Header photo: Yukinoshita
Hailed as THE authority on Thai cuisine, celebrity chef David Thompson’s Thai restaurant at Tai Kwun in HK, Aaharn, is opening this month. Situated on the top floor of the Armoury building overlooking the Parade Ground, Aaharn is described as Hong Kong’s “first truly elevated Thai dining experience”.
Australian-born Chef Thompson was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award at Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2016 for his commitment to preserving the heritage of Thai cuisine, and his London restaurant, Nahm, was the first-ever Thai restaurant to be awarded a Michelin star.
Shop 2, 2/F, Armoury, Tai Kwun, 10 Hollywood Road, Central, 2703 9111, firstname.lastname@example.org
Artemis & Apollo
Hot on the heels of Black Sheep Restaurants’ first overseas opening – Canton Disco at The Shanghai EDITION hotel – the restaurant group is set to open Greek taverna Artemis & Apollo in Wanchai. They’ve tackled varying cuisines, from Indian, to Italian, to Lebanese, to near universal acclaim, so we have high hopes for Black Sheep’s foray into Greek cuisine. Expect the likes of classic Greek dishes such as fava mash, taramasalata, chicken souvlaki, charcoal-roasted lamb and grilled calamari, complemented by a Greek-only wine list and plenty of ouzo.
9 and 11 Moon Street, Wanchai
BIZOU (new chef)
Argentine chef Duilio Desimoni is now helming the kitchen at American brasserie BIZOU at Pacific Place, having cut his culinary chops at several top restaurants in Buenos Aires before arriving in Hong Kong. Chef Desimoni is now serving up dishes like carpaccio with olives, capers and Creole mustard, sautéed scallops with corn mousse and mushrooms and key lime pie with charred meringue.
Shop 132, 1/F, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, 2871 0775
Chiuchow Garden (Cityplaza)
With several branches around town, Maxim’s Group’s Chiu Chow cuisine stalwart Chiuchow Garden has reopened its Cityplaza outlet following a complete refurbishment. The refreshed interior has a European slant, featuring an open kitchen, beechwood furniture, sofas and natural lighting. In addition to signature dishes such as soyed goose and pan-fried baby oysters with scrambled egg, a selection of new dishes has been added, exclusive to the Cityplaza branch, including bird’s nest with pomegranate and crabmeat and pan-fried e-fu noodles stuffed with meat. During lunch hours, Cityplaza Chiuchow Garden is the only outlet to offer character dim sum (think pig-shaped egg-yolk buns and the like).
Shop 100, 1/F, Cityplaza Four, 12 Taikoo Wan Road, Taikoo Shing, 2885 0212
Modern Chinese roast houses (siu mei) are on the rise (think Madame Ching and John Anthony, below), with Piccolo Concepts’ CHOP CHOP in Fortress Hill a notable contender. Opened in consultation with “Hong Kong God of Cookery” chef Dai Lung, CHOP CHOP is all about Cantonese-style roast meat delicacies like char siu – but with all-natural, organic ingredients and no artificial additives, MSG or artificial colouring. We can’t wait to dig into that luscious-looking pork belly char siu rice with egg.
18 Wang On Road, Fortress Hill, 3618 7718
Back in July, we first told you about Australian designer extraordinaire Ashley Sutton’s latest whimsy, cocktail bar Dragonfly at Tai Kwun, which has experienced a slight delay. For this, Sutton has taken his inspiration from the bohemian decadence of American glassmaker Louis Comfort Tiffany, a leader of the art nouveau movement at the turn of the 20th century. The ceiling of Dragonfly is a sea of turquoise glass lamps adorned with yellow butterflies, while hundreds of cast-iron dragonflies decorate the bar. We’re sure the global tipples on the cocktail menu will make for easy drinking, but we’ll likely spend most of our time feasting our eyes on the gorgeous space.
Shop 10, G1, Tai Kwun, 10 Hollywood Road, Central, 2777 2633
Ebisoba Ichigen (Harbour City)
First opened on Wanchai’s Ship Street in April, Ebisoba Ichigen’s flagship store has now launched at Harbour City in TST. A popular ramen eatery originating in Hokkaido, Ebisoba Ichigen is famous for its intense broth made with sweet-shrimp heads. Exclusive to the Harbour City shop is ebi maze soba, created by Ebisoba’s founder and flavoured to the max with shrimp-head essence, shrimp oil and shrimp soy sauce. It’s topped with BBQ pork, soft-boiled egg, shrimp-flavoured tempura bits, spring onion and seaweed.
Shop OTG59, Ocean Terminal, Harbour City, 3–27 Canton Road, TST, 3105 1199
Photo credit: Cute Diner
Japanese-style croissants by way of Taiwan will be baked up from 15 September at the first branch of HAZUKIDO in Hong Kong, located at AEON STYLE in Quarry Bay. We can’t wait to try the cult-fave flavours of honeycomb, custard, lemon icing, apple, black sesame and chocolate (not sure about the cod roe, though).
Shop G11, G/F, AEON STYLE, Kornhill Plaza South, 2 Kornhill Road, Quarry Bay, 2884 6888
Casual grill restaurant hEat by Chef Israel “Isy” Freitas serves a curated selection of meat and fresh seafood, all cooked to order on the Josper grill. There’s also a “hidden” lounge room serving late-night small plates and drinks, open until 2am.
23/F, QRE Plaza, 202 Queen’s Road East, Wanchai, 2246 8805
Hunter & The Chase
Those still lamenting the demise of Shore bar and steakhouse in Central – and its incredible al-fresco terrace – will be pleased to hear that it’s been reincarnated into a split-level bar and restaurant by Shore Hospitality, opening mid-September. The lower level – The Chase – is a contemporary cocktail bar with a casual dining area, cheese bar (ooh la la!) and that spacious terrace reinvented. Upstairs, restaurant Hunter is all about alternative meats and seafood such as bison, wild boar and line-caught fish.
3/F and 4/F, the L. place, 139 Queen’s Road Central, Central
Jade Garden (Star House)
Another grand reopening by Maxim’s, Cantonese fine-dining restaurant Jade Garden is back with a bang at its flagship location at Star House in TST. First opened back in 1971, Jade Garden is considered a pioneer in combining upscale Chinese cuisine with refined Western service. Taking centre stage in the stylishly refurbished space is a transparent rotating oven for roasting meats, for which Jade Garden is justly famous. Michelin-starred chef Tsoi Wai Ping has introduced his 18 Best Picks menu at this flagship, highlighting must-order dishes such as drunken flaming prawns, roast goose and honey-glazed BBQ Angus beef. More than 20 varieties of hand-picked Chinese teas are also available for sipping.
4/F, Star House, 3 Salisbury Road, TST, 2730 6888
The intriguing name of Maximal Concepts’ latest venture is in reference to the Chinese trade merchants of days gone by, who were given English nicknames by their Western counterparts. Three custom-built barbecues and a sustainably designed interior (including the use of upcycled paper and plastic for the coasters and menus, using reclaimed terracotta from old village houses to tile the floors and the implementation of an in-house composting system in the kitchen) set this spot apart, as do the charcoal-grilled meats – Ibérico presa pork char siu and slow-cooked lamb shoulder with cumin dry rub, for instance – and playful East-meets-West dishes such as Black Angus tenderloin ma po tofu (pictured). The eco-conscious drinks are of the same calibre, with the bar team using leftover ingredients like fruit rinds and excess liquids to create cordials and edible garnishes, as well a selection of 12-litre “gin tubes” around the bar, each infused with a different blend of botanicals. Opens 21 September.
Edit: read our review of John Anthony here.
Shop B01–B10, Basement, Lee Garden Three, 1 Sunning Road, Causeway Bay, 3105 3668, email@example.com
A nighttime concept by and at the newly refurbished Bread & Beast, daytime purveyors of out-of-this-world sandwiches, KONG is a sit-down bar and restaurant that opens for dinner, offering progressive Cantonese cuisine. Ideal for groups, the after-dark menu uses local ingredients to turn classic HK dishes on their heads. The names of the dishes have already got our mouths watering – there’s KONG fried chicken with preserved lemon jam and dried plum shichimi, Cherry Kola brisket cheung fun and Angry Cali (slow-cooked charred cauliflower with toban djan broth and chilli oil; pictured).
The beverage menu is just as creative, placing the spotlight on Chinese spirits and some of the oldest alcohols in the world such as Huadiao, baijiu and glutinous rice wine. Live music and trivia nights will also feature at KONG.
3 Swatow Street, Wanchai, 2237 1868
Pizzerias in this city have some serious competition on their hands with the opening of KYTALY along Wyndham. The first overseas branch of the Geneva restaurant co-owned by Chef Franco Pepe – whose restaurant Pepe in Grani currently stands at number 1 on the 50 Top Pizza in Italy list – is set to serve up 19 pizzas, from classic to creative, plus antipasti and desserts. Hong Kong’s first campari bar and a sprawling terrace are part of the draw of KYTALY.
5/F, 77 Wyndham Street, Central, 2808 1961
Le Bistro Winebeast (new location)
One of Foodie’s favourite French eateries, Le Bistro Winebeast is reopening on 5 September in a brand-spanking-new spot in Wanchai. Husband-and-wife duo Johan Ducroquet, the head chef, and sommelier Cristina Carranco remain, thank goodness, continuing their focus on French bistro cuisine with a modern twist, attentive service and affordably priced, quality wines, including eco-friendly vino.
G/F, Newman House, 35–45 Johnston Road, Wanchai, 2782 6689
Little Bao Diner
Fans of Chef May Chow will rejoice at the news of a Little Bao expansion into Causeway Bay’s Fashion Walk. Get ready for an indoor-outdoor 100-seat restaurant with views of Victoria Park that’s open for lunch and dinner seven days a week. This new flagship shop will also feature an expanded menu with vegetarian-friendly dishes.
Shop H1, 9 Kingston Street, Fashion Walk, Causeway Bay
Made in HK (Langham Place)
Joining its sibling in Kwun Tong, Made in HK has landed at Langham Place in Mongkok, offering a unique take on HK-style Western cuisine. The fusion menu by Chef Zero Yu includes innovative dishes such as chilli stir-fried Wagyu beef cubes, mapo tofu nachos, spicy tiger prawn noodles with bacon, twisty pasta in Russian borscht with beef shin, farm egg and garlic toast (pictured) and mini Ovaltine garden – not your standard milk tea and crispy bun with butter and condensed milk combo, that’s for sure.
Shop 02–03, 8/F, Langham Place, 8 Argyle Street, Mongkok, 2918 1655
Next Door Café & Bar
Following the success of his Michelin-recommended restaurant TOWN comes Chef Bryan Nagao’s Next Door Café & Bar, located just down the block and next to Danish furniture shop BoConcept. The decor is furnished with pieces from BoConcept, with the design of the space reflecting the brand’s minimalist style. The all-day-dining menu has a decidedly healthy focus, featuring organic produce, fresh seafood and hormone-free meat. Of most interest to us are the 12 salads available daily, with the niçoise salad with smoked tuna a standout.
Shop 206–210, 2/F, Lee Garden Three, 10 Hysan Avenue, Causeway Bay, 2606 6665
If you find yourself in Tsim Sha Tsui craving grass-fed Argentine steak, keep Papa Joe in mind. The menu features seven grilled steak cuts, with the majority of the beef imported from La Pampa, Argentina, and a range of Mexican and other Latin American dishes including tacos and fajitas. Late-night live music on Friday and Saturday evenings.
8/F, 1 Knutsford Terrace, TST, 2726 2611
G/F, The Pemberton, 22–26 Bonham Strand, Sheung Wan, 3590 2296
Restaurant group Le Comptoir recently opened superb French-Japanese restaurant ÉCRITURE at the new H Queen’s building in Central, and PIQNIQ is its casual-chic rooftop neighbour. With a stunning terrace sheltered beneath a white-sail tent, the international menu features “piqniq” baskets made up of sharing dishes from around the globe. The al-fresco space sounds like it would also make for a picture-perfect spot for nighttime tipples with a view.
27/F, H Queen’s, 80 Queen’s Road Central, Central
Those familiar with the dining scene in Taipei will know that hotpot is a big deal. Opening on 6 September at Harbour City is Taipei hotpot specialist Quan Alley, famous its fermented spicy soup base made with 15 different herbs from Sichuan and artfully presented meat and veggie dippers.
Shop OTG57, G/F, Ocean Terminal, Harbour City, 3–27 Canton Road, TST, 3188 2840
Sun’s Bazaar/Kiki Tea
Lai Sun Dining – which operates 18 high-end restaurants in Hong Kong and Macau including 8½ Otto e Mezzo BOMBANA, Beefbar and China Tang – is branching out to casual dining with the opening of Sun’s Bazaar at Pacific Place in the third week of September. The eatery will showcase Asian comfort-food dishes such as stir-fried rice noodles with pork neck, chilli and crispy garlic, homemade rice rolls with crabmeat and sakura shrimp and Kiki Noodles – that Taiwanese handmade instant noodle brand we all know and love – with aubergine and minced pork in garlic and chilli sauce. To go with the Kiki Noodles, Kiki Tea will be launched at the same shop, offering top-notch Taiwanese bubble tea (Sichuan-flavoured pearls, anyone?).
Shop 112, 1/F, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, 5599 8136
Sweet Fashion House
No, Sweet Fashion House isn’t a purveyor of trendy haute couture but a “designer dessert boutique” in the heart of Causeway Bay, opening on 10 September. Seasonal collections of cakes, macarons and chocolates feature, with a focus on beauty, creativity and attention to detail. From Dragon – dragon fruit and coffee on brown-rice genoise – to Paris-Hong Kong – a twist on the classic Paris-Brest choux, with the addition of HK-style milk tea – SFH’s creations are (almost) too pretty to eat.
Shop G16, G/F, Lee Garden Three, 1 Sunning Road, Causeway Bay, 2658 8218
The don of sandwiches is Chef Hisato Hamada of Tokyo’s Wagyumafia with his beloved Wagyu katsu sando (Wagyu beef cutlet sandwich), which has achieved cult status in Japan and has the dubious distinction of being the most expensive sarnie in the world. A HK outpost of Wagyumafia is set to launch in late September in Wanchai.
G/F, Guardian House, 32 Oi Kwan Road, Wanchai
WHY SO FRESH
The first gourmet butcher and grocer in the Eastern District has been unveiled in Shau Skei Wan. WHY SO FRESH offers premium frozen meat like dry-aged beef and Japanese grape pork, plus ready-to-serve slow-cooked dishes and a selection of tableware and cooking utensils from around the world, Japan in particular.
G/F, Tak Fook Building, 3 Factory Street, Shau Kei Wan, 6733 6828
We ain’t never seen pancakes like these before. Acclaimed Japanese dessert house Yukinoshita is opening its first overseas shop, hitting Causeway Bay this month. The café specialises in both atsuyaki – or super-thick, fluffy pancakes the likes of which we’ve never seen in Hong Kong – and kakigori, shaved ice flavoured with syrups made with Japanese seasonal fruit. Get ready to queue!
1–5 Haven Street, Causeway Bay, 3460 3989
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