Header: bun bo Hue at XUÂN
BREAKING: starting Friday, 7January, restaurants will not be able to provide evening dine-in services, as announced by Chief Executive Carrie Lam. Before 6pm, tables will be limited to two people for category B, four for category C and six per table for category D. Bars and clubs will be closed altogether.
The Baker & The Bottleman
We featured this one in our openings round-up last month, but now that Simon Rogan’s The Baker & The Bottleman is officially open from Saturday, 1 January, we wanted to sing its praises yet again. The ground-floor sustainable bakery is the part that has just debuted, featuring Executive Chef Oli Marlow’s sweet and savoury delights such as Michelin-starred Roganic’s cult-fave Irish soda bread, coronation chicken sarnies, Scotch egg with pickled walnut sauce, triple Valrhona chocolate cookies and pine and strawberry jam doughnuts. Coming at the end of the month, the first floor will transform into a laid-back wine bar serving up natural wines alongside snacks, cold cuts and cheese post-5pm. The wine list is carefully curated by Master Sommelier Pierre Brunelli of Roganic. Bakery currently open Tuesday–Sunday, 8am–6pm, for takeaway.
Shop G14–15 & F15A, G/F & 1/F, Lee Tung Avenue, 200 Queen’s Road East, Wanchai, firstname.lastname@example.org
Blue Bottle Coffee (Wanchai)
This Cali-cool coffee company now has a gorgeous three-storey spot in Wanchai’s buzzy Starstreet Precinct, serving up its signature single-origin speciality coffees made with home-roasted beans. This branch is Blue Bottle’s largest in Hong Kong and showcases a takeaway counter, drip coffee bar and windows on all levels, boasting 180-degree panoramic views. The Wanchai shop also has a food menu of brunchy items like croissant sandwiches, salads made with local veg and yoghurt bowls. Open daily, 8am–7pm on weekdays and 9am–7pm on weekends and public holidays.
15 St Francis Yard, Wanchai
Butahage (Quarry Bay)
Popular butadon – pork rice bowl – specialist Butahage from Hokkaido landed in Hong Kong last August, opening in Kowloon Bay. Now, the brand is headed to HK Island, opening in Quarry Bay on Monday, 10 January. In addition to its popular donburi made with premium Kamikomi pork loin, belly and tendon flavoured with a house sauce developed over 80 years ago, this Butahage branch will also be launching a new kani (crab) tendon donburi and a monthly special seafood don showcasing Hokkaido scallop and toro. Open daily from 11:30am.
Shop G3, G/F, Kornhill Plaza (North), 1 Kornhill Road, Quarry Bay, 2815 2223
CENSU x Out of the Brew pop-up (16 January)
Star Chef Shun Sato and the team from CENSU are collaborating with Out of the Brew, making Okinawa noodles with slow-cooked pork and clear soup, chicken wings and more to enjoy on the #sohosteps. They will also be sending a bartender over to make the Rose Chuhai cocktail, and obviously there will be a selection of craft beer to go with the special menu. It’s difficult to get seats at CENSU, so this is a unique chance to enjoy some of their menu in a relaxed, outdoor environment.
3 Shin Hing Street, Central, 3489 0334
Cookie DPT (Central flagship)
As of Monday, 10 January, the eagerly anticipated Cookie DPT flagship is open in Central! The soft-opening offer of this new bakery-café is this pineapple upside-down cookie, featuring the cookie specialist’s signature shortbread cookie topped with caramelised pineapple. Other spectacular non-cookie baked goods to be showcased include cinnamon rolls and doughnuts. Open daily, 7:30am–7pm.
LG/F, 48 Cochrane Street, Central, email@example.com
Cooshti by O
Cooshti has a great home on atmospheric Lee Tung Avenue and is the first Asian fusion restaurant by ever-popular Oolaa Group. Modern and colourful with a nod to colonial architecture, two-storey Cooshti features a ground-floor bar and veranda and, on the first floor, an open dining room with wrap-around terrace – so there’s lots of space for al-fresco wining and dining! Just like Oolaa Group’s other spots, Cooshti offers everything from breakfast and brunch to dinner, happy hour, weeknight specials and set lunches. The Asian-inspired menu has a big portion dedicated to sushi and sashimi, yakitori and sharing plates. Open daily, 7am–11pm.
Cô Thành (Pacific Place)
Cô Thành has gotten quite an upgrade, relocating after five years from gritty Kau U Fong in Central to the upscale shopping paradise of Pacific Place. Owner Brian Woo has been the only apprentice to Nguyễn Thi Thành (The Lunch Lady), who is world famous for her street-side daily-rotating Vietnamese noodle soups in Saigon, and Woo honours her name and story with this eatery. The signature bún (noodle) dishes remain on the menu, as does the bánh mì truyền thống, the iconic Vietnamese sarnie that’s packed with pork charcuterie, pâté and fresh herbs on a baguette, but there are lots of newcomers too. The much more spacious, 2,100-square-foot restaurant can set up to 100 diners, and there’s also a seated bar area showcasing an extensive range of cocktails and virgin bevvies. Open daily, 11am–10pm.
Shop 123, 1/F, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, 7073 7735
DON DON DONKI (Kowloon Bay)
This marks the ninth HK location for Japanese discount superstore DON DON DONKI. The Amoy Plaza branch will not be open quite for 24/7… but almost (it’s only closed from 1–8am). Open daily from Thursday, 20 January (from 10am on the 20th).
Shop F 188–204, 1/F, Phase 3, Amoy Plaza, 77 Ngau Tau Kok Road, Kowloon Bay
Cookie Vission has now expanded into American-style doughnuts à la Krispy Kreme. Get your yeast doughnuts and cake doughnuts here, with special doughnut flavours updated daily. It’s hard to go wrong with the original glazed, but the Vietnamese coffee, crème brûlée and hot cocoa flavours are pretty spiffy too. Even better, Donut Vission bakes up apple fritters, an OG guilty pleasure. Open daily, 9am till sold out!
Dough Bros (North Point)
We always welcome another branch of pizza and doughnut specialist Dough Bros! We love their new Texas Hot pizza (tomato, mozzarella, smoked sausage, jalapeño, chilli flakes) and apple pie and lemon doughnuts – we recommend requesting for all the doughnuts to be rolled in cinnamon sugar. Open daily, 10am–11pm.
18 Wang On Road, North Point, 2711 1886
Frenchies is not altogether new (it opened in early autumn 2021), but it’s never too late to sing its praises! We’re head over heels for this French bakery’s pastries (croissants, pains au chocolat, espresso cinnamon rolls) and breads (especially the sesame sourdough). One to bookmark! Open daily, 7am–7pm.
39–43 Hollywood Road, Central, firstname.lastname@example.org
Gold Garden Shanghai Cuisine
Gold Garden Shanghai Cuisine aims to recreate the authentic, rich flavours of traditional Shanghainese cuisine. Many of the signature dishes by seasoned Shanghainese chefs Man Fong Lam and Cheung Wing Chun feature elaborate cooking techniques. One great example is the salted wild-caught fish, pictured above, where wild-caught ocean fish is submerged in salt water and sun-dried overnight, then steamed or pan-fried before serving. Notably, there are eight private rooms and eight semi-private rooms at Gold Garden Shanghai Cuisine, which is named and luxuriously designed after historic Chinese bamboo garden Ge Yuan in Yangzhou. Open daily for lunch and dinner sessions.
Get your Southern soul food fix at Graceland, opened by Tennessee native Jake Johnson. The 46-seat spot offers both indoor and outdoor seating and serves up comforting eats like chicken and dumplings, country fried steak, hot Nashville chicken sandwich and Mississippi catfish, alongside a laid-back bar menu of Elvis-themed cocktails, ciders and craft beers – plus iconic hits from Hong Kong’s only vinyl-spinning jukebox. This might be the only place in HK where you can get yourself some authentic sweet tea and Mountain Dew too, y’all. Happy hour runs on weekdays from 4–7pm, offering snacks and drinks from $30. Open daily, weekdays 4pm–2am, Saturday 12pm–2am and Sunday 12pm–midnight.
Shop B, G/F, Lisa House, 12–14A Yim Po Fong Sreet, Mongkok, 6112 9448
Grand Majestic Sichuan
If you’re opening a Sichuan restaurant and Fuschia Dunlop is your consultant, you know you’re onto a good thing. London-based author Dunlop is a world-renowned expert on Chinese gastronomy and has published several books focusing on Sichuan cuisine in particular. She has joined forces with Black Sheep Restaurants to open Grand Majestic Sichuan at Central’s Alexandra House, an opulent 1970s supper club-inspired eatery awash in crystal, marble, silk and velvet. Grand Majestic is named after the iconic Majestic Restaurant & Night Club in North Point, the place to be in Hong Kong in the 1960s. Chef Robert Wong leads the kitchen, having previously been awarded a Michelin star three in a row years at nearby Sichuan restaurant Chilli Fagara, offering a menu ranging from cold dishes and slow-simmered meats to soups and a section dedicated to street snacks. This swanky new Sichuan spot also features a glass-enclosed “birdhouse”, two bar areas and an outdoor terrace. Open from Friday the 21st from 12pm for lunch until restrictions are eased.
HEYTEA (K11 Art Mall)
We’re glad to see another branch of this Chinese bubble tea chain in Hong Kong. A few years back, HEYTEA had branches scattered around the 852, but now there’s just this new shop and a takeaway-only outlet at Times Square left. HEYTEA is famous for its Cheezo – cheese foam – tea, with the Very Grape Cheezo being a personal fave. The new Dark Lemon Splash, made with a black tea base and lots and lots of lemon, also sounds very refreshing. The brand currently has more than 800 shops across Asia. Open daily, 11am–10pm.
Shop G22–G33, G/F, K11 Art Mall, 18 Hanoi Road, TST, 2356 7880
Ho Lee Fook’s reopening
Black Sheep Restaurants’ Ho Lee Fook has been reborn, transformed from a quirky, laid-back Chinese restaurant with Chef Jowett Yu at the helm to a luxurious eatery with a focus on traditional Cantonese cuisine, now led by HK born-and-bred chef ArChan Chan. Signature HLK dishes remain, such as the roast Wagyu short rib and prawn toast x okonomiyaki, but Chef Chan also brings to life a repertoire of stunning classic Cantonese dishes. Her calling cards include Stir-fry King, a textural delight of flowering garlic chives, yellow chives and chilli tossed with cuttlefish and crispy anchovy, and steamed live razor clams. The restaurant’s roast meats’ selection has also been expanded with the new Ho Lee Duck. Open Tuesday–Sunday from 6pm for dinner.
INTERVAL x The Chairman pop-up (7–8 January)
This pop-up at INTERVAL is exciting, a partnership between The Chairman – named Asia’s Best Restaurant 2021 – and the restaurateurs of home-grown Twins Kitchen. Dubbed “Friends of Fire” in tribute to INTERVAL’s custom-built wood-fired pizza oven, Caleb and Joshua Ng of Twins Kitchen and Danny Yip of The Chairman will be collaborating to showcase an eight-course dinner menu ($1,288/person; +$688 for wine pairings) on the 7th and 8th, with each dish utilising fire in some fashion – a passion project that has taken the trio six months to perfect. Highlights include cold-smoked caviar atop drunken clams, baked whole crab with Sichuan peppercorn, roasted bone marrow with house-made XO sauce and freshly baked bread and The Chairman’s famous char siu and BBQ pork tendon with flat egg noodles, spring onion and goose fat.
UPDATE: now a lunchtime pop-up!
Two-Michelin-starred chef Vicky Lau of Tate Dining Room is partnering with Head Chef Percy Ho and co-founder Romain Herbreteau to launch intimate contemporary Chinese restaurant MORA on Saturday, 15 January. Continuing to focus on fine-dining Chinese cuisine with French influences, MORA will uniquely highlight soybean-based delicacies, so we can think of MORA not as a plant-based eatery, but a soy-based one. Most of the soy items found on the menu, with the dishes categorised by texture, are created in MORA’s own factory, which utilises a new technology of extracting soy milk with a thicker texture and more intense flavour. Open Tuesday–Saturday for set lunch and dinner menus, with the full à-la-carte menu available from 1 March.
We can’t seem to get enough of omusubi, also known as onigiri or rice rolls. These triangular-shaped, nori-wrapped savoury rice bites make the best snacks ever and are the stars of OMUSUBI, a new brand opened in collaboration with Hyakunousha, a Japanese company in Hong Kong that also owns and operates popular omusubi chain hana-musubi. The Japanese rice used in this new brand is of the highest quality, with minimal use of pesticides and well-managed cultivation and production. The product packaging has been made much more environmentally friendly through the use of paper instead of plastic. There are also new omusubi flavours such as sea urchin sauce with red snow crab and premium Kishu pickled plum. The first OMUSUBI shop at ifc mall is open daily, 8am–10pm (from 9am on weekends and public holidays).
Shop 1061, 1/F, ifc mall, 8 Finance Street, Central, 2351 8968
Pasta de Show
This new Kennedy Town eatery serves up handmade pasta with Asian influences. Pasta de Show’s lunch menu is pretty unbeatable – daily soup or salad, a choice of pasta and sparkling juice for just over a hundo. We’re keen to try the creamy, white wine-based pasta (tagliolini, linguine or pappardelle) made with salted egg yolk. Open daily from lunchtime.
1C Sands Street, Kennedy Town, 6759 6900
Now, Tseung Kwan O has a branch of pasta specialist Pici, the seventh by Pirata Group. The brand’s signature design elements – large, open windows, white marble counters, open kitchen – remain, while there are three exclusive new dishes on the menu that we can’t wait to try: a melted truffle provolone starer, tagliatelle with seafood and four-cheese ravioli (pictured). Open daily for lunch and dinner sessions.
Craving American-style sushi? Well, Rollie’s got you covered with its funky, open-faced handrolls. This cool sushi bar, described as “the Far East meets the West Coast”, features handrolls like the Ex-Scallop-ur (scallop, asparagus, garlic butter), Philly Cheese made with teriyaki beef and everyone’s fave, spicy tuna, in the Will.I.Roll. There are also some inventive appetisers (we can’t wait to check out the chicken skin gyoza). Open Tuesday–Saturday for lunch and dinner sessions.
32 Cochrane Street, Central, 2845 9244
Steak King (TKO)
Also landing in the Tseung Kwan O ‘hood – just a few shops down from Pici, in fact – is this butcher shop, deli and coffee house. Steak King offers top quality dry-aged steak, USDA Prime steak, Australian Wagyu, Australian free-range chicken, Dorper lamb, biltong, house-made ready meals (think Wagyu beef Wellington and crab cakes) and lots more gourmet goodies. The indoor-outdoor café area is a chilled spot to sit down with a cup of coffee, roasted every week at LCC Roastery on Lantau Island. Open daily, 9am–9pm.
Shop G11, G/F, CAPRI Place – O’South Coast, 33 Tong Yin Street, TKO, 6580 7139
TEAHOUSE/BARHOUSE is the second of the trio of wellwellwell’s modern Chinese F&B spots to launch at Pacific Place (the first was Auntie ĀYI last month). Capturing the buzz of a lively Chinese market, by day TEAHOUSE reinvents cha chaan teng classics. Come sundown, the space transforms into BARHOUSE, serving up Chinese liquors in creative cocktails (the Sweet Potato Sour sounds intriguing), East-meets-West bar snacks and street-style skewers. Two pasta dishes we can’t wait to try are the Sichuan mapo spaghetti bolognese and carbonara made with lap cheong, or Chinese sausage. Open daily from 11am for lunch, afternoon tea and evening dinner and drinks.
Shop 002, LG1/F, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty (no bookings)
Test Kitchen’s caviar pop-up (20–22 January)
January is traditionally a time to get lean and clean, but we say, why stop the indulgence? Test Kitchen is kicking off 2022 with this decadent three-night pop-up in collaboration with Oh! Caviar, supplier of authentic, sustainably sourced Russian sturgeon caviar. The multi-course tasting menu ($1,780/person; +$600 for wine pairings) features a selection of caviar-laden canapés, Hiroshima oysters with trumpet and maitake mushroom and mushroom consommé, flathead lobster with poached egg, rice cracker and Deluxe Osetra caviar and several more innovative dishes.
UPDATE: the new hours are 12–6pm!
Test Kitchen’s tapas pop-up (28–30 January)
Next up for Test Kitchen, chefs Peter, Cam and Jenga and the craft beer-loving brothers from Bar Cart will be offering a tasty selection of tapas at this first edition of their street food series of pop-ups, with à-la-carte pairings of Baird Beer and sangria on the cards too. The tapas set will be offered for dinner ($780/person) on Friday the 28th, Saturday the 29th and Sunday the 30th and lunch ($580/person) on the 29th and 30th, to include tapas such as potato chip frittata, lechón pork belly, market seafood paella and churros with chocolate fondue.
UPDATE: the new hours are 12–6pm!
ThinkWine’s winter fondue nights (from 3 January, Monday–Wednesday from 6pm)
Every Monday–Wednesday throughout the winter season (we take that to mean the end of March), you can get an authentic fondue experience that we’re down for. The free-flow cheese fondue ($300/person) at wine bar ThinkWine comes with potato, truffle ham, Bayonne ham, coppa and saucisson for dipping. Yum!
UPDATE: now, try the fondue for lunch instead! Open from 12pm.
XUÂN (Harbour City)
We’re pleased to report another branch of modern Vietnamese eatery XUÂN across the harbour. The signature beef pho with roasted bone marrow and grilled three-yellow chicken are on the menu here, and there are a few new noods dishes that have us drooling – wok-fried glass noodles with soft-shell crab and some East-meets-West prawn noodles laced with garlic butter and crispy garlic. Open daily, 11am–9pm.
Yakiniku Like (Causeway Bay)
This is the seventh HK outlet of Japanese grill restaurant Yakiniku Like, famous for its solo yakiniku experience. The yakiniku brand from Tokyo features individual grills and contactless ordering. Soft-opening from 22 December, with the grand opening earmarked for Wednesday, 29 December. To celebrate, the Causeway Bay outlet will present the exclusive “29” (sounds like “meat” in Japanese) opening offer – customers can enjoy an additional 50g serving of misuji, harami or premium karubi for just $29 when ordering any regular-priced set. Open daily, 11:30am–10:15pm.
2/F, 8 Russell Street, Causeway Bay, 2875 6288
We’ve heard good things about the grilled chicken skewers at Yakitori Kobako, a vibrant Japanese yakitori joint in Wanchai. The tsukune (chicken meatballs served with raw egg) and chicken tail seem to be the clear winners. Let us know what you try and like here! Open Monday–Saturday, 6pm till late.
30 Swatow Street, Wanchai, 2811 8266
For more awesome guides like this, like Foodie on Facebook