Header photo: The Aubrey’s omakase platterIn light of COVID-19, we encourage diners to take precautions when going out. You can also support your favourite restaurants by getting takeaway and delivery.
Despite it only being March, this could be THE opening for 2021. Maximal Concepts has taken over the 25th floor of the Mandarin Oriental to launch eccentric izakaya The Aubrey. The design and decor are simply stunning, showcasing three distinctive bar experiences – The Main Bar, offering highballs, seasonal Japanese cocktails and signature tipples inspired by the game of chess, an intimate four-person omakase cocktail bar and a champagne and sake bar, where oysters also make an appearance – as well as a food menu of elevated bentos, Edomae sushi, binchotan robata and tempura. Leading the team are world-renowned mixologist Devender Sehgal, most recently the bar manager at 8½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana, and Chef Yukihito Tomiyama, formerly at Michelin-starred Shinji by Kanesaka in Macau. Notably, The Aubrey champions the zero-waste cause, with a goal to remove single-use plastics from all operations. Open daily from 12pm for lunch, dinner and cocktails. Read The Aubrey review here.
BaseHall’s Drag Bingo
BaseHall is not only a top-notch food hall – it’s also a spot for dynamic events. Kicking off the event calendar this year is the Drag Bingo extravaganza ($800/person) on Friday, 26 March from 7pm. Hosted by Madame Mincemeat, XXOTICA and friends, the night will feature several raucous rounds of bingo, lip sync performances and entertainment from the queens, with prizes aplenty. The ticket price includes two-hour free-flow drinkies, plus a set meal from one BaseHall vendor (guests can choose) and a sweet treat from Cookie DPT.
BEDU’s Earth Hour dinner
BEDU’s 2021 Dinner with Corey series begins with a Earth Hour dinner. Corey Riches, our Foodie Forks 2020 Editors’ Choice Chef of the Year, is teaming up with plant-based pioneer Peggy Chan on Wednesday, 17 March for a multi-course menu featuring six sustainable dishes ($680/person), starting with Zero Waste Tonic and ending with Tropical Forest Restoration, a marriage of local pink guava ice cream with cacao husk tea. With two dinner seatings at 6 and 8:15pm, the dynamic duo will introduce the courses and their clean-energy efforts to diners. Each guest will walk away with a gift bag of sustainable preserves handmade by the chefs along with info packs on how to live sustainably in Hong Kong.
Hot on the heels of its debut just four months ago at Tai Kwun, cool-cat Japanese-inspired café Between by JIA Group is expanding to Wanchai, offering a speciality coffee programme and some exclusive dishes curated by Chef Agustin Balbi of Andō. We’ll take the new udon noodles with fish tofu, followed by the matcha ice cream monaka with red bean, please! Open daily, 8am–6pm.
Shop G03–04, G/F, Sunlight Tower, 248 Queen’s Road East, Wanchai, 2877 8711
Cookie Vission’s ooey-gooey filled cookies are now up for grabs at the brand’s first brick-and-mortar shop in Tai Hang. But we’re also excited about CV’s brand-new baked good – the pookie (a cookie wrapped with caramelised puff pastry) – and OTT “big boy” milkshakes. Open daily from 9am till stocks last!
6 Wun Sha Street, Tai Hang, 9155 5185
Described as redefining the HK F&B scene in a fun and interactive way, Cultivate is the first venture by Chef Leonard Cheung, a veteran of Michelin-starred restaurants including Eleven Madison Park in New York and Bo Innovation and 8½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana here in Hong Kong. Over the past few years, Chef Cheung honed his skills at the Culinary Institute of America while hosting elaborate dinners for private clients. Located in SoHo, the 22-seat casual fine-dining restaurant will showcase a constantly evolving, seasonal eight-course tasting menu, with a third of the menu changing every three weeks and a new theme and cuisine style introduced each quarter. The first “volume” will focus on spring, and later volumes will feature courses dominated by single colours and recipes inspired by culinary trends from different decades. Wine (with a half-American, half-Italian list that spotlights often overlooked regions) plays a big role at Cultivate too, and a six-glass wine-pairing option will be offered alongside a non-alcoholic elixir-pairing selection. Open for dinner bookings (Monday–Saturday) from 24 March.
District 8 (TKO)
Parisian-style steak-frites spot District 8 has opened its second location in Tseung Kwan O, following the success of the first eatery in Tsim Sha Tsui, which launched at ELEMENTS last summer. This branch boasts an inviting al-fresco patio and pastry and ice-cream counters (plus a cute outdoor ice-cream trolley), making it perfect for those with kidlets in tow. For grown-ups, check out the stand-alone cocktail bar where modern cocktails are shaken up and the walk-in wine cellar holding more than 60 labels in its collection, with an emphasis on boutique and hard-to-source wines. Open daily, 10am–late, for all-day dining, with brunch served from 10am–3pm on weekends and public holidays.
Interval (Cyberport and TKO)
Launched in 2018 in Central by Joshua and Caleb Ng of Twins Kitchen (who also created popular community café Common Ground and HK’s first restaurant incubator, PMQ’s Taste Kitchen), all-day diner Interval is expanding to both Cyberport and Tseung Kwan O, presenting Italian fare with a local, seasonal twist, together with speciality coffees and carefully curated wines from around the world. The TKO branch, set in LOHAS Park, was the first to open last month, offering a patio and a retail corner where guests can purchase a range of coffee beans and wines. Over at Cyberport, the custom-built wood-fire oven from Naples will take centre stage when Interval opens there. The Cyberport eatery is also set to feature an urban farm within the restaurant, a collaboration with Farmacy HK.
Cyberport: Shop 207, 1/F, Arcade, Cyberport, 100 Cyberport Road
TKO: Shop 417, 4/F, The LOHAS, LOHAS Park, 1 LOHAS Park Road, 2638 8904
Matt’s Lemak pop-up at To Be Frank
Every weekend in March, you can drop by To Be Frank in K-Town to get yourself some Nasi Lemak ($50), Siew Poh's Chicken Curry ($90), Lay's Beef Rendang ($120) or Malaysian Fried Chicken ($90) thanks to Matt’s Lemak. Open from 4pm on Fridays and from 12–10pm on Saturdays and Sundays, but they often sell out by 7pm, so get in early!
56 Forbes Street, Kennedy Town (no bookings)
The newest addition to the Lai Sun Dining portfolio of eateries is Japanese restaurant Masa, which presents refined sushi omakase menus by Chef Masataka “Masa” Fujisawa of Wanchai’s Sushi Masataka. The chef applies a unique dry-ageing process to the premium seasonal fish he serves (purchased mainly from Tokyo’s Toyosu Market), enhancing the umami flavour and improving the texture. Masa is also the first sushi bar in Hong Kong that is equipped with a full sake cellar. Open Monday–Saturday for lunch and dinner sessions.
Tong Chong Street Market
Tong Chong, everyone’s fave street-food market, returns on Monday, 8 March, bringing special themes every other month. Now open only on weekdays (except public holidays) from 8am–3pm, the theme for March and April is Tea Festival, showcasing the city’s premier teahouses. These include matcha specialist Matchali, with their special yuza lemonade matcha and pink coconut matcha debuting at TCSM, and vegan boba purveyor Mother Pearl. Tea-infused snacks, such as tea-flavoured panna cotta by LockCha and Le Cha’s hojicha roll cake, will also make an appearance.
One Taikoo Place, 979 King’s Road, Quarry Bay
Rustic and cosy Japanese restaurant Toriten at Festival Walk sounds like a good all-rounder, offering ramen, skewers, donburi, sushi, sashimi and omakase. Varied highlights include flamed Wagyu beef donburi, skewers such as chicken with plum and perilla sauce and Saga Wagyu beef short rib and two ramen inventions, prawn in miso soup ramen and white pepper ramen made with slow-cooked Japanese pork. The three omakase options start at a very affordable $380 for six kinds of sushi alongside appetiser, bowl of Himi udon in fish soup and dessert. Open daily, 11:30am–10:30pm.
Hong Kongers love Japan, and since we can’t travel there at the moment, we’ve decided to open a slew of Japanese eateries to satisfy our wanderlust. One of the newest is K11 MUSEA’s Yakiniku JIKON, an offshoot of Michelin-starred kaiseki restaurant Tominokoji Yamagishi from Kyoto (also at K11 MUSEA). JIKON centres on top-of-the-range A5 Wagyu from Kagoshima that has the “golden ratio” of fat, meat and umami. Open daily for lunch and dinner sessions.
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