It’s been quiet on the F&B opening front owing to COVID-19, but please keep checking back here as more brave souls debut their spots this March...
Ask for Alonzo (Tai Hang)
The mysterious chef Alonzo has opened his second trattoria in Hong Kong, sharing his favourite homestyle Italian recipes with pasta-loving diners. Ask for Alonzo’s famous deluxe spaghetti carbonara and rigatoni amatriciana are made with guanciale brought over from Italy by the man himself! Each week, the chef also features a recipe from his “Specials Bible”, dishes like his TLC panini (made with bolognese sauce, mozzarella and red Cheddar, served with Parmesan fries) and TLC linguine (creamy tomato sauce with organic apple-smoked bacon). To whet your whistle, there’s a selection of Italian wines and Prosecco, plus classic cocktails such as G&Ts and negronis. The happy hour (daily, 3–8pm) is pretty unbeatable for $38 glasses of wine!
11 Lin Fa Kung Street West, Tai Hang, 3101 8045
Franco Pepe’s Kytaly may have shut shop, but taking over the space (along with its gorgeous green terrace) is
another chic pizzeria, Babacio. The pizzas here come in three styles – with tomato sauce, without sauce and deep-fried – and there’s antipasti, salads, gnocchi and desserts on the menu too.
5/F, Carfield Commercial Building, 75–77 Wyndham Street, Central, 2808 1961
Chotto Maki (Wanchai)
There’s now a second branch of Chotto Maki, offering creative and customisable American-style sushi rolls. The shop itself is cute but tiny, so we recommend taking your maki away to enjoy at home or al desko. The signature Crunch (salmon, mixed greens, asparagus, tamago, tempura crunch, sakura shrimp, wasabi mayo, black sesame sauce) and Beef-iyaki (teriyaki beef, cucumber, tofu skin, avocado, tobiko, garlic chips, house special sauce, unagi sauce) are firm lunch faves.
33 Amoy Street, Wanchai, 8481 2861
Hot ‘N’ Meen
This delivery-only concept by Sichuan eatery Chilli Fagara combines two of our favourite foodie elements: spice and noodles (“meen” in Chinese). The dozen or so knife-cut nood options range from mild soup noodles with stir-fried lamb, Chinese leek and ginger to fiery noodles with pork and vegetable dumplings in house-made Sichuan chilli sauce and classic dan dan noodles with minced pork and dried shrimp, which can also be ordered vegetarian. Dumplings and cold veggie appetisers complete the short but satisfying menu. Time to Netflix and Chilli Fagara!
Order via Deliveroo
This laid-back Italian restaurant’s moniker stems from its two chef-founders: Alessandro Angelini, who most recently led the kitchen at the Kowloon Shangri-La’s Angelini, and Luca De Berardinis of Nicholini’s at Conrad Hong Kong. LucAle is an ingredient-driven spot, focusing on ingredients from Italy’s highest-quality artisanal producers – from top-notch salumi and cheeses to regional organic and biodynamic wines, with the vino in question ranging from under $50 a glass to a whopping $9K for a bottle! The food menu includes a range of salads and small plates, homemade pastas like the vegetarian chitarrino al tartufo nero (spaghettini “chitarra” style with black truffle, pecorino cheese and walnut breadcrumbs), mains of Italian meat and seafood and a mix of modern and classic desserts – the Nutella broken pie with strawberry and lychee (pictured above) sounds particularly tempting.
100 Third Street, Sai Ying Pun, 3611 1842
Oolaa (Tung Chung)
Joining it long-lasting branches in SoHo and Wanchai, Oolaa has expanded to the far reaches of Citygate in Tung Chung. Adored especially by expat brunchers, this bright and breezy all-day diner opens from 7am with the likes of avocado smash bruschetta, mixed berry and granola parfait and signature smoothies, moving on to a set lunch menu, happy hour and globally inspired à-la-carte dinner offerings such as pizzas and flatbreads, salads, pastas, burgers and sarnies and much more. This jack of all trades also has a kids’ menu and hosts Steak Night on Wednesdays (choice of steak with fries, sides and a glass of wine for $238) and Fajita Festival on Thursdays (all fajitas for $120).
Shop G30, G/F, Citygate Outlets, 18–20 Tat Tung Road, Tung Chung, 2319 2008
Even if Rubia were the only newcomer this month, we’d be happy, for this is a Spanish restaurant by the culinary team behind one of our fave tapas bars, Pica Pica in Sheung Wan. Two-storey Rubia also serves up creative seasonal tapas like potato and beef bomba (deep-fried rolls of minced beef in a spicy tomato sauce) and huevos rotos (“broken” eggs mixed with chorizo or morcilla), but it’s the hand-reared Rubia Gallega beef from northern Spain that’s the real star of the show here. All cuts of this prized Galician beef are served with roasted piquillo peppers, garlicky patatas fritas and house salad – think of this as the Spanish version of France’s steak frites. On the taberna-style ground floor, there’s a drink menu offering a Spanish-heavy wine list, a short-but-sweet cocktail selection and a bar menu featuring bites such as cured white anchovies on potato chips, bikini sandwiches of chorizo or smoked salmon with truffle pâté and burgers – check out the two-for-one happy hour between 3–7pm. Open daily except Sundays.
UG/F and 1/F, C Wisdom Centre, 35–37 Hollywood Road, Central, 2889 1199, book online
Shake Shack (ELEMENTS)
American burger behemoth Shake Shack’s expansion into the 852 continues unabated despite the tricky F&B climate at the moment. Now you can get your fill of ShackBurgers, crinkle-cut fries and frozen custard over in West Kowloon. At ELEMENTS Shack, five per cent of sales from the That’s My Jam concrete (vanilla frozen custard, Jam Story mango passion fruit jam, raspberries, crumbled shortbread) supports Hong Kong Rehabilitation Power, a non-profit organisation aimed at empowering individuals with disabilities.
Shop 1005–1006, 1/F, ELEMENTS, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon, 2719 8282
Closures – the big ones
The Flying Pan (Old Bailey Street)
We’re sure many of us have headed to The Flying Pan over the years (maybe not sober!). This 24-hour spot specialising in all-day brekkie has shut its Central location since 15 March, stating on Facebook, “These past few months have been tremendously challenging for Hong Kong’s hospitality trade. The coronavirus has been the final nail in the coffin for many an eatery in SoHo. We are no exception.” The good news is that the eatery’s branch in Wanchai is still operating, also offering takeaway and delivery.
Pukka British chef Jamie Oliver’s reasonably priced Italian chain Jamie’s Italian first hit HK with a bang back in 2014 with a restaurant in Causeway Bay that saw queues down the block for several months after opening, expanding to TST the following year. But like the chef himself said this week on Facebook, “All good things must end.” All Jamie’s Italian branches both here and in Taiwan have shut shop from 28 February – and if Chef Oliver can’t survive in the 852, who can?
Long on the list of tourist spots to hit, Jumbo Kingdom is the world’s largest floating restaurant, requiring a short sampan journey from Aberdeen Promenade to reach it. An iconic Hong Kong landmark (or perhaps a “seamark”, in this case), Jumbo Kingdom featured in several Jackie Chan movies over the years and has welcomed many famous diners, including Queen Elizabeth II, David Bowie, Tom Cruise, Gwyneth Paltrow and Chow Yun-fat. Jumbo has closed with immediate effect, and a final meal amongst staff has taken place. Their website states, “Due to the impact of the current situation, Jumbo Kingdom will suspend its services from March 3rd until further notice.”
The upcoming closure of Three Blind Mice has hit us particularly hard, with this charming gastropub winning a Foodie Forks 2018 Hidden Gem award. Their last day of service will be on Thursday, 30 April. Until then, check out their great-value set lunch menu, all-day Sunday roast, $200 Steak Night on Tuesdays and/or $250 Wellington (beef Wellington) Wednesday.
This iconic 24/7 cha chaan teng in Central has shut – we hope only temporarily...
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