favourites, with notable specialties including Crispy Skin Sugarcane Glazed Crispy Pigeon, Chopped Chili Fish Maw and King Crab Congee with Chicken Oil. The tranquil space is accented with emerald shades of green and swirling marble panels, designed by award-winning J.Candice Interior Architects, while the auspicious ruyi knot is a reoccurring motif throughout the restaurant, symbolising WING’s cooking philosophy.
29/F, The Wellington, 198 Wellington Street, Central; wingrestaurant.hk
Neo-Parisian restaurant Belon reopens with a brand new look and feel in SoHo, with Chef Matthew Kirkley taking the helm as Head Chef in place of Daniel Calvert. Belon’s fresh interiors were updated by designer Joyce Wang Studio, with contemporary accents mixing old and new for a haven of refined elegance: think curved banquettes and dark muted colour palettes juxtaposed with aged plaster and cobalt panelling. The menu sees a similar revamp, retaining notable favourites such as the whole roasted three yellow chicken with pomme purée, and the rich and flaky Mikan Millefeuille. Expect new dishes that underscore Chef Kirkley’s expertise in seafood (courtesy of Kirkley’s childhood spent crab fishing along the Chesapeake Bay coastline in the US), spotlighting the region’s finest ingredients alongside local seasonal produce.
1/F, 1-5 Elgin St, Central; belonsoho.com
Cabana Breeze epitomises what it means to be a breezy beachfront restaurant, with an intimate and relaxed ambience that shifts between indoor and alfresco seating. The space is modernised by accents of brass and marble, while brown leather booths and banquette seating bring a more rustic feel. With tropical notes in the tiki-inspired cocktails offered, this urban oasis in Tung Chung is helmed by Moroccan Executive Chef Faycal El Moujahid, whose Michelin-starred career includes work at Les Jardins De La Medina Hotel in Morocco. With Cabana Breeze, Chef Faycal was inspired by his love for seafood, where fresh ingredients and coastal fare are merged with comforting roasts and served alongside tropical cocktails to add to the idyllic, holiday-like ambience. Menu highlights include the slow-roasted whole suckling pig, for its succulent, tender meat and showstopping crunchy skin, and the summery Maui margarita, consisting Mexican pepper-infused tequila and mezcal, lime, pink grapefruit and pineapple juice and kaffir lime.
Shop G12-G15, T Bay, No 9 Yi Tung Road, Tung Chung, Lantau; 2777 8980
The Aubrey is an eccentric Japanese izakaya situated on the 25th floor of the Mandarin Oriental offering panoramic views around Hong Kong in a relaxed bar and eatery style format. A meal or drink here is an experience from start to finish: thoughtful, curated design flows through every facet of the establishment, from the decor and artwork that has either been personally commissioned or painstakingly sourced, to the Samurai trap playlist busting out groovy and relaxed tunes to set an intimate atmosphere. The restaurant celebrates Hong Kong’s reputation as a place for cross cultural exchange, while preserving the tradition of Japanism, a 19th century European movement influenced by Japanese art. Fresh ingredients (that have been made sustainable where possible) are manipulated with incredible technique by Chef Yukihito Tomoiyama and his team for elevated yet comforting Japanese fare to round out the culturally rich journey from food and drinks to design and atmosphere.
25/F, Mandarin Oriental, 5 Connaught Road Central; mandarinoriental.com
Inspired by the Japanese philosophy “ikigai”, The Alp is a tranquil space to calm both body and soul. The café was created with a Japanese wood lodge in mind, with rustic wooden decor cultivating a cosy, relaxed atmosphere for city-dwellers to escape to. The Japanese-Western fusion dishes are thoughtfully curated and expertly executed by The Alp’s dynamic multicultural crew, helmed by Nepalese-born Chef Sajal. As a result of the chef’s unique cultural background, some dishes are imbued with Nepalese heritage: the crispy buttermilk drumsticks are served with tamarind puree and crushed pistachio, for a sprinkle of Nepalese flair. Other dishes include the Beef Sando, where slow-cooked beef striploin and crispy onions are sandwiched between thick Japanese “shokupan” bread for a savoury and satisfying meal. Wash down the comforting fare with artisanal coffees ranging from house house blend and cold brew to hand drip, or opt for the chai latte for a warming, spiced drink.
The Coffee Academïcs
The Coffee Academïcs brings their love and expertise for coffee to a refined dining setting, merging a café, restaurant and retail store into its latest opening at Harbour City. An micro-roastery experience is also available on-site, where coffee aficionados can select their coffee bean of choice, have it roasted, and enjoy a fresh brew all without leaving the venue. The menu features a range of comforting dishes with a few egg-centric highlights – the humble ingredient is featured in the sunny-side up french toast, silk handkerchief pasta with confit egg yolk and crunchy Korean fried chicken with eggettes and salted egg yolk “cheese”.
Shop 4201K, Gateway Arcade, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui; @thecoffeeacademics
The latest venture from the minds behind 11 Westside, OBP brings a Korean sool-jip experience to Hong Kong’s ever-growing bar scene. The atmosphere is warm yet serene, with thick wooden furniture, stone archways and a living wall of lush greenery. Headed by Korean-American Daniel Eun, the lively gastropub offers an extensive array of cocktails including the Dream Highball, Dokdo Gimlet and Red Devil O2, featuring Korean spirits soju, makgeolli and baeksaeju. Food is also a must-try at OBP, with 17 sharing snacks and hotpots inspired by Korean cuisine traditions. East meets West in the show-stopping Spicy Braised Pork Rib served with table-side raclette, while more traditional dishes include the Kimchi Pancake and Korean Fried Chicken.
3-5 Old Bailey Street, Central; instagram.com/obp.hk
Leaves & Liberty
Beef & Liberty will be taken over by their plant-based sister brand Leaves & Liberty for the month of January, with an entirely vegetarian rendition of the typically meaty, burger-filled menu. The Impossible Double Smashed with Cheese sees two Impossible patties topped with vegan cheese, vegan Dijon mayonnaise, butter lettuce and house pickles, and sandwiched between two lightly toasted buns. Another unmissable burger is the Pulled Jackfruit, where the versatile fruit’s stringy and meaty texture is the perfect substitute for pulled pork, and is mixed into a quinoa patty with BBQ sauce, vegan ginger mayonnaise coleslaw and onion rings. The pop-up will also offer a a vegan passionfruit lemon tart, courtesy of Bien Caramélisé, a pâtisserie that specialised in 100% plant-based pastries.
3/F California Tower, 30-32 D’Aguilar Street, Central; leaves-liberty.com.hk
MA… and The Seeds of Life
Chef Tina Barrett has filled a much-needed gap for vegan fine dining with Ma… and The Seeds of Life, crafting a menu filled with delicious plant-based dishes. Although health-conscious, the French restaurant does not sacrifice on taste or creativity: juicy portobello mushrooms are coated in cashew truffle sauce and sandwiched between two buns for a savoury and moreish burger, while the signature grilled king oyster scallops see seared king oyster mushrooms served alongside creamy cauliflower polenta, red bell pepper purée and confit garlic for a tantalising array of tastes and textures. Aside from mains, the extensive wine list offers a comprehensive selection of organic and biodynamic wines, which can be paired with Tina’s house-made, non-dairy cheeses, including the “Shamembert” and “North Pole Star”.
Shop No.11, 1/F, H18 Conet, 23 Graham Street, Central; marestaurant.com.hk
Lucciola Restaurant & Bar
Located at The Hari Hong Kong and helmed by chef Francesco Gava, Lucciola Restaurant & Bar highlights beloved Italian classics with a focus on meticulously sourced, quality produce. Piedmontese Il Vitello Tonnato sees soft folds of veal tenderloin dressed in a creamy tuna sauce that has been brightened with aged balsamic vinegar from Modena and Pantlleria capers. Another indulgent starter, the Apulian burrata is a plump mozzarella bursting with stracciatella and cream, surrounded by tomato datterino, basil leaves and extra virgin olive oil from Sicily. The restaurant interiors are all at once retro yet chic, encapsulating the convivial spirit of Italy with warm green and leather accents in an open setting, whilst the large, angled ceiling windows that allow natural light to easily transition the space from day to night.
330 Lockhart Road, Wanchai; thehari.com
Acme is an authentic Middle Eastern restaurant that highlights the best food from the region in a relaxed and homely environment. The warm and inviting interiors of the 34-seat restaurant were crafted by award-winning designer Sean Dix, with rich earthy tones and decor details that pay homage to the Middle East. Dishes are created in a sharing-style format, with highlights including roast lamb shwarma with zhoug, eggplant, goat’s cream cheese and rocket leaves and wild smoked scallops with preserved lemon brine, dehydrated Zhoug, finger lime and charcoal oil. The bright and flavourful dishes will also include a selection of meats from the Josper grill, a revolutionary charcoal grill that will be responsible for cooking spiced Harissa chicken kebab, king mushroom kebab and tomahawk.
59 Elgin Street, Central, Hong Kong; acmeplease.com
Bouillon is yet another eatery to open its doors in Sheung Wan, and serves an array of classic French comforts. Chef Johan Ducroquet, formerly of Le Bistro Winebeast, has joined forces with French chef and beverage distributor Grégory Alexandre, with the intent for customers to experience authentic French dining. The pair have taken into account every detail, from the homely French dishes on offer and the Parisian café atmosphere, to the extensive wine list, featuring a number of organic bottles by independent, family-owned vineyards. On the food menu, savoury highlights include classic beef tartare, served with a generous helping of French fries, garlic butter escargots and Parisian-style grilled bone marrow. Be sure to opt for the rum baba or the vanilla rice pudding with salted butter caramel for a sweet and indulgent end to the meal.
6 Pound Lane, Sheung Wan; bouillonhk.com
K11 MUSEA’s latest restaurant Sexy Crab highlights and delivers everything there is to love about the coveted crustacean, honing in on the much sought after hairy crab for the restaurant’s seasonal menu. The current line-up of dishes includes the signature crab noodles, for which silky strands of handcrafted noodles are topped with the ‘golden ratio’ of crab meat and roe—the most luxurious iteration of this dish sees a whole fish maw stuffed with crab roe and caviar, resting over a bed of noodles (Pillow Talk). Other dishes include rich broths with crab meat and roe, and crab-roe stuffed xiao long bao, with all dish names rife with cheeky innuendos. The venue and decor align with the luxe nature of the menu, with an appropriate air of restrained opulence, the restaurant furnished with dark mahogany panels, and the walls elegantly lined with mirrors, reminiscent of a 1930s Shanghai.
Shop 401A, 4/F, K11 MUSEA, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East; +852 6655 7629
Etna brings Italian cuisine with accents of Asia to the table in Tin Hau, spotlighting the fresh Mediterranean produce grown in the fertile soils surrounding Mount Etna, the volcano that the restaurant was named after. The quaint trattoria is the brainchild of Kong Wai Sing and Chef Rene Michelena, with its indoor-outdoor setting designed to transform from a laid-back dining room to a lively bistro as dinner shifts into drinks. The dishes at Etna are fresh and flavoursome: tender poached prawns are elevated with lemon oil, chilli jam and crunchy raw zucchini for a meld of tastes and textures; while the soft shell crab Fettucine “Puttanesca” is served with Gochujang syrup for a spicy, Asian-inspired kick. Drinks and bar snacks also deserve notable mentions, with an extensive wine list and an accompanying selection of nibbles.
3/F, The New Place, 68-70 Electric Road, Tin Hau; +852 3462 2700
Nissa la Bella
Reminiscent of a picture-perfect eatery on the French Riviera, Nissa La Bella instantly transports guests to the Mediterranean coast with flavours brought to life from Southern France and Northern Italy, with a particular emphasis on Niçoise Cuisine. The interiors are awash with tranquil shades of blue, tan and white, creating a sense of nostalgia for sunny summer days spent by the sea. The dishes reflect relaxed and comforting French and Italian fare including Vitello Tonnato, a cold veal antipasti with a rich and creamy tuna-based sauce, and Daube Niçoise, a Provençal beef stew braised in wine, vegetables and garlic, served with gnocchi. Another specialty dish from the Niçoise region, the Pissaladière is a ‘pizza’ from the South of France, topped with caramelised onions and olives for the perfect balance of sweet and salty, rounded out with a hit of umami from anchovies.
G/F, 10-14 Upper Station Street, Sheung Wan; nissalabella.hk
Helmed by Chef May Chow of Little Bao, the recent reopening of Happy Paradise allows guests to experience a revamp of Chow’s clever, updated twists on traditional Hong Kong favourites in an intimate and inviting setting. The short-rib dumplings are the perfect starter: juicy, meaty morsels wrapped in dumpling skins and bursting with freshness and flavour thanks to the urfa chilli dressing and generous lashings of coriander and spring onions. Meanwhile, the Szechuan fried chicken and sourdough waffles encapsulate Chef May’s expertise in fusing western and eastern palettes. The fried chicken is perfectly crispy and tender with just the right amount of mala kick, whilst the sourdough waffles, moulded in the shape of HK-style egg waffles, pair wonderfully with the accompanying bottarga whip. Here, the bright freshness and umami of the bottarga and salmon roe lightens up the heavier dish and will have you mopping up every last fish egg with your sourdough eggettes.
UG/F, 52-56 Staunton Street, Central; happyparadise.hk
The second restaurant of renowned chef Enrico Bartolini, Fiamma has just opened at the Peak, with a relaxed indoor-outdoor setting that perfectly reflects the family-style Italian fare on offer. The menu is infused with the culinary musings of the renowned chef, informed by day-to-day Head Chef Paolo Olivieri, to include dishes and ingredients bursting with flavour and freshness. The Fassona beef tartare is a must-have antipasti, marinated solely with salt, olive oil and capers to allow the ingredients to speak for themselves, and served with quail’s egg yolk and Parmigiano Reggiano fondue for added richness and depth. Homemade pastas and pizzas steal the show for mains – the Bottarga Tagliolini sees homemade tagliolini mixed with two types of bottarga and topped with Japanese sea urchin for a complex flavour profile oozing with umami. A selection of decadent, Italian classics take the stage for desserts, including a silky panna cotta drizzled with berry compote, an indulgent tiramisu soaked in espresso, and flaky cannoli shells piped with creamy ricotta and dotted with dark chocolate chips, pistachios and candied orange.
G02, Peak Galleria, 118 Peak Road, The Peak
Castellana serves up fresh and authentic Italian fare from the Piedmont region with comforting classics that incorporate modern twists. A star dish is the carbonara “au koque,” for which homemade tagliolini is topped with a crisp slice of cured Vigezzo Valley ham and drenched in a rich and creamy gin-infused sauce. The Castellana Garden vegetarian menu is the latest addition to Castellana’s line-up, merging traditional Japanese ingredients with Piedmontese slow-cooking techniques for incredibly complex flavour profiles that develop slowly over the cooking time. Notable dishes from the new seasonal menu include grilled Piedmont porcini mushrooms seasoned with salt, pepper, fermented black garlic and Piedmont hazelnut crumble, and the Avellino Montoro Onion Soup, for which Montoro onions are slow cooked in salt for four hours before simmering with kombu-infused vegetable stock. For the full Piedmontese experience, be sure to opt for specially curated wine pairings that highlight the region’s notorious selection of wines.
10/F Cubus, 1 Hoi Ping Road, Causeway Bay; castellanahongkong.com
Bibi & Baba
Bibi & Baba brings together Singaporean culinary director duo PasirPanJangBoy with JIA Group to dish up authentic Nyonya cuisine at their just-opened space on Ship Street. A synergistic blend of Southeast Asian and Chinese cuisine, Nyonya (also known as Peranakan) cuisine is a complex amalgamation of flavours and cultures, chock-full of spices and traditional Chinese ingredients and techniques, such as cooking with bean paste. Star dishes at Bibi & Baba include the Assam Pedas, a sour-spicy fish soup, brimming with umami flavour from the addition of Assam paste, ginger lily, and Vietnamese coriander. For laksa with a Peranakan edge, try the Nyonya Laksa, a more coconut-milk heavy rendition of the stereotypically Singaporean dish. The higher proportion of coconut milk results in a slightly sweet and thicker soup in which you can find fish cakes and thick rice noodles amongst sambal and laksa bay leaves for an aromatic, rich and comforting dish.
The debut restaurant from the team behind Indian-French fusion restaurant Pondi is Brut, another of Sai Ying Pun’s neighbourhood favourites. Aside from that, the concepts are very different. At Brut, the sharing plates are a contemporary take on Hong Kong’s multicultural and dynamic culinary scene, elevating simple ingredients through thoughtful pairings, from prawn doughnuts in a laksa curry to a butter-soft miso cod cut with pickled kumquat. Chef Gavin Chin and his team are dedicated to experimenting with flavours, to the resounding success of dishes including the surprisingly well-balanced smoky corn with yuzu kosho and white chocolate and the roasted broccoli with black garlic and burnt onion – both worth a trip for veggie-lovers. Co-founder Camille Lisette Glass presents an intriguing wine list, devoid of names, that focuses on small, sustainable producers, 80% of which are organic. The tiny restaurant, industrial in design, has an indoor-outdoor New York-style edge to it, and can often be seen spilling out onto Sai Ying Pun’s Second Street, with locals coming for a glass of wine and staying for a tapas-inspired dish or two.
Shop C, G/F, 1 Second Street, Sai Ying Pun; brut.com.hk
COBO HOUSE has reopened at K11 MUSEA, the perfect location to compliment the renewed concept that merges contemporary artworks with innovative culinary delights. The spacious venue is dotted with a myriad of intriguing artworks and filled with natural light, courtesy of the floor-to-ceiling windows that also offer stunning views of Victoria Harbour. Ray Choi and Devon Hou jointly helm the kitchen, and are no stranger to culinary excellence and ingenuity having previously worked at Robuchon, Amber, and Arbor. A unique menu concept The Knife & Spoon is introduced, for which the menu will be changed every six weeks with a new “Chapter”, kicking off currently with Chapter 0. Each chapter has a theme to highlight the highest quality, seasonal ingredients – Chapter 1 will begin on 9 October, focusing on the humble egg in a multitude of innovative formats, taking you on an exciting journey from starter to dessert.
Shop 602, 6F, K11 MUSEA, Victoria Dockside,18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui; cobohouse.com
Jean May is an unassuming French restaurant tucked away in the heart of Wan Chai amongst a bustling street of fruit and flower stalls. Do not be deceived, for this humble and relaxed bistro packs a heavy punch. Chef patron Tiff Lo is serious about enhancing the flavours of each and every dish she creates, using meticulous seasoning methods and refined cooking techniques to allow the ingredients to speak for themselves. Tiff was mentored by the esteemed Pierre Koffmann in London (a 3-Michelin starred chef also referred to as the godfather of French cuisine), as well as undergoing training with other 3-Michelin starred chefs including Michel Roux Jr, Phil Howard and Eric Chavot to name a few. Jean May’s pared-back menu features an array of French classics, including chicken liver parfait with cherries, razor clams with parsley and garlic and ox tongue with salsa verde amongst a host of other delightful, crowd-pleasing discoveries.
Shop A, 14 Gresson St, Wan Chai; jeanmayhk.com
Black Sheep Restaurants have joined forces with their favourite sushi shokunin, Motoharu Inazuka, to introduce Sushi Haru, a restaurant with a unique Edomae-style omakase experience. The Edomae-style preparation requires the fish to undergo a unique marinating process, enhancing the natural flavours of the fish whilst imbuing it with more complex flavour profiles. Inazuka takes every step to ensure quality across all fronts, with pickled ginger sourced from Fukuoka, premium seafood from trusted merchants across Hokkaido, Kyushu and Tokyo, and a top-secret recipe for his rice vinegar. With just eight counter seats across the serene, atmospheric space, the distinctly intimate nature of omakase is magnified, for a truly unique dining experience where you can expect nothing but the most refined flavours and quality ingredients.
Mezzanine, LKF Tower, 33 Wyndham St, Central; sushiharu.com.hk
Nove has expanded its ranks from its original location on Li Yuen Street East to now include a second location at the historic Fringe club, replacing Michelle Garnaut’s legendary M after over a decade of vacancy. Chef Umberto Bombana of distinguished 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo Bombana continues to raise the stakes as the operator of Nove, with the Fringe Club location adding prestigious flair and imbuing the restaurant with a rich sense of local history. The space has been further transformed by esteemed local designer Albert Kwan for a truly unique and fully immersive Chiu Chow dining experience. Try the location-exclusive Barbecued Iberico Pork or opt for a nostalgic Hong Kong classic with the Nove Homemade Prawn Toast.
1/F, Fringe Club, 2 Lower Albert Road, Central; 2130 6546; hkfringeclub.com
Promising rich and spicy flavours straight out of Myanmar, Yangon-born owner Nelson Htoo breathes new life into his favourite recipes from his mother and grandmother’s kitchen. Club Rangoon is a stylish addition to Aberdeen street, with dark lighting, luxurious jade green booths and tiled walls adorned with photos of the owner’s family — the perfect setting for an introduction to the lesser-known Asian cuisine. Must-order plates include the mohinga, a rice noodle and fish soup infused with ginger and lemongrass that is widely considered to be Burma’s national dish, a Burmese-style biryani called a beef dan bauk, a laphet thoke, a fermented tea leaf salad, and the Shan Tofu Nway made using Burmese chickpea tofu. All of which is best enjoyed with the restaurant’s own home-brewed Club Rangoon Pale Ale.
33 Aberdeen Street, Central; clubrangoon.com.hk
Meaning ‘bastard’ in French, Bâtard is the lovechild of Bistro du Vin, from whom they’ve taken Chef Peter Teo, and The Fine Wine Experience. The moody French restaurant in Sai Ying Pun toes the line between low-fuss and high-spec perfectly. It’s dark walls are adorned with haphazard mirrors and impeccable calligraphy listing the names of vineyards around the world, tables are peppered with atmospheric candles and plants, while classic French fare compliments rather than distracts from a carefully curated wine list. Dishes are simple but well executed, with house-made duck rillette on toast and a charred wagyu bavette, fries and béarnaise sauce. But it’s the restaurant’s signature roast chicken stuffed with fresh herbs that steals the show.
Shop E, 165-166 Connaught Road West, Sai Ying Pun
The huge open plan kitchen is the beating heart of Andō where you’ll see a flurry of chefs, including Argentine chef-founder Agustin Balbi, formerly of Haku, and award-winning pastry chef Joanna Yuen, plating up impressive dishes. It’s a fusion of Japanese technique and the cuisine of Balbi’s Spanish ancestral roots, and promises to be an exceptional display of creative fine-dining. With a name that has multiple meanings – in Spanish it is the verb to describe an action, while in Japanese the word reflects a sense of solace and comfort – the space has been decorated with luscious padded grey carpets on the floor and impressive artwork (a large shell sculpture exists at the centre of the restaurant) that gives the feel of a decadent home.
1F, Somptueux Central, 52 Wellington St, Central; andohk.com
From the people behind Hong Kong staple Yung Kee comes this ode to classic Chinese culinary techniques with a distinctly contemporary twist. Yung’s Bistro is located in the new K11 Musea in a space that offers city skyline views from its floor-to-ceiling windows. It’s decorated with old, handmade tiles from the original 77-year-old restaurant, in brilliant shades of jade and gold, along with minimalist brass lamps and herringbone floors. On the menu is a roasted whole goose leg cooked in a charcoal stove that’s been a firm favourite over the years, and a homestyle braised pork with preserved vegetables in soy sauce that’s made with locally raised UK Berkshire pork sourced from Hong Kong Heritage Pork in Yuen Long. Ingredients are carefully sourced, and often nostalgic, with a White Rabbit dessert that comes shaped like the animal.
701, 7F K11 Musea, Victoria Dockside, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui; k11musea.com
Ex-Chom Chom head chef John Nguyen has named his new Wan Chai restaurant Xuân, after the 18th century female poet Hồ Xuân Hương, whose risqué and forward-thinking works established her as a national icon. In a contemporary space decorated with hard walnut tables and chairs, and walls made from handmade bricks in three tones, he celebrates the vibrant flavours of Northern Vietnam. The region is the birthplace of phở, which was crafted in the mid-1880s, and heavily influenced by both Chinese and French cooking. It is believed to be derived from the French soup pot au feu. It’s much simpler than the southern adaptations of the dish, as it’s made with less ingredients, and true to form at Xuân — picked garlic is used instead of fresh herbs. Meat is the focal point with a choice of beef prime ribs, three-yellow chicken or the signature with beef tongue, oxtail and prime rib, plus the option of elevating the phở with bone marrow, chicken heart, liver or crispy skin. Dishes from the north, where the country is cooler and therefore restricts the growth of spices, is milder than food served in other regions, but there’s still plenty of colour at Xuân with lemongrass, ginger, coriander, mint, lime and basil threaded throughout.
G/F, 18 Lun Fat Street, Wan Chai; facebook.com/Xuan
Crown Super Deluxe
Kitsch with purple carpets and gold velvet chairs, Crown Super Deluxe is another unapologetically themed endeavour from restaurant group Black Sheep. The teppanyaki restaurant hails back to the cuisine’s origins in post-World War II Japan, embracing the flamboyant style of cooking by which a chef prepares meat and seafood on an iron griddle, but ups the ante with Rocky Aoki-flair. Aoki was the Japanese-American amateur wrestler who founded the cult Japanese restaurant chain Benihana in the US. The menu is short and simple with three sets to choose from – Crown, Super and Deluxe – which centre around Wagyu beef grilled on the teppan. All beef is grain-fed and sourced from the US and Australia, while there is a premium selection of well-marbled cuts from small Japanese farmers. To start, find assorted market sashimi from Toyosu, and grilled seafood and seasonal vegetables, best enjoyed with a glass of whisky from a carefully curated list featuring spirits from both America and Japan.
Mezzanine, LKF Tower, 33 Wyndham St, Central; crownsuperdeluxe.com
The newly redeveloped Hollywood Centre is revving up to be a dining hub, and one of its first high profile openings is none other than Yakinikumafia, a sister restaurant to the highly successful Wagyumafia in Central. With a decor inspired by airport terminals (for those who miss travelling), it’s accented by a dramatic standing-only dining counter, flanked by comfy bench seats equipped with smartphone chargers. The menu is simple – top grade wagyu cuts including rib eye, sirloin, and strip loin, with different degrees of marbling. All come with no marinate so you can taste the beefy flavour, or compliment with the house-made yakiniku sauce (served with a Japanese raw egg), or spicy Wagyubasco hot sauce. A host of side dishes, such as pickled cucumbers, a salad with freshly ground goma (sesame dressing), and grated daikon (turnip) mixed with ponzu, complete the meal. Yakinikumafia proves there is nothing simple about comfort food. In fact, their dessert – the humble soft served ice cream in a crisp cone – is freshly made to order, and the lightly sweet Hokkaido milk taste rounds up a perfect experience.
Hollywood Centre, Shop 202, 2/F, 233 Hollywood Rd, Sheung Wan; yakinikumafia.hk
Beloved neighbourhood haunt 22 Ships is back after a brief hiatus. But instead of British celebrity chef Jason Atherton running the show, it’s helmed by native-Spaniard Antonio Oviedo. He continues to take tapas to new levels from the pocket-sized location on Wan Chai’s Ship Street but in a space that has been completely remodelled, with elevated interiors. Innovative flavour combinations and sharing-style small plates continue to excel — boletus croquetas filled with creamy mushrooms are seriously moreish, and Spanish-favourites sardines in ajoblanco soup and a chicken pepitoria, which is cooked in its own juices along with ground almonds and cooked egg yolks, are twists on classic dishes. There’s still a laid-back feel with a buzzy open kitchen counter in the centre, but it now has a pale pink marble top, while al fresco wooden communal tables provide a touch of the traditional taverna to the space.
22 Ship St, Wan Chai; 22ships.hk
Less than 10 months after opening in Hong Kong last year, Roganic was awarded a Michelin star for its innovative take on British cooking. Helmed by Chef Simon Rogan, who first found acclaim with his restaurant of the same name in London, its focus is on fresh, seasonal ingredients and high-quality produce, much of which is sourced from Rogan’s own farm in the Lake District. This summer, the restaurant has launched a new tasting menu that celebrates the flavours and colours of the season, using local vegetables from organic farms in the New Territories and herbs grown in the restaurant itself. Signature dishes include a small shallot, goats cheese and burnt leek ash tartlet, Hong Kong peas dressed in turnip oil, and a chicken liver parfait with cranberry jelly. It’s all elevated cooking, presented beautifully with edible flowers and leaves, in a plant-filled dining room with dividers made from logs that evoke a forest. Unlike many tasting menus in the city, prices here are affordable, starting at $680 per person for dinner, with a 3-course lunch for $280.
Sino Plaza, UG/F 08, 255 Gloucester Rd, Causeway Bay; roganic.com.hk
Chef Mingoo Kang, the culinary talent behind one of Seoul’s best restaurants — two-Michelin-starred Mingles — has brought to Hong Kong the creative, family-style dishes that celebrate the traditional flavours of Korea. Named Hansik Goo, which is a play on words that refers to both a family that shares meals together and Chef Mingoo, the restaurant reflects both these ideals. The new concept, which soft opened on 1 June, centres around inventive reinterpretations of Korean classics. Many of the dishes use Goo’s homemade jang, the fermented soy sauce trio that forms the backbone of the country’s cuisine, served on stylish Korean ceramic ware in a contemporary space filled with timber, glazed clay tiles, straw, limestone and plants. For those new to Korean flavours, the eight-course tasting menu is a good place to start, moving from bugak that’s inspired by ancient Korean temple cuisine, to traditional Korean meatballs, a samgye risotto, and barbecued meats — all made using ingredients imported directly from Korea, including the kimchi and ginseng, that can be paired with Korean wines.
2/F, 8 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, Hong Kong; hansikgoo.hk
Typically served on the roadsides of Mumbai and Kolkata, and out of stalls and food carts on the backstreets of New Delhi, chaat is the term for street-food snacks in India — literally translated it means ‘to lick.’ Named after this, restaurant Chaat opens at Rosewood, elevating and refining the culinary concept through Chef Manav Tuli, formerly of Tamarind, one of London’s first Michelin-starred restaurants. The colourful plates, fearless flavours and lively atmosphere of the bazaars remain. The combination of sweet, spice and savoury can be found in each of his dishes: tamarind vinaigrette livens up tandoori cauliflower, while delicate scallops are balanced out with the crunch of puffed rice and peanuts. The menu is short but impressive, featuring slow-cooked curries and biryani that are explosive in flavour, delicious black lentil dal and tossed okra with sesame seeds. The setting, with both a terrace and windows that claim views of Victoria Harbour, make this the ultimate destination restaurant. Mid-century modern furnishings upholstered in burgundy, bottle green and mustard are stylish, while tiled floors, jars of spices and original artwork of Indian street scenes are contemporary and bold.
5/F, Rosewood Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui; chaat.hk
The view from Harbourside Grill — at the end of Ocean Terminal, the recently converted cruise terminus in Harbour City with unobstructed views of Hong Kong and its outlying islands — makes an instant impact. The floor-to-ceiling windows and expansive terrace celebrate panoramic vistas, with simple furnishings – parquet flooring, marble tables and deep red booths – doing little to obstruct. Helmed by head chef Armand Sablon, who trained at three-Michelin-starred Auberge de l’lll in Alsace, France and graduated to work at a series of leading London hotels, the restaurant has plenty to love about the food as well. His menu champions fine ingredients and a specialist charcoal grill that cooks meat at an exceptionally high temperature — singeing the outside to form a crust, while trapping natural juices to enrich the flavour. It’s all done with French flair – a steak tartare is prepared beside the table, while grilled local sea bass comes in a deep but delicate lobster bisque on a bed of crushed potatoes. An impressive apple tarte tatin appears on a wooden board for dessert and is designed for sharing. Be sure to order one at the start of the meal as they take over an hour to cook.
Harbour City, Shop OTE401, Ocean Terminal, Tsim Sha Tsui; harboursidegrill.com.hk
When seasoned chefs Lucas De Berardinis and Alessandro Angelini joined forces this year, the Italian duo did more than simply fuse their names – LucAle – they created a laid-back neighbourhood trattoria, the likes of which Hong Kong had yet to find. In an alleyway off Third Street, this quietly-confident Italian skilfully toes the line between being smart (dark walls, a sleek open-plan kitchen, and a well curated wine list) and keeping food simple, while delicious. Celebrating carefully sourced ingredients, its homemade ravioli with ricotta lets sweet, fresh tomatoes take centre stage, while a chitarra-style spaghetti that’s made in house is dished up al dente with black truffle and pecorino cheese. The selection of cheeses is a good place to start, with creamy gorgonzola packing a punch, and burrata that oozes to perfection. For dessert, the Tiramisù Di LucAle comes with a burnt sugar crust that the chefs are right in claiming is like no other tiramisù you’ve tried before.
Shop A, 100 Third Street, Sai Ying Pun; lucalehk.com
From the people behind Sai Ying Pun’s former Indian restaurant BlackSalt (Taran Chadha) and wine bar Brut! (Camille Glass) comes this ode to the mustard-tinged coastal town of Pondicherry in southern India that was colonised by the French in the 17th century. At Pondi, classical French cooking is paired with vibrant Indian flavours in a white-washed space enhanced by lush botanicals, rattan chairs, hefty wooden tables and a summertime patio that provide a likeable sense of informality. The minimalist interiors let eclectic small plates do the talking — hung yoghurt croquettes with tamarind beets and pickled onions, prawn étouffée and a baked aubergine with flowering cauliflower, coriander sauce and capers. It’s all crafted from seasonal, high quality ingredients sourced from producers the seasoned restaurateurs know and trust. From 12pm-3pm daily, Pondi serves up a continental breakfast thali, complete with homemade pickles, chutneys and delicious spice-infused pastries.
14 Fuk Sau Lane, Sai Ying Pun; pondi.hk
Piin Wine Restaurant
Already recommended in the Michelin Guide for its expertly curated wine selection and elevated Cantonese cuisine, Piin Wine Restaurant has launched a new lunch service, perfect for business lunches or catching up with friends. Chef Ming’s bento box lunch includes an appetiser combination, seasonal double-boiled soup, plus a main dish of the diner’s choice. Mains include Sweet & Sour Pork with Red Ginger and steamed rice and luxurious Wagyu Beef Braised with flat rice noodles. The Chef’s signature deboned chicken wings are given a new twist with a fragrant scallion sauce, served with silky-smooth Inaniwa Udon. And vegetarians will love the satisfying Mapo Tofu with Wild Mushrooms.
2/F, The Steps, H Code, 45 Pottinger Street; 2832 7123; piin-hk.com
The Pizza Project
Comfort food is the name of the game at The Pizza Project. The main event here is, obviously, the pizza, from a simple Margherita with tomato sauce, DOP mozzarella and fresh basil, to creative options such as the Carbonara – topped with pancetta, quail eggs, tomato sauce and fior di latte – or the Rustica – with pancetta and baked potato, seasoned with rosemary. Aside from pizza, the new no-reservations 70s-styled pizzeria also offers up delectable antipasti, vegetarian and gluten-free options, along with wines by the glass and by the bottle. It’s sure to become a favourite nighttime hangout.
26 Peel Street, Central; 2311 1815; thepizzaproject.hk
Samsen Sheung Wan
Building on the popularity of the original Wan Chai location, Thai eatery Samsen has opened a bigger, bolder new location in Sheung Wan. The restaurant retains the relaxed street-food vibe of the original but offers diners significantly more space. Samsen’s menu of authentic Thai street food is updated with a signature northern Thai-style Khao Soi of beef or chicken with fresh egg noodles flown directly from Thailand. New starters and sides include charcoal-grilled coconut and chilli prawn skewers, and caramelised coconut and prawn betel leaf wraps. Fans of the original restaurant will be happy to see favourites like crabmeat omelette still on the menu. A highlight is the fresh-made roti, prepared on a grill imported specially from Thailand. Filled rotis also feature on the dessert menu, with young coconut and sesame, and banana and Nutella among the fillings available.
G/F, 23 Jervois Street, Sheung Wan, 2234 0080; facebook.com/SamsenHK/
Kura Teppanyaki & Bar
Kura is a new casual dining experience with teppanyaki, sashimi and a wealth of sake options. In an interior decorated according to a modern, sleek Japanese aesthetic, the restaurant serves dishes prepared using wonderfully fresh, high quality ingredients, incorporating both classic and contemporary techniques. The dishes include established classics – such as the seasonal sashimi platter – and inventive new favourites, like the slow-cooked octopus with mashed edamame. And to wash it all down, there are more than 100 varieties of sake imported directly from all over Japan.
2/F, Somptueux Central, Wellington Street, Central; 3791 2389
Miss Lee, which has just opened on Wellington Street, presents modern Chinese vegetarian cuisine, prepared using meticulous cooking techniques and everyday natural ingredients. The restaurant’s plant-based philosophy places fresh vegetables at the forefront of every meal, and is inspired by the flavours, aromas and textures of Chinese cooking. Beautiful presentation is key to Miss Lee’s charm: Smoky Quartz is a dish combining king oyster and shiitake mushrooms, with asparagus skewers housed in a small, wooden box with Applewood smoke wafting through the air; the Flower Bouquet is a delightful arrangement of pickled cucumber, beetroot, shiitake mushroom, julienned carrot and cabbage, all wrapped in a spring-roll sheet
G/F The Wellington, 198 Wellington Street, Central; 2881 1811; misslee.hk
Mono is a new venture by Chef Ricardo Chaneton, formerly the Head Chef of 3-Michelin-starred Restaurant Mirazur, which was named no.1 in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2019. This intimate 30-seater serves a contemporary take on French cuisine with a distinctive essentialist approach, driven by a celebration of the beauty found in simple ingredients. Mono eschews the traditional a la carte menu format, instead offering a single tasting menu (hence the name Mono) which ensures a highly curated dining experience. With a focus on sustainable and responsibly sourced produce, seasonal highlights include Ocean Crudo, a seafood appetiser of fresh Hokkaido scallops, Hokkaido sea urchin, Spanish Carabinero prawn and Brittany oysters, seasoned with Irish moss, while the signature Monkbread marries monkfish from Brittany with French sweetbread.
5/F, 18 On Lan Street, Central; mono.hk
Hongkongers escaping the city for a day and heading to The Peak can now indulge in a quite unique breakfast offering at Peak Galleria’s Rajasthan Rifles. The restaurant’s distinctive take on Anglo-Indian cuisine – inspired by colonial-era collision of cultures – makes for perfect hearty start to the day after a bracing walk up to the top of Hong Kong Island. A highlight are the Rifles’ Rolls – a tandoor-baked naan wrap stuffed with a choice of fillings – is a flavoursome alternative to the usual bacon sarnie. And they’re perfect when washed down with a hot cup of masala chai.
Shop G01, G/F, The Peak Galleria, 118 Peak Road, Central; 2388 8874; rajasthanrifles.com
Hospitality runs thought Aziza Chef Mohsen Gaber’s veins; his grandfather, father, uncles and cousins have between them worked in some of the Middle East’s top kitchens. Gaber started washing chef’s whites for his grandfather and worked his way up through the business to the point where he has served American presidents and British royalty. This pedigree shows in the warm welcome you’ll receive at Aziza’s new family-run restaurant in Sai Ying Pun. Small plates including falafel and halloumi are expertly prepared and perfectly textured, and specialities such as lamb shank and oxtail terrine are rich and sumptuous with judicious use of spices that reflect the myriad international influences that have played a part in creating Egyptian and Mediterranean cuisine.
G/F, Upton Tower, 345 Des Voeux Rd W, Sai Ying Pun; 2886 4889; aziza.com.hk
Ink Seafood Bar
Located on the ground floor of the newly reopened Hong Kong Museum of Art, Ink is a casual al fresco spot perfect for enjoying sunset over Victoria Harbour. The eatery boasts an impressive range of food and drinks, with the beverages including seasonal options from Gweilo Beer, and the brand’s freshly-launched Hong Kong gin blended with Asian-inspired botanicals. Ink’s menu is inspired by Australia’s multicultural dining scene and features highly customisable options with everything from takoyaki to moules available; diners can also create their own plate from an array of sustainably-sourced seafood. And the feast can be topped-off with a selection from the seasonal ice-cream counter. Ink is an ideal waterside hangout.
Hong Kong Museum of Art,10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui; 3500 5881; inkcafe.com.hk
Chef Mitsuhiro Araki is widely regarded as the world’s greatest sushi chef, having achieved three Michelin Stars at his Tokyo restaurant, before repeating the feat in London. Now, searching for his next challenge, Chef Araki has set up in Hong Kong with 12-seat Omakase in Tsim Sha Tsui landmark, House 1881. Not content to rely on tried and tested recipes, Araki spends each morning with Hong Kong’s local fishermen in a process of mutual learning that has led to the development of dishes blending classical Edomae sushi with local ingredients, such as dried abalone. The Omakase menu begins with a sumptuous bird’s nest soup before continuing with a skilled tuna carving performance. Araki’s experimentation is backed up by true craftsmanship and a deep understanding of ingredients that is a spectacle to behold.
1881 Heritage, 2A Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon; fwdhouse1881.com/the-araki.html
Designed by Hong Kong-based Joyce Wang Studios, Mott 32 occupies a decadent vault-like space located beneath the Standard Chartered Bank Building. Named after 32 Mott Street, where New York’s first Chinese convenience store opened in 1851 and is now the centre of Chinatown, Mott 32’s look blends industrial New York with classic Chinese elements. The striking interior soon gives way to the flavours of Chef Lee Man Sing’s Chinese cuisine that combines traditional culture with a modern use of ingredients. The menu is a mix of Cantonese, Szechuan and Beijing styles, ingredients and techniques, featuring delicacies such as the buttery-soft Barbecue Pluma Iberico Pork with Yellow Mountain Honey, Peking Duck roasted for 48 hours in a custom duck oven, and innovative dim sum creations.
Basement, 4-4A Des Voeux Road Central, Central; 28858688; mott32.com
Ahead of the relaunch of Hong Kong Museum of Art comes onsite restaurant Hue, where fine modern Australian fare is served to the backdrop of Victoria Harbour. Floor to ceiling windows spanning the length of the restaurant frame the panoramic view, while teal velvet banquettes, simple wooden tables and lampshades made from fishing nets decorate the space. If possible, the food excels the view, from the surprisingly light grilled octopus with saffron and fennel risoni to the not-so-light but beautifully presented buffalo ricotta dumplings with broccolini and hazelnut brown butter sauce, and the tender ‘7 bone’ wagyu steak with 8-score smoked bone marrow sauce and roast onions. A dessert of coconut ice cream with white chocolate ganache and passionfruit is just the right amount of indulgent.
1/F Hong Kong Museum of Art,10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui; huedining.com.hk
Madame Fù has to have claimed one of the prettiest spots in Hong Kong in which to serve its contemporary Chinese fare. Located throughout the third floor of heritage building Tai Kwun, with eclectic rooms connected via leafy verandahs, this is where you want to stretch lunch into sundowners, dinner into late-night digestifs. Inspired by Paris, The Grand Cafe Chinois features banquette sofas and marble tables for dining, while its period windows, teak flooring and timber ceiling reflect its colonial heritage that dates back to 1905. Come for lunch to experience an innovative assortment of dim sum, afternoon tea to detour to the picturesque Pink Room, and dinner for the melt-in-the-mouth Japanese A4 Wagyu beef with mushrooms and wild chilli.
3rd Floor, Barrack Block, Tai Kwun, No. 10 Hollywood Road, Central; 2114 2118; madamefu.com.hk
Chef Shane Osborn, best known for his modern European cuisine at the iconic Pied a Terre restaurant in London and for Hong Kong’s Arcane, has opened Cornerstone in Soho. The new venture has the feel of a European bistro, and is now serving a weekly lunch menu that is based around unfussy dishes made from quality produce. Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of the menu or by the clean modesty of the decor, the food is every bit as fine as that served at Osborn’s more high-profile restaurants.
49 Hollywood Road, Central
JIA Group team up with Chef Julien Royer (formerly of Singapore’s two-Michelin-starred Odette) to bring traditional French cuisine to the heritage surroundings of PMQ. Andre Fu and his AFSO Studio have enhanced the colonial building, restoring glasswork and installing pretty prints and pastel colours that compliment the greens of PMQ’s garden outside. Expect honest French fare on the menu, cooked with seasonal ingredients (plenty of truffle for the autumn). Favourites are served family style for sharing: roasted Hong Kong yellow chicken with Niigata rice ‘en cocotte’ and salad; French beef rib eye with ‘Paloise’ sauce, ‘pommes soufflées,’ and smoked bone marrow; and Brittany Dover sole “Meunière” with spinach and “fondant” potatoes. The extensive wine list is worth exploring.
PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central; 28660300, louise.hk
This casual new restaurant is the perfect spot for al-fresco food and cocktails. In fact, the whole venue is designed with relaxation in mind, the atmosphere is conducive to lingering for the whole afternoon, enjoying drinks with friends. It’s appropriate; the name ‘Ruam’ comes from the Thai word for gathering. As for the menu, you can expect to dine on authentic Thai classics such as Gaeng Phed Ped Yang – an aromatic red curry with succulent lychees and crisp-skinned duck.
1/F, J Senses, 60 Johnston Road, Ship St, Wan Chai; 3160 8535; ruam-thai.com
Chef Bjoern Alexander will take on the role of Chef de Cuisine at Octavium, joining group executive chef Roland Schuller to combine their skills, creativity and years of Michelin-starred experience to take the private Italian dining room to brand new heights. The collaborative ingenuity between the two German chefs is already clear across their latest creations: slow-cooked abalone is paired with comté cheese, abalone liver, zucchini frittata and fried polenta strips for a delightful tango of texture and taste. A new autumn dish further exemplifies this desire to push culinary boundaries, with a beetroot carpaccio, for which the beetroots are brined for up to three weeks to create a flavour and texture that resembles bresaola beef, before being paired with buffalo ricotta and N25 caviar.
8/F One Chinachem Central, 22 Des Voeux Rd Central; 2111 9395; octavium.com.hk
After a four-month refurbishment project, the much-loved SEVVA has reopened for guests to enjoy Hong Kong’s most fashionable dining experience. The whole project has been overseen by SEVVA’s visionary founder Bonnae Gokson, from the food to the decor, the artworks and the restaurant’s soundtrack. She has even nurtured the plants that grow on the restaurant’s green wall, a feature that remains from before the refurbishment – a hint of nostalgia is an important aspect of the SEVVA experience. This is also reflected by the menu, which is in equal parts based on beloved everyday Asian cooking, and inspired by international travel. Award-winning Australian Chef Chase Kojima has introduced exciting new dishes to the menu including Pan-fried Coral Garoupa with Goma Ponzu, and Wok-fried Boston Lobster with aka Miso, Nori Butter, Wakame & Kombu. But, of course, all-time favourites such as SEVVA Signature Vegetable Soups, Vegetable “Nub Nub”, Steamed Artichoke with Trio Dipping Sauces, City’s Best Dosas, Thali Platters, Taiwanese Beef Noodle Bowl, Shanghainese Wontons and Wagyu Beef Cheek & Ox Tongue Pot Pie, will continue to delight new and returning guests.
25/F, Landmark Prince’s, 10 Chater Rd, Central; 2537 1388; sevva.hk
Te Quiero Mucho
The flagship TQM Taqueria in Sheung Wan has made a name for itself with a distinctive mix of bold, flavourful, shareable tacos, burritos and tortas – not to mention signature cocktails and imported beers. Now, a second location has opened in Wong Chuk Hang. TQM Southside’s very drinkable margarita slushies are perfect for the balmy autumn evenings that Hong Kong is enjoying right now. The new location is a much larger space than the Sheung Wan original – complete with a pool table – making the restaurant an attractive option as an after-work hangout for those commuting to and from the neighbourhood.
3/F Ovolo Southside, 64 Wong Chuk Hang Road; 3460 8157, tqm.com.hk
Since opening in 2013, Chôm Chôm seems to have been perpetually busy, with diners spilling out onto the steps outside the restaurant, sipping on their curbside beers in true Hanoi-style. New Chef John Nguyen has gone to great lengths to promote what he refers to as Vietnam’s “Beer culture” in his reimagining of the menu at this much-loved hangout, making monthly trips to Vietnam to research new dishes and flavours. However, that is not to say that Nguyen’s menu is burdened by dogmatic adherence to tradition. The Vietnam-born chef has worked across America, most notably at New York’s Hanoi House, where in 2017 he was awarded ‘Chef of the Year’ by Eater. Bold American-influenced presentation and experimentation are evident in the Vietnamese Pizza, while dishes like the Roasted Bone Marrow make a perfect accompaniment to the selection of Vietnamese beers on offer. Nguyen reserves particular praise for Hong Kong’s fresh seafood, which he employs to delicious effect in dishes such as the Charred King Clam and Scallops with Pomelo.
58-60 Peel Street, 58-60 Peel Street, Hong Kong; 2810 0850; chomchom.com.hk
Appealing to Hong Kong’s exceptionally well-versed sushi clientele, Michelin-awarded omakase restaurant Sushi Zo has set up shop in a tucked-away enclave in Tai Kwun, where each day, two evening sittings of no more than 12 guests are served a bespoke 18-dish experience of the freshest seafood and ingredients flown in straight from Japan. With undivided attention, head chef Fumio Azumi prepares and presents one dish at a time, when flavour, temperature and texture are in a perfect “Sushi Zo state” of harmony, achieving such balance with a signature spare use of rice and softer texture befitting the seafood. This elaborate array of seasonal fare is orchestrated over the course of 24 hours: seafood orders are placed over phone by 1:00 am, purchases are made at the Japanese fish market by 3:00 am, ingredients arrive by plane in Hong Kong by 3:00 pm, and the first round of customers are served at 6:00 pm, followed by the second sitting at 8:30 pm. For a perfect ending to the exclusive meal, head over to the adjoining Gishiki Lounge for your choice of nightcap, ranging from Japanese cocktails to live siphon-brewed spirits.
Sushi Zo & Gishiki Lounge, Shop 01, LG 103, Tai Kwun, 10 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong; 2884 0114
Guo Fu Lou
Fook Lam Moon’s Michelin-one-starred Cantonese restaurant Guo Fu Lou has moved from its Wan Chai locale to its new upscale spot at The Murray, where you’ll find the same signature dishes and staff welcome its celebrity clientele in a modern tearoom-inspired boutique. The kitchen’s most prized dishes such as the Jasmine tea-smoked chicken and Barbecued Pork are an indulgent embrace of classic Hong Kong flavours — succulent, fragrant, and delicately balanced to rid of the typical post-meal heaviness — while its seafood offerings such as their steamed lobster with egg white dish are worth the splurge for first-time diners and regulars alike.
Guo Fu Lou, The Pavilion, The Murray, 22 Cotton Tree Drive, Central, Hong Kong; 3468 8188; niccolohotels.com
A legend in Hong Kong’s restaurant scene, the three-Michelin-starred Caprice represents the height of haute French cuisine in the city. Set within an opulent, chandelier and wine cabinet-lined space in the Four Seasons with unmarred views across the harbour, Caprice nevertheless presents a surprisingly modern take on French cooking courtesy of executive chef Guillaume Galliot, whose 18 years living abroad have furnished his style with many expertly executed Asian notes. Deftly paired with French wines both boutique and world-renowned, Galliot’s culinary philosophy comes to life through dishes like Hokkaido uni with mango and pan-seared scampi, Alaskan king crab laksa with quail egg, and Kagoshima wagyu with roasted watermelon and grapes – all of which feature on Caprice’s new summer menu. No meal here can end without Caprice’s famous artisanal cheese board, or the classic creations of Pastry Chef Vivien Sonzogni, such as White Chocolate Soufflé.
6/F, Four Seasons Hong Kong, 8 Finance St, Central, Hong Kong; 3196 8888; fourseasons.com
Few restaurants can attest to reaching their fifth anniversary in Hong Kong’s unforgiving F&B scene, and fewer yet can claim to be the namesake of an entire restaurant group, yet Pirata can admit to both. The hugely successful restaurant has become a staple for hearty Italian fare thanks to Chef Stefano Rossi’s deft hand in recreating the dishes of his nonna, yet that’s not to say that the Turin native doesn’t continue to innovate by continuously introducing new dishes. Latest to the menu are the likes of the Scallop Gratin, which is coated in breadcrumbs infused with Mediterranean herbs and baked in-shell, and deliciously decadent Bone Marrow, served with homemade green sauce and toasted bread. The pasta dishes are equally rich – we would recommend the Tagliolini with Sicilian Red Prawns and Zucchini, as well as the creamy Porcini Risotto, washed down with the house signature cocktail, teh Bunga Bunga.
29-30/F, 239 Hennessy Rd, Wan Chai, Hong Kong; 2887 0270, pirata.hk
New Punjab Club
Hong Kong’s Michelin-starred Punjab restaurant has launched a new menu that makes it a must-visit all over again. For the city’s long, hot summer, the seasonal menu includes fresh and vibrant dishes that make the most of the fish and game, fruits and berries that are abundant in the Punjab region at this time of year. Cooking is in the traditional tandoor style, with the tandoor-roasted Australian venison in fennel seeds and chartreuse liqueur being a highlight. The Kadai Machli (grouper, tomatoes and peppercorns) and Baingan Bhartha (Tandoor-roasted aubergine with ginger) are lighter offerings. The Mooli salad of radishes, turnips and mango pickle, and the slow-cooked okra with fresh turmeric and cumin are flavoursome summer accompaniments, along with the restaurant’s signature cooling pickles and dips. As ever, New Punjab Club’s gin and tonic trolley is not to be missed, concocting a variation of infusions for the classic cocktail.
34 Wyndham St. Central; 2368 1223, newpunjabclub.com
Highly renowned for transforming Thai cuisine into something that people would pay top dollar for, Chef David Thompson added another feather in Hong Kong’s culinary crown with the opening of Aaharn in Tai Kwun back in October of 2018. Since then, it has quietly gone about the business of Thai gastronomy, but with the recent addition of Thompson’s protegé, Dtoy Pariyasakul, as head chef, the restaurant is set to shake things up. Pariyasakul’s palate fully captures the aromatic essence of Thai cooking, with expert flavour combinations marrying sweet, spicy, sour and salty. Prime examples of this include the spicy lemograss salad with prawns, deep-fried perch fillet with tamarind and chilli, and the Mussaman curry combining jackfruit, potato and shallots for a wonderfully redolent flavour punch that will have you reaching for a refill of jasmine rice time and again. Opt for the tasting menu (HK$788) for a full spread of specialties, available with wine pairings.
1/F, Armoury Building, Tai Kwun, 10 Hollywood Rd, Central; 2703 9111, aaharn.hk
The concept of family informs much of Hong Kong culture, from which longtime friends-turned-professional partners Arron Rhodes and Chris Grare have taken inspiration for their newly-opened joint venture, Kinship. Rhodes, previously head chef of Gough’s on Gough, and Grare, who helmed the kitchen at Lily & Bloom, aim to serve a menu of soulful and rustic home-style dishes with New World influences as part of their farm-to-table philosophy. Key to this approach are the family-run local farms and suppliers who provide Kinship’s ingredients, including roasted homegrown carrots from the New Territories, to salmon sourced from the Faroe Islands. Make sure to order the melt-in-your-mouth BBQ Pork Belly and the Giant Duck Ravioli, or better yet, ask for the HK$488 Family Meal to try a bit of everything.
3/F, LL Tower, 2 Shelley St, Central; 2520 0899, kinshiphk.com
Former DJ-turned-chef Vanne Kuwahara has taken his expertise from running Tokyo celebrity favourite Yoroniku Ebisu to open a yakiniku restaurant specialising in wagyu beef. The restaurant will be the first in Hong Kong to feature beef from Hiyama, a prestigious, 100-year-old beef supplier renowned for their premium Kuroge wagyu beef. Guests choose from a tasting menu and two dinner sets, of which the highlights include Wagyu Sushi with Sea Urchin, Beef Tongue in Green Onion Sauce, and Hiyama A5 Wagyu ‘Shabu Shabu’ with black truffle. Guests can also choose to grill the raw beef slices themselves, or request the servers to grill it tableside. An extensive menu of Japanese sake, some of which are exclusive to this restaurant, is also available for pairing.
1/F, 535 Jaffe Rd, Causeway Bay; 2885 0533, gosango.com.hk
Having trained under the likes of Rene Redzepi and Tom Aitkens, British chef James Sharman is setting up shop in British family members club Maggie & Rose, transforming it at night into The Leah. Inspired by his time working in London and sharing a house with eight other young chefs, Sharman wanted to create a menu that reflected the meals he and his housemates would cook together on their day off, hence the focus on British comfort food. As a result, he has reinvented classics such as Beef Wellington, Scotch Egg with Soldiers, and Chicken, Leek and Bacon Pie. An extensive cocktail menu is also available to take advantage of the large outdoor patio decorated to resemble an English garden – expect reimagined British favourites with names like Wimbledon Cup and Camden Spritz, alongside a selection of ales and iced teas.
Maggie & Rose, Shop 308 & 311, Lee Garden Two, 28 Yun Ping Rd, Causeway Bay; 2337 7651; theleah.co
After last year’s closure of his Seasons by Olivier E. restaurant, chef Olivier Elzer has found a new home in L’Envol (“flight” in French), the new French haute cuisine restaurant in St. Regis Hong Kong. It’s immediately clear that the Pierre and L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon alum poured his soul into the space, working closely with hotel designer André Fu to etch out his vision of an interior extends from the pastel marble walls all the way down to the tablecloths that were custom-made in France. Elzer’s trademark fusion of East and West is evident here, with each dish exhibiting a combination of French technique and premium Asian ingredients such as Shadi caviar from China, tuna seasoned with five spices, and A3 Kagoshima wagyu beef. These dishes are expertly paired with wines curated by sommelier Tristan Pommier, while cheese aficionados will also appreciate the cheese selection served tableside on a trolley at the end of each meal, along with a condiment of fresh honey harvested from a honeycomb. As its name suggests, L’Envol is bound to take bring French cooking in Hong Kong to new heights.
3/F, St. Regis Hong Kong, 1 Harbour Rd, Wan Chai; marriott.com
Taqueria Super Macho
Food connoisseurs will undoubtedly be familiar with this space on Bridges Street, which formerly housed the rowdy Yardbird but now is the new home of the equally rowdy, yet tonally opposite Taqueria Super Macho, which proves to be a welcome addition to Hong Kong’s oftentimes lacklustre Mexican restaurant scene. Now, the space is bathed in a neon glow and hung with sombreros, channeling the beach town vibes of the coastal Baja and Jalisco states, with Mexican ballads crooned over the stereo. The seafood-focused menu is concise and split into four sections. Start with small dishes such as the charcoal-grilled Mexican street corn and the Japanese surf clam ceviche before moving onto the tacos, which come undressed in corn tortillas and are accompanied by close to a dozen sauces and toppings for diners to use as they like. The cocktails tend to be quite strong, which may not be to everyone’s taste, although the margaritas (available straight, on the rocks or frozen) are a surefire winner. Meanwhile, the service is gregarious and the atmosphere transportive, guaranteeing a fun night to be had.
33-35 Bridges St, Sheung Wan; 2333 0111, taqueriasupermacho.com
Moon Lok Chinese Restaurant
Evoking the atmosphere of a Chinese garden brought into the future, Moon Lok Chinese Restaurant is one of the first restaurants to open in the monumental Xiqu Centre opera house in the West Kowloon Cultural District. The interiors were designed by local interiors studio NCDA, who created a lofty, arched space dominated by voluptuous curves that was deliberately designed “without direct viewpoint, encouraging a sense of curiosity and discovery through meandering paths,” according to the designers. Hand-painted floral artworks inhabit the spaces between each arch, while verdant green rattan-backed banquettes complete the illusion of dining outdoors. On the menu, Cantonese roast meats and dim sum take the spotlight thanks to Executive Chef Hui Mei Tak’s 30 years of experience in the kitchen. Signature dishes include the Peking Duck (which is aged for 36 hours in a custom oven), Honey-glazed Barbecued Pork, Baked Crab Meat Stuffed in Crab Shell and Double-boiled Pig’s Lung and Almond Soup.
Shop 2-4, 1/F, Xiqu Centre, 88 Austin Rd West, Tsim Sha Tsui; 3622 1449
The latest venture of the Bulldozer Group is this airy, vibrant Greek restaurant in H Queen’s that somewhat alleviates Hong Kong’s conspicuous lack of buzz-worthy Greek dining options. Able to seat 120 diners, the interiors were designed by the award-winning Sundukovy Sisters and feature marine mosaics and an eye-catching central oven clad in gold tiles that adds to the restaurant’s transportive atmosphere. Chef consultant Alexis Zopas designed the seafood-centric menu with plenty of Mykonian and Cycladic influences, which is expertly executed by Executive Chef Marios Tsouris. Make sure to order the oven-fresh Peinerli baked seafood pie which can be made in Spanaki (spinach and feta cheese) and Thalassina (mixed seafood and tomato) variatinos; or the Lavraki whole sea bass, which is served with lemon, capers, olive oil and parsley. Diners can also browse the raw seafood bar and pick from a selection of oysters, Greek ceviche, and sea bream sashimi. Meanwhile, Nobu-trained pastry chef Marino Kosmas is responsible for an unmissable dessert menu that includes the traditional Ekmek dessert with Kataifi Fillo, Karidopita walnut pudding, and homemade ice creams and sorbets.
2/F, H Queen’s, 80 Queen’s Rd Central, Central; 2677 7737, keia.com.hk
A longtime heavyweight amongst Hong Kong’s steakhouses, Porterhouse has recently renewed its à-la-carte menu by doubling down on its beef-centric forte, as well as expanding its seafood offerings and introducing new, meat-free items to keep up with the times. But first, the dry-aged steaks, which boast one of the most varied offerings in the city, with premium cuts cherry-picked from as far afield as Spain, Ireland, Italy, and Hungary in on- and off-the-bone versions. We were partial to the Italian-Scottish Marango cross-breed porterhouse steak which delivered extreme tenderness packed with omega-3. Big groups should not forgo the Grand Ocean Platter, a sumptuous arrangement of Canadian lobster, oysters, Amour caviar, Alaskan king crab and other fruits of the sea; or the Impossible™ Wellington, which weighs in at a whole, guilt-free kilogram.
7/F, California Tower, 30-36 D’Aguilar St, Lan Kwai Fong, Central; porterhousehk.com
From the team behind award-winning Middle Eastern restaurant Francis comes neighbouring Wan Chai grill and smokehouse Mr Brown. The moodily-lit space on Ship Street buzzes with chefs at the open kitchen-bar and a jolly crowd of diners. Continuing in Francis’ fashion, the menu is encouraged to be shared, with small and large plates that can be ordered as ‘Mr Brown goes to town’ – a chef’s selection served throughout the evening. Highlights on the menu include the Iberico pork muffin with cabbage and aioli, the smoky grilled eggplant with miso tahini, and the 12-hour smoked brisket, best tried with the Kohlrabi with hazelnut, pecorino, chilli. Head Chef Asher Goldstein credits his cuisine with influences from his home town of Tel Aviv along with his experience of wood fire cooking in Australia – a pleasing combination.
G/F, 9 Ship Street, Wan Chai; mrbrownhk.com
The Legacy House
Rosewood Hong Kong’s new Chinese restaurant is just one of the many ways in which Sonia Cheng, CEO of the Rosewood Hotel Group, pays tribute to her family’s ties to this corner of Hong Kong, in particular to patriarch Dr. Cheng Yu-Tung, who built New World Centre on the same plot of land in the ’70s. Accordingly, the restaurant focuses on the cuisine of the Shunde region of Guangdong province – known as the cradle of Cantonese cooking – giving rise to signature dishes by chef Li Chi-Wai such as minced fish soup and Daliang-style wok-fried milk, crabmeat, egg white and bird’s nest. Premium Chinese teas and tea-based cocktails are on offer to bring out the best of the fish-centric dishes. Apart from the main dining space, seven expansive VIP dining rooms with unbeatable harbour views function almost like private kitchens, each named after milestones in Dr. Cheng’s life.
5/F, Rosewood Hong Kong, Victoria Dockside, 18 Salisbury Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui; 3891 8732, rosewoodhotels.com
EditorVogue Hong Kong
CreditLead image: Arthur Elgort/Conde Nast via Getty Images