Header photo: The Coffee Academïcs’ croque-madame
616 (Shek Tong Tsui)
This popular hotpot chain has 17 branches in Hong Kong, now that this spacious new shop has opened in the Shek Tong Tsui ‘hood, just down the block from HKU MTR station. 616 specialises in beef from around the world, offering just about every part of the cow for hotpot dipping. Open daily, 12–10pm.
384–386 Queen’s Road West, Shek Tong Tsui, 9034 9794
THE ALP Coffee & Kitchen
An offshoot of Lounge Hakuba, a cocktail bar inspired by Japan’s après-ski culture, THE ALP is a cosy wooden lodge-like space serving up artisanal coffee and creative Japanese-Western dishes. Signatures include beef mountain donburi, crispy buttermilk drumsticks and avocado sourdough, with izakaya-style snacks such as yuzu honey-glazed chicken wings and yakitori skewers also up for grabs. We love the wooden look! Open daily, 9am–8pm (from 10:30am on weekends and public holidays).
Shop 302, 3/F, TOWER 535, 535 Jaffe Road, Causeway Bay, 2111 1707
Brewed has hit Sheung Wan’s café scene with a bang, presenting some quirky food and drink options that have piqued our interest, from the strawberry slush crafted with homemade strawberry syrup, to the French toast with marshmallow, to the baked sweet potato with arrabbiata meat sauce. Open daily, 8am–6pm (from 9am on weekends).
27 Hillier Street, Sheung Wan, 6135 8882
Charbonnel et Walker
We got a very welcome taste of British chocolatier Charbonnel et Walker at the LANDMARK Christmas market last month, so we’re thrilled that they now have a brick-and-mortar location, taking shape as a traditional Covent Garden flower cart. Charbonnel et Walker is a coveted holder of a Royal Warrant to Her Majesty The Queen, who must love the chocolatier’s signature pink Marc de Champagne truffles as much as we commoners do! Open daily, 11am–8pm.
Adjacent to Shops 137–138, 1/F, Prince’s Building, 10 Chater Road, Central, 9303 6782
Judging by the crowds at Chickpea’s recently opened Central branch, this latest-and-greatest takeaway-only shop in Wanchai will be just as popular. We can’t get enough of Chickpeas’s hummus bowls, pitta pockets and Middle Eastern salads.
101 Queen’s Road East, Wanchai, order online
The Coffee Academïcs (Harbour City)
Founded nearly a decade ago, speciality coffee shop The Coffee Academïcs has taken Hong Kong by storm. This 1,200-square-foot branch at Harbour City complete with outdoor terrace is the first to feature an in-shop micro-roastery experience, where customers can choose their custom coffee blends, roast them and taste them in a single seating. In addition to the café and restaurant where The Coffee Academïcs’ elevated brunch-inspired signature dishes are offered, the chain has opened its first retail store, selling drip bags, capsules, coffee beans and more. Open weekdays, 8am–8pm, and weekends and public holidays, 10am–9pm.
Shop 4201K–4202K, 4/F, Gateway Arcade, Harbour City, 3–27 Canton Road, TST, 3620 3028
Cupping Room Coffee Roasters (Harbour City)
Competing with The Coffee Academïcs (see above), popular coffee chain Cupping Room – boasting a branch even in Singapore – has moved across the harbour for the second time. The more (good) coffee options available at the shopping behemoth that is Harbour City, the better! They also make a darn good Basque cheesecake to go with your cup of joe. Open daily from 11am.
Bonus: launching on Sunday, 31 January, this branch of Cupping Room will host a pop-up by luxury Spanish chocolatier Casa Cacao! Owned by three-Michelin-starred restaurant El Celler de Can Roca in Girona and run by Pastry Chef Jordi Roca (who was named World’s Best Pastry Chef in 2014), this pop-up will offer a range of to-die-for chocolates including bombones (bonbons), available in boxes of 32 assorted pieces, some of which have been crafted to resemble miniature cacao pods, three different bean-to-bar chocolate collections, available in boxes of six and featuring a variety of artisanal 80g bars made from milk or dark chocolate, individual chocolates with varying countries of origin and cacao percentages and – the cherry on top for us – Casa Cacao’s signature oh-so-rich hot chocolate.
Shop OC309, 3/F, Ocean Centre, Harbour City, 3–27 Canton Road, TST, 9446 8699
Hot on the heels of the opening of closed-loop cocktail bar PENICILLIN late last year, HK bar legends Agung Prabowo and Roman Ghale (also founders of The Old Man, Asia’s Best Bar 2019) have opened modern dive bar DEAD& (read: Dead End), offering cheap and cheerful food and drink and a laid-back, urban vibe. Signature cocktails are priced at just $50 a pop, with pitchers from $200 and down-and-dirty snacks like the signature Dead Dog (grilled hot dog on a buttered bun, topped with minced beef chilli sauce, Cheddar cheese and onion) priced at $68. All food items are available in takeaway combo meal deals including drinks starting at $98, and bottled cocktails are also available to enjoy at home for $150 each. Open Monday–Saturday, 1–10pm.
18 Wo On Lane, LKF, Central, 9886 5711 (WhatsApp)
Upscale dai pai dong DPD in Mongkok, headed up by former Ming Court Michelin-starred executive chef Jacky Tse Chi-wai, has expanded to North Point in style with DPD Deluxe. This all-day diner presents a range of Eastern and Western hits including Southeast Asian specialities like laksa and nasi goreng, dim sum, all-day breakfast, sandwiches, pasta and noodle dishes and beautifully crafted Western-style desserts – a good all-rounder. Open daily, 8am–6pm.
Shop 10B–13, G/F, AIA Tower, 183 Electric Road, North Point, 2827 8328
Italian bakery (and master baker) Giovanni Pina – founded in Bergamo in 1920 – is now baking up a pastry storm at K11 MUSEA in TST and Citywalk and Nina Mall in Tsuen Wan. Its to-die-for pastries include cannoncini crema (puff pastry meringue cream rolls with a whopping 144 layers), St Honoré (a cake featuring cream, chocolate custard and orange wine), Sacher all’italiana (a classic Sacher cake made with less sugar and butter and rare white rum as opposed to black) and – everyone’s favourite – tiramisu. At the K11 MUSEA branch, there’s a special VIP room with handmade Italian 18K gold chandeliers worth more than $200,000!
K11 MUSEA: Shop 217, 2/F, K11 MUSEA, Victoria Dockside, 18 Salisbury Road, TST, 2755 1123
Citywalk: Shop G76A & G75B, G/F, Citywalk, Vision City, 1 Yeung Uk Road, Tsuen Wan, 2755 1230
Nina Mall: Shop 109–111, 1/F, Nina Mall, 8 Yeung Uk Road, Tsuen Wan, 2755 1161
GRAM The Gourmet
Given its “undeground” location in LKF, we expect GRAM to be popular after hours when restrictions ease, but for now, head here for elegant East-meets-West cuisine with a Mediterranean slant, showcasing dishes such as cuttlefish bolognese and squid-ink tagliolini, Mayura Wagyu bavette with sweet-and-sour radicchio and, pictured above, cold angel hair with kombu and Osietra caviar. Open daily for lunch.
We’ve seen several top pizzerias open in the 852 over the past year or so, but will Gustaci surpass the rest? Italian for “taste”, Gustaci sets its sights on authentic Neapolitan pizza using dough that is naturally leavened for 24–36 hours and a Neapolis electric deck oven by Moretti Forni, which is said to rival a traditional wood-fired pizza oven. The restaurant will offer 10 types of made-to-order individual pizzas, including its signature, the classic pizza margherita. We’re keen to check out this upscale, industrial-chic pizzeria, which also plans to launch brunch, afternoon tea and pizza-making classes for kids and adults in the coming months, and we hope it will bring back some life to PMQ’s F&B scene. Open Tuesday–Sunday, 12–6pm.
Shop HG01–05, G/F, Block B, PMQ, 35 Aberdeeen Street, Central, 2981 1418
Honi Honi x The Upper House’s Maka Hiki Lounge pop-up
Following its successful C’est Cheese pop-up comes The Upper House’s collaboration with Honi Tiki Cocktail Lounge. The Maka Hiki Lounge pop-up, open until 31 May 2021, offers an extensive menu of drinks and bar bites inspired by islands from around the world. Located beside and on the five-star hotel’s lush Lawn area, by day, Maka Hiki is a café serving light bites, juices, teas and CBD-infused bevvies. At sundown, the bar’s tiki side comes out loud and proud, with Honi Honi’s signature tropical cocktails the focus alongside island-style eats such as poké miso cones, Jamaican jerk chicken skewers and BBQ pineapple beef sliders. In the future, when restrictions ease, we can look forward to a variety of fun events such as cigar and rum tastings, cocktail-making workshops and much more. Open daily, 8am–late.
6/F, The Upper House, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, 9836 7463
This opening by Epicurean Group really intrigues us. KollaBo is a contemporary collaboration concept between 15 different Korean cuisine brands from Japan, uniting under the banner of one restaurant in Japan – now opening here in the 852. Every dish served is a fan favourite from the different brands. Highlights include SoBackJa Ganjanggejang’s raw crab marinated in soy sauce, Myongmul Dakgalbi’s spicy fried chicken with cheese and Korean BBQ courtesy of Japan’s Wagyu Yakiniku. Open daily, 11:30am–6pm, with a 10% discount offered after 2:30pm.
Leaves & Liberty pop-up
With January traditionally the time for healthy eating and/or going teetotal, burger specialist Beef & Liberty’s flagship branch in Central’s California Tower will be taken over by their sister brand Leaves & Liberty, offering a 100% vegetarian menu throughout the month (even better, most of the dishes will also be vegan). The menu will feature a range of delicious and nourishing vegetarian dishes created by Chef Neil Tomes that celebrate seasonal vegetables, pulses, fruits and nuts. These include stunning starters such as charred spiced cauliflower, mac ‘n’ cheese bites and rocket & candied bamboo salad alongside L&L’s popular vegetarian burgers, including Impossible plant-based burgers as well as innovative veggie patties made with beetroot, pulled jackfruit and mushroom pâté. Also, from 11 January, L&L will offer a special burger by plant-based pioneer Peggy Chan. Dubbed The Aftershroom, it features a breaded Lion’s Mane mushroom patty, kimchi slaw, homemade vegan mayo, yangnyeom sauce and butter lettuce on a toasted sweet potato bun, with $10 of each burger sold donated to The Nature Conservancy. Go, Veganuary! Open daily from 12pm.
The Madhouse CWB
Sibling to its taproom in Mongkok, carnival-themed The Madhouse has brought its awesome craft beer selection to Causeway Bay. The Madhouse team started working with Oslo’s Amundsen Brewery three years ago and has since introduced more than 50 Amundsen beers. This time around, Amundsen's famous “Dessert in a Can” series is now available at The Madhouse CWB, with Rocky Road Ice Cream, Blueberry Pancake and Neapolitan Ice Cream all on tap and others flavours available in a can. There’s also an intriguing series of bourbon-aged whisky in barrel dark beer. The Mad chefs have created a cheeky menu to pair with these brews, from lobster Madnedict (pictured above), to Dongbo pork and waffle, to roasted craft beer chicken. Open daily from 11am.
29 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay, 2891 1948
The newest addition to the Lai Sun Dining portfolio of eateries is Japanese restautant Masa, which presents refined sushi omakase menus. Opening details TBC.
5/F, CCB Tower, 3 Connaught Road Central, Central, 2131 1303
NOC Papillons & Bakery
The much-loved NOC Coffee Co. café brand has opened this gorgeously minimalist and very spacious Papillons & Bakery in Tseung Kwan O. New additions to this NOC outlet include a vending machine stocked with NOC’s seasonal coffee in individual bags and specially curated teabags as well as a zero-waste corner featuring package-free coffee beans. Open daily, 10am–6pm.
Shop G1A, G/F, Papillons Square, 21 Tong Chun Street, Tseung Kwan O, 2569 6069
This hidden gastropub by the team behind 11 Westside and Westside Taqueria pays homage to the popular alcohol houses called sool-jip found throughout South Korea. At OBP, this translates to drinks by Korean-American beverage director Daniel Eun, who worked at PDT in the Big Apple, alongside a hearty food menu by Chef Junwoo Choi, formerly of our very own Jinjuu (we can’t wait to try the chef’s spicy braised pork rib, topped with raclette that’s made tableside). Korean spirits such as soju, makgeolli and many more little-known varieties play starring roles in the cocktails. Currently open daily, 12–6pm.
In the alley behind LG/F, 3–5 Old Bailey Street, SoHo, Central
The Ritz-Carlton’s pastry pop-up
Debuting on Monday, 18 January, The Ritz-Carlton’s chief baker, Alan Or, will unveil his newest pastry masterpiece, which he’s calling a laminated baguette, pictured above in all its glory. In layman’s terms, this is a crossaint-baguette hybrid (or should we call it a crobag?). You’ll also be able to pick up Chef Or’s signature croissants, muffins and mini cakes as well as tea and coffee at the pop-up. Open daily until 14 February 2021, 8am–6pm.
9/F (Lobby), The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong, International Commerce Centre, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon, 2263 2263
Rollin is another Korean offering, this time by Francesco Lee of Italian-Korean restaurant MOYO in SoHo. Located in the basement of LANDMARK’s new urban-wear retail space BELOWGROUND, this dual concept offers both food in the form of savoury rice rolls in Asian and Western varieties and sweet roll-style cakes presented in trendy trainer boxes and a range of fashion products including T-shirts, caps and hoodies. Open daily, 11am–8pm.
Basement, LANDMARK, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Central
Harbour City has a new high-end Korean BBQ restaurant with the opening of Seolhamyeok, where premium beef takes centre stage – in fact, the Korean name translates literally to "great meat”. Open daily, 12–10:30pm.
OTG47, G47A & G48, G/F, Ocean Terminal, Harbour City, 3–27 Canton Road, TST, 2303 0038
Smoke & Barrel’s pit house cooking class
Launching on Saturday, 30 January (10am–1pm), Smoke & Barrel new pit house cooking class ($800/person; +$198 for 2-hour free-flow) can be booked going forward on the first and last Saturdays of each month. This is meat smoking 101 by S&B’s BBQ masters, chefs Chris Tuthill and Chris Grate, with the fun, hands-on part involving cutting and breaking down the chosen meats, before slathering and seasoning them. The workshop includes a tasting of a variety of smoked meats as well as light lunch (and you can come back later on to pick up your very own smoked meats for at-home feasting).
Test Kitchen’s BBQ pop-up
Test Kitchen’s ushering in the new year with its first-ever BBQ pop-up on 17, 23 and 24 January. The drool-worthy menu by chefs Peter, Cam and Jenga features down-and-dirty delights such as popcorn shrimp and cheesy fries to complement the star of the show, which is a pulled pork and coleslaw sandwich on homemade brioche bun (there’s a pulled pork combo for $145 that comes with the sandwich, fries and a soft drink). For dessert, there’s a whisky ice-cream sandwich, with Japanese craft beer, Valrhona hot chocolate and blueberry rosemary soda to wash it all down. Yum! Available for both dine-in and takeaway, from 12–6pm, with bookings and pre-ordering highly recommended for the pulled pork sarnie.
Shop 3, Phase 3, Kwan Yick Building, 158A Connaught Road West, Sai Ying Pun, 9032 7628 (WhatsApp for enquiries and to book)
Twelve Flavors (LKF)
Twelve Flavors’ Sichuan dry hotpot is truly addictive, and we’re frequent visitors of the restaurant’s Kennedy Town branch. So another branch (there are now 13 in total) is always welcome. When it comes to the dry hopot, even the mildest spice level leaves our tongues tingling, and you can build your own flavour combinations using an extensive checklist of ingredients. The other Sichuan dishes on the menu are legit too (try the mapo tofu). Open daily from 11:30am.
21 D’Aguilar Street, LKF, Central, 6366 0242
Yardbird x ATOBOY’s Broken Telephone pop-up
To support his chef friend Junghyun “JP” Park, who was named a Food & Wine Best New Chef in 2019, Yardbird co-owner and chef Matt Abergel will be cooking a one-day-only tasting menu ($700/person) on Sunday, 10 January that’s inspired by Chef Park’s modern Korean restaurant ATOBOY in NYC, where indoor dining has been banned for months. All profits will go towards supporting the team at ATOBOY. A friend in need is truly a friend indeed!
154–158 Wing Lok Street, Sheung Wan, book online
Although travel feels like a distant memory by now, diners can still get an authentic taste of Japan with Central's newest grilled meat restaurant, Yakiniku Ishidaya. The first overseas venture by Kobe Ishidaya Co. Ltd, the restaurant features premium Wagyu from the Hyogo Prefecture, stamped with the coveted purple chrysanthemum mark for superior quality. The founder, Kiyonori Ishida, hand picks the various cuts of beef for both the Hong Kong and Japan branches, and proudly displays the beautifully marbled cuts at the shopfront. Over 15 cuts of A4 and A5-grade Wagyu are on offer, along premium selections of pork, chicken and seafood.
3/F, Century Square, 1-13 D'Aguilar Street, Central, 2983 6838
Zuma’s Kyoyu Sundays
In support of their friends the HK bar industry, Zuma’s bar will be hosting a series of pop-ups this month on Sunday afternoons. On 17, 24 and 31 January from 1–6pm, Zuma will welcome mixologists and their teams from three award-winning local watering holes. In order of appearance, the guys and gals shaking things up behind the bar will be Nikita Matveev of The Old Man, Nick Tse and Ayako Miyake of Bar Buonasera and Beckaly Franks of The Pontiac.
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