It’s common knowledge that Central and Sheung Wan Hong Kong are full of great restaurants and bars, but if you are looking for something a little bit different, head out to where the locals are where a slew of intriguing drink and dining concepts have sprouted.
Sai Ying Pun
Historic and charming, Sai Ying Pun is a quiet residential area with a rich heritage. Its artery, Centre Street, was once home to salted fish stalls, Chinese medicine halls, and pawn shops, and remains as Hong Kong’s steepest road. Its casual, community-like atmosphere gives Sai Ying Pun a friendly and easy-going aura that some of the more cosmopolitan areas of Hong Kong no longer possess.
If you are ever craving real American food, you will find solace in Awakening Cafe. Perfect for long brunches with the delicious omelettes, sandwiches and pancakes that are served up, it’s no wonder there’s been a buzz about it. Savoury fare such as Julius’ BBQ spare ribs, thick cuts of juicy pork chops and Diane’s meatloaf also ensure people keep coming back for more. Oh, and don’t forget to try out their tasty Bloody Mary.
G/F, 1-6 Ying Wah Terrace; +852 2858 0005; www.awakeningcafehk.com
Ping Pong 129 Gintonería
Nestled in the up-and-coming Sai Ying Pun with its spacious and chic interior and private club vibe, this joint is the new go-to spot for the stylish. Right from the get-go, you’ll be smitten with its bright red door, raw concrete pillars and designer furniture. Serving authentic renditions of the Spanish ‘Gintonic’, expect oversized balloon glasses that enhance the botanical notes from the gins, hand-carved crystal-clear ice blocks and of course, premium tonic water.
129 Second Street, L/G Nam Cheong House; + 852 9158 1584
With a façade made to look like a Parisian subway station, with wrought iron entrances and high ceilings, this French restaurant features authentic French bistro fare, with all the classics such as beef tartare, onion soup, and nicoise salad. The Parisian vibe is charming and explains why this place is usually packed to the hilt. A must try is the rosemary rotisserie chicken – cooked on the centrepiece oven block in the middle of the space, which the owner says was flown in directly from France.
G/F, 46 High Street, Sai Ying Pun; +852 6271-6102
A low-key addition to the booming number of Mexican food joints in Hong Kong, Taco Chaca plates up the sort of flavours you’d get from a taco truck on the West Coast or family-run taqueria in Texas. It’s casual, affordable and simply exists to serve mouth-watering Mexican snacks. Shoot for the carnitas taco, which has tender pulled pork wrapped with cilantro and pico de gallo. They also offer delicious refried beans as a hearty side. Don’t forget to wash everything down with a Corona.
1 Second St, Sai Ying Pun, +852 2525 2066; www.tacochaca.com