Header image: coconut passion fruit pineapple bun at Dang Weng Li
AFURI Ramen + Dumpling
The latest Japanese export to cater to Hong Kong’s ever-growing ramen obsession is AFURI Ramen + Dumpling. In 2016, Afuri opened its first restaurant outside Japan, setting up shop in the USA, and now it’s gracing Hong Kong with its second overseas branch. Named after Mount Afuri in Kanagawa prefecture, these ramen experts are dedicated to simple perfection, known for their addictive yuzu shio ramen (chicken broth infused with yuzu). The 52-seat HK branch is said to offer MSG-free broth with homemade wheat noodles as well as the famous yuzu broth, gyoza dumplings and a selection of sake.
2/F, The ONE, 100 Nathan Road, TST, 2815 2177
Burger Joys (Central)
Established late-night (open until 6am in Wanchai) American burger bar Burger Joys has opened its third branch in Hong Kong. In addition to the original WC location, they added Sai Ying Pun and have now expanded to Central. Right bang on Stanley Street, they bring their signature double cheeseburger made with USDA Angus beef and brioche bun by French Michelin-starred pastry chef Michael Gillet. They’ve also got a fusion burger on the menu that combines Japanese anchovy, dried fish and chilli sauce with mushroom purée for a big umami bomb and a vegetarian burger featuring three different types of mushrooms, potato balls and homemade red wine butter to give your meat-free days an indulgent option. Milkshakes, onion rings, chicken wings and black truffle fries are all specialities at Burger Joys, a Foodie favourite.
82 Stanley Street, Central, 2537 3288
Dang Wen Li by Dominique Ansel
Said to be the Chinese name for world-famous French pastry chef Dominique Ansel, Dang Wen Li is the first Asia venture outside Tokyo (with that shop now shut) for the inventor of the cronut and founder of his eponymous bakeries in New York, Los Angeles and London. The website describes the HK bakery as “a capsule collection of pastries and treats exclusively for Hong Kong”. We’re drooling over all the images of the innovative HK-inspired sweets on offer, from the pastry’s chef riff on a pineapple bun made with coconut pineapple passion fruit cake to the Earl Grey bergamot cake “lemon juice box” – which looks exactly like an iced lemon tea
juice box you’d get from your local 7-Eleven, complete with straw! There’s also Chef Ansel’s signature (flawless!) kouign amann and other classic viennoiserie for the purists out there.
Shop OTG63A, G/F, Ocean Terminal, Harbour City, 3–27 Canton Road, TST, 2613 8618
Mixologist John Nugent (whom you might know for his excellent Moscow mules at Lily & Bloom) is set to open The Diplomat this month. In his first independent venture, Nugent’s impeccably designed, 18-seat speakeasy is located in Central’s ultra-trendy H Code alongside other cool bars Tell Camellia and SAKETEN. The menu boasts vintage liquors, small-batch wines and, of course, delectable cocktails such as a take on Irish coffee (pictured above) featuring Jameson Irish Whiskey, Martell VSOP, tensaito, coffee and cold cream.
LG/F, High Block, H Code, 45 Pottinger Street, Central, 3619 0302
Emmer Pizzeria & Café
From the brains behind Beef & Liberty comes a brand-new pizza spot. Located conveniently at Pacific Place, Emmer serves up coffee and pastries for breakfast, an impressive salad selection for lunch and hearty pizzas and pastas for dinner. Named after an ancient organic grain that they blend with rye and Italian flour to make their signature pizzas, Emmer’s pies are lower in gluten and higher in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals – so that means healthy pizza… right?
Shop 407, 4/F, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, book online
Those of us on Kowloon side are rejoicing at the growing list of F&B options set along the glorious West Kowloon promenade overlooking Victoria Harbour. West Kowloon Art Park has been developing over quite some time, and it’s finally starting to take shape with artsy hotspots like FAM PARK. FAM PARK offers diners a unique experience with what they call “contemporary Chinese fusion cuisine” as well as a taste of art and live music. With its rainbow interiors, we’re sure FAM will brighten up anyone’s day (as well as their instagram).
Unit GF-01-03, West Kowloon Art Park, West Kowloon Cultural District, 22 Museum Drive, TST, 2866 3667
Feather & Bone (Tsuen Wan)
Local butcher, deli and grocer brand Feather & Bone, with branches from Happy Valley to Clearwater Bay, is heading to the New Territories once again with the opening of its biggest branch yet on 26 January at OP Mall in Tsuen Wan, boasting a 1,400-square-foot shop, 2,000-square-foot restaurant and nearly 3,000-square-foot waterfront terrace. Seating on the terrace includes a set of highly coveted upholstered sofa swings for two, which sound just about ideal for brunching.
Shop G09, G/F, OP Mall, 100 Tai Ho Road, Tsuen Wan
Ming Court (Wanchai)
Another branch of Michelin-starred Ming Court by Langham Hospitality Group is opening in Wanchai this month, so those Island side can now more easily get a taste of the restaurant’s Cantonese culinary masterpieces by Chef Tsang Chiu King, who led the original Ming Court in Mongkok to Michelin glory. Highlights here include a sake-pairing menu, a bar serving up modern Chinese tapas and tea-based tipples and a Chef’s Table experience. We look forward to trying new dishes such as sautéed tiger prawn slices with asparagus, steamed scallops stuffed with minced shrimp and crab roe (pictured above) and braised winter melon, carrot and white fungus in superior broth.
2/F, Great Eagle Centre, 23 Harbour Road, Wanchai, 2878 1212, email@example.com
Mr Ming’s Chinese Dining
Another newcomer to K11 MUSEA, all-day diner Mr Ming’s is the latest passion project from the folk at Ming Fat House. Like all their restaurants, Mr Ming’s has a story to tell – this time, it’s the tale of Mr Ming, a poet and collector of historical artefacts. With a family lineage dating back to the Qing empire, Mr Ming values classic Chinese recipes passed down by his grandfather, reinventing them for modern times. Ming’s Peking duck (pictured above), mandarin fish in Sichuan hot chilli oil, braised beef short ribs with mushrooms wrapped in lotus leaves, crispy tofu pockets with Omnipork and sweet potato and dim sum the likes of milk and pumpkin buns and BBQ pork belly buns with pickled mustard are just a few of the recommended dishes. The restaurant has a special Chinese New Year set menu ($888/person) to ring in the Year of the Rat, available 19 January–8 February.
Shop 113A, 1/F, K11 MUSEA, Victoria Dockside, 18 Salisbury Road, TST, 2119 2949, firstname.lastname@example.org
New Spicy Way
Coming to us from Beijing, New Spicy Way is an interesting one for the winter months – spicy fish-soup-based hotpot with all sorts of under-the-sea dippers including giant grouper, monkfish and Chiu Chow fish balls. Makes a nice change from beef and more beef! Fittingly leading the kitchen at New Way Spicy is Malaysian chef Dylan Tan, who himself grew up in a small fishing village on Pangkor Island, so he knows his fishy stuff. On the ground floor of the eatery is a bar specialising in cocktails made with Kaoliang liquor, a type of unflavoured baijiu.
G/F and 1/F, Ashley Mansion, 14 Ashley Road, TST, 3164 1390
The Pizza Project
Our favourite casual restaurant group, Pirata Group, are bringing their same brand of charm and chill that has made Pici such a success, now setting their sights on pizza. The Pizza Project is helmed by Pici’s Andrea Viglione along with Chef Davide Borin, creating handmade pizzas at affordable prices.
26 Peel Street, Central, 2311 1815
Those, like us, bemoaning the loss of BlackSalt Tavern (see below) will be thrilled to hear that BlackSalt founder Taran Chadha has just launched Pondi in collaboration with the founders of Sai Ying Pun neighbourhood fave BRUT!, Camille Glass and George Kwok. Pondi is an ode to the former French colonial settlement of Pondicherry in India, and the menu is an eclectic mix of Indian home cooking and classic French culinary techniques alongside an exciting wine progamme. Pondi takes over the lovely al-fresco space in Sai Ying Pun that was once the original incarnation of BlackSalt, coming full circle.
14 Fuk Sau Lane, Sai Ying Pun, 2761 4900, book online
Samsen (Sheung Wan)
Ooh, we love ourselves some Thai by Adam Cliff of Samsen in Wanchai and Chachawan in Sheung Wan. Those who work or live in Sheung Wan are now doubly lucky with a Samsen soft-opening on 14 January in their ‘hood. Still focusing on Thai street eats, the menu at the SW Samsen has expanded, with new selections of skewers, curries and cocktails, plus khao sai – Chiang Mai’s famed curry noodle dish – taking centre stage.
23 Jervois Street, Sheung Wan, 2234 0080
SHU K 蜀客 and K BAR
The wide array of dining options at K11 MUSEA just keeps on getting more delicious. This addition is for those with a taste for the tingle. SHU K 蜀客 by Elite Concepts (yè shanghai, Deng G and Nhau) offers traditional yet innovative Sichuan delicacies against the backdrop of Victoria Harbour. The menu showcases Sichuan’s passion for flavour, fragrance and spice with dishes like lobster with pickled chilli, mapo tofu with minced beef and braised spotted grouper in red chilli soup. They’ve also got a creative cocktail menu to help to counteract all the spice.
Shop 412–413, 4/F, K11 MUSEA, Victoria Dockside, 18 Salisbury Road, TST, 2545 3288
SushiZushi’s dine-in delivery service – Express Guppy – is this new Japanese restaurant’s unique USP, delivering the eatery’s fresh sushi, sashimi and cooked dishes (think grilled Japanese Saga Wagyu beef, salt-grilled kinki and grilled toro tendon with yuzu and mashed radish) to diners’ tables after ordering via QR code. The fun doesn’t stop there – SushiZushi also offers surprise sashimi birthday cakes (also delivered by our friend Express Guppy), which must be pre-booked, and touchscreens outside the restaurant for quick and easy takeaway ordering. Get there stat for SushiZushi’s limited-time “fuyoh box” opening offer, inspired by Japanese department stores’ fukubukuro (lucky bag) culture, where, for only $198, you can get your greedy hands on a surprise selection of seasonal sashimi and more goodies.
Shop 6, 4/F, Langham Place, 8 Argyle Street, Mongkok, 2307 9822
We were saddened to find out via BlackSalt Tavern’s Instagram page that this reliable South Asian favourite of ours closed its doors on 6 December 2019. But the good news is that BlackSalt founder Taran Chadha has just opened a new restaurant, Pondi, this month (see above), and a BlackSalt deli and production kitchen concept is set to open early this year.
Corner Kitchen Cafe
This open-fronted corner spot in Sheung Wan is sadly no more. We’ll especially miss the café’s American-style breakfast menu, which featured huevos rancheros and fluffy vanilla pancakes, and selection of homemade cakes – their red velvet cake was one of the best in town.
Since mid-December, this Italian pizzeria has terminated its relationship with Chef Franco Pepe, the co-owner of the original Geneva restaurant. While they have stated on their Instagram page that they’ll be back in HK soon, without Chef Pepe we can’t be assured that KYTALY will still serve “the best pizza in the world”.
La Crêperie (Sheung Wan)
The Sheung Wan branch of this spot serving up stellar crêpes and galettes has shut because the building in which it was located has been purchased and will be refurbished, but you can still head to La Crêperie Wanchai for a little slice of Brittany in the Kong.
This modern Chinese restaurant on Star Street, which opened in late 2018, is no longer part of the Pirata Group portfolio. We enjoyed the inventive seasonal dishes and roast meats while they lasted.
The Sea by The Old Man
Opened only around nine months ago, The Sea was an offshoot of award-winning bar The Old Man – named Asia’s best bar last year – so this closure comes as a bigger shock than most. The Sea team announced the sad news on IG, saying, “We are very proud of of what we’ve achieved in a short time, but it goes without saying that Hong Kong is going through a challenging period, and we wish fortune on our F&B friends and family and hope that they can weather the storm that we could not.”
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