Note: Keep an eye on the latest COVID-19 regulations and confirm any details before you head out.
Italian restaurant Cantina is the second of The Aqua Group’s recent restaurant openings in Tai Kwun, replacing the group’s former British restaurant, Statement. Chic yet unpretentious, it is an expedition of modern Italian fare, with sharing dishes that traverse Italy – from Venetian cicchetti to citrusy Sicilian red prawn carpaccio and Molisani cavatelli pasta, which braises three different types of meat in a rich tomato sauce. Dinner guests can opt for a tasting menu before retiring to Cantina’s nearby sister bar, The Dispensary, for cocktails on the terrace.
Police Headquarters Block 1, Tai Kwun, 10 Hollywood Road, Central, 2848 3000
An elegant Neapolitan restaurant has opened its doors on Hollywood Road, bringing a nostalgic fare from nonna’s table to yours. Helmed by Chef Antimo Maria Merone, Ramato’s menu is inspired by his grandmother’s Southern Italian staples, with crowd-pleasing classics such as pappardelle ragu and tiramisu. Naturally, you can expect to find the restaurant’s namesake Puglian tomatoes on the menu, too – simmered to perfection and served atop a bed of glistening spaghetti, providing a twist on the traditional spaghetti pomodori.
208 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, 2549 0208
With a statement name which declares Hong Kong’s food scene is still very much thriving following a hard season of pandemic-related restrictions, Vivant (which translates to ‘alive’ in French), is Lyndhurst Terrace’s newest European bistro. Modern French cooking is at the heart of the restaurant’s menu, with meticulously prepared dishes such as potato millefeuille served with eel rilette and short ribs served in a peppery sauce, all set to be washed down with one of restaurant’s carefully selected natural wines. Be sure to book ahead as this intimate eatery only seats 20 people at a time.
G/F, 8-10 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, Hong Kong, 2952 2766
Experience different Japanese culinary styles at Maison Meiji, a Meiji-era inspired dining destination housed in Wan Chai’s heritage Green Building. It boasts three different dining spots: a bistro, tea room and shochu lounge named Kuromaru. The establishment pays homage to the Meiji-era’s growing European influences through the bistro’s French-Japanese menu (which features dishes such as miso black cod with vegetable croquettes) and tea room – serving up specialty tea and coffee and Japanese desserts. Don’t miss the signature strawberry monogram shortcake, layered with meticulously cut strawberry slices.
1/F, 7 Mallory Street, Wan Chai, 6186 0889
Craft beer lovers rejoice: homegrown brand Carbon Brews has opened its very first dining destination up on Wyndham Street – due to officially open its doors on 25 May. After launching its first gastropub in Tokyo, Carbon Brews has returned to its roots with a new sleek taproom where you’ll find all of its signature beers on draft such as their citrusy ‘Feels Good Man’ wheat beer and favourite fruity ‘Baby Rich Lupulins’ hazy IPA, alongside a menu of elevated dishes that go beyond your average bar snack. While everyone loves a charming British-style pub, the taproom’s chrome and concrete interiors are a breath of fresh air for Hong Kong’s beer enthusiasts.
Shop 01, G/F, The Centrium, 60 Wyndham Street, Central
Looking for a takeaway breakfast pastry or a cute brunch spot? Pencil in a date at new Wan Chai café, Sour Dough, whose name provides a clue as to what you’ll find on its menu. The artisan deli, which is helmed by chef Gérard Dubois, is fast becoming known for its signature sourdough croissants and toasted croque monsieurs. Beyond breads and pastries, you’ll also find quiches, vegan salads and hearty soups, along with glass jar desserts (try the double apple crumble – trust us) and delicate petal-shaped cakes.
Shop 2-3, G/F, Keen Hung Commercial Building, 80 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai, 2571 8873
Chef Olivier Elzer expands his Hong Kong footprint with his latest endeavour, Clarence, perched on the 25th floor of H Code in Soho. Offering a more casual experience than the chef’s two-Michelin-starred French temple at L’Envol, Clarence sees Elzer reimagining traditional Gallic dishes through an innovative lens, drawing inspiration from his years of experience working in Asia to weave in local cooking methods and ingredients. Four distinct dining areas include the main dining room, lounge, wine bar and sommelier room, with Elzer debuting his ‘Yakifrenchy’ concept – classic French ingredients skewered and singed over a Japanese robata grill.
25/F, H Code, 45 Pottinger Street, Central, 3568 1397
Chef Antonio Oviedo of well-loved tapas eatery 22 Ships has joined forces with JIA Group once again to bring a new Spanish fine-dining concept to Central. Opening mid-May as the latest restaurant in the heritage complex of Tai Kwun, Agora offers a stage for chef Oviedo to flex his creative culinary muscles, with seasonally rotating tasting menus built around innovative flavours and premium Spanish products. The rustic eatery seats just 24, with a high, curved ceiling and earth-toned terracotta brick walls lending the space a cavernous, contemporary feel to complement the evocative cuisine.
Shop 14, G/F, D Hall, Tai Kwun, 10 Hollywood Road, Central, 2316 2005
Housed within Hong Kong’s M+ Museum, recently opened Mosu Hong Kong is the sister outpost of the two-Michelin-starred South Korean restaurant opened by chef Sung Anh. The Hong Kong branch brings a taste of Seoul to West Kowloon, and features signature dishes from its flagship eatery such as acorn noodles and abalone taco, alongside inventive new creations which embrace local seasonal produce and weave in elements of Cantonese cuisine.
3/F, M+, 38 Museum Drive, West Kowloon Cultural District, 2398 0291
The Murray Hotel’s Cotton Tree Terrace has been transformed into an al fresco pizzeria just in time for spring. Choose from a wide selection of authentic Neapolitan-style pies such as the four-cheese Quattro Formaggi; the Napolitana, loaded with Mediterranean anchovies and Taggiasca olives and sprinkled with oregano; or the Carbonara, topped with salty guanciale, black pepper and egg. Be transported to the Italian Riviera beneath the grand arches of the terrace, surrounded by lush greenery as you sip on a refreshing spritz. Be sure to save space for a bowl of smooth, rich gelato.
Cotton Tree Terrace, UG Level, The Murray, 22 Cotton Tree Drive, Central, 3141 8888
Tucked away on Upper Station Street, Frantzén’s Kitchen was one of our favourite Sheung Wan restaurants. But now newcomer Embla has appeared to replace it. Founded and helmed by Jim Löfdahl, former executive chef of Frantzén’s Kitchen, the restaurant continues the Nordic sensibility and fine-dining flair of its predecessor. Diners can expect a contemporary menu which features fresh, seasonal ingredients and spotlights delicate, refined flavours. Highlights on the menu include the celeriac fondant with a smoked tea aspic and a lobster shiitake roll with apple.
11 Upper Station Street, Sheung Wan, 2559 8508
Inspired by the LA upbringing and Mexican heritage of founders Gabe Perez and Edgar Vigo, Chicano fuses a West Coast influence with south-of-the-border flavours to introduce a new style of Mexican food to Hong Kong. The nostalgic menu showcases traditional hearty recipes passed down from Perez’s abuela, and is made up of small sharing plates to be enjoyed in the spirit of a family meal at home. Our favourite dish on the menu is Grandma’s meatballs with ancho sauce, but the enchiladas de pollo aren’t to be missed either.
15 Gough Street, Central, 5595 3334
Helmed by chef Gavino Pilo, Happy Valley pizzeria Little Napoli serves up traditional Neapolitan pizzas, ripieno fritto (stuffed pizzas), and baked panuozzo (sandwiches) – all of which are fired in a hand-built brick oven from Naples. The menu stays true to the chef’s hometown roots (of, you guessed it, Naples), featuring beloved classics such as the Margherita alongside specials such as the fiery Vesuviana, the latter topped with Italian fennel sausage, turnip greens, Agerola mozzarella, pecorino Romano and chilli flakes.
8 King Kwong Street, Happy Valley, 6882 1823
Tucked away on the antiques-lined Upper Lascar Row – better known as Cat Street – Mora is a modern French-Chinese restaurant opened by celebrated chef-proprietor Vicky Lau. In the kitchen here is chef Percy Ho, formerly sous chef at Lau’s two-Michelin-starred Tate Dining Room. Ho uses French-inspired cooking techniques and locally sourced ingredients to create a menu that champions soy products. Each course of the opening special set menu ‘Characters of Soy’ spotlights soy in its various forms: ‘silken’, ‘crisp’, ‘jade’, ‘dew’ and ‘ice’, with highlights including homemade soft tofu with Ossetra caviar and stinky red tofu-marinated crispy three-yellow chicken.
40 Upper Lascar Row, Sheung Wan, 9583 8590
Behind the big blue storefront on Lee Tung Avenue lies Wan Chai’s newest bakery with a twist: The Baker & The Bottleman. By day, this bakery – the latest venture from British chef Simon Rogan – serves up hearty British pastries, cakes and breads alongside locally sourced coffees and teas. At night, it transforms into a cool natural wine bar, fully stocked with natural, organic and biodynamic bottles. From the nostalgic coronation chicken sandwich and scotch egg with pickled walnut sauce to the irresistible pine and strawberry jam doughnuts, the menu will leave you longing for more British treats.
Shop No. G14 and G15, Lee Tung Avenue, 200 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai, 2386 8933
Meat lovers will love Hong Kong’s newest modern trattoria Testina, opened by ZS Hospitality Group in partnership with chic Milan restaurant Trippa Milano. Meaning ‘head’ in Italian, the restaurant’s name refers to the kitchen’s nose-to-tail approach to cooking, in which every part of the animal is used. The kitchen is led by executive chef Marco Xodo (former chef de cuisine of two-Michelin-starred 8 ½ Otto e Mezzo Shanghai), who has created a refined menu that spotlights rare cuts of meat and lesser-known ingredients. Signature dishes include the homemade tagliatelle with duck ragù and charcoal-grilled bone marrow.
3/F, 8 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, 2798 0668
Trade in the zen-like ambience of traditional sushi bars for the vibrant atmosphere at Rollie. Located on Central’s Cochrane Street, this newcomer is serving up open-style temaki hand rolls to hip hop beats, with a playful menu inspired by US West Coast-style Japanese food. Favourite hand rolls include the spicy tuna ‘Wil.I.Roll’, and the ‘Ex-Scallop-ur’ with seared scallop, asparagus and garlic butter. Don’t sleep on the flagship dish, the Uni Fans: an indulgent cup layered to the brim with sea urchin, fatty tuna, salmon roe and rice.
32 Cochrane Street, Central, 2845 9244
Hong Kong food group Woolly Pig HK has opened a new Spanish bodega on Staunton Street in the space formerly occupied by Big Sur: Majo Tapas. The restaurant serves up relaxed Spanish cuisine that transports you to sun-drenched days by the Mediterranean. Favourite dishes include the Valencia-style codfish croquette with squid ink aioli and, of course, the cooked-to-order paella, served in a traditional flat steel pan. To wash it all down there are three kinds of sangria on tap —red, white, and rosé.
G/F, Soho Central, 22 Staunton Street, Central, 2529 3001
A taste of the American South has arrived in Mong Kok, courtesy of the minds behind Sai Kung’s Momentai and Joe-San. Serving up Southern classics such as chicken and waffles, country fried steak and Mississippi catfish, this laid-back dive bar is the perfect place to get your soul food fix. Not only does it boast some of the best authentic sweet tea in Hong Kong, but it’s also home to the only vinyl jukebox of its kind in the city, too — ensuring a Memphis-inspired experience fit for the king of rock ’n’ roll.
Shop B, G/F, Lisa House, 12–14A Yim Po Fong Sreet, Mong Kok, 6112 9448
Craving a tropical getaway? Central’s much-loved Honi Honi has re-emerged in Tai Hang as Maka Hiki Tropical Bar & Grill – the name means ‘new beginnings’ in Hawaiian. The kitchen is helmed by Russell Doctrove, previously in charge of the kitchens at Maximal Concepts, and he’s designed the menus with the island paradise vibe front of mind. Signature dishes include the grilled mahi mahi and 48-hour slow-cooked beef rib with tamarind jaew BBQ sauce. The large, leafy terrace is the ideal place to complete that island state of mind, with a classic piña colada or the new Maka Hiki Punch.
2/F, Little Tai Hang, 98 Tung Lo Wan Road, Tai Hang, 2155 1777
2022 is set to be a big year for May Chow’s Little Bao. Not only does this mark the restaurant’s 8th anniversary, but it has returned to its Soho roots, around the corner from its very first location. To celebrate, the new branch has undergone a sleek rebrand and boasts a menu of returning classics alongside all-new dishes: such as the skirt steak beef tataki (beef served with kombu shiitake soy vinaigrette, pickled shiitake, shiso and leek, topped with fried shallots) and the crab bao (a soft, pillowy bun filled with panko crab cake, cheddar cheese and coleslaw). Wash it down with one of their new cocktails — the oh-so-Hong-Kong Pocari Paloma is our favourite.
1-3 Shin Hing Street, Central, 6794 8414
Named after the Majestic Restaurant & Night Club, an iconic spot in North Point in the 1960s, The Grand Majestic Sichuan is the latest restaurant from Black Sheep Restaurants. The vibe is all nostalgia and opulence, with velvet dining booths and plush carpeting to offset some seriously spicy food. Serving up a fiery feast of Sichuan fare is head chef Robert Wong (formerly of Chilli Fagara), who worked closely with Chinese food historian Fuchsia Dunlop on this sizzling new dining experience.
Shop 301, Alexandra House, 18 Chater Road, Central