Bar & Restaurant Inspiration: New Openings, Fresh Menus and Hot Pop-Ups
Craving something fresh? Our roundup of bar and restaurant news has got you covered.
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
Statement, The Chinese Library and The Dispensary
Aqua Restaurant Group has opened two new flagship restaurants and an innovative new bar at Tai Kwun. The restaurants reflect Hong Kong’s East/West cultural history with a stunning bar, The Dispensary, sitting between the two. In the East wing, The Chinese Library celebrates the different regional Chinese cuisines which have become popular in Hong Kong over the years featuring dishes inspired by group Founder, David Yeo’s vast collection of cookbooks found in his library. Statement restaurant situated in the West wing showcases innovative British cuisine, echoing Hong Kong’s colonial heritage while also displaying some of the more avant-garde culinary directions found in London today. The interior design of all three venues is nostalgic and luxurious, and both restaurants have terraces overlooking the former Police Headquarters and Hollywood Road.
Price Point: $$$
Police Headquarters, Tai Kwun, 10 Hollywood Road
There’s a whole lot of hype surrounding newly opened Kytaly, the award-winning Geneva-based Italian restaurant co-owned by legendary pizza chef Franco Pepe. When a restaurant claims to serve the best pizza in Hong Kong, you can bet our expectations are high. Breaking the mould of popular Neapolitan pizza, the dough is created in highly limited amounts every day with a secret recipe by Franco Pepe himself, consisting of 70% water which gives way to a surprisingly light and supple pizza. 99% of the ingredients used are directly sourced from Italy – from the tomato, oregano, basil, garlic and anchovies to the Fior di Latte and yeast. Just be warned, Kytaly doesn’t take reservations so be prepared to queue.
Price point: $$$
5/F, 77 Wyndham Street, Central
Celebrity Chef and Kung Fu Star Steve Lee Ka Ding is bringing nostalgic dishes from his heritage back to life since the inception of Ding’s Kitchen (鼎爺私房菜). Ding’s Club is Lee’s second restaurant venture featuring fine dining Cantonese cuisine. The dishes use plenty of fresh and seasonal ingredients, and are crafted with minimal seasonings in order to stay true to the original flavors. Although Lee has crafted a new menu for Ding’s Club, you’ll still be able to order some of his favourite classics, like the Wok-fried Rice Noodle with Sliced Beef and Sprouts, and Steamed Minced Pork with Sun-dried Fresh Squid and Vintage Dried Tangerine Peel.
Price point: $$ – $$$$
23/F, H Queen’s, 80 Queen’s Road Central, Central
You don’t need to travel to Japan to find their famed sweet treats – from kakigori to matcha soft serve, Hong Kong has it all. Yukinoshita is the ‘new kid on the block’ and has sprung up on Haven Street in Causeway Bay, an area that’s home to two other Japanese dessert shops. What sets Yukinoshita apart? Their claim to fame is their Atsuyaki: thick-fried pancakes that are first of their kind in Hong Kong. There’s a few options to choose from, but our favorite was definitely the original Mandarin Honey pancake, made with Mandarin Honey from Ehime Prefecture, and smooth butter from Miyazaki that melts on top. Yukinoshita also serves kakigori and a small selection of savory bites, like their thick-style egg sandwich.
Price point: $
1-5 Haven Street, Causeway Bay
In partnership with celebrated Peruvian chef Virgilio Martinez Veliz of Central in Lima comes another buzz-worthy opening in H Queen’s: ICHU Peru. This casual Peruvian restaurant showcases traditional ingredients and cooking techniques, and wants guests to leave feeling like they’ve just dined in Peru. The menu is comprised of a range of local comfort food, complimenting their bistro-style setting, along with an extensive wine list. Each category of the menu, from ceviches to meats, has only a select handful of dishes to ensure quality and consistency throughout.
Price point: $$$
3/F, H Queen’s, 80 Queen’s Road Central, Central
Taking over the former space of Shore in The L.place comes a new dual concept by the same creators: Hunter and The Chase. Head to Hunter on the 4th floor if you’re looking for a contemporary take on a classic steakhouse (think bison tartare, potted rabbit confit, and roasted bone marrow). If you’re in the mood for drinks with a few bites, head to The Chase on the venue’s lower floor where you can also take advantage of their large outdoor space. Along with a new name and menu, the space went through a much needed makeover.
Price point: $$$
3/F & 4/F, The L.place, 139 Queen’s Road Central, Central
Bread & Beast has been a staple for delicious sandwiches in Wan Chai since they opened. Recently, the sandwich joint underwent a makeover, giving it a much cleaner and more modern look. Along with a sleek interior, a new nighttime concept was born: KONG. A fantastic fusion of local ingredients and comfort food with a modern spin are what set KONG apart. Although we loved everything we tried, absolute must-orders are the Scallion Bing with Black Garlic Aioli and the Shelter Crab Cheesy Cheung Fun.
Price point: $ – $$
3 Swatow Street, Wan Chai
Mirroring the minimalist style of Danish Furniture Store, Bo Concept, Next Door is a cozy casual cafe nestled in the heart of Causeway Bay. With floor to ceiling windows and a small outdoor terrace, the space is bright and airy. The menu was created by Bryan Nagao of TOWN fame and uses organic produce, fresh seafood, and hormone-free natural meats to create spin-offs of Nagao’s own fusion dishes. Veggie-lovers are spoiled for choice with the cafe’s 12 daily salads made in-house using top ingredients. Other signature dishes include their Grilled Cheese & Avocado Sandwiches, Linguine Arrabbiata with Shrimp & Zucchini, and Pan-Fried Yamato Pork Chop with Chimichurri Sauce.
Price point: $$
Unit 206-210, Lee Garden Three, 10 Hysan Avenue, Causeway Bay
With a new look and feel, Le Bistro Winebeast has moved locations, giving way to a much larger dining space and a more modern feel. The street-level location will serve up their classics along with a new Autumn menu featuring a range of seasonal dishes curated by Chef Johan Ducroquet. Winebeast specialises in French Terroir, Spanish regional and eco-friendly wines, so be sure to order a glass (or bottle) to complete your dining experience in this upscale, yet cozy restaurant.
Price point: $$$ – $$$$
35-45 Johnston Road, Wan Chai
Love La Vache, but hate that you can’t make a reservation and don’t have the time to queue (don’t worry, neither do we)? Try Top Blade, Causeway Bay’s newest steak out. After its success in Ho Man Tin, Top Blade Steak Lab has opened another location on the island, offering a more diverse selection of dishes and drinks. The concept is simple: reasonably priced steak, often featuring limited-time-only specials, and all-you-can-eat truffle fries (yes, you read that right). What more could you really ask for?
Price point: $$ – $$$
2-4 Hysan Avenue, Causeway Bay
Maximal Concepts has just unveiled their latest restaurant: John Anthony, a contemporary Cantonese restaurant in the new Lee Garden Three building. The restaurant claims to be one of the leaders in the realm of sustainable dining (something Hong Kong desperately needs more of), so we look forward to seeing their words in action as they roll out various initiatives. As for the food, John Anthony specializes in charcoal grill-roasted meats and handmade dim sum, made perfect for sharing.
Price point: $$$+
Basement, Lee Garden Three, 1 Sunning Road, Causeway Bay
The Optimist – Exclusive Blackboard Menu
Only available for eight separate dates in October, The Optimist’s Blackboard Menu was developed by new Head Chef Antoni Bero. The menu features a variety of seafood, meat, and rice dishes inspired by his Valencian roots. Served sharing style, this is the perfect opportunity to get a group together to enjoy this unique menu at one of our favorite Spanish restaurants in Hong Kong. Your dinner includes aperitivo, starters, rice, mains, and dessert to share, so be sure to come hungry.
Available on October 7 – 11 and 14 – 18, priced at HK$520 per person.
G/F, 239 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai
Meat lovers, rejoice! Porterhouse has just launched a new meat-filled menu on Sunday to Tuesday featuring unlimited portions of five different cuts of meat. For HK$528, you’ll begin your meal with a beef consomme, followed by your choice of starter (the beef tartare comes highly recommended). Then you can fill up on as much Italian Marango meat (topside, brisket, flank, and rump) and Australian Black Angus (sirloin) as your heart desires. Still have room left? Dessert is also included in this great-value dinner set.
Available Sunday – Tuesday at HK$528 per person
7/F, California Tower, 30-36 D’Aguilar Street, Lan Kwai Fung, Central
Maximal Concepts restaurant group has close ties to the Nepalese community and has set a goal of raising $390,000 to help the village of Arnakot build a school. As a part of this fundraising initiative, they are hosting this one-day charity event at Brickhouse. The $450 entry ticket will get you freeflow food and drinks including Nepalese BBQ, Momos, Selroti, Alu Dam with Chutney and Khukuri Rum Punch, Mojitos, Raksi and Nepalese Beer to wash it all down. There’ll be a charity auction starting at 3pm with items up for bid including vacation getaways, exclusive dinners and more.
Brickhouse, Wyndham Street, Lan Kwai Fong
What’s New: Drinks
Although patio seating is hard to come by in Hong Kong thanks to the lack of street space, this city has some incredible rooftop bars and our list just keeps on growing. Enjoy an after-work drink or post-brunch cocktail at newly opened PIQNIQ in the buzzing new H Queen’s building. Le Comptoir Group’s (think Ecriture, Bibo, and The Ocean) latest venture offers guests stunning views of the city in a hip, modern setting.
27/F, H Queen’s, 80 Queen’s Road Central, Central
Rooftop Mirage Cocktail Menu @ Armani/Privé
Armani/Privé’s Central rooftop location is a mainstay for the city’s in-crowd. With the temperature on the rise, Armani/Privé have come up with a clever way to keep things cool. The Rooftop Mirage cocktail collection introduces a series of drinks poured over shaved-ice or gelato, Japanese kakigōri and Italian affogato style. Available exclusively for $155 from now until 30 October 2018, Armani/Privé mixologists will present five refreshing cocktails, with names like the Coco Matcha and the Art Basil, to help guests select the perfect summer rooftop tipple.
Price Point: $$-$$$
2/F, Landmark Chater, Central, 3583 2828
Lan Kwai Fong’s popular contemporary Asian outlet Fang Fang will launch an innovative new cocktail menu inspired by the Chinese zodiac and designed to enhance the interaction between consumers and the bartenders making their drinks, this mid-September. The new menu, which builds on the popularity of the bar’s previous menu, which was based on the Chinese five elements, with 12 following the timeless Chinese zodiac signs. A few of the creative cocktails will present in the special hand-painted cocktail glass, designed by award-winning Bar Manager Gagan Gurung. This new menu is aimed to launch mid-September and the delectable new cocktails during happy hour can be matched with an insightful new menu of bar snacks.
Price Point: $$ – $$$
8/F LKF Tower, 33 Wyndham Street, Central
Check-in to ROOM 309 at “The Reception” and tap your keycard on the wall to enter this drinking den. ROOM 309 doesn’t claim to be another speakeasy, rather, this bar promises an intimate affair with no more than 20 guests and a range of personalised cocktails. Helmed by Antonio Lai, one of Hong Kong’s most well-known mixologists, you can be sure you’re in for an absolute treat. We’re particularly keen to try The Invisible Menu, a range of cocktails that lack color in order to experience their uninhibited flavor complexity.
3/F The Pottinger Hotel, 74 Queen’s Road Central
Tai Kwun seems to be the city’s new hub for restaurants and bars since it’s opening earlier this summer. One of the anticipated openings is designer Ashley Sutton’s latest collaboration with Dining Concepts: Dragonfly. This bohemian-style cocktail lounge will transport you to the late 19th century, drawing inspiration from American artist Louis Comfort Tiffany – over 500 cast iron dragonflies in turquoise glass lamps cover the bar’s ceiling. As for the drinks, expect plenty of signature cocktails presented in repurposed vessels, and a well-stocked selection of gin, whisky, and rum.
Shop 10 & 13 – G1, Tai Kwun, 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.