The newest entrant on Hong Kong’s retail space — the Airside shopping mall — opened on September 28 in time for the long weekend for Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day. The mall, which is built on the site of the historic Kai Tak Airport, is housed in a 47-storey multi-complex and spread over 700,000 square feet. We take you through the biggest attractions of Airside, which include its F&B establishments, entertainment venues, green spaces, and exhibition displays.

Up in Airside

The highlight of the mall’s opening campaign is the aviation-themed ‘Up in Airside’, which features an interactive exhibition called ‘Desire to Fly’. The centrepiece is the specially curated Idea Cloud on the mall’s second floor atrium that extends to the GATE33 gallery on the third floor. 

The exhibition showcases a collection of historical aviation artefacts and personal collections contributed by seasoned aviators, including flight logbooks, photographs of the former airport, travel posters, flight maps, old boarding passes and more.

The aviation-inspired tic-tac-toe game and flight simulator at Airside
The aviation-inspired tic-tac-toe game and flight simulator at Airside (© AirsideHK)

The exhibition will also extend to the ground floor of the mall, where visitors can see a real, full-sized single-engine aircraft called the Beagle Pup 100, which successfully landed at Kai Tak Airport in January 1972 after completing a 30-day journey across 14 countries — setting three Hong Kong aviation records and one world record in the process. 

In addition, visitors can head to a flight simulator to get a virtual cockpit experience, try their hand at Drone Soccer, and play an aviation-inspired version of tic-tac-toe.

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Entertainment & exhibition venues

Airside boasts Hong Kong’s first large-scale indoor surfing venue, as well as the newest MCL cinema. The new theatre spans across 33,000 square feet, and houses seven cinema halls that can seat up to 900 movie-goers. It has a special mega screen theatre called LUXE, a RealD Experience with a built-in RealD Ultimate Screen and a Dolby Atmos sound system.

The Idea Cloud exhibition space
The Idea Cloud exhibition space (AirsideHK)

The mall has commissioned a group of artists to create artworks that evoke the historic and cultural significance of Kai Tak. Notable art pieces include Hong Kong artist Wong Chun-hei’s largest-ever painting that features the iconic Lion Rock scenery. Artist To Wun, who is known for his contemporary interpretation of traditional craftsmanship, has designed an interactive art installation inspired by the lion head in traditional lion dance

There is also an array of photographs on display, such as those by the late photographer John Fung, which focuses on the flight patterns of birds as they soar through the skies. Renowned photographer Tugo Cheng’s collection of aerial photographs showcases the cultural heritage and local customs of the Kai Tak area, while Poon Chi-hung’s work documents the transformation of Kai Tak over the years.

Restaurants and cafés

Foodies will find a wide variety of food and beverage offerings at Airside — from local and international favourites, to IG-worthy cafés and Hong Kong firsts. Japan’s matcha haven nana’s green tea, will make its 852 debut, while the third Hong Kong outlet of Japan’s fried steak cutlet specialist Kyoto Katsugyu is also open at Airside.

Airside will house Hong Kong's first nana's green tea and the city'd third Kyoto Katsugyu outlets
Airside will house Hong Kong’s first nana’s green tea and the city’d third Kyoto Katsugyu outlets (© AirsideHK)

Other restaurants include standing sushi bar Uogashi Nihonichi, Western steakhouse Chef’s Cuts, Korean barbecue joint Yuk Mi Jeong Dam, and Japanese curry Omurice specialist Kometaki, as well as Airside Cafe and Airside Pâtisserie. And visitors can also get the food court experience at any of Foodmuse’s 11 eateries.

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Retail options

The major highlights of Airside’s retail outlets are the 25,000 square feet city’super, and Nespresso’s first experiential boutique in Asia, and MUJI’s where customers can check out their sustainable circular system, RE:FARM. MUJI has a 12,000 square feet store at the mall, while local brands like Homeless, B’IN Select, White Concept House, and Garian have a presence here as well.

The mall will have a MUJI store, as well as a seven theatre screens at MCL Cinemas
The mall will have a MUJI store, as well as a seven theatre screens at MCL Cinemas (© AirsideHK)

Pet parents have several options at the mall, with pet grooming and care store Hola il colpo Hair & Pets, Japanese pet clothing store All Japan Pet, pet washing and supply store Ruff & Fetch, and Purr’Licious, which offers cat snacks, toys, and eco-friendly products. 

Green spaces

The mall’s rooftop garden, an amphitheatre, and urban farms make up the 18,000 square feet of green space that visitors can relax in. The rooftop garden on the mall’s sixth floor has a variety of tropical plants and native flora, while the second floor is home to over 50 varieties of seasonal crops.

Header image credits: Airside

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From the Middle East to the Far East and a couple of places in between, Anjali has lived in no fewer than seven cities in Asia, and has travelled extensively in the region. She worked as a lifestyle journalist in India before coming to Hong Kong, where her favourite thing to do is island-hopping with her daughter. You can check out her musings on motherhood, courtesy her Instagram profile.

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