Note: Keep an eye on the latest COVID-19 regulations and confirm any details before you head out
Without a Singapore travel bubble, our cravings for laksa have reached critical levels. Thankfully, new modern Singaporean restaurant Jom opens this month to fulfil all our hawker centre needs. Located in Wan Chai, the 30-seat restaurant serves up classic Singaporean favourites such as nasi lemak and Hainanese chicken rice – alongside plentiful homemade sambal chilli paste. With a menu divided into small plates and sharing-style mains, this casual diner is the perfect place for night out with friends.
7 Tai Wong Street East, Wan Chai, 6426 3084
Steak-lovers will also want to head to Wan Chai this month to check out the new French-Japanese Bifteck steakhouse in QRE Plaza. Forget wet-aged or dry-aged beef: headlining the menu here is the restaurant’s Japanese A5 ‘Snow-Aged’ Wagyu Beef, prepared using an ancient Japanese method of natural aging at low temperatures and high humidity for an exceptionally rich, tender beef. Pair your prime cuts with French wine or Japanese sake.
23/F, QRE Plaza, 202 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai, 2246 8805
Aqua and Hutong
Two of the city’s favourite restaurants have moved into their new home atop the stylish H Zentre in Tsim Sha Tsui. Hutong’s atmospheric old Beijing vibes have been taken a step further, with hand-embroidered Chinese lanterns, an apothecary bar extending onto a terrace, and opium bed sofas overlooking stunning harbour views. New dim sum options have been added to the menu alongside its spicy northern Chinese cuisine. Meanwhile, Aqua’s new look begins with a mirrored catwalk entrance and continues through to a glamorous dining room and stunning panoramic terrace – the perfect spot to enjoy cocktails or fine French-Japanese cuisine in the cooler weather. As for the restaurants’ former spaces at One Peking, watch this space: the Aqua restaurant group plans to reveal two new concepts soon.
17 and 18/F, H Zentre, 15 Middle Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, 3428 8342
Named after the bustling district in Madrid that’s packed with tapas bars, restaurants and clubs, Chueca brings modern Spanish vibes to Gough Street. Dressed in Mediterranean blues and creams, the restaurant’s interior speaks of hip lunches followed by lazy siestas. Chef Jordi Valles, formerly of The Optimist, has packed the menu with classic tapas such as croquetas de jamon, alongside regional dishes such as Catalonian festive favourite canelón – a Spanish-style cannelloni filled topped with porcini bechamel and shaved truffle. An intriguing list of Spanish-only wines and inventive cocktails completes the experience.
8-10 Gough Street, Central, 2703 0810
The whimsical Piqniq bar atop H Queens building has been replaced by chic new wine destination Plume from the Le Comptoir group. Explore 500 labels in the European-focused wine list that features a heady mix of Old World wines, including an impressive selection from Burgundy and Bordeaux, rounded out by boutique vintners, lesser-known producers and a selection of champagnes, white wine and rosés. Pair the experience with contemporary French bar bites courtesy of sister restaurant Écriture downstairs, all while you soak in stunning views over the city skyline and Victoria Harbour.
Rooftop, H Queen’s, 80 Queen’s Road Central, 5200 1683
Ask For Alonzo Soho
In the last three years, the Ask for Alonzo restaurants have carved out a niche of opening quiet neighbourhood joints across the island, serving up classic Italian fare at wallet-friendly prices. Their fourth outpost has arrived in a cozy little space in Bridges Street, sitting at the quiet end of Soho and making for an ideal relaxed dinner spot. Make time and stomach space for Alonzo’s Carbonara, which features satisfyingly crispy thick-cut guanciale topping an unctuous spaghetti.
G/F, Grandview Garden, 18 Bridges Street, Soho, 8489 7847
Perched at the top of Soho’s Peel Street, hospitality group Common Abode’s newcomer Candour appeals to daytime brunchers and nighttime revellers alike. It’s a restaurant and bar that combines the energy of Bronx hip-hop culture with sleek 70s Downtown Manhattan vibes. That inspiration can be seen throughout the bar-lounge, down to a cocktail list that reads as a tracklist, including mint chartreuse margarita The Chronic (an ode to Dr. Dre’s debut 1992 album) and a Moët champagne cocktail with Fernet Hunter and citrus sugar called Bad and Boujee – a more modern reference to Migos. The menu is Asian bites with a twist – such as the mapo tofu tater tots, or the pineapple bun chicken burger, also available with a plant-based option.
G/F, 65-65A Peel Street, Soho, 2362 8100
Percy’s on Shelley Street is helmed by Chef Braden Reardon, former executive chef of Carbone and Buenos Aires Polo Club. Here Reardon has created an innovative seasonal menu that champions local fishers and farmers through a minimal-waste approach to cooking. Guests can enjoy oysters at the raw bar alongside modern dishes such as the lobster bao (quickly becoming the restaurant’s signature dish) and scallop egg waffle. The menu is complemented by a refined drinks list featuring punchy cocktails and a considered selection of whiskey and sake.
18-18A Shelley Street, Mid-levels, 2898 2699
Pirata Group’s newest venture, The Sixteenth, houses not one but four restaurants within its walls. Located within Taikoo Place, this new dining experience spans a whopping 18,000 square feet and can seat up to 400 people. Trattoria La Favorita serves up nostalgic Italian classics such as gnocchetti sardi – Italian sausage ragu with saffron dough pasta – alongside a wine list that goes big on Italian classics. Honjokko, an extension of Sheung Wan’s Honjo, offers up modern Japanese dining with an extensive menu of sushi, sashimi, and sake. Be transported to a Mediterranean summer at al fresco bar Tempo Tempo, and order up Japanese hand rolls and a funky playlist at TMK Funk & Rolls.
2/F, Oxford House, Taikoo Place, 979 King’s Road, Quarry Bay
A Sicilian meal is about more than just food: it’s about the coming together of people and families to spend time together. That’s the focus of Hollywood Road newcomer Sicilian. The kitchen is led by Sicilian chef Marco Furlan, who puts his own unique spin on Italian classics. Must-try dishes include the baccalà tartare starter, fresh codfish served with olives, cucumber, and bell peppers; and Sicilian favourite spinosini al granchio: fresh, light pasta with crab meat, cherry tomatoes and pine nuts. Finish off with that truly Sicilian classic: cannolo filled with ricotta.
G/F, Shama Place, 30 Hollywood Road, Central, 26823178
Inspired by the mythical Saharan city of Zerzura, speakeasy Zzura offers something a little different from the usual sleek bars of Hollywood Road. As you step through the hidden-away entrance, you’re transported to a refined Middle Eastern enclave of sandy oranges and deep greens, where the cocktails are all inspired by Arabian flavours. Try the saffron milk punch, made of rum, saffron, pineapple, cardamom, cinnamon, masala tea – and said to improve both mood and libido.
2/F, Amber Lodge, 23 Hollywood Road, Central, 2639 9155
70s Food Dining by Vintage House
Step back in time at Tsim Sha Tsui’s 70s Food Dining by Vintage House. This Southeast Asian hawker centre-inspired venue features seven creative chefs cooking seven different cuisines over two floors: downstairs you’ll find stalls selling everything from mouth-numbing Sichuan dishes at Ma Spicy Cuisine to traditional Thai delicacies at Thai Grill. For something a little more formal, head upstairs to Italian-Japanese fusion restaurant Earth. But the dish on everyone’s lips can be found at Singaporean/Malay diner 亞洲香味屋 – there’s no English name – and comes courtesy of former Mandarin Oriental chef Uncle Hing: Wenchang chicken rice, a dish which took him years to perfect.
G/F & 1/F, 46 Granville Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, 2866 0111
After six years running the kitchen at 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo Macau, chef Antimo Maria Merone is opening his first independent restaurant, Estro. Opened in partnership with the JIA Group, this new eatery honours the chef’s Neapolitan roots with a bold seasonal menu that is anything but traditional. Each carefully considered dish takes diners on a journey across Antimo’s motherland – from the rolling hills of the Italian countryside to the ruins of Pompeii. Look out for dishes like the Pompeii-inspired Pigeon Under Ashes – pigeon wrapped in burned artichoke buds and fig leaves, and then covered in clay and baked in black ash.
Level 2, 1 Duddell Street, Central
There’s burning s’mores and marshmallows over a campfire – and then there’s Fireside. The first of its kind in Hong Kong, Fireside forgoes modern cooking techniques for primal flame. Watch Chef Miguel Gallo work his culinary magic as he manipulates and accentuates the flavours of each individual ingredient over an open-flame grill, fuelled only by carefully selected firewood and binchotan charcoal. A meal at Fireside is so much more than a plate of food – it’s a theatrical show for diners to marvel at as they savour smoky signatures such as dry-aged threadfin fish or duck confit rice with morel mushrooms, all cooked over that open flame.
5th Floor H Code, The Steps, 45 Pottinger Street, Central, 6610 8689
The Continental was a longstanding Pacific Place favourite for an upscale bite, and now it’s re-opened its doors after being taken over and reimagined by The Upper House. The interior has had a gentle refresh with the introduction of muted leather and rust notes, while the outdoor terrace is as lush as ever. In the kitchen is executive chef Graham Long, who’s designed a menu starring modern French fare – think Australian lamb loin and belly with smoked aubergine, or heirloom tomatoes dressed with goat’s curd, pesto and Indonesian pepper. At the bar, new signature drinks include the Village by the Sea – a citrus-forward gin cocktail topped with a foam starring none other than shrimp paste from Tai O fishing village.
Unit 406, L4 Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, 2704 5211
Yung Kee has been an integral part of the city’s culinary landscape since its doors opened in the heart of Central in 1942, most famed for its rich, charcoal-grilled roast goose. This Hong Kong institution is fresh off a major renovation. Downstairs has been returned to the restaurant’s former days as a dai pai dong, featuring Yung Kee’s original booth seating from half a century ago, and the second floor boasts all the glamour of the city in the 70s and 80s, with the signature Dragon and Phoenix Gilded Stage at its centre. The revitalised menu features modern interpretations of traditional Cantonese dishes – including pork belly smoked with rice, cane sugar, chrysanthemums and tea leaves and served with pine nuts, or roasted goose webs stuffed with barbecued pork, goose breast and foie gras. True traditionalists don’t have to worry: the signature roast goose is still very much on the menu.
Yung Kee Building, 32-40 Wellington Street, Central, 2522 1624
Frank’s Italian American Social Club
Frank’s is by no means a newcomer to the city’s culinary scene, but this Hong Kong favourite has reopened its doors following a summer refresh. Welcoming back diners is chef Vinny Lauria, with a revamped menu of Italian-American classics with a twist – such as hand-cut mafaldine Bolognese, or the ‘urchin caramelle’ pasta, – pasta parcels stuffed with sea urchin and shaped like candy. Of course, the other great reason to come to Frank’s is for the drinks and the dancing – and both have been revitalised with a new menu and new live DJ nights.
Harilela House, G/F & 1/F, No. 79 Wyndham Street, Central, 9097 9730
Rex Wine & Grill
Chef Nate Green made his name at 22 Ships, Rhoda and then Henry at the Rosewood – an impressive track record that’s always demonstrated his emphasis on top-quality ingredients, cooked with flair. His latest opening is Rex: a classed-up European steakhouse where the beef spans the globe. Green serves up everything from heritage Italian breeds to Japanese olive-fed Wagyu Kagawa – one of the world’s rarest cattle, and an exclusive to the restaurant. That goes hand-in-glove with a wine list of niche labels and undiscovered gems – as well as personal wine lockers available to those who want to stock their personal collections.
B/F One Chinachem Central, 22 Des Voeux Road, Central, 2857 7157
Chef Mario Paecke, who counts SOMM and Amber on his resume, headlines new European brasserie Margo in Central. The concept marries influences from Paecke’s German upbringing with seasonal ingredients sourced from an organic farm in Yuen Long: expect croquettes with beef carpaccio and truffle crème; Bavarian potato salad; and Königsberger klopse, German meatballs in a creamy caper sauce. A sleek interior design features warm tones, a flamboyant moss wall and chic coral banquettes. On the mezzanine level is Kyle & Bain, a martini bar masterminded by The Diplomat’s John Nugent. The venue takes its name from engineers William Kyle and John Bain, who established Hong Kong’s first ice plant in the 1870s – and made cocktails possible in the city.
G06, 9 Queen’s Road Central, Central
At his new restaurant on Gough Street, Chef Shun Sato (of Fukuro, Ho Lee Fook, Belon and Armani/Aqua) looks to his hometown of Sendai and the wabi-sabi principle of appreciating imperfect beauty and simplicity. Located behind a ryokan-style facade, Censu’s neutral-toned dining room is inspired by Sato’s grandmother’s home, while his gourmet Japanese cuisine reflects his fine-dining skills and experience, with a touch of the down-to-earth izakaya. The menu is divided into sections: sashimi, savoury, fried, grill, grain and dessert — a highlight being the zucchini flower tempura with a scallop prawn mousse and truffle puree.
28-30 Gough Street, Central
Opening a British Chinese restaurant in Hong Kong is a bold endeavour – but for those who’ve spent any time in the UK, there’s certainly a touch of the nostalgic to this reimagining of English takeaway cuisine. At 1908BC you’ll find all the classics: lemon chicken, prawn toast, crispy aromatic duck, chips with curry sauce – although it’s all served on sleek porcelain rather than plastic containers glistening with condensation. Located in Sheung Wan’s The Pemberton, the restaurant is named after the year England’s first Chinese restaurant opened.
5/F, The Pemberton, 22-26 Bonham Strand, Sheung Wan
Ever since he opened Cookie DPT, Wil Fang has clearly been on a mission to fill Hong Kongers with rib-sticking American delights. His latest concept, CARBS in H-Code, dishes out square slices of deep pan pizza, mac and cheese, chicken wings, milkshakes and more delicious comfort foods you won’t ever want to know the calorie count of. The Detroit-style slices have names like The Supreme Square — their signature — a spicy pepperoni, avocado, mushroom, mozzarella and sour cream creation. The Notorious P.I.G. is topped with bacon, ham, hot honey and tomato sauce, while the Last Call is an oozy mozzarella and basil number with a spicy vodka sauce.
Unit 3, G/F, H Code, 45 Pottinger Street, Central
With the opening of Moxie, Shane Osborne has turned his three establishments from individual restaurants into a hospitality group, named The Arcane Collective. Moxie is led by head chef Michael Smith, who has turned his attention to sustainably sourced seafood and vegetarian fare. Signature dishes include a colourful beetroot, mango and feta salad in a jalapeno dressing; and seared octopus with broccolini served over a fresh burrata with salsa verde.
Shop 203, 2/F Alexandra House, Landmark, 18 Chater Road, Central
This Japanese gastropub takes its cues from tokusatsu, the Japanese special-effects flicks popularised in the ’60s, with food that packs as mighty a punch as the heroes battling monsters. Although nestled under the Mid-Levels escalator, Musubi Hiro’s facade is impossible to miss, thanks to an impressive mural and bold neon sign. A simple menu focuses on musubi — the Hawaiian take on the humble onigiri rice balls — which are filled or topped with protein like the popular musubi spam. You’ll also find a selection of izakaya snacks that are best washed down with a glass of sake or an ice-cold beer.
37 Cochrane Street, Central, Hong Kong
The Four Seasons’ new lobby bar has landed, replacing the legendary Blue Bar. Argo is a chic new conservatory-style venue, featuring gorgeous harbour views and a drinks menu with a message. The debut cocktail list “Here Today, Gone Tomorrow” highlights ingredients – honey, cacao, vanilla, coffee, rice and apple – which, thanks to climate change or unsustainable cultivation, are at risk of disappearing in the future. Just as Argo was the ship that carried Jason and the Argonauts on their sagas in Greek mythology, the bar aims to take patrons on a journey – ideally, with a little less danger and a little more deliciousness. Our favourite drink: the Bark, Leaf and Love, a delightfully light honey gin punch.
G/F, Four Seasons Hotel, 8 Finance Street, Central
Pane e Latte
Pirata Group’s latest bakery concept sits in sleepy Stanley, but this Italian panetteria is anything but. It offers all-day dining with a range of sweet and savoury choices: think delicious handmade pastries and artisanal baked goods, such as treat-laden Focaccia Pugliese, traditional bomboloni doughnuts, and some truly phenomenal strawberry croissants. Head downstairs to the gelato “speakeasy” for more refreshing treats.
G/F, U-C Court, 25 Stanley Market Road, Stanley
Bengal Brothers brings a taste of authentic Indian street food to a hole-in-the-wall shopfront in Wan Chai. The signature order? That’s the kati roll, featuring chargrilled meat and veg wrapped in fresh, flaky paratha and topped with salad and tangy chutney. Rice bowls and other classic street snacks are also on offer, including sweet potato chaat and mango lassi.
G/F, Man Hee Mansion, 6 Johnston Road, Wan Chai
Hjem, meaning ‘home’ in Norwegian, is the newest café to arrive in Sheung Wan. Led by Scandinavian chef Jaakko Sorsa, it’s focused on Nordic cuisine, coffee and cocktails. Check out classic dishes such as Smørrebrød, an open-faced sandwich topped with prawns, egg and asparagus, alongside a range of meatballs, cheese plates and smoked seafood. Finish off with a couple of signature cinnamon and cardamon buns for that full Nordic vibe.
161 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan
Singaporean chef Barry Quek spices up the local dining scene with newly opened Whey. Expect refined, modern European techniques with Singaporean influences including local, seasonal ingredients. Quek draws inspiration from his travels across Europe, Australia and Asia, for unexpected flavour combos such as the signature Maoshan Wang dessert: a durian ice cream topped with caviar and milk crisp.
UG/F, The Wellington, 198 Wellington Street, Central; +852 2693 3198
Southern Italian cuisine has landed in Wan Chai, with Crust Italian. Serving the flavours of the Amalfi coast, the new eatery is a combination of restaurant, pasticceria (pastry shop) and takeaway – offering all-day dining from morning pastries through to dinner. Make sure to try its seafood scialatielli, an Amalfi favourite; and the rum baba, a spongy pastry soaked in rum; and the giri di pasta, fried pasta perfect designed to be enjoyed on the go.
G/F, Woo Cheong Pawn Shop, 60A-66 Johnston Road, Wan Chai
You can count on Momoz for bite-sized Nepalese treats for your next meal. Be sure to try classic flavours such as chicken or vegetarian momo (Nepalese dumplings), but don’t sleep on the more creative offerings like char siu, katsu curry chicken, kimchi, and Swiss-Italian cheese. Wash them all down with a Hot Virgin Chilli Mojito at either of its two outlets in Lan Kwai Fong and Tsim Sha Tsui.
6 Lan Kwai Fong, Central; Shop 3, G/F, Lee Wai Commercial Building, 1-3 Hart Avenue, Tsim Sha Tsui
Beautifully put-together cafes straight out of the pages of a design magazine are not in short supply in our city. The latest new hangout spot for a brew in Soho is Cosha, which blends together flat whites, avocado toast, waffles and acai bowls by day and becomes a bar by night (Wednesday-Saturday). Swing by its swish space on Elgin Street for Instagram-perfect brunches.
G/F, 61 Elgin Street, Central
Glassbelly Tea Lab
You’ve heard of wine pairings, but how about a tea pairing? Newly opened Glassbelly Tea Lab offer fine dining with an emphasis on high-end tea. Each dish is paired with a specific tea, which may be hot or cold brewed. One highlight is the caviar tea pairing: three generously heaped spoonfuls, paired with a selection of premium Chinese teas. Swing by for set menus including appetisers, cold cut platters, main courses and dessert, and it soon plans to offer tea brewing workshops.
20/F, Henry House, 42 Yun Ping Road, Causeway Bay
Transport yourself to Japan at newly opened oyster specialist Kagura. Not only does the Japanese restaurant in Causeway Bay import its seafood from Japan, but you’ll hear snatches of Japanese in the air from the chefs and the waiters alike. Fresh oysters are served daily, along with grilled meats and a selection of sushi – but don’t miss the restaurant’s signature dish, the Tin Box Grilled Oyster, which enhances the saltiness and sweetness of the dish with a dash of sake.
10/F, The L Square, 459-461 Lockhart Road, Causeway Bay; +852 2143 5655
Why wait for Taco Tuesday for a taste of Mexico’s finest flavours when there are exciting openings like Pablo popping up in Tsim Sha Tsui East any day of the week? Swing by for classic Mexican cuisine with the odd nod to Asian influences and ingredients, such as a take on the taco al pastor recreated with a taste of Thailand, where pulled pork is replaced with Thai-style marinated pork neck alongside grilled pineapple, mint, cabbage, Thai basil and more. We can’t wait to sink our teeth into the tamal de cochinita, a baked pulled pork shoulder wrapped in banana leaves with a side of pickled ginger and red onion coleslaw.
66 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui; +852 3741 2990
Graham Street Food Hall
Tucked away behind Central’s bustling outdoor wet market, Graham Street Food Hall is the latest in a flurry of food court openings (following BaseHall and Joint Asian Market). With both indoor and dog-friendly outdoor seating, diners can enjoy foods from five Hong Kong F&B concepts. This includes southern-style American barbecue specialities from Smoke & Barrels; Casa Cacao‘s medley of toothsome bean-to-bar chocolate goodies; Detroit-style pizza at Motown Pizza & Wings; and hamburg steak donburi bowls at Hambaga. It’s open from 10am-10pm, WiFi is free and there are a host of pop-ups and events already in the works.
Shop 3, 23 Graham Street, Central; +852 9612 0988
Kennedy Town seafood and brunch favourite Catch has expanded to Quarry Bay, taking over the space vacated by Plat du Jour. Expect a casual dining experience with an all-day menu showcasing the best of the sea’s bounty such as oysters with raspberry mignonette granita; pint of prawns (you read that right) served with lemon aioli; plates of squid ink spaghetti with XO sauce, clam and cuttlefish; and whole flounder swimming in parsley, garlic sauce, miso butter mushrooms and lemon.
G/F, 21 Hoi Wan Street, Quarry Bay; +852 2568 3299
Coffee & Nata
Fuelling the Great Egg Tart Debate about whether Hong Kong’s wobbly, silky egg tarts trump the Portuguese-style pastel de nata tarts found in Macao is Coffee & Nata. The brand makes a strong case for the latter with its four egg tart offerings: classic burnt top with thick creamy custard; salted caramel; passion fruit; and chocolate. The first overseas outpost of the Lisbon brand also sells a medley of sweet treats like Portuguese milk tarts, as well as savoury sausage rolls and freshly baked bread.
Lab Concept, 93 Queensway, Admiralty
If you can’t get to Seoul, let Seoul come to you at Hoo Pocha. This fun addition to the ‘Little Korean Town’ dining scene in Tsim Sha Tsui has concrete floors, corrugated metal doors and quirky neon-lit interiors that channel the feeling of grabbing late-night street food in the Korean capital. Plonk yourself on a plastic stool at foldable tables and knock back a few shots of soju before tucking into classic kimchi pancakes, spicy Korean kimchi stew served on a gas stove, crispy fried chicken and bento boxes loaded with goodies.
22/F, Lamma Tower, 12-12A Hau Fook Street, Tsim Sha Tsui; +852 9229 5812
Sham Shui Po really does take the crown for Hong Kong neighbourhood with the coolest and quirkiest joints. Newcomer The Soulroom has swooped in to pair your caffeine fix with a side of astrology and spirituality. Sit back in the relaxed space, order a fresh brew (along with an array of affordable cakes, desserts and mains) before getting your fortune read by the in-house specialist. Destiny – and dessert – is calling.
G/F, Shop 102, Ki Lung Street, Sham Shui Po
Replacing Guo Fu Lou at The Murray is Mián. In addition to a fresh new aesthetic awash with calming blues, diners can expect a menu of Chinese regional classics zhuzhed up by the kitchen team lead by chef Ronald Shao. The Sichuan native brings influences from his hometown with dishes like xiao long bao bursting with mala-laced broth; and poached tiger grouper prepared in a Sichuan style with assorted chillis. Another culinary highlight is the delicate cubes of boneless silky fowl and chicken fillets bathed in a comforting dan dan sauce.
U/G, The Pavilion, The Murray, Hong Kong, 22 Cotton Tree Drive, Central; +852 3141 8888
Having bid farewell to Cafe Grey Deluxe at the end of last year, The Upper House has now celebrated the opening of Salisterra in its place. Come for the panoramic views from the 49th floor, the relaxed ambience of Hong Kong architect André Fu’s design and a gorgeous Mediterranean menu. Helmed by London-based chef Jun Tanaka, who’s The Ninth restaurant holds a Michelin star, the menu features dishes inspired by coastal French and Italian cuisine. Highlights include a delicious conchiglie pasta with morels, tarragon and rich egg yolk and grilled red snapper with lemon confit, miso, fennel and radish.
49/F, The Upper House, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty; +852 3968 1106
A new team in the kitchen led by chef Julien Casset represents a rebirth for The Commune, the intimate all-day dining restaurant at K11 Artus. As well as uninterrupted Hong Kong skyline and harbour views, you’ll enjoy a menu of Asian dishes with Western influences. Balinese beef tartare bites laced with sambal and fresh lime, served on prawn crackers; and hamachi ceviche served in crispy panipuri shells with calamansi dressing are particular highlights. Also not to be missed are mixologist Slamet Haryadi’s signature cocktails: the Art Domus is a taste of South East Asia in a glass, with goji berry vodka, purple yam liqueur, almond milk, honey and citrus.
10/F, K11 Artus, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui; +852 2107 3388
Hongkongers may not yet be able to get to Japan, but it certainly hasn’t dampened the hunger for its cuisine. Entertainment district Lan Kwai Fong welcomes Japanese restaurant Roji to an unassuming backstreet, where diners can enjoy a laidback, modern izakaya. Don’t miss its take on a classic chicken katsu (breaded chicken thighs fried and served with an indulgent tonkatsu sauce) and jet-fresh seafood like chargrilled scallops or the giant clams cooked in sake, shichimi spices and fresh leeks. The venue is also a cute place to sink a couple of classic highballs or saketinis before dinner.
G/F, 20A D’Aguilar Street, Central
Casa Cucina & Bar
Having worked at Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s two-Michelin-starred restaurant in New York and then spent the past four years at Amber under Richard Ekkebus, chef Anthony Cheung has opened his own restaurant Casa Cucina & Bar focusing on rustic Mediterranean dishes. Naturally, all pasta is made fresh in-house (the braised oxtail ravioli with cacio e pepe sauce is a particular highlight) and several dishes are designed to share. The three-storey space offers a causal atmosphere on the ground floor, a laidback dining area with art on the walls and intimate lighting on the first floor, and a private dining space in the loft. A chic destination for cocktails and dinner, expect it to be just as popular for sun-dappled coffees by day.
Shops 8 & 9, 158A Connaught Road West, Sai Ying Pun; +852 2887 9666
The Woolly Pig dining group and local brewers Gweilo have teamed up to bring a new venture to the space formerly occupied by Little Creatures on the Kennedy Town waterfront. Part gastropub, part bar, Grain allows you to sip new creations before they hit the market at the in-house Gweilo Brewlab – as well as a tried-and-tested line up of staples like the Hazy IPA and Citrus Crusher. Meanwhile, Woolly Pig’s track record with restaurants including Tsim Sha Tsui’s Hue Dining, Madam Sixty Ate in Wan Chai and Big Sur in Soho ensure an inspired menu to pair with experimental craft brews from the Gweilo team.
Shop 1, New Fortune House, 3-5 New Praya, Kennedy Town; +852 3500 5870
Chef Vicky Cheng’s latest culinary project Wing offers a 38-seater restaurant with a seasonal tasting menu of Chinese fine dining (HK$1,580 per person). It’s a return to chef Cheng’s roots, bringing the East-meets-West philosophy that worked so successfully at VEA to a new audience, with crowd-pleasing specialities such as crispy skin sugarcane glazed crispy pigeon and unctuous king crab congee with chicken oil. The focus is on employing Western techniques such as dry ageing to local produce such as pigeon, preserved meat and sausages to produce more complex and intense flavours.
19/F, The Wellington, 198 Wellington Street, Central; +852 2711 0063
LMO Freshly Baked by Richard Ekkebus 2.0
Following its wildly popular appearance at Landmark’s Christmas market, this exciting pop-up returns for a three-month stint from April to June. Try the signature menu devised by pastry chef Valentin Mille and Amber’s Richard Ekkebus, which includes ‘brookies’ (an indulgent brownie-cookie hybrid with chocolate caramel), crowd-pleasing canelés and Amalfi lemon madeleines. There’s also a collection of iced-chocolate drinks featuring premium single-origin chocolate and cacao – with a spiked version featuring bourbon or brown rum available from a very civilised 5pm.
LMO Freshly-Baked by Richard Ekkebus 2.0, Shop 350, 3/F, LANDMARK ATRIUM, Central
Wagyu Yakiniku Ichiro
Launching in early April, Wagyu Yakiniku Ichiro is a lively Japanese grill restaurant in a 7,000 square foot space in Jordan. Contactless service is achieved with a novel Shinkansen bullet train that speeds prime cuts of meat, seafood and other delicacies straight to your table. The highlight is undoubtedly the A4 Odagyu wagyu, sourced from the famed Oda Chikusan ranch on the remote southwestern Satsuma peninsula – and perfectly suited to grilling. Set menus start from HK$298 per person, rising to HK$938 for unlimited self-service salad, drink and dessert bar options for two hours.
3/F, Pak Shing Building, 31-37 Jordan Road, Jordan; +852 2736 8218
Hungry Pal is the latest opening in Soho, bringing another casual gastropub to the scene. Helmed by industry veterans Ganga Gurung, Bikal Ghale and Ashok Lama, expect this it to be a popular hotspot among the Central crowd as well as F&B insiders. Pull up a chair and order comforting staples like chicken and mushroom pie and Cajun fried chicken, then sink a few signature cocktails like the Oolong Sour, featuring oolong mik tea-infused gin.
11 Lower Elgin Street, Soho
Chef Leonard Cheung’s first restaurant presents his casual approach to fine dining through an evolving eight-course chef’s tasting menu, served in an intimate 22-seater Soho restaurant. Cheung brings years of experience to Cultivate as a veteran of New York’s Eleven Madison Park and Hong Kong hotspots Bo Innovation and 8½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana – all firm Michelin favourites. Expect shifting themes and styles to coincide with seasonal produce, and a strong wine list featuring vintages from Napa Valley and varietals from Italy.
G/F, 29 Elgin Street, Soho; +852 5303 1230
Tucked away on Burrows Street in Wan Chai is newly opened Chief’s Blend – a collaboration between boutique coffee chain Blend & Grind and online butcher Biltong Chief. The result is a casual South African farm-style cafe and deli, which serves as a chill hangout in bustling Wan Chai. Swing by for grab-and-go hot food like boerewors rolls (spiced sausage on a fresh roll with caramelised onions) and bunny chow (Durban-style chicken curry) – stay for a coffee, glass of South African wine or a craft brew.
Shop 4, G/F, Lucky House, 17-21 Burrows Street, Wan Chai
Many were sad to see Michelin-starred French restaurant Pierre close its doors after 14 memorable years at the Manadarin Oriental. But this month, the hotel ushers in a new era with its upscale Japanese izakaya, The Aubrey. Located on the hotel’s top floor, the all-day dining venue serves up Victoria Harbour views, handsome interiors that blend the electric energy of Ginza with glam speakeasy vibes, and omakase platters of sushi, chicken karaage with expertly crafted cocktails like its Yuzu Highball, made with premium Nikka From the Barrel whisky (naturally).
25/F, Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, 5 Connaught Road Central, Central; +852 2825 4001
TMK Rap & Rolls
Pirata Group has opened a second outpost of its popular punk-rock-inspired temakeria concept, bringing the lively drinking and dining venue to Wan Chai’s Star Street precinct. The twist at TMK Rap & Rolls is a celebration of hip-hop’s swagger and style, from the soundtrack to The Notorious B.I.G. artwork at the entrance. Park yourself on a bar stool and order the signature soft-shell crab temaki hand roll or try the tuna hotdog hand roll for a funky remix on a classic. Better yet opt for the ‘Fat Beats’ Menu (HK$348 per person) and let the Rap & Rolls team make a personal selection of dishes for your table.
Shop A, 17A Moon Street, Wan Chai; +852 2779 9002
The JW Marriott debuts its new dining concept, Fish Bar. The laidback restaurant is appropriately located by the hotel’s sun-dappled outdoor pool – perfect for long, boozy weekend brunches or casual dinners. Retractable doors ensure the al fresco space is bright and breezy. Menu highlights include moule frites with New Zealand mussels and a generous three-tiered seafood tower packed with fresh oysters, king crab legs, Boston lobster, prawns and clams to share between a table.
7/F, JW Marriott Hotel Hong Kong, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty; +852 2810 8366
The Last Resort
Black Sheep Restaurant celebrates the humble splendour of dive bars with its newest concept, The Last Resort. Expect an aesthetic that’s more gritty than glam: dinky booths with distressed red leather seats, neon signage and a casual atmosphere where patrons sup cheap beers and HK$50 Long Island iced teas. We can’t wait to pile into a cosy booth and sink a few cold ones, before tucking into comforting classics like hot chicken sandwiches, potato wedges and fried scamorza.
52B Peel Street, Central; +852 2442 2440
Bangkok-transplant Lady Nara offers an East-meets-West dining experience in Tsim Sha Tsui’s Harbour City, with a menu of Western-style comfort food augmented with classic Thai flavours. You’ll find clever fusions, like lobster tom yum spaghetti, alongside classic Thai dishes such as grilled pork neck slathered in spicy nam jim jaew sauce. The Thai rose tea lava cake is a memorable finisher, too.
Shop 3303, 3/F, Gateway Arcade, Harbour City, 3-27 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui; +852 2153 3730
All-day dining outlet Cabana Breeze brings a touch of tiki-inspired fun to Tung Chung. Dine al fresco (the restaurant is notably dog friendly) or opt for an indoor table to enjoy vibrant tropical artworks and floral-printed upholstery. Highlights of chef Faycal El Moujahid’s menu include hamachi ceviche and slow-roasted suckling pig, slow-cooked for 12 hours before being finished in a wood stone oven for perfect crackling skin. Don’t forget to try a tiki-inspired cocktail or two – we’re eyeing up the Maui Margarita (Mexican pepper-infused tequila, mezcal, lime, pink grapefruit, pineapple juice and kaffir lime).
Shop G12-G15, T Bay, 9 Yi Tung Road, Tung Chung, Lantau; +852 2777 8980
Central newcomer OBP is modelled after the sool-jip (proper drinking dens for big groups) common in Seoul. Korean-American beverage director Daniel Eun’s cocktails celebrate the diversity of the country’s spirits – from makgeolli to soju and baeksaeju, a fermented spirit made from glutinous rice. There’s a good selection of booze sponges like Korean fried chicken, tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes) and braised pork rib doused with raclette cheese, potatoes and vegetables.
3-5 Old Bailey Street, Central
Tai Kwun’s gorgeous central courtyard is now home to Italian pasta bar PAZTA, which brings a slice of the laid-back piazza lifestyle to bustling Central. The al fresco dining arrangement is perfect for leisurely brunches featuring Italian wines and dishes made with imported ingredients, such as pappardelle al funghi porcini e menta (egg pasta in an Umbrian porcini mushroom sauce).
Shop 03-G08, G/F, Barrack Block, Tai Kwun, 10 Hollywood Road, Central; +852 2626 1186
Zoku Restaurant & Terrace
Cosy, contemporary Japanese restaurant Zoku (meaning ‘clan’) is located within luxury boutique hotel The Hari Hong Kong. The menu isn’t overly fussy; it knows how to please with sushi, temaki handrolls, pan-fried wagyu dumplings and salmon skewered and grilled over charcoal. Main courses such as the Chilean seabass basted in yuzu herb butter, served with oyster cream, sautéed brussels sprouts and grilled maitake mushrooms showcase chef de cuisine Phillip Pak’s mastery of premium ingredients.
330 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai; +852 2129 0338
The Tea Academics
Indie chain Coffee Academics has branched out to artisanal tea with the opening of The Tea Academics in Central. Pair speciality teas such as The Capital (ceremonial-grade matcha made from umami-rich Japanese usucha green tea leaves) with freshly baked pastries and dishes from Chef Atisha Kumar’s largely plant-based menu. Each is inspired by a tea-producing region around Asia; the paratha omelette, with halloumi, sautéed onions, organic eggs and coriander is one enticing example.
1/F, LHT Tower, 31 Queen’s Road, Central; +852 3187 7303
The Mandarin Oriental welcomes back its luxurious Cantonese restaurant, Man Wah, on 1 February. The refreshed interiors feature Chinese embroidered artwork, dark azure lacquered panels inlaid with brass and enviable views across the harbour from the 25th-floor restaurant. Among chef Wong Wing-keung’s new menu highlights are pan-fried Hokkaido scallop garnished with sweet, crunchy soybean crumbs from China’s Fujian province; and a deep-fried matsutake mushroom pudding, also known as guo-ja, that has roots in Qing dynasty cuisine.
5 Connaught Road, Central; +852 2825 4003
Maka Hiki Lounge
The Upper House hotel in Admiralty has partnered with Honi Honi to launch Maka Hiki Lounge, a pop-up tiki concept bar and hangout spot on The Lawn and Level 6, running until 31 May 2021. Swing by in the morning for light snacks and teas from Plantation by teakha; or pop by in the afternoon and evening for a selection of bar snacks and funky tiki cocktails on the lush lawn.
Level 6 & The Lawn, The Upper House, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway; +852 9836 7462
The Hari Hong Kong made a splash when it opened at the tail end of 2020, but within the city’s latest luxe hotel is another opening to get excited about: Italian restaurant Lucciola. Chef Francesco Gava and his team plate up dishes that span the breadth of the country, using some of its finest produce. Case in point: the vitello tonnato, a Piedmontese antipasto classic featuring tender slices of sous-vide veal topped with aged balsamic vinegar and capers from Pantelleria. Another highlight is the orata di orbetello in crosta di sale, whole Mediterranean sea bream baked in sea salt and finished with a squeeze of Amalfi lemon.
330 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai; +852 2129 0333
With a name that means ‘taste buds’ in French, expect new opening Les Papilles to be a real thrill for the palate. The kitchen is led by chef Jeff Chan, formerly of Pastis and The Landmark Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, among others. It delivers casual plates of classic French flavours – such as of grilled sea bream with lobster sauce – as well as edgy, contemporary concoctions such as crab and sea urchin with celeriac foam. The seven-course tasting menu is a fun way to get familiar with the best that this punchy little Causeway Bay bistro has to offer.
G/F, 44 Tang Lung Street, Causeway Bay; +852 3114 2389
208 Duecento Otto
Neighbourhood Italian favourite 208 Duecento Otto is celebrating 10 years in its convivial space on Hollywood Road with a shiny new menu. Standout dishes from the revamped fare include spaghetti alla chitarra (an Abruzzo classic of handmade pasta with mini meatballs) and moreish ravioli truffle, featuring fresh truffles flown in weekly – not to mention the crowd-favourite Neapolitan-style pizzas. The House of Aperitivo is the reimagined casual downstairs area, serving up signature drinks such as the Duecentotto Spritz and the Negroni-like Balsiamo – featuring a dash of balsamic vinegar from Modena, naturally.
208 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan; +852 2549 0208