Bar & Restaurant News: February 2019
Find out what's happening in Hong Kong's bar and restaurant scene this February 2019.
Let us inspire you with our regularly updated guide to new food and drink happenings around town. Click here if you want to jump straight to the drinks section (no judgement).
What’s New: Food
SHÈ comes from the Chinese character “舍”, meaning a place of rest, tranquility, and hospitality. This new restaurant, located inside Lane Crawford in IFC Mall, serves up healthy and contemporary Chinese dishes in a refined setting. The menu at SHÈ is vast and caters to diners’ varying palates; from vegetarian bites to contemporary seafood dishes, and dim sum to rice and noodles. Some of our personal favourites were the Rose Gold Har Gao (HK$52), Caviar Shrimp Toast (HK$88), and the Wok-fried Supreme Lobster Noodles (HK$388). The interior of SHÈ is modern-chic with moody maroon and forest green decor throughout. On warmer days, head out to the beautiful terrace to enjoy one of SHÈ’s Shanghai-inspired cocktails (we loved the Cha Cha Matcha, Tea Room, and their take on a classic negroni) with Victoria Harbour as the backdrop.
Price point: $$$-$$$$
Portion A of Shop 3025-3026 & 3031-3066, Level 3, IFC Mall, 8 Finance Street, Central
Frank’s pays tribute to Frank Amen – a well-known restaurateur in northern New Jersey and personal mentor to the group’s owner, Todd Darling. On the first floor of Frank’s is where you’ll find their lively bar; good music, great cocktails, and delicious bar bites. Head here first for a tipple before your meal, or for a post-dinner drink that will take you well into the night. On the second floor is where you’ll find Frank’s dining room. You can’t leave without ordering the Supreme Chicken Parm – a half bird is deboned and pounded, skin, fat and all, before being fried, then topped with Frank’s homemade mozzarella and tomato sauce, and finally finished in the oven. Frank’s also has some of the best cannoli we’ve had outside of Italy, so it’s worth saving room for dessert.
Price point: $$$
G/F 79 Wyndham Street, Central
Originally from Japan, RAMEN CUBISM has just launched its next overseas restaurant here in Hong Kong. You can expect the famous noodle broth from Chef Hayashi Takao’s flagship restaurant ‘Original Ramen Style Hayashi’ in Osaka, known for its queues of up to 100 people. Hayashi alongside his is partner Chef Matsumura, equally renowned as a ramen master and recipe developer, have worked together to develop five exclusive broths for this Hong Kong branch, including three chicken ramen signature dishes, one pork belly, and one seafood. The cosy, authentic feel of RAMEN CUBISM makes it the perfect place to grab a bowl of ramen solo or to catch up with a friend. You’ll be able to spot the hidden restaurant thanks to the graffiti mural on the building (or perhaps the queue leading down the stairs).
Price point: $ – $$
Basement, Yuen Yick Building, 27-29 Wellington Street, Central
Although it’s been open for a month or so now, we think this homegrown spot in Wan Chai deserves a bit more attention. Starting from humble beginnings, Stephanie Wong founded Roots Eatery after finally leaving her job as a banker at HSBC and following her passion. Roots Eatery was originally a successful pop-up at Taste Kitchen and then shortly afterwards transpired into what it is today: a minimal, cozy spot tucked away on Sun Street in Wan Chai. Head here for an interesting take on French X Cantonese cuisine and be sure to try the mussels (you’ll want to lick the bowl clean) and their unique take on shrimp toast.
Price point: $$$+
7 Sun Street, Wan Chai
Aulis Hong Kong is renowned British chef Simon Rogan’s first overseas venture, bringing a taste of his two-Michelin-starred L’Enclume to Hong Kong. Diners can expect an incredibly intimate affair thanks to the 12-seat dining area. The 10-course menu is constantly changing and the team behind the counter utilize the world’s most advanced kitchen equipment to create highly progressive dishes. Expect dishes such as a grilled salad, which uses vegetables from local farms, grilled over cherrywood embers with truffle custard, elderflower vinaigrette and a savory sauce made from Westcombe cheese. The Five Flavour Cod Fish also caught our attention; created from a codfish flash-steamed for a minute and a half, then blowtorched. The cod sits on a bed of black garlic purée, with a complex sauce made with seaweed, the bones of the codfish, and an infusion of spices including vanilla, licorice, orange, lime and mint.
Price point: HK$1,480 per guest, with an additional HK$680 for the wine pairing experience.
Shop 8, UG/F, Sino Plaza, 255 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay
This new contemporary tapas bar seemed to have crept up in Sheung Wan overnight. Pica Pica features a modern take on classic Spanish dishes in a spacious and comfortable setting. Some interesting and unique dishes at Pica Pica include the Red Prawn Hot Dog with a Josper grilled prawn head (HK$120), Spanish Lazy Omelette with morcilla and chorizo (HK$65), and the Squid Croquette with “All-i-Oli” (HK$15 per piece).
Price point: $ – $$$
G/F Kai Tak Commercial Building, 317-321 Des Voeux Road Central, Sheung Wan
Another new addition to H Queen’s in Central is Estiatorio Keia, an ingredients-driven modern Greek restaurants with dishes inspired by Mediterranean flavours. The menu was created by Executive Chef Drew Andrade with help from Mykonos-based chef Alexis Zopas who is well-known for his refreshing take on traditional Greek recipes. Expect classic Greek spreads of hummus and tzatziki alongside traditional mains of whole chicken and Saganaki cheese with ouzo and pear. The restaurant itself has an elegant, fine-dining touch without feeling overly pretentious.
Price point: $$$ – $$$$
2/F H Queen’s, 80 Queen’s Road, Central
Norcia Black Truffles at DiVino Group
Head to one of DiVino Group’s restaurants (Spasso, DiVino, DiVino Patio, and Carpaccio) from now until the end of March to savour a selection of featured black truffle dishes. Although each of these restaurants offers a selection of recommended truffle dishes, Chef Michele has also stayed true to their “no menu, no limitations, no rules”, which means you can add these black gems to just about any dish on their regular menu. Our favourite was definitely the Oven Baked Buffalo Milk Camembert with plenty of black truffle from DiVino Patio, and the Zolfini Bean Veloute with diver scallops, asparagus, and Melanosporum truffle from DiVino.
Price point: $$$ – $$$$
Locations vary by restaurant.
What’s New: Drinks
Hong Kong’s first ‘cocktails on tap’ concept bar has made its way from Taiwan where it was originally opened by Angus Zhou in Taipei. The idea is simple: Draft Land is meant for those looking for a laidback, no-frills experience while still enjoying good quality cocktails at a reasonable price (something Hong Kong could certainly use more of). Starting at only HK$90 per cocktail, Angus Zhou and Antonio Lai have worked together to create over 40 different cocktails that are available on a rotational basis on the 24 taps at Draft Land. Our favourites were the India Pale Punch and Hop Head (both of which are beer-based), and the Nitro Coffee Martini and Caferoni. Draft Land also serves a range of snacks, like mini corn dogs and parmesan tornado fries, if you’re feeling a bit peckish.
63 Wyndham Street, Central
This new cocktail bar combines the glamour of the Art Deco-era with the simplicity of drinks that defined the earlier days of the cocktail. Specializing in serving up a range of Highballs, featuring classics with a modern twist and a selection of elevated tipples. Many of the cocktails on offer have interesting stories behind them, like The EL Mismo (HK$100), made with Diplomatico Planas Rum and housemade lime zest soda, this is a modern take on the Lo Mismo which in Spanish translates to “the same”. It’s said to have derived from 1899, when a group of Americans at the Cosmopolitan Club in Cuba, heard their Cuban friends order a seltzer water and rum in Spanish and asked for “the same”. The bar itself sports Art Deco decor with touches of nostalgic Japanese pop culture. Eclectic yet chic, The ThirtySix Bar & Co is the perfect bar for an after work drink or late night rendezvous.
2/F, 23 Hollywood Road, Central
thisgirlabroad is a Canadian expat who packed her life up in the Great White North to move to a city filled with skyscrapers, dim sum, and 7-Eleven’s. She’s been living, working, and eating her way through Hong Kong for the past six years with no plans to slow down. Between working full time and managing her blog, you’ll likely find her with a flat white in one hand and a jar of peanut butter in the other.