Food and drink

Hong Kong’s Hottest Restaurants & Bars of 2018

Quiet and cozy or bright and dazzling? These buzzed-about bars and restaurants in Hong Kong have you covered

See below for the hottest restaurants of 2018 and click here to read about 2019’s most notable openings.

December 2018

The Chinese Library

Hype meter: 9/10

The lure in brief: Chinese cuisine that spans the regions and splendid balconies overlooking the colonial-era complex of Tai Kwun. But the space needs special mention: housed beside sister restaurant Statement (modern British cuisine) and The Dispensary (cocktails, cocktails, cocktails), this 7,500-square-foot space is a rustically refined destination for any occasion.


Hype meter: 8/10

Hong Kong isn’t short of rooftop bars, but here’s the latest, sexiest one to add to the list: this chilled-out terrace atop H Queen’s has the views, the loungy outdoor atmosphere and also the bites and drinks. the highlights: the Piqniq Baskets of dim sum, the charcuterie selection and the menu of signature tea-based cocktails such as the Matcha Harmony.


Hype meter: 8/10

Pioneer in Peruvian cuisine and owner of Central in Lima (sixth on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list), Virgilio Martinez is the latest big name to set up in Hong Kong. Ichu’s menu showcases the flavours and traditions of Peru: casual, innovative and still hot right now.

November 2018

Ebisoba Ichigen

no credit

Hype meter: 9/10

For years, foodies headed to this ramen shop in Hokkaido’s Sapporo for its signature prawn broth. Following its first Hong Kong outpost in Wan Chai, Ebisoba Ichigen now has a new branch in Tsim Sha Tsui’s Harbour City mall. Gaze at Victoria Harbour while you enjoy ebi mazesoba, a dish of noodles, barbecue pork and extra-rich shrimp sauce.

Room 309

Hype meter: 9/10

Room 309 at The Pottinger hotel in Central is no ordinary guest room; it’s a bar experience devised by famed mixologist Antonio Lai. All guests must request a key card at a special reception area to gain entry to the retro bar. Ask for the ‘invisible’ menu, a transparent panel listing the currently trendy drinks made of only clear liquids.


Hype meter: 8/10

A drop in temperature means it’s the season for sizzling grilled dishes. This Wan Chai restaurant serves ribeye that’s been dry-aged for 60 days and cooked on a Josper grill (a top-grade Spanish barbecue). Beer pong adds to the jovial dining experience in a setting decorated with exposed brick walls, upcycled wood, marble tiles and copper fittings.

October 2018

Madame Fu Grand Café

Hong Kong restaurant, hong kong food
Gary M Wetzel

Hype meter: 9/10

This Cantonese restaurant, bar and lounge in Central’s newly opened Tai Kwun complex offers dim sum and afternoon tea with Chinese touches. It’s set in a colonial building stunningly done up with pink and grey velvet seats and dramatic gold-tone lamps. Come for the food, stay for the ambience – it’s a delightful place to while away an afternoon.

Yakiniku Jumbo

Hong Kong restaurant, hong kong food

Hype meter: 8/10

For the past 30 years, this Tokyo-based restaurant specialising in grilled meats has topped foodies’ lists. A branch has just opened in Central, offering top-quality wagyu beef from across Japan, including unusual cuts such as rump and belly. Just as important is the yakiniku sauce, made using a secret recipe.

Frank’s Library

Hong Kong restaurant, hong kong food
Krzysztof Gora

Hype meter: 7/10

You might know about Foxglove, the speakeasy on Central’s Duddell Street. But  inside, there’s a new surprise hidden behind a curtain: an alcove library with a travel theme and a special cocktail menu listing drinks inspired by different cultures. Try the Iryujon, a mix of sake, St Germaine, ginger syrup and yuzu juice, garnished with an edible flower.

September 2018


Sushiyoshi hong kong

Hype meter: 10/10

Known for exquisite contemporary Japanese dishes, the two-Michelin-starred restaurant in Osaka has opened its first overseas branch, in Tsim Sha Tsui. Its omakase (chef’s choice) menus include the likes of waffle with scallop tartare and caviar d’Aquitaine uni rice. It seats 12 only, and guests get to sit around a 200-year-old sushi counter made of fragrant Japanese cypress.


Popinjays hong kong

Hype meter: 9/10

This rooftop restaurant and bar at The Murray hotel takes its name from the parrots that dwell in nearby parks. Surrounded by the stunning vistas of Central and Victoria Harbour, the 25th-floor venue serves traditional French cuisine. Works from American artist KAWS adorn the walls of this hyper-chic addition to the city’s rooftop dining and bar scene.

Theo Mistral

Theo Mistral by Theo Randall

Hype meter: 9/10

Theo Randall joins the ranks of British celebrity chefs who have opened restaurants in the city in recent years, serving up his Italian cuisine at the InterContinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong. The highlights are the house-made pastas, such as taglierini with sea bass, salmon, squid, mussels, clams and tomato.

August 2018

Old Bailey

Old Bailey restaurant Hong Kong

Hype meter: 9/10

Housed in Central district’s newly opened heritage and arts complex Tai Kwun, Old Bailey features traditional Jiangnan cuisine, using marinated and fermented ingredients. Dishes like longjing tea-smoked pigeon and 10 treasure duck pair well with its teas – as do the beautiful courtyard views.


Ecriture restaurant Hong Kong

Hype meter: 8/10

Indulge in a high-end, French take on Japanese ingredients at the new H Queen’s tower in Central. Its seasonal menu satisfies all palates, but the real delights are in its tasting menu called Library of Flavours, which keeps every course a surprise, only offering clues like ‘scallop’ and ‘strawberry’. Meanwhile, the artful interior design reflects the building’s focus as a home for galleries.

Madame Ching

Madame Ching restaurant Hong Kong

Hype Meter: 7/10

Named after a famous piratess, this roast house on Star Street in Wan Chai serves Cantonese dishes with a contemporary twist. Roasted meats aside, creative small plates include Cantonese Cuban sandwiches, and seared riceballs with pork floss and five spice. Fusion style is also found in its decor, a mix of retro Chinese-style furniture and industrial-chic fixtures.

July 2018


Chifa Hong Kong

Hype meter: 9/10

For over a century, Peru has had its own style of Chinese food: Chifa. Now Hong Kong diners can taste the cuisine created by Guangdong immigrants in Lima at this Central restaurant. Its signature is a variety of dumplings, which are served alongside Peruvian dipping sauces. For something heartier, try the fried rice with roast chicken, pinto beans and crispy wonton skin.

Shanghai Garden


Hype meter: 8/10

This contemporary Shanghainese restaurant has relaunched in Central’s Exchange Square. Classics get a fancy presentation here, with braised tofu sheets served on dry ice and cucumber soup arriving pretty as a picture. Another highlight: cocktails with Chinese yellow wine aged for eight years.

Nara Thai Cuisine


Hype meter: 7/10

One of Thailand’s top restaurants, Nara has opened its first Hong Kong branch in Sha Tin. Be sure to try the Ayuthaya boat noodles, which use a rich stock made with blood pudding, short ribs and coconut juice, as well as the rainbow soup rice noodles with fish fillet, which get topped with deep-fried fish skins, Thai fish balls and fillets.

June 2018

Sushi Saito


Hype meter: 10/10

This three-Michelin-starred restaurant in Tokyo has finally opened at Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, offering sushi in the century-old Edomae style. Chef Takashi Saito hand-picks the ingredients every morning at Tokyo’s Tsukiji market and has them flown to Hong Kong on the same day – all to be enjoyed at a sushi counter crafted with wood from 400-year-old Japanese cypresses. 



Hype meter: 9/10

Arbor honours nature and seasonality at the gleaming new H Queen’s tower in Central. The menu incorporates Japanese ingredients into its French dishes, with an earthy touch. The chic pink space houses the owner’s wine collection, which can only be accessed with fingerprints of both the restaurant manager and sommelier.


Space X- Hong Kong best restaurant and bars

Hype meter: 8/10

Located in Central, this shisha joint with a terrace features a retro space-age theme, offering shisha pipes with LED illuminations for a psychedelic space odyssey. Drinks have fun presentations, with one of the signature cocktails served in a Yakult bottle.

May 2018


Menya-Itto hong kong

Hype meter: 10/10

For ramen fans in Hong Kong, the wait is over. Menya-Itto, Tokyo’s most well-regarded noodle house of the past few years, has opened a branch in Harbour City mall. Amid sleekly zen interiors, diners feast on its tsukemen dipped in creamy seafood broth while surveying the harbour out the window.

Dear Lilly

Dear Lily Hong Kong

Hype meter: 9/10

Detail-loving designer Ashley Sutton stays true to form, making a big impact with lots of small frills. Drawing inspiration from flower stalls in Paris, Sutton has filled this space in IFC mall with florals and quotations taken from love letters written by soldiers at war. The sweet vibe extends to drinks like Green Fairy, a rum-based cocktail mixed with green chartreuse, fruit juices and coconut water.


Francis Hong Kong

Hype meter: 8/10

Located on St Francis Street in Wan Chai, this bistro offers fine fusion cuisine that blends flavours of southern Europe, northern Africa, Greece and Italy – think hummus with mutton neck and grilled octopus. Be sure to ask for the ‘black book’, a premium wine list featuring gems sourced from private cellars and wineries.

April 2018

Please Don’t Tell

Please Don't Tell Hong Kong

Hype meter: 9/10

Head to the space above MO Bar at The Landmark, Mandarin Oriental in Central, and you’ll find a phone booth. This is where you have to enter a code (it’s written on a sign) to get into this 25-seater speakeasy, the first outpost of New York’s PDT. Try the signature Big Fan shandy cocktail, which features a slice of grapefruit that fans over the top, in a nod to Mandarin Oriental’s logo.


Fumi Hong Kong

Hype meter: 8/10

The omakase (chef’s choice) craze continues with the arrival of Fumi in Central’s California Tower. Modern dishes are prepared using produce flown in daily from Japan, with hand-crafted tableware and a Zen garden on the terrace adding to the authentic feeling. The restaurant also takes pride in its sake and offers tasting classes.


Komune Hong Kong

Hype meter: 7/10

Housed in Ovolo Southside – an arty hotel converted from a warehouse in Wong Chuk Hang – this rooftop bar’s top draw is its laid-back terrace. Try the cocktail When It Rains Look For Rainbows, a mix of pomelo-infused gin, tequila and champagne syrup, along with the menu’s selection of South American dishes.

March 2018


John Razalo

Hype meter: 9/10

Yes, there are two nine-hole mini-golf courses, but the food is a lot more than an afterthought at this theme restaurant in Causeway Bay. Set in an 8,000-square-foot space decked out in the pastel hues reminiscent of ’70s California, Strokes serves American fare like ahi tuna tartare and fried chicken tacos, along with fancy cocktails.

Big Sur


Hype meter: 8/10

Craft beer takes centre stage at another California-themed restaurant, which includes 14 local brands among its beer selection. Named after a wind-swept, coastal area in the state, the restaurant exudes retro nostalgia. The food menu goes heavy on barbecue dishes, which range from a straightforward sirloin to Baja tacos with prawns and sausages.



Hype meter: 8/10

Riding on the current popularity of green tea desserts, Kyoto’s green tea specialist Uji-en has opened a branch at Tsim Sha Tsui’s Harbour City mall. The restaurant with century-old heritage offers parfaits, cakes and mochi, as well as premium green teas.

February 2018

La Rambla by Catalunya

La Rambla Hong Kong
Edmon Leong

Hype meter: 9/10

The acclaimed Spanish restaurant Catalunya has closed its doors and reopened in Central’s IFC mall as La Rambla. With a sweeping harbour view, as well as fresh ingredients like daily air-freighted seafood and meat, it is set to be this year’s most talked-about restaurant. Menu highlights include foie gras and eel terrine, and the truffle, jamon and cheese bikini sandwiches Catalunya was famous for.

San Xi Lou

San Xi Lou Hong Kong

Hype meter: 8/10

Sichuanese favourite San Xi Lou, located in an out-of-the-way building in Central for 10 years, has expanded to Times Square in Causeway Bay. Alongside Sichuan spicy hotpot and Cantonese dim sum, the second branch also offers new dishes like baked crabmeat with five peppers, and braised prawns with Chinese cabbage.

J’s Bar Bistro

J Bar Hong Kong

Hype meter: 8/10

J’s Bar Bistro in The Royal Garden Hotel is the newest hotspot in Tsim Sha Tsui East to show up on our radar. In a dark-wood setting filled with art and books, award-winning mixologists create cocktails like the signature Colonel’s Last Laugh, which combines aged rum, vermouth and scotch. You might be drawn to the cheese and cold-cut bar, but save space for the snack menu’s mini wagyu burgers.

January 2018


Yojimbo bar Hong Kong

Hype meter: 9/10

Named after a samurai movie by auteur Akira Kurosawa, this new bar and club brings a piece of Ginza nightlife to Central. There’s a striking LED installation based on Japan’s rising sun, performances inspired by geishas and samurais, and a host of Japanese cocktails – all making this the funkiest new dance floor in town.


Hexa bar Hong Kong

Hype meter: 8/10

Panoramic harbour views from Tsim Sha Tsui, an outdoor lawn, 1960s-inspired decor, innovative Cantonese cuisine and a DJ booth that takes day into night: this latest addition to Harbour City mall’s restaurant overhaul ticks all the boxes of a right-on-trend culinary destination.


Meats restaurant Hong Kong

Hype meter: 7/10

Carnivores, take note: there’s a new ‘meat bar’ in town. There are plenty of traditional dishes here, but this Soho eatery has its experimental side. Cases in point: the coffee-rubbed lamb chop served with barbecue sauce and the smoked brisket pastrami. Want to try everything? Get the sharing menu for a proper protein overload.

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