Hong Kong’s Eateries Helping to Normalise Breastfeeding

Hong Kong’s Eateries Helping to Normalise Breastfeeding

The list of the restaurants, bars and cafés supporting the #Ittasteslikelove campaign in Hong Kong

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Foodie  Foodie Your Guide to Good Taste  on 11 Jul '19


Maximal Concepts (HK Island)

The grand masters of mixing tradition and innovation, Maximal Concepts are unequivocally supporting the idea that women should be free to nurse however, wherever and whenever they need to.

Why they back the campaign:

"We absolutely support this campaign and want all nursing mothers to feel totally comfortable caring for their children in our restaurants. It’s such an important message to get across, and the stigma definitely needs to change in Hong Kong.” – Malcolm Wood, Global Managing Director

What they do and why you should go:

Brickhouse: the best of Mexican street food in a hip setting, located centrally. This isn’t your traditional spot for mamas with kids in tow, but hey, if these cool kids are backing the campaign, so should everyone.

The Flying Elk: we can’t say it better than Executive Head Chef Jim Löfdahl: “This is such an important initiative, which we are very proud to support at The Flying Elk. It is a wonderful and natural thing for a mother to nurse her child, and no one should ever feel prohibited or uncomfortable when doing so. We want all nursing mothers to feel happy and at ease when they come to our restaurant.”

John Anthony: this 7,000-square-foot ode to sustainability in the restaurant business serves up innovative Cantonese food. With a focus on ensuring how our choices now need to be mindful of the next generation, it makes sense they are backing a campaign to normalise breastfeeding.

Limewood: perfect for lazy beach days, this Repulse Bay gem is beloved by local families and visitors alike. Set beachfront at The Pulse, this is an ideal place for a leisurely lunch, and they won’t bat an eyelid if your boobs are out for breastfeeding.

Mercedes me Store: slap bang on Queen’s Road Central, this one is an easy choice for lunching with fellow parents or just grabbing a quick bite after running errands in Central.

Mott 32: internationally renowned Chinese fare based primarily on Cantonese and Sichuan traditions is what’s on offer here. A great choice if you want a stylish family gathering but still need to nurse.

Stockton: this whisky bar (open from 6pm till late) with its slick cocktails and den-of-iniquity atmosphere might seem an unlikely backer of the campaign, but mamas also have nights off, and when they do, they always remember the folk that backed them when they needed it.


Black Sheep Restaurants (HK Island, TST)

From the classic tastes of post-colonial India and Pakistan to 1950s New York, these guys know how to do concept cuisine right. Inspired by the past but forward thinking in their delivery, they operate a “family first” approach, and encouraging the normalisation of breastfeeding fits into that.

Why they back the campaign:

“Family is important to us, and everyone who dines with us is an extended member of our family – and that includes babies. We fully support a woman’s choice to breastfeed her baby whenever and wherever she chooses, and this includes all Black Sheep Restaurants venues. We pride ourselves in offering all mothers a safe and welcoming environment.” – Malique Goldin, Director of Guest Experience

What they do and why you should go:

Artemis & Apollo: what’s not to love about the family-friendly atmosphere of this Greek taverna?

BELON: a fusion of classic French bistro and local influences, BELON now boasts a Michelin star. High-end restaurants can be inexplicably difficult about nursing mothers, so it’s excellent to have “safe” special-occasion options.

Burger Circus: all-American diner with booths, jukebox and a menu of cult favourites. Great vibe and kind staff make it a winner for new parents.

Carbone: with Big Apple style, Italian-American food and cool music, this one ticks all the boxes whether you’re with the children or not.

Chôm Chôm: if you’ve travelled through Southeast Asia, you’ll know that people bring kids out in the evenings to dine and people-watch. No reason why you can’t carry on this tradition at this busy Vietnamese kitchen and bar.

Fukuro: this slick Japanese izakaya is an unlikely stop if you’re nursing, but one to bookmark for your return to wild nights out.

Ho Lee Fook: where New York’s Chinatown meets Hong Kong’s cha chaan tengs. With a no-reservations policy and lively atmosphere, this isn’t necessarily somewhere to bring baby, but know that if you need to, they have your back.

Hotal Colombo: this vibrant Sri Lanka eatery makes us think of holidays. Great if you’re in SoHo and need something simple and yummy for an early dinner. If you’re nursing, choose the seats against the wall for extra comfort.

La Vache!: with branches in SoHo and TST, these spacious Parisian steakhouses are the go-to for those craving red meat and addictive frites.

Le Garçon Saigon: classic Vietnamese fare served in a Parisian brasserie-style setting, this is an excellent choice if you feel like being a grown-up after baby-and-me classes.

Le Petit Saigon: this is more grab and go, but if you’re used to breastfeeding in a carrier, make a pit stop here and pick up the best banh mi in town.

Maison Libanaise: evoking 1960s Beirut, this SoHo Middle Eastern spot is a firm favourite, and it’s great that this doesn’t need to change just because you have a family.

Motorino: if you’re after excellent pizza with a great family atmosphere, this is a good choice and well located – one branch is just off the Central–Mid-Levels escalator in SoHo and the other’s on Wanchai’s trendy Ship Street.

New Punjab Club: this tandoori grill is a fantastic family spot with a lush menu. It also has a Michelin star, so if you’re entertaining foodie visitors and have a bub in tow, this might be the solution.

Osteria Marzia: breastfeeding in public is normal in Italy, so much so that the Pope recently welcomed nursing mothers to the Sistine Chapel. It makes sense that this darling restaurant that offers diners a taste of the coastal cuisine of places such as Amalfi, Puglia and Sardinia should have the same approach.

Soul Food Thai: a neighbourhood Thai kitchen offering authentic Bangkok shophouse dishes with a twist, most of them easy to eat with a babe in arms. A great choice if you want something casual but inviting for dinner.

Stazione Novella: another good option if you’re on the hop and need a quick bite or drink, but as they have high bar stools, it’s probably better to keep your baby in the carrier if you’re planning on breastfeeding.


FRITES (Causeway Bay, Central, Quarry Bay, Wanchai)

Already a favourite with Hong Kong’s parents, FRITES’ restaurants are popular for working lunches or after-office drinks, but they are also great places to bring the kids. The venues have play areas and activities to keep your smalls occupied.

Why they back the campaign:

"We are delighted to be part of the #Ittasteslikelove campaign and fully support mothers breastfeeding in public. No one has the authority to tell a mother where to feed her child; it is a natural process that should be done wherever they please.” – Avia Kafry, FRITES management


MANA! (Central, Sheung Wan, Wanchai)

Bobsy Gaia is the godfather of Hong Kong’s ethical eating scene – whether it’s promoting a plant-based diet or highlighting the need to reduce waste. The third of his MANA! eateries just opened near Wanchai’s Star Street, and he’s committed all of his restaurants to supporting #Ittastteslikelove.

Why they back the campaign:

“MANA! is proud to support the #Ittasteslikelove campaign to normalise breastfeeding. Mothers can relax at MANA! and know they are welcome and can dine or drink hassle free.” – Bobsy Gaia, founder


Beef & Liberty (Central, Stanley, Hong Kong International Airport)

We just love these guys – not just for the excellent food and great events (whether its beach clean-ups or family quiz days), but also because they understand how important it is for the whole community to be involved in driving social change. They were amongst the first to include the plant-based Impossible Burger on their menus and are now leading the way with helping to normalise breastfeeding in F&B.

Why they back the campaign:

“At Beef & Liberty we completely support the #Ittasteslikelove campaign. We welcome all nursing mothers and hope to provide an atmosphere that is comfortable and relaxed where they can look after their children without being judged or hassled.” – Will Bray, Managing Director, Greater China Restaurant Company


Modern Rich Group (Causeway Bay, Wanchai)

This cool group deliver innovative fusion eats as well as the best of the grill. Diners can rest assured that they will be looked after at either of their eateries, in terms of service, food and, of course, support if you’re nursing.

Why they back the campaign:

“We support breastfeeding as this is such a wonderful thing to give babies. I am a father of two, so I understand the beauty of it. Our restaurants have carefully planned our seating, so mummies can enjoy a more spacious environment when they feed their babies. Meanwhile, if they visit us during lunchtime on weekdays, they can enjoy a custom-made hot mocktail, which is good for their body health!” – Jerry Fung, General Manager, hEat and Le Rêve

What they do and why you should support them:

hEat: there’s something for everyone at this casual Mediterranean grill in Wanchai, so bring the extended family and stay for awhile.

Le Rêve: try this French-Japanese fine-dining restaurant in Causeway Bay if you’re keen to impress and relax knowing that even with babe in tow the service will still be faultless and welcoming.


SpiceBox Organics (Kennedy Town, Mid-Levels)

These shops and cafés are stalwarts for Hong Kong Island’s westsiders wanting to pick up freshly made, organic, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan fare. Dining in is always nice, and they go the extra mile to make parents feel welcome.

Why they back the campaign:

“We support the #Ittasteslikelove campaign to normalise breastfeeding. We want nursing mothers to know they are welcome at all of our stores and cafés. We are happy to offer them a complimentary Organic India caffeine-free tea upon any dine-in or in-store purchase.” – Punam Chopra, founder


DiVino Group (Central, TST, Wanchai)

Lovers of Italian cuisine head to one of these restaurants for fresh ingredients and warm welcomes. These guys have been going for more than 15 years, so they know a thing or two about keeping every generation happy.

Why they back the campaign:

“We are thrilled to back the #Ittasteslikelove campaign to normalise breastfeeding. Our staff understand only too well how daunting it can be for nursing mothers when out and about in public. We’d like to give you one less thing to worry about. If you dine or drink with us, we’ll give you one free smoothie.” – DiVino Group team

What they do and why you should support them:

Carpaccio: complete the gastronomic tour around Italy with a stop at this gem at iSQUARE mall, which brings trattoria style to TST. They have a very reasonable weekend brunch too.

DiVino Patio: whether it’s for work or pleasure, this place has the perfect seating, menu and drink list for every kind of meeting, be it intimate or formal. Plus, the location close to Wanchai’s waterfront provides a spacious al- fresco vibe. They’re big on family here, so come with the brood.

DiVino Wine Bar & Restaurant: this Wyndham Street stalwart keeps it simple for lunch but draws a crowd for dinner. The service is excellent.

Spasso: come for the divine Italian food, stay for the view. It’s vital to have more breastfeeding-friendly restaurants on the other side of the harbour, so we’re pleased to have such a super option in this neck of the woods.


Hemingway’s DB (Discovery Bay)

This waterside eatery is now fully vegan, offering a collection of classic favourites – from pizza to pies – but all dairy and meat free. The holiday-resort vibe, coupled with the relaxed seating and outdoor furniture, lends itself to leisurely lunches or sundowners. A great choice for everyone, but especially nursing mothers.

Why they back the campaign:

“Hemingway’s fully backs the #Ittasteslikelove campaign to normalise breastfeeding in society. Breastfeeding is the single most natural thing we as humans do, and the practice should never be shunned or frowned upon, only encouraged and the mothers supported!” – Gary Stokes, owner


Maggie & Rose (Causeway Bay, Repulse Bay)

This family members’ club with beach and city properties has a vision to create a home away from home where both grown-ups and kids can make fun memories together. They support the #Ittastelikelove campaign across both venues.

Why they back the campaign:

“We support and cultivate a positive attitude towards breastfeeding in public places, including our Eat Café at Maggie & Rose City Club in Causeway Bay, and provide mothers with better community support for sustaining breastfeeding.” – Maggie & Rose team


Baumhaus (TST, Wanchai)

These wonderful centres for kids have been favourites of Hong Kong’s parents for years, featuring great play areas, coffee lounges and music and drama classes, and have always made nursing mothers feel welcome.

Why they back the campaign:

“Baumhaus supports the #Ittasteslikelove message to normalise breastfeeding. We can offer a butter or chocolate cookie to breastfeeding mums when they are in the cafés in our centres.” – Baumhaus team


Whisky & Words (Sheung Wan)

As the venue for Heather Lin’s Pump It Up event, where a group of women came together to be photographed breastfeeding and pumping (a homage to the pics of actress Rachel McAdams pumping milk while clad in diamonds and Versace), the team behind this dynamic bar have already shown their full support for breastfeeding mothers. Read our review.


Elephant Grounds (Admiralty, Causeway Bay, Mid-Levels, Sha Tin, Wanchai)

A sanctuary for caffeine addicts and breakfast lovers, with outlets across the city.


Nhậu (Sheung Wan)

Inventive Vietnamese cuisine by chef (and proud father) Que Vinh Dang. Read our review.


Pret A Manger

Setting the standard for international brands in Hong Kong, Pret is standing up for mothers across the city by supporting #Ittasteslikelove and showing once again that they are happy to give back to consumers.

Why they back the campaign:

“Breastfeeding is a very natural thing, which should not be discriminated in our society. Pret is very proud to be part of the @Ittasteslikelove campaign, and we fully support normalising breastfeeding in Hong Kong. We are pleased to offer a safe, secure, comfortable and supportive environment for nursing mothers to feel free to breastfeed their children.” – Yumi Li, Commercial Director (Asia)

What they do and why you should go:

What don’t they do? Breakfast, lunch, lattes and light bites, Pret has become Hong Kong’s de-facto canteen. Pret makes an effort to cater to vegan and vegetarian customers and offers both healthy and comfort food. It’s great for nursing mothers to know they are safe and cared for at their ubiquitous cafés. Plus, from 19 August 2019, Pret will offer free cookies with any food or drink purchase to nursing mothers who are dining in.


HABITŪ

This popular chain likes to present itself as a home away from home, so it makes sense that they support the idea of nursing mothers being made to feel welcome and comfortable.

Why they back the campaign:

"We believe all mothers should make themselves comfortable and nurse anytime, anywhere. #HabituLove is boundless – we make incredible things happen by becoming a breastfeeding-friendly neighbourhood café for every mum.” – HABITŪ team

What they do and why you should go:

These cafés offer coffees, cakes and chocolates, as well as excellent soups, pastas and sandwiches. Their spaces are light and airy, with room to relax, and they make an ideal place for a pit stop if mamas are running out of steam.


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