Header photo: cheesecake lollies by @jajahongkong

IMPORTANT: since Friday, 7January, restaurants have not been able to provide evening dine-in services from 6pm, as announced by Chief Executive Carrie Lam, and from Thursday, 10 February, all dine-in services have been restricted to two people per table.

These restrictions are on the cards until Thursday, 21 April, when evening dine-in services can resume until 10pm and up to four diners can be seated per table. Bars and pubs will continue to be closed for the time being.

A Lux

Chef Wai Chung Kwan leads the kitchen at fine-dining eatery A Lux, sharing his passion for the seasonal produce of both France and Italy. The four- and six-course tasting menus place the spotlight on premium French and Italian seasonal ingredients in beautifully presented dishes such as cod with bouillabaisse and quail and fettuccine with carabineros prawn. Open daily from 12pm.

M/F, Baskerville House, 13 Duddell Street, Central, 2663 9938

Bar Bleu

This new oyster and champagne bar also features elevated French-inspired plates by Chef Kakei Wong, formerly of VEA. We look forward to savouring Bar Bleu’s seafood-oriented menu, showcasing dishes such as charred octopus with ‘nduja and ratte potato, snow crab tagliatelle, black cod with cauliflower in beurre blanc and more. Open Tuesday–Sunday from 12pm.

9 Staunton Street, SoHo, Central, 5980 6107

Benkei

We clocked this newcomer on Instagram owing to its rave reviews. Cosy Japanese eatery Benkei specialises in both teppanyaki (food cooked on a flat-top iron grill) and Osaka-style okonomiyaki (savoury pancakes). The good-value lunch sets are particularly recommended. Open daily, 12–6pm.

6/F, Stanley 11, 11 Stanley Street, Central, 2890 2800

Chubby Papa’s Deli

What a name! The (not so chubby) papa in question at Chubby Papa’s Deli is founder Jason Lloyd, who has come up with a drool-worthy menu of sandwiches. It will be really hard to choose what we try first at this chilled K-Town hang-out; right now, it’s a toss-up between the stacked Reuben, ooey-gooey buffalo grilled cheese and classic Italian sub. Open Tuesday–Saturday, 12–6pm.

7–11 Belcher’s Street, Kennedy Town, 6995 8931


Cultivate’s anniversary tasting menus (until 20 April)

Chef Leonard Cheung is celebrating the one-year anniversary of his fine-casual, interactive, seasonal restaurant, Cultivate, with two anniversary tasting menus that place the spotlight on his most requested dishes. Both the seven-course anniversary express tasting menu ($988/person) and eight-course with extended canapés anniversary full tasting menu ($1,488/person) are now up for ordering on Wednesday–Friday, with the full version also available at the weekend until Sunday, 20 April. One highlight of both ingredient-driven menus is this stunning maitake dish, pairing the Japanese mushroom with the sweet, smoky, savoury and spicy flavors of Vietnamese pho alongside dry-aged foie gras and goji berries. If there’s ever been a year we need a reason to celebrate, it’s this one!

27–29 Elgin Street, SoHo, Central, 5303 1230, book online

Frenchies

Frenchies was featured in a Foodie opening round-up last year, and their soft-opening phase has been a particularly long one owing to COVID. This friendly bakery and coffee shop by Frenchman Matthieu Maury, who also founded La Station café in Wanchai, is nestled on Hollywood Road and has already become well known for its espresso cinnamon roll, babka and locally roasted coffee. Open daily, 7am–7pm.

39–43 Hollywood Road, Central, 5267 9403 (WhatsApp)

The Grocery Club

Perfect for these pandemic times, The Grocery Club is a new online grocery shopping platform with items – everything from fruit and veg, meat, seafood and dairy products to pantry staples, environmentally friendly household products and sustainable skincare brands – that are carefully sourced by a team of food experts from both Hong Kong and abroad. Sustainable packaging is utilised with all orders (good riddance, plastic), and The Grocery Club works with local vendors to recycle all plastic and polyfoam materials, repacking all orders with 100% biodegradable materials, and donates all food waste to local charities. Same-day delivery to HK Island and Kowloon is available for orders placed before 12pm Monday–Saturday, with no fee charged for orders over $650.

Hans & Gretel

Born in Athens, Greece, Hans & Gretel, a magical wonderland of sweet treats, has opened in Causeway Bay (and we hear a shop in Tseung Kwan O will also debut soon). The Hans & Gretel brand is literally a sweet tooth’s paradise. The cinnamon-flavoured chimney cakes, bubble waffles and gelato are its most Instagrammed treats, with its whimsical, fairy-tale-like decor a close second in the social-media stakes. Open daily, 10am–10pm.

Shop 6–8, G–1/F, Yee On Building, 26 East Point, Causeway Bay, 3568 1192

JAJA

Housed in Hong Kong Arts Centre, JAJA will be a fun place to hit up once we can go to the theatre again. This colourful, playful vegetarian spot (with al-fresco terrace) by Mira Dining is set to feature art installations and a range of themed workshops once they’re in full swing. The global menu presents plant-based Eastern and Western dishes, from massaman pumpkin curry to the signature Take It Cheesy breadstick twists, but it’s the drinks and desserts that have really got our mouths watering – milkshakes, smoothies, cocktails and mocktails, cheesecake lollies, hot pan cookies with ice cream and so much more. Open daily, 11:30am–6pm.

6/F, Hong Kong Arts Centre, 2 Harbour Road, Wanchai, 2877 3999, book online

MrBeast Burger

MrBeast Burgers Hong Kong

YouTube superstar MrBeast has launched his burger brand here in Hong Kong! MrBeast Burger is known for its smashed burgers, Nashville-style hot chicken-tender burgers and signature Beast-style loaded fries. The burger brand is operating out of JustKitchen, a cloud kitchen from Taiwan that’s expanding rapidly. JustKitchen has chosen Sai Ying Pun for its first HK outlet, with plans to open sites in Central, North Point, Kwun Tong and Yuen Long. More brands to come include TGIFs and Formosa Chang. Customers can order MrBeast for delivery via foodpanda or pick up from JustKitchen.

141 Second Street, Sai Ying Pun

Oolaa (Central flagship)

A bright and breezy Oolaa branch has opened on Central’s Stanley Street (relocating from its long-standing location on Bridges Street), catering to tastes far and wide. We like the high ceilings and range of seating here, from high tables to cosy booths. The popular all-day-dining spot offers everything from weekday breakfast and weekend brunch, to set lunch, to happy hour, to à-la-carte options, and right now, there’s even a “restrictions special” Food Club menu on weekdays from 3–6pm giving diners two mains for $250 – perhaps Oolaa’s signature Wagyu spaghetti bolognese paired with chicken parmigiana or spicy chicken quesadillas followed by an order of veggie fajitas. Open daily from 7am.

28 Stanley Street, Central, 2796 6988, book online

Shake Shack (Citygate Outlets)

Shake Shack’s all-natural Angus burgers, crinkle-cut fries and frozen custard will soon be landing in Tung Chung, the US burger brand’s first branch on Lantau Island. This spacious Citygate Outlets shop has indoor and outdoor seating and is the first in the 852 that’s also pet friendly. Although this branch is slated to open in May, we’re adding the deets here because there’s a free meal to be won. Follow @shakeshackhongkong and share a pic of yourself on Instagram or Facebook with this colourful hoarding artwork by local artist Bo Law, using the hashtag #shackventure. Ten winners will be chosen, who will be gifted with a skip-the-line pass and a meal for two at the Citygate Shack once it opens next month. Opening details TBC.

Shop G20, G/F, Citygate Outlets, 20 Tat Tung Road, Tung Chung, Lantau Island

Tai On Coffee & Tea

The new Tai On serves up cha chaan teng faves with a twist, so stop by this revitalised café (the original opened way back in 1969) for a bagel filled with condensed milk or cookies flavoured with lemon tea, washed down with a Horlicks coffee. Kudos to Tai On for maintaining its old-school vibe (cue ceiling fans). Open daily, 9am–6pm.

830 Canton Road, Yau Ma Tei, 2385 2774

Thirsty Shaker

Just as restrictions subside on Thursday the 21st, Thirtsy Shaker, Hong Kong’s first punch cocktail lounge, is set to shake up the F&B scene. The brainchild of Sandeep Hathiramani, co-founder of acclaimed bars Tell Camellia and The Wise King, we’re sure Thirsty Shaker will be yet another hit for the industry veteran. The punches, served theatrically in large, elaborate bowls with a ladle for sharing, and rotating selection of “revived“ cocktails will be complemented by a stylish interior, outdoor terrace and hip-hop playlist. Open Tuesday–Sunday from 5pm.

3/F, Hilltop Plaza, 49 Hollywood Road, Central, 9880 5997 (WhatsApp)

VEA x WING Project Soul Relief (from 15 April)

Chef Vicky Cheng will launch his fundraising initiative, Project Soul Relief, at his Michelin-starred restaurant VEA and lauded newcomer, WING, in collaboration with non-profit organisation ChickenSoup Foundation. Starting from Friday, 15 April at 12pm, 300 charity sets of VEA’s South African abalone noodles + 30g of Kristal caviar with blinis ($1,380/set) and 500 sets of abalone sauce fish maw rice + chopped chilli fish maw rice from WING ($1,380/set) will be for sale on Project Soul Relief’s website, while stocks last. Profits will be donated to ChickenSoup Foundation in order to provide holistic support to local low-income, single-parent families with special-needs children. We applaud Chef Cheng for giving back to the community, particularly during these pandemic times.

VEA: 30/F, The Wellington, 198 Wellington Street, Central, 2711 8639

WING: 29/F, The Wellington, 198 Wellington Street, Central, 2711 0063

RELATED: New Restaurants, Pop-Ups & Menus: March 2022

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