Dining in the dark may sound gimmicky, but take away one of your senses and you and your dining partner will need to concentrate on the sound of each other’s voices in this pitch-black sensory eating experience – how romantic is that? Your senses of taste, smell and touch will be heightened as well, which is extremely alluring. We can guarantee that the food, prepared by French chef Pascal Breant, will be delicious and heavily textured, but the actual menu will not be revealed until you’ve finished your meal, adding to the overall mystery of the evening.
LG/F, 16 Arbuthnot Road, Central, 6821 2801
This grand ol’ boy has been open for nearly 50 years, making it one of Hong Kong’s most established eateries. The classic French food and wine, white-gloved waiters and luxurious decor (heavy on the dark wood and velvet) are just some of the reasons Amigo has endured for so long. Any companion you bring here will be mighty impressed – let the restaurant’s old-fashioned charm do all the wooing work for you. You can also strategically time your meal for a Wednesday evening and try your luck at the Happy Valley horse races afterwards.
79A Wong Nai Chung Road, Happy Valley, 2577 2202
The Butchers Club Private Kitchen
There’s one caveat to group dining here: make sure everyone is a devout carnivore. Groups of up to 16 people can chow down on this grand butcher’s Big Beef Experience. First, purchase a slab of meat to secure a reservation (the beef can then be dry-aged for your desired length of time). When it comes time to dine, your meal will consist of seafood and bone marrow starters, your custom dry-aged steak, dessert and a cheeseboard. Another fun option for groups is to book a private sausage-making or nose-to-tail butchery class, which include dinner and free-flow tipples following the class.
For all enquiries (including their secret Southside location), email email@example.com
For a hands-on celebration, Corner Kitchen’s private cooking parties for 6–24 people are highly recommended. After preparing your meal from start to finish (select from pre-determined Spanish, French, Italian, Thai or Vietnamese menus), you can sit back and relax with a three-course meal showcasing your creations. If you’re feeling more competitive, opt for a Hell’s Kitchen-type culinary battle to make Gordon Ramsay proud, with your group split into teams. Pricing starts at $1,000 per person. Aprons at the ready!
21/23 New Street, Sheung Wan, 2803 2822
A popular choice for groups and corporate events, Culinart’s industrial-yet-cosy private dining room, which can seat up to 40 people, comes complete with a fireplace and balcony, so you truly get the sense you’re dining at someone’s very fashionable home. The monthly-changing multi-course sharing menus present dishes that are both delicious and visually stunning and are a fusion of different cuisines and culinary techniques.
22/F, Kwai Bo Industrial Building, 40 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Aberdeen, 2580 0919
Chef Andrea Oschetti’s long-standing private kitchen is a little slice of Italy in Wong Chuk Hang. In his eclectic loft space adorned with bookshelves, reclining sofas, travel artefacts and plenty of natural light, Chef Oschetti offers four-course regional Italian menus, where the seasonal ingredients take the spotlight. Between 10 and 40 diners can be accommodated, at a cost of $780 per person, excluding drinks. The chef’s passion and charm translate into his beautiful food and inviting ambience, making a dinner here unforgettable.
For further information or to make a booking, email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Drunken Pot
As the weather cools down a bit, we Hong Kongers love nothing more than sitting in front of a bowl of steaming hotpot, dipping meat, veggies and all manner of uncooked food items into the bubbling broth. With that in mind, super-cool The Drunken Pot is our top pick for groups who enjoy getting stuck in. There are lots of things to love it about it, but the highlights for us are the sake bombs that infuse the broth (and there are a myriad available here, with the option of up to five broths divided in one pot) with an extra kick of flavour, the premium cuts of beef, sliced ever so thinly, and the light bulbs that serve as drinking vessels.
2/F, 8 Observatory Road, TST, 2321 9038
This French fine dining stalwart, which opened in 1953 as the first restaurant in the East to serve Western haute cuisine, is where we recommend for dinners to impress – especially for birthday or anniversary meals with that special someone. No matter how many times we’ve dined here, the opulent dining room, dripping with Christofle candelabras, chandeliers and fine art pieces, never fails to take our breath away. The service, courtesy of waiters clad in white tuxes, is impeccable, matched only by Chef Xavier Boyer’s exceptional classic French cuisine. Take note: the restaurant politely suggests ‘elegant attire’ for dinner.
1/F, The Peninsula Hong Kong, Salisbury Road, TST, 2696 6763
The Hidden Table
Tucked away in a nondescript industrial building is this modernist private kitchen with fantastic views of lush green mountains and an open kitchen bubbling with tempting aromas. Owner and chef Nelson Chung creates tailor-made, highly personalised French-inspired menus based on guests’ preferences and the seasonality of ingredients that will knock your group’s collective socks off. We hosted a joint birthday dinner party here, and Chef Chung’s feast was cause for celebration in itself.
20/F, Harbour Industrial Building, 10 Lee Hing Street, Ap Lei Chau, 9029 9365
When we’re painting the town red with out-of-town guests, we always seem to make a booking at Hutong, both for the incredible views from the restaurant’s floor-to- ceiling windows and the well-executed Northern Chinese cuisine. The stunning, dimly lit restaurant, modern yet harkening to the hutongs (back alleys) of old Beijing, features clever traditional touches such as birdcages, bicycles, wooden doors and lanterns. Many of our favourite dishes veer towards the fiery (we love the spicy minced pork with lettuce and pine nuts), but there is also an array of dishes for those who prefer milder flavours. For a unique afternoon celebration, climb aboard Hutong’s red-sailed Chinese junk, the Aqua Luna, for their Feng Wei Brunch ($428 per person; +$200 for free-flow champagne and cocktails; kids under 12 are free).
28/F, One Peking, 1 Peking Road, TST, 3428 8342
It may seem tacky to some, but this floating behemoth, designed to resemble a Chinese imperial palace of yore, has been packing in the punters since its opening in the 1970s keen to experience this iconic landmark. Jumbo makes for a fun and kitschy choice for a group night out. There’s a grand fine dining Cantonese restaurant on the first floor, Dragon Court, with private dining suites that can seat up to 14 people, as well as bigger function rooms that can accommodate hundreds of revellers. All reservation and banquet enquiries can be made through Jumbo’s website, www.jumbokingdom.com.
Shum Wan Pier Drive, Wong Chuk Hang, 2553 9111
We’re always curious about the countless shops and restaurants that populate the towering office blocks of Causeway Bay, and Le Marron is one of the standouts. This bijou French private kitchen is world’s away from the hustle and bustle of Sogo and Times Square 12 floors below. Sliding doors and lace curtains separate the dining areas, making it feel all that more intimate. In addition to the well-curated wine list, Le Marron offers a no-charge BYO option. And for us, free corkage is synonymous with romance.
12/F, Ying Kong Mansion, 2-6 Yee Wo Street, Causeway Bay, 2881 6662
The sheer size – 6,000 square feet – of this Aussie craft brewery makes it ideal for group wining and dining, with the comfy sofas in the back where you should plonk yourself for an uber-casual evening. All the beers, known for their distinctive, hoppy flavour profiles, are brewed on site, and they make for extremely easy drinking with the restaurant’s sharing plates of crispy chicken, grilled lamb chops and sausage and thin-crust pizzas.
New Fortune House, 5A New Praya, Kennedy Town, 2833 5611
They may not be popular with bearded hipsters, but hotel buffets are always reliable choices when you’re dining out with a bunch of suitably minded foodie folk. Hotel ICON’s The Market buffet is our personal fave. The stylish open kitchens display a mouth-watering range of delicacies, from European-style breads, cheese and charcuterie, to Asian noodle dishes and curries, to mounds of fresh seafood, to desserts galore. We recommend taking extended breaks between courses in order to ensure you cover all this sprawling market has to offer.
2/F, Hotel ICON, 17 Science Museum Road, TST East, 3400 1388
Started by Chef Maria Bizri five years ago, Pomegranate has two chic, minimalistic spaces in Wong Chuk Hang that can be hired out for private dinner parties. The Mediterranean menus have strong Middle Eastern influences owing to Chef Bizri’s personal and culinary backgrounds, and you can opt for family style or fine dining (a five-course fine dining menu will set you back $750 per person). If you’re planning a daytime celebration, Pomegranate’s brunch and high tea menus are utterly scrumptious – for something unique, go for the Lebanese brunch featuring our ultimate healthy brunch dish: fatteh (slow-cooked chickpeas in chicken broth with yoghurt tahini and buttered pine nuts, served over toasted pitta).
4/F, Sing Tek Building, 44 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Aberdeen, 2580 0663
Bewitch your dining companions with the spectacular underwater kingdom that is The Ocean, outfitted with built-in aquariums, chandeliers reminiscent of iridescent bubbles, coral-reef-inspired furniture and palm trees swaying against the floor-to-ceiling windows. The multi-course degustation menu is just as whimsical, showcasing dishes from the Blue Lagoon (lobster with corn mousse, pine nuts and lime) to the Great Reef (black cod, potato purée, radish). Its beachside location completes its holiday-esque vibe.
3/F, Lobby A, The Pulse, 28 Beach Road, Repulse Bay, 2889 5939
She’s since expanded her mini culinary empire to neighbouring maison ES, but private kitchen Ta Pantry is former model Esther Sham’s first love. Affectionately known as Chef Tata to her fans, Ta Pantry is elegant yet homey, with one communal table comfortably seating up to 20 guests in an open-kitchen setting. A range of Eastern and Western tasting menus are available, with prices starting at $650 a head. We recommend one that includes the chef’s signature melting onion duck with its divine onion jus.
1 Star Street, Wanchai, 2521 8121
Relax to the sounds of the sea while you dine in one of TRi’s romantic lotus-shaped bamboo pods, surrounded by a moat with trickling water and stepping stones. Besides being visually stunning, this Balinese restaurant also serves up a menu of enticing Indonesian delights to tempt the taste buds. If you fancy beachside sundowners before your meal or a seaside stroll afterwards, TRi’s got you covered. Bring all the most important people in your life here.
Shop 302, 3/F, Lobby C, The Pulse, 28 Beach Road, Repulse Bay, 2515 0577
This raucous local gem, a no-frills stall situated within a cooked food centre in North Point, is where to dine with more adventurous groups who are not afraid of getting their hands dirty. Tuck into seafood aplenty, including finger-licking clams steamed in lotus leaves, Tung Po’s infamous all-black squid-ink spaghetti with cuttlefish balls and deep-fried shrimp with garlic (the glistening, crispy-skinned roast chicken is also a must order). Anthony Bourdain is amongst this dai pai dong’s legion of fans, not only for the food but also for the owner’s hilarious Michael Jackson impersonations. Order as many dishes as you can stomach and bring lots of hand wipes.
2/F, Java Road Municipal Services Building, 99 Java Road, North Point, 2880 5224