In the bar and restaurant world, October is when things really kick into pre-Christmas overdrive, what with Oktoberfest, Halloween, seasonal pop-ups and guest chefs doing their thang. We’ve rounded up the best of the best food and drink events happening around town next month, so you should be able to keep yourself sated nearly every day.
• For Halloween sweet treats: ‘healthy’ bakery Sweet Secrets – whose niche is catering to those with gluten and other dietary intolerances – have baked up a range of Halloween-y cakes, cookies and cupcakes, all of which have gluten-, sugar-, egg-, nut- and soy-free options. Highlights include the Itsy Bitsy Spider butter cookies ($48 per cookie/$540 per dozen) and the Too-Cute-to-Spook cupcakes (vanilla or chocolate with buttercream or red velvet at $360 for six or $660 per dozen). Early-bird specials are available until 20 October. For more information or to order, phone 2545 8886 or email email@example.com.
Itsy Bitsy Spider cookies from Sweet Secrets
• For Halloween parties: on Saturday, 29 October at 6:30pm, the be-all and end-all of Halloween parties will kick off at Hullett House. The ninth instalment of the Dead Not Alive Halloween party features cocktails, dinner, DJs, dancers, virtual-reality zombies and a special headline performance by Japanese hip-hop legends m-flo from Tokyo. Various ticket options are available (including early bird offers before 20 October and a three-course set dinner package ) – click here for more information and to book tickets. Costumes are mandatory or you’ll be booted out faster than you can say trick or treat.
Hullett House, 1881 Heritage, 2A Canton Road, TST
Rapper Verbal and DJ Taku Takahashi – better known as m-flo – will perform at the Dead Not Alive Halloween party
On Hong Kong Island, also on Saturday the 29th from 9pm till midnight, The Pawn’s Botanicals bar will play host to the creepy Ripper’s Sanatorium. The bar will be divided into three hospital-themed sections (more like insane asylum), with complimentary makeup, costume prizes and a selection of gruesome nibbles and tipples – some of the cocktails will be served in blood bags and syringes for the full-on gross-out factor. Tickets can be purchased on Ticketflap now for $160 a head or $199 at the door.
1/F, The Pawn, 62 Johnston Road, Wanchai, 2866 3444
Bloody cocktail, anyone?
• For kids: with its kids’ corner, tempting kids’ menu and weekend bubbles parties, Belgian restaurant Frites is supremely child friendly all year round, but they’re pulling out all the stops this Halloween. On Sunday, 30 October at 2pm, they’ll be hosting a magic show at all their locations, and little ones are encouraged to dress up as their favourite book, TV or film character or in a traditional spooky costume (the best-dressed kid at each location will get a $500 voucher for future family dining at Frites). Complimentary Halloween candy and ice cream are also on the menu, so be prepared for the sugar rush to follow. Lunch bookings are essential.
Causeway Bay: Shop 1, G/F, Park Haven, 38 Haven Street, 2142 5233
Central: 1/F, The Wellington, 198 Wellington Street, 2217 6671
Quarry Bay: G/F, Oxford House, Taikoo Place, 979 King’s Road, 2250 5188
Wanchai: Shop 28, Brim 28, 28 Harbour Road, 2877 2422
Celebrate Halloween with your kids at Frites
• For Tim Burton fans: ahead of the multimedia exhibition ‘The World of Tim Burton’ opening this November at ArtisTree in Taikoo Place, champagne house Veuve Clicquot – with its iconic yellow label – celebrates the season with a series of quirky Yelloween by The World of Tim Burton parties on 28 and 29 October at such HK hotspots as dragon-i and Tazmania Ballroom in LKF and ToTT’s and Roof Terrace at The Excelsior in Causeway Bay. (Side note: who else’s all-time favourite film is Edward Scissorhands? Let us know)
For full Yelloween listings, follow @VeuveClicquotHK on Instagram and Facebook.
• For one and all: okay, so this one may not be specifically food related, but we couldn’t leave out HK’s biggest Halloween extravaganza of them all at Disneyland. This year’s month-long event (every day until 31 October) will be better than ever. There’s a brand-new daytime parade, Mickey’s Halloween Time Cavalcade, and each evening, 24 of Disney’s most famous baddies, from Captain Hook to Cruella de Vil, will strut their spooky stuff in the Villains Night Out! after-dark parade. The Pavilion has been transformed into The Nightmare Experiment, with spooky elements including encounters with mutant toys from Toy Story and a visit to the Mad Hatter’s insane asylum from Alice in Wonderland. Dining tip: our fave HK Disney restaurant is Explorer’s Club at Mystic Point, serving up delicious Japanese, Korean, Indonesian and Southeast Asian food in five ornately themed dining rooms. Go to www.hongkongdisneyland.com for more information and prices (with special offers for HK residents).
Villains' Night Out! Halloween parade at Disneyland
• Macau Oktoberfest: 13–23 October, 1–8pm daily
Hosted in collaboration with the German Consulate in HK and the German Macau Business Association, MGM Macau says Prost! to lovers of all things German (especially food and beer) with its annual Oktoberfest celebration. Highlights include an authentic beer tent, folk dances and music by the Högl Fun Band from Munich. Tickets, to include one standard drink or beer, are priced at MOP 160 per person, with no charge for kids under 9. On Saturday, 22 October from 11am until 3pm, the festival will play host to the first-ever family-friendly daytime Oktoberfest, featuring a traditional German brunch, a selection of of non-alcoholic beers and game booths. To book tickets in advance, phone (853) 8802 2666 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vista II, MGM Macau, Avenida Dr Sun Yat Sen, NAPE, Macau
The Högl Fun Band at MGM Macau Oktoberfest
• Marco Polo German Bierfest: 21 October–12 November, 6–11pm daily
Now in its 25th year and still going strong, this year’s Bierfest – sponsored by German beer brewer Erdinger – is the closest you’ll get to experiencing Bavarian culture right here in the 852. Expect pretzels, sausages, apple strudel and lots and lots of quality German beer. Tunes come courtesy of German band The Notenholber, decked out to the nines in lederhosen, and there’ll be traditional games aplenty (Pushing Stein, anyone?). Click here for more information, including ticket prices.
Level 6, MarcoPolo Hong Kong Hotel, Harbour City, 3 Canton Road, TST
The perfect Oktoberfest combo: a salted pretzel and a 1L mug of beer
• Oktoberfest Food and Drink
To get your German grub on while escaping the maddening crowds, HK has several restaurants offering special Oktoberfest menus this month. Over at Beerliner until 31 October, Chef Jörn Henninger is featuring a range of hearty Oktoberfest-inspired dishes – from warm beer and cheese soup, to beef cheeks with mashed potato and red cabbage in red wine sauce, to the ‘Oktobeerfest' platter loaded with pork fillet wrapped in crispy pork belly, cheese Krainer sausage, white cabbage salad and potato cakes in dark beer sauce – plus three German draught beers from Munich brewery Hacker-Pschorr.
Beerliner's beef cheeks with mashed potato and red cabbage in red wine sauce
The kitschy King Ludwig Beerhalls are getting in on the fun until 10 October with a menu showcasing special fusion dishes (think sweet and sour rib platters and pulled pork tortillas with guacamole and Alp cheese), German band Gehrenbergspatzen, games and beer-drinking contests (on weekends, kids won’t miss out – their beer will be made of butterscotch!). At all six King Ludwigs around town, guests can pay $450 for a ‘beer passport’ to get the chance to sample 10 glasses of beer from around the world.
In honour of Oktoberfest, pork specialist The Salted Pig have added a bunch of tasty-sounding German dishes to their menu, from potato and onion pancakes with smoked salmon, to pork schnitzel Holstein (topped with a fried egg), to Black Forest mousse. A range of German beers are also available at all-day-long happy hour prices ($55).
The Salted Pig's Black Forest mousse
Guest Chefs, Pop-Ups and More
• Friday, 14 October and every weekend, until 30 October
Eager to drag out the dog days of summer as long as possible, the coolest beachside bar and restaurant around, Limewood, are setting up an Aperol pop-up bar every Saturday and Sunday this month, shaking up Aperol spritzes for $90 a pop (the most fashionable summery cocktail of them all, according to some). Other specially priced tipples offered include pitchers of some of Limewood’s most quaffable cocktails (sangria, margarita and Pimm’s Cup) at $390–420 and Peroni beer for $45 – order six and you’ll be gifted with a cool bag perfect for ice-cold beers on the beach whenever you fancy.
Limewood's Aperol pop-up bar
Though this pop-up will continue until the end of the month, Limewood’s official end-of-summer party is set for Friday, 14 October from 4–10pm. The festivities will kick off with two hours of activities for little ones – magic shows, face painting and the like – while at 7pm the adult-oriented fun begins with three hours of free-flow food and drink and live music. Tickets are priced at $580 for adults and $280 for kids 11 and under. To book, click here.
Shop 103 and 104, The Pulse, 28 Beach Road, Repulse Bay, 2866 8668
• 3–16 October
Guest chef Jaume Puigdengolas Rey of Michelin-starred Skina restaurant in Marbella, Spain, will be working hand in hand with Cadenza executive chef Juanjo Carillo to showcase a seven-course Spanish-inspired tasting menu priced at an unbeatable $580 for members and $650 for non-members (Cadenza is located within private members’ club Greater China Club but is open to the public). Diners can look forward to such sensational dishes as Chef Rey’s signature appetiser of foie gras terrine with marinated apple, a starter of quail in white escabeche sauce with wild mushrooms, suckling lamb shoulder with yoghurt and cucumber sauce, cauliflower couscous and Ras el hanout for the main course and, for dessert, the playful pineapple and coconut ‘snow’ in Skina style. This is one that’s definitely worth making a detour from Central. Bonus: there’s live jazz at the weekends.
10/F, D2 Place, 9 Cheung Yee Street, Lai Chi Kok, Kowloon, 2743 8055
Chef Jaume Puigdengolas Rey's foie gras terrine
• 3–29 October
The newest addition to Isono’s new ‘takeover’ concept, where acclaimed chefs from around the world take the reins of the restaurant’s kitchen for extended periods of time, sees the blendbrothers – two brothers from the Netherlands, Hendrik and Kamiel Buysse – roll out their ‘gastro junkie’ cuisine here in HK during their first visit to Asia. Hendrik has cut his chops at Michelin-starred restaurants in the Netherlands, while Kamiel is a professional DJ and bartender. Their lunch and dinner tasting menus ($318/$628 per person) fuse the best of Dutch and local ingredients. Creative cocktails are also on the cards, and on Friday and Saturday nights during their pop-up, Kamiel will put on his DJ hat to perform live music. These guys are passionate about good food and drink and providing an all-round awesome night out, so we’re keen to blend right in with them.
6/F, Block B, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central, 2156 0688
A sample Instagram-worthy dish à la the blendbrothers
• 13–16 October
The latest dinners from HK pop-up king Vincent Mui of Test Kitchen bring together some of Manila’s hottest culinary stars: Chef Mark Tan from creative Japanese restaurant Hibana and the mixology team behind cocktail bar The Curator (ranked number 16 on this year’s inaugural Asia’s 50 Best Bars list). Tickets (priced at $1,280 per person for Chef Tan’s multi-course Japanese-inspired menu paired with The Curator’s cocktails and wine or $1,080 to include non-alcoholic bevvies) must be booked in advance. Vincent’s Test Kitchen pop-ups are always sold old and make for an unforgettable culinary experience, trust us. To make a reservation, go to www.testkitchen.com.hk/mark-tan-curator.
Shop 3, Kwan Yick Building, Phase III, 158A Connaught Road West, Sai Ying Pun
One of Chef Mark Tan's beautifully plated dishes
• Saturday, 15 October
Two of our fave Sheung Wan spots, teakha and Anything But Salads, have teamed up for a fab doggie-themed event called Me, Tea and My Dog (bless). From 2–5pm outside these two popular pet-friendly havens, non-profit dog rescue organisation Kirsten’s Zoo will be showing off their puppies and dogs who are up for adoption (all dogs have been checked by a vet and vaccinated) and selling dog-related items, while teakha, Anything But Salads and Taboocha will be serving up homemade treats for our four-legged friends, raw vegan eats that are both owner and dog friendly and locally brewed kombucha. There’ll also be live music from super-cool Julio from Soler band, performing with his own rescue dogs. Thirty per cent of all profits will be donated to Kirsten’s Zoo.
14–18 Tai Ping Shan, Sheung Wan
• Monday, 17 October
Veggie queen Peggy Chan is throwing down the gauntlet once again with Part Two of The Collective’s Table plant-based collaboration with acclaimed guest chefs. This time, British chef Neil Tomes of Lantau’s Cali-esque Mavericks beachside restaurant and bar and newly launched Tandoori Bro (Indian-inspired grub available at outdoor events and festivals around town such as Beertopia) will work his magic in the Grassroots Pantry kitchen alongside Chef Chan, serving up their takes on vegetarian British classics (from a Full English featuring smoked aubergine bacon and mushroom sausage to a fish-less fish and chips made with cashews and kelp powder). The seven-course dinner menu is priced at $780 per person, with the option of organic wine pairings by La Cabane a Vin for an additional $380. Part of the proceeds from the event will go to Harmony House, which aids families affected by domestic violence. Signature dishes from the menu can be ordered at Grassroots Pantry until Sunday, 23 October. Go green!
108 Hollywood Road, Central, 2873 3353
• 24–26 October
At number 26 on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list – and this year’s winner of the Highest New Entry Award – London’s The Clove Club will be setting up shop at the The Landmark Mandarin Oriental’s Amber restaurant for a unique three-night pop-up, supper club style (going back to its roots – the restaurant began as a supper club in a London flat). Chef Isaac McHale has devised an innovative eight-course tasting menu featuring dishes such as his signature raw sea bream with plum stone vinegar and horseradish, chestnut and oyster broth with wild Scottish seaweed and Petrossian caviar and dry-aged Challans duck served three ways. Priced at $3,688 per person, to include six wine pairings or non-alcoholic drinks, each nightly event will commence with a champagne and canapé reception.
15 Queens Road Central, Central, 2132 0114/0115, email@example.com
Challans duck courtesy of London's The Clove Club pop-up
Wine & Dine Festival
The Grand Poobah of HK’s gastronomic fests, the eighth annual CCB (Asia) Wine & Dine Festival is set for 27–30 October. This year’s celebration of all things food and drink related will be held at the Central Harbourfront Event Space and will spotlight more than 400 wine-and-dine booths. There’ll be celebrity chefs, wine experts and tastings galore. One of the festival’s main attractions will be Apéritif à la française 2016, with 20 exhibitors (from Chez Patrick and Tartine to Monsieur Chatté and La Boucherie) highlighting French food and wine and cooking demos by top French chefs Patrick Goubier and Philippe Orrico. Head to their Facebook page for more information. For general updates about the festival and to purchase tickets, click here.