Header image: Bakehouse’s egg tarts
In 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.
Aqua Nueva pop-up at Statement
Spanish hotspot Aqua Nueva from London comes to Statement for three months from 22 October, transforming the modern British restaurant into a tapas lover’s paradise. Aqua Neuva’s croquettes (pictured above) are the stars of the menu here; they come in five flavours, from classic Ibérico ham, to rich and creamy Manchego cheese and black truffle, to even more decadent Boston lobster and bisque. Other signature tapas include spiced crab tostada, beef short rib with potato gratin and chimichurri and bacalao with taramasalata and cured yolk, and there are a myriad of cocktails on offer inspired by the flavours of Spain. Dinner Tuesday–Sunday and a five-course weekend brunch ($358/person; from +$100 for free-flow packages) starting on Saturday, 7 November.
Avenue 75 Bar & Eatery
Not only is mixologist Shane Siu behind the next-level cocktails at Avenue 75 – with house-made marshmallow gin, cold-brew coffee liqueur, banana-cream foam, bamboo-charcoal ice cubes and more tricks up his sleeve – but he’s also responsible for the Edwardian-style wall paintings in the refined space. The food menu features Asian-accented tapas, skewers and mains. Opening hours TBC.
Shop 36–41, G/F, South Seas Centre, 75 Mody Road, TST East, 2721 3938
Now we have another Bakehouse location to load up on Grégoire Michaud’s drool-worthy breads, pastries and other textbook-perfect baked goods. This takeaway-only bakery counter in SoHo will feature all the crowd faves of the original branch in Wachai – this means master baker Michaud’s signature slow-fermented sourdough bread, viennoiserie such as croissants and pain au chocolat and sourdough egg tarts. A selection of made-to-order items will also be exclusively offered at Bakehouse SoHo. Open daily, 7am–7pm.
5 Staunton Street, SoHo, Central
JIA Group’s first coffee shop, Between is so named because it straggles the first and third floors of JC Contemporary art gallery at Tai Kwun, where JIA’s own Old Bailey once stood. This lofty, light-filled, 3,000-square-foot space embraces community as well as coffee, featuring programmes and workshops dedicated to innovation, sustainability, art, technology, wellness, business and more. Signature coffee blends are roasted in-house, with an array of milk alternatives available. There’s also a Japanese-café-style menu on offer to complement the range of creative beverages including a classic Teishoku set for lunch featuring five compartments to enjoy. Salads, pastas and Japanese-inspired sweets can be ordered à la carte, but we’re dying to try the moreish-sounding sandos such as the chicken sando with cabbage and wakame mayonnaise and the tamago sando with chive and mayonnaise (Japan does the best egg salad in the world!). Open Tuesday–Sunday, 11am–8pm.
2/F, JC Contemporary, Tai Kwun, 10 Hollywood Road, Central, 2877 8711
Bouillon Bistro Parisien
Temple to classic-with-a-twist French cuisine Bouillon is the brainchild of two heavyweight French chefs in the industry, Johan Ducroquet of Wanchai’s Le Bistro Winebeast (where we’ve never had a bad meal) and Grégory Alexandre, who’s been cheffing in Hong Kong since 2003. The wine list is filled with bottles from mainly family-owned, organic and sustainable wineries from the best terroirs (top tip: selected glasses are priced at an amazing $50 during the bistro’s daily extended daily happy hour from 2–7pm), to be sipped alongside dishes such as veal tartare with caviar, scallop, lemon confit and horseradish, New Zealand lamb shoulder confit and coquilles Saint-Jacques amped up with butternut squash purée, sea beans and truffle. The dessert menu reads like a French sweet dream of baba au rhum, crème brûlée and profiteroles. This is what happened to the Mrs Pound space if you were wondering! Open Tuesday–Sunday, 11am–11pm.
6 Pound Lane, Sheung Wan, 2886 0056
Arriving on the scene seven years ago, cool-cat Isaan Thai eatery Chachawan by JIA Group has reopened following an extensive renovation, with a fun, vibrant new look and a menu designed by Thai head chef duo Chang and Narisara Somboon, who have been with Chachawan since day one. We can’t wait to try newly introduced dishes such as goong fu (crispy minced prawns served with green mango salad), som dtum kao pod (corn salad with salted egg, cherry tomato, chilli, garlic and sweet-and-sour tamarind dressing), po nim pad prik (deep-fried soft-shell crab in chilli and garlic) and the northern noodle wonder that is khanom jeen nam ngiao, made with rice noodles, spicy pork, tomato broth and dried red cotton flowers. Open daily for lunch and dinner.
206 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, 2549 0020 (no bookings)
Takeaway-only Chickpea by Catch Concepts (Catch, Elementary and Mama Malouf) beckons us with is home-cooked Middle Eastern aromas every time we walk past. Specialising in hummus bowls and pitta pockets, the dishes sound just as tempting for lunch al desko as they do pre- or post-pub. We have our beady eyes on the Sweet Cheesus pressed pocket, filled with halloumi and mozzarella cheeses, fig jam, pickled chilli and halloumi crisp – grilled cheese taken up a notch. Open daily, 12–10:30pm.
12–16 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, order online
CR² by Cupping Room
Cupping Room offshoot CR² is one hip coffee shop, describing itself as a “coffee lifestyle” store. It sounds like the perfect pit stop for a top cuppa joe and a snack when we’re shopping in the Mongkok ‘hood. Open Sunday–Thursday, 10am–7pm, and Friday–Saturday, 12–9pm.
Shop 4–5, G/F, Grand Plaza, 625–639 Nathan Road, Mongkok, 9186 3988
DON DON DONKI (Tseung Kwan O)
Hot on the heels of Japanese discount paradise DON DON DONKI’s shop in Central last month comes this opening at waterfront Monterey Place in Tseung Kwan O on Wednesday, 11 November. This branch places a special emphasis on products for families, introducing a variety of healthy children’s food, sports equipment and pet supplies. Open 24/7 like the rest of the DONKI empire.
Shop 107–113, 115–122, 1/F, Monterey Place, 23 Tong Chun Street, Tseung Kwan O
Doughnuts are the pastry du jour at the mo’, and the newest contender is Dough Beings. They’re now baking up divine-looking bombolini, or Italian-style filled doughnuts. The menu changes weekly, but when we last checked, the bombolini flavours included crème brûlée, homemade crunchy peanut butter & strawberry jam and a unique “everything” cream cheese. Yum!
WhatsApp 9885 2120 to order
Dough Bros (Kennedy Town)
The Dough Bros team are onto something, opening their third branch in a year’s time. This new Kennedy Town shop joins branches in Happy Valley and SoHo, all serving up their winning combo of sourdough pizzas and filled doughnuts. Each pizza comes with an outrageous garlic and herb dip (i.e., the best ranch we’ve tasted in Hong Kong) that takes the pies to another level.
4–8 North Street, Kennedy Town, 2345 3589
If you’re a fan of outdoor dining, you’re in luck, with Tin Hau Italian restaurant Etna offering two spacious al-fresco dining areas, a balcony and a terrace. Etna is the creation of chef-turned-restaurateur Kong Wai Sing and Executive Chef Rene Michelena, who met originally as part of the opening culinary team at Hong Kong’s iconic brasserie Lily & Bloom back in 2010. The restaurant’s main menu is lighter than most typical Italian eateries, where fresh produce and line-caught seafood sing, so this means signature dishes of grilled Humboldt giant squid with pickles, saffron onion and yuzu lemon vinaigrette and poached prawns with lemon oil, chilli jam, raw zucchini and basil. Of course, it wouldn’t be an Italian restaurant without a few indulgent dishes, and we have our eyes on the prize of this gorgeous “24-carat gold” saffron risotto with robiola cheese (followed naturally by Etna’s deconstructed tiramisu). There’s a great bar snacks menu, happy hour (or “chill time”) promotions, set lunch menus and weekend brunch too. Open daily, 12–10:30pm (from 11:30am on weekends).
The Factory Event Space
Brainchild of The Butchers Club founder Jonathan Glover, 4,000-square foot The Factory will be a great event space to consider when government restrictions ease, whether you’re planning an intimate dinner for a small group of friends or a fab fiesta. Chef Brandon Tomkinson, who cut his chops with Gordon Ramsay at former London House in Tsim Sha Tsui, helms the kitchen, so when planning your menu, you can expect the likes of impressive dishes such as chicken and foie gras galantine with fig jam and tomato bruschetta and “carpet bag” tenderloin stuffed with oysters and wrapped in bacon.
Fineprint (Sai Ying Pun)
Foodie Forks Best Café back-to-back winner (Editors’ Choice in 2019 and Readers’ Choice this year) Fineprint has come up trumps with its third café, joining those in SoHo and Tai Hang. Come for the coffee, stay for the
cocktails! Currently open daily, 6am–6pm.
14 Second Street, Sai Ying Pun, 5503 6880
Foodie fave Three Blind Mice may be no more, but promising restaurant Flagship has taken its cosy space on Wanchai’s Ship Street, described as serving up comforting Western food with creative Chinese elements and locally sourced ingredients. A good example of this is the Ship-style Caesar salad, featuring salty egg yolk dressing with Lau Fau Shan mini dried fish. Open Monday–Saturday, 12–10pm (till 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays).
Flaming Frango (Kennedy Town)
The second location of OG peri-peri chicken specialist Flaming Frango has opened, giving Big Birdy, which opened last month in neighbouring ‘hood Sai Ying Pun, a real run for its money. Big-screen TVs for watching sport and a full bar give us even more reasons to visit. Don’t leave without trying the peri-peri chocolate martini!
36 Forbes Street, Kennedy Town, 2813 5001
Golden Diamond Truffle
Truffles come to tipples with the opening of Golden Diamond Truffle, a unique Dali-inspired tea parlour at K11 MUSEA. The truffles are imported from Umbria, Italy, and are used in a range of truffle-infused beverages, all topped with freshly shaved black truffle. This is where to head if the idea of truffle crema with rooibos tea, truffle mocktails and truffle crema chocolate – designed by Spanish royal patissier Miguel Sierra – intrigue you. What decadence! Open daily, 12:30–10pm.
Shop B201–34, B2/F, K11 MUSEA, Victoria Dockside, 18 Salisbury Road, TST, 9824 8884
New event space The Grounds is truly a 2020 baby; this socially distanced concept is a sign of the pandemic times. Located at Hong Kong Observation Wheel & AIA Vitality Park, The Grounds offers private outdoor picket-fenced pods that seat two or four people in deckchairs, where we can watch or take part in live music performances, wellness activities, stand-up comedy, film screenings and more. We’re excited about the F&B side of things too. BaseHall vendors will provide a diverse selection of dishes alongside snacks of cookies, popcorn and ice cream for the kiddos and Penfolds wines for grown-ups.
Hong Kong Observation Wheel & AIA Vitality Park, 33 Man Kwong Street, Central, book online
INK’s Italian Job pop-up
Continuing its monthly pop-up concept, al-fresco INK’s sharing menu for two ($380/person) is all about the flavours of Italy and includes a Cocchi spritz cocktail to whet your whistle. It can be ordered from 6pm on 27 and 28 November and showcases classic and comforting Italian dishes the likes of caprese salad, ox-cheek lasagne, tiramisu and more.
Executive Chef Jeff Chan – who was part of Amber’s opening team before becoming the head chef of Hullett House’s St George and then training at three-starred Le Jardin Des Sens in the south of France – is an expert in southern French cuisine, so we’re excited to see him do his thing at intimate French bistro Les Papilles (which means “taste buds”) in Causeway Bay. While meaty dishes such as bavette with truffle mashed potato and Montpellier butter and Charolais hamburger with goose-fat frites are on the menu, it’s the seafood dishes – crab and sea urchin with celeriac foam, lightly smoked salmon with caviar, cucumber salad and avocado purée and fried amadai fillet with lobster jus and leek coulis, amongst others – that allow Chef Chan to shine. Open daily, 12–11:30pm.
MA and The Seeds of Life
Chef Tina Barratt has moved on from the now-closed Maya Café in Wanchai to open revolutionary raw vegan fine-dining French restaurant MA. Haute-cuisine staples are cleverly and colourfully recreated to avoid harming animals or the environment, without heat-treating beyond the point of life of any of the food. This translates to “chiaviar” instead of caviar (chia seeds), “faux gras” pâté (porcini mushrooms and cashews) and cheesecake made with fermented nut cheese. The eco-conscious approach extends to the wine menu, with a focus on organic, biodynamic and mostly vegan wines. One to watch!
Nissa la Bella
The latest addition to the Pastis Group portfolio of French eateries is Nissa la Bella (Nice the Beautiful, the unofficial anthem of Nice), taking diners on a trip to the French Riveria. Located in the former Upper Modern Bistro Space in Sheung Wan, this laid-back spot spotlights the flavours of the Med coast, where southern France and northern Italy meet. Stay tuned for menus and opening hours.
6–14 Upper Station Street, Tai Ping Shan, Sheung Wan, 9549 3882
Owl of Minerva
From the owners of Italian fine diner Castellana comes this new online Italian supermarket with the coolest name around. Owl of Minerva stocks a selection of gourmet food products and wines sourced directly from the Piedmont region of north-western Italy by Michelin-starred chef Marco Sacco’s suppliers. Cheese, butter and pasta are highlights. Great news for our next dinner party! Available for delivery Monday–Friday from 10am–6pm; delivery charges may apply.
SEVVA: The Young, Dynamic & the Restless series
Innovative food and cocktails by two young talents are the draw at this limited-time dinner series at SEVVA, on from 5–7 November. The six-course East-meets-West menu ($1,988/person; +$500 for cocktail pairings) by guest chef Christopher Ho, who has worked for some of the best chefs around the world including Eric Räty of HK’s very own Arbor, will be matched with modern cocktails by Chef Ho’s elder sister and full-time physician (!) Dr Nic, who was a regional finalist in the 2019 Four Pillars cocktail competition. A standout dish for us is Chef Ho’s Gaap (pigeon breast, Sichuan peppercorn, chestnut), while we also love the sound of Dr Nic’s Honkie Sour (bourbon, VLT syrup, lemon), a pumped-up version of HK-style iced lemon tea.
The innuendos are abundant at Sexy Crab, dedicated to crab in all its dirty glory. Opening in mid-November,
Sexy Crab is decked out in equally sexy fashion, designed in the vintage style of a classic “long bar” of 1930s Shanghai. The crab dishes change with the seasons, with the current focus on the crustacean superstar that is the hairy crab (the restaurant only selects premium specimens from Jiangsu that are over 150 grams in size). Handmade crab roe noodles in varying flavours are another highlight. The ultimate indulgence is Pillow Talk (pictured here), a whole fish maw stuffed with crab roe and topped with caviar on crab roe noodles – limited to just five portions a day – but the cheeky dish names abound (Packing Meat, anyone?). Open daily, 12–10pm.
Shop 401A, 4/F, K11 MUSEA, Victoria Dockside, 18 Salisbury Road, TST, 6655 7629
Reasonably priced omakase? We’re in! Intimate, 30-seater Sushi Hakucho specialises in affordable Kyushu-style omakase menus ($450/person for lunch and $980/person for dinner) by sushi master Harada Makoto, located next to Bird Kingdom Group skewer bar sibling KIDO. The chef’s seasonal tasting menus may include his signature sushi of fresh squid, snakehead fish and pickled mackerel, but current autumn delicacies such as sanma from Hokkaido and spiny lobster from Amakusa are calling out to us right now. Open daily for lunch and dinner.
Shop G13, G/F, Harbour Pinnacle, 8 Minden Avenue, TST, 2109 1155
No, there’s no typhoon theme to T8, a new high-end teppanyaki spot that ups the ante for this Japanese iron-plate-grilled cuisine. The teppanyaki counter seats just eight lucky souls, but T8 also features a main dining room, small sushi counter, glass-enclosed sake showcase and two private teppanyaki rooms divided by sliding shoji. A5 Miyazaki Wagyu is the centrepiece of the grilling action, and to slice your beef, the chefs are armed with knives of legend – historical blades reserved normally for museum display.
Test Kitchen’s Chef Jimmy x Sake Matters pop-up
For two nights only, Test Kitchen will host the ultimate pop-up for sake lovers on 24 and 25 November at 7pm. Chef Jimmy has created an exquisite seasonal French-Japanese menu to be paired with specially curated sake by Will Jarvis of Sake Matters. Priced at $1,280 for seven courses with sake pairings, guests can look forward to delectable dishes such as beef tartare, hamachi with red pepper and sake jelly, red prawn with koju risotto and caviar, sake sorbet and much more! Email firstname.lastname@example.org or WhatsApp 9032 7628 for more details or to book.
Shop 3, Phase 3, Kwan Yick Building, 158A Connaught Road West, Sai Ying Pun, 9032 7628
The Tea Academïcs
The Coffee Academïcs brand is turning its attention to the world of tea with the opening of The Tea Academïcs in Central. The space sounds like a relaxing escape from the hustle and bustle, where diners can sample signature tea lattes, iced teas and hand-picked tea leaves from plantations around the world matched with primarily plant-based dishes by Kiwi chef Atisha Kumar. The all-day breakfast menu starts from 8am on weekdays and 10am on weekends, with wholesome mains such as matcha miso soba and vegetable balti curry available from 11am. The baked goods look equally noteworthy, from sweet or savoury scones with either Earl Grey tea jam or tomato chutney, to carrot loaf cake, to ever-trendy Basque cheesecake.
1/F, LHT Tower, 31 Queen’s Road Central, Central, 3187 7303
Va Bene Italiano (Festival Walk)
Italian stalwart – with the brand going back to the 1980s in various locations in Hong Kong – Va Bene has opened in Kowloon Tong, presenting tried-and-true Italian favourites in a semi-outdoor dining space at the shopping Mecca that is Festival Walk. From starters like grass-fed Wagyu beef carpaccio, to mains of salt-crusted baked whole sea bass, to pastas, pizzas and both Italian and international desserts, we know we can always rely on Va Bene for an affordable Italian fix. Va Bene’s most iconic dish is the 24-month-aged Parmesan cheese wheel pasta, and you can really gild the lily with optional add-ons of black truffle, caviar, seared foie gras, sea urchin and more. Open daily, 11:30am–11pm.
Westside Taqueria (Lee Garden One)
Right next to the Cookie DPT pop-up – yay, cookies for dessert! – Westside Taqueria’s smash success at BaseHall has led to this new branch opening hot on its heels. The tacos are a no-brainer, but we’d kill for these carne asada fries… Open daily, 11am–10pm.
2/F, Lee Garden One, 33 Hysan Avenue, Causeway Bay
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