Food and drink

Best Things to Do in Hong Kong in January 2021

Kick off the new year with some new restaurants and art exhibitions, plus a healthy dose of the outdoors

We’re all ready for a fresh start in 2021. Those of us committed to sticking to our resolutions (at least until the end of January…) will be back out on the hiking paths (start with these, closer to the city, before graduating to some truly intrepid trails).

Maybe you’ve resolved to get out and explore more of Hong Kong this year? If so, plan a day trip to Lamma Island, Lantau or Cheung Chau or set your compass further afield to one of the lesser-visited islands.

There are also plenty of openings and events scheduled around Hong Kong in January – just keep an eye on the latest COVID-19 regulations and confirm any details before you head out.

Start the Year with a Buzz

Interior of TIL coffee shop in Hong Kong

Some of you may have kicked the booze for Dry January. Thankfully there’s no shortage of great coffee shops around town: among them is a new entrant in sleepy Sai Ying Pun: TIL. Short for ‘Today is Long’, the space is all clean white walls, Uluru-red accents and potted plants, perfect to kick back in and enjoy delicious pours of Aussie-style coffee.

Popular brunch spot NINETYs has opened its third branch, this time in Causeway Bay’s Lee Gardens. Expect the usual comforting staples, alongside an evening menu – and a speciality roastery serving espresso blends from Melbourne’s Zest and pour-over single-original coffee from Taster Coffee in Taiwan.

Feast on New Treats

Duckee, newly opened in Causeway Bay’s Lee Gardens, plates up a creative ‘yin-yang’ menu featuring meat and plant-based ingredients on the same plate for flexitarians. The yin-yang Peking duck (a half-portion of Peking duck with two portions of roast vegetarian duck) and the xiaolongbao (some with pork, others with omnipork, and one veggie xiaolongbao made with beetroot juice) are highlights.

Last month saw the opening of Joint Asian Market (JAM) in Central’s Nexxus Building. The 2,000-square-foot space is a contemporary food hall featuring Korean deli Mamalee Market, dim sum restaurant Sifu, Singaporean staples from Uncle Quek and Vietnamese dishes at Moi Moi.

Plate of food at Acme, a Middle Eastern restaurant in Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s love for Middle Eastern cuisine shows no signs of abating with the opening of Acme on Soho’s Elgin Street. The brainchild of Baked’s Zahir Mohamed, the restaurant serves classic regional dishes with contemporary presentation and techniques. Heading up the kitchen is chef Alfonso Portillo, formerly of the Ovolo Hotel Group. We’re excited to try the octopus harissa cassoulet with fava beans and nduja; seven Lebanon spice lamb chops; and lobster with lemon sumac cream and lard.

Check Out Art Exhibitions

Joan Cornellà with his irreverent artwork on view in Hong Kong in January

Artistic provocateur Joan Cornellà’s irreverent creations are back for My Life Is Pointless, the Spanish illustrator’s largest exhibition in Hong Kong to date. Come to see 48 darkly comic sculptures, limited-edition prints and artworks. Book online for an appointment at Sotheby’s gallery in Central (until 29 January).

: Cat Art by Shu Yamamoto exhibit in Hong Kong

This one’s for the feline obsessed: Cat Art by Shu Yamamoto presents the eccentric Japanese artist’s reimagining of masterpieces of the art world, featuring cheeky felines. Swing by the exhibition at Harbour North in North Point (until 10 January).

Ever wondered what Elmo looks underneath all the fuzz? Well, you’ll find out at K11 Art Mall in Tsim Sha Tsui at K11 Outside In: An Unconventional World of Art Toys (until 28 February). This playful showcase includes Asian favourites Astro Boy and Gatchaman, as deconstructed by award-winning sculptor and toy designer Jason Freeny.

And if you’re looking for something to really thrill the kids, try the Frozen exhibition. The 18,000-square-foot exhibition space in Tseung Kwan O’s Park Central has room for everything from life-sized attractions to its own enchanted forest (until 28 February 2021).

Catch Live Performances and Outdoor Shows

Things to do in Hong Kong in March include outdoor cinema The Grounds at AIA Vitality Park

While social distancing restrictions have required a temporarily pause, we’re looking forward to the return of The Grounds at AIA Vitality Park. Tickets for movie screenings – and the occasional yoga session – sell out fast, so check the website regularly for your chance to score seats in charming two- or four-person pods with picket fences on this astroturfed patch by the harbour.

Holiday at Local Hotels


While you’re waiting to take off on that next overseas adventure, take advantage of the wealth of staycation offers at top hotels right here in Hong Kong: among them the Four Seasons, the Langham, The Ritz-Carlton and the Gold Coast Hotel.

Cathay Travell Book


Discovery online brings together all the inspirational travel writing from our two inflight magazines, Discovery and Silkroad. Be sure to look out for the print editions when you next fly with Cathay Pacific or Cathay Dragon.
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