The temperature is rising in restaurant kitchens across Hong Kong, with hot new openings and menu items giving us even more choice when it comes to planning a night out in the 852. From hearty Italian dishes, to spicy Mexican bites, and the much-loved afternoon tea – it’s all on our doorstep. We munch and sip our way around the city to find you the coolest places to eat and drink.
Openings and Re-openings
Fratelli Artisan Pasta Bar Opens at The Pulse
Fancy escaping the hustle and bustle of the city and kicking back with a dreamy pasta dish overlooking the ocean? No, we’re not daydreaming, because the Chellaram and Roopchand brothers (behind popular venues Rummin’ Tings and Amalfitana) have opened a brand new Italian joint in Repulse Bay. Bringing a touch of European charm to The Pulse on the seafront, Fratelli Artisan Pasta Bar is a rustic and understated venue which serves up deliciously cheesy antipasti, salads, pastas, and mains that are prepared with as much love and care as the pizzas at Amalfitana – well, they do share the same Italian chef!
Among our favourites are the beautifully creamy Bruschetta Burrata ($140) bursting with flavour, thanks to the blend of sweet cherry tomatoes and balsamic vinegar, and the zesty Smoked Salmon Salad ($110) which mixes perfectly ripe avocados with lush, green leaves and a drizzle of lemon. The pasta dishes are just as alluring, with much-loved classics executed very well, such as the Tagliatelle Bolognaise ($120) and Lasagna ($150), with pasta cooked to perfection and topped with just the right amount of cheese.
As well as oodles of vegetarian options, there are some spicy dishes to please more adventurous diners, with the Spaghetti Scoglio ($180) stealing the show with its fusion of mussels, prawns, and squid in white wine and tomato sauce. Wash this down with a signature cocktail – the gin based Fratelli Flirt ($100) is a delight – or one of the five fancy gin and tonics on offer, and you could almost believe you were on the Italian Riviera! The only thing missing is a booze-soaked tiramisu, but then again, the coffee and caramel Tartufo ice cream ($80) is devilishly good! A perfect spot for date night, dinner with the family, or simply for escaping the madness of the city. Delizioso!
Fratelli Artisan Pasta Bar, The Pulse, G/F, Shop 112B, 28 Beach Road, Repulse Bay, (852) 2887 0082
Open Tuesday to Sunday, 12 pm til late
Elia Opens on Mody Road
Zinc Group’s latest venture, Elia, offers contemporary Spanish fare and exquisite cocktails with a view of Victoria Harbour. Located on the popular bar and restaurant strip of Mody Road in Tsim Sha Tsui, the restaurant stands out not only for its incredible outdoor terrace and playful, rustic nautical theme – which features boat-shaped sofas and a ceiling decorated with oars – but also for the quality of its cuisine. Michelin star Chef Miguel Lopez has worked wonders in creating delicious tapas, big bites, small bites, and sweet bites inspired by the south of Spain, made using only the freshest ingredients. Among the stand-out dishes are the Crunchy Lamb with Roasted Gazpacho ($55), the Royal Prawns ($188), and the Salmon with Blue Cheese ($168), each presented with a dashing of artistic flair.
The cocktails are just as impressive, with the Libelulas Volando ($148) gin and tonic with lemongrass, yuzu juice, and juniper berries standing out by miles. Award-winning mixologist Alfredo Aguilera has designed the drinks to pair beautifully with all the dishes on the menu, while at the same time staying close to the venue’s nautical theme. The whisky based Puerto De Palos ($118) offers a wonderful spicy kick and complements the Royal Prawns and more zesty dishes. While Elia may not be the cheapest dining spot on Mody Road, it certainly shines above the rest in terms of character, quality, and service – not to mention the incredibly alluring terrace which makes this an ideal spot for date night or an intimate dinner with friends.
Elia, Ground Level, Shop 1, G/F, Wing On Plaza, 62 Mody Road, TST East, 2721 3600
EAT.it Re-opens in Causeway Bay
Casual Italian eatery has officially re-opened in the heart of Causeway Bay, offering a revitalised alfresco dining experience overlooking Victoria Park. Known for its high-quality, but affordable cuisine, EAT.it has been a staple for families in the neighbourhood for years, largely due to its spacious venue and unique self-service style of mixing and matching flavours to suit specific pasta or pizza preferences. Its value-for-money lunch deal (starting from $138) and sunny alfresco terrace area also make it popular among office workers and dog owners in the area.
Menu highlights include the Maffei fresh pasta and hand-made pizzas such as the Margherita with San Marzano DOP tomatoes, mozzarella and basil ($110), and the Chef’s signature Sole E Luna “Sun And Moon” ($135), half a Calzone with Gran Biscotto Ham and half a Margherita Pizza. Other dishes not to miss are the classic Truffle Caesar with romaine, kale, truffle Caesar dressing, croutons, parmigiano, and soft-boiled Italian egg ($118), the Signature Pasta of your choice with sauces such as the classic Bolognese ($135), and the heavenly Dry-Aged Meatballs made with dry-aged beef, pork, tomato, and parmigiano served with grilled bread ($145).
Round this all off with a homemade gelato or cheeky Tiramisu with mascarpone cheese, espresso, and cocoa ($55), and you’ll be well on your way to a food coma. And of course, an Italian feast isn’t complete without a Peroni draft beer ($38 half pint/$58 full pint) or refreshing signature Eat.it Spritz ($48). And, if you can muster up enough energy after all that, then why not enjoy a game of foosball on the terrace?
EAT.it, Shop J, 9 Kingston Street, Fashion Walk, Causeway Bay, (+852) 2489 8822
Open Sunday to Monday, 11.30am – 10.30pm / Friday and Saturday, 11.30am – 11.30pm
Agave Returns to Central
After a long hiatus, our favourite Mexican restaurant and bar, Agave, has returned to Central. Located on Hollywood Road (next to Rummin’ Tings) the venue is serving up the same menu we know and love, with plenty of vegetarian options to keep herbivores happy. While smaller (or rather more narrow) in size than its Wan Chai sister on Lockhart Road, the Central location offers a more casual and arty vibe, shifting away from its bright yellow branding in favour of dark wooden table tops, white and green speckled tiled flooring, hanging bare bulb lights, and a ceiling covered with Mexican pop art featuring icons such as Frida Kahlo, Pedro Infante, and Emiliano Zapata.
Despite the change in design and logo, the food is still as good as ever, with the range of 11 tacos stealing the show. Try the signature Pescado Taco with fried beer battered sea bass ($98) and the Tacos de Carne Asada with USDA Grilled Rib Eye and avocado ($108) – you won’t be disappointed. The mountain of Nacho Gringos and Nacho Machos (both $178) still leave us feeling somewhat defeated – thank goodness for doggy bags, ay!
The restaurant also boasts Hong Kong’s first ever Mexican hotdog, the Sonoran Dogo ($68), a bacon-wrapped sausage with green tomatillo, yellow jalapeño salsa, cilantro sauce, and chipotle mayo. And, of course, Agave claims to have the biggest selection of tequila in the whole of East Asia (quite a statement!). If the impressive menu of giant fruity Margaritas doesn’t do it for you, then perhaps the Agave Mexican Sangria with red wine, Blanco Tequila, Cherry Brandy, and fresh orange and apple juice does. Definitely a fun way to cool down in this balmy Hong Kong weather – and did we mention that they offer two-for-one Margaritas every week day from 3pm to 8pm? Hello!
Agave Central, G/F, 26 Hollywood Road, Central, (+852) 2523 1988
Open Monday to Sunday, 11.30am til late
New Menu Items
New Smoothies and Shakes at Flamingo Bloom
The most colourful tea salon, with the best Instagram snaps in the city, has launched a new range of healthy smoothie bowls and vegan milkshakes in its Central and TST stores – just in time for the sweltering summer. All made from top-quality ingredients and jam-packed with vitamins and free of caffeine, preservatives, and added sugar, the new items taste just as gorgeous as they look. The Superfood Edition Smoothie Bowls are made using fresh fruit and a splash of almond milk, available in Matcha Melon and Virgin Pineapple Pina Colada (both $89), with a sprinkling of goji berries, raw rolled oats, black chia seeds, and mulberries. Perfect as a mid-day snack or breakfast on the run, these treats can be ordered in a cup or shared with a friend in a hollowed-out melon. #adorable
Meanwhile, the four new Naked Zero Vegan Milkshakes (each $43) blend together almond milk with four varieties of fruit. The Pink comes with strawberries, the Gold with sweet mango, the Violet with mulberries, and the Bronze with banana and organic cacao. Aside from the obvious health benefits, these shakes are packed with flavour and filling enough to keep you happy until lunchtime. The salon has also added a new thirst-quenching iced drink to its permanent menu. The Smashed Strawberries Matcha Latte ($49) blends together premium grade matcha from Japan, milk, and fresh strawberries – delicious!
Flamingo Bloom, G/F, Shop B, World Trust Tower, 50 Stanley Street, Central, (+852) 5177 8255
G/F, Mangan Building, 18-20 Cameron Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, (+852) 5178 7067
New “Beyond Colors” Afternoon Tea at WOOBAR
We can’t get enough of WOOBAR’s seasonal afternoon tea sets, famed for their exuberant colours and artistic collaborations with big fashion designers, but this time round, it’s breaking the mould and going to the dark side with a new black and white themed set designed by Japanese fashion brand, Evisu. Inspired by “The Fash-urbanite” collection, the new set oozes irreverent cool vibes with 12 chic canapés inspired by the brand’s colour palette. Aptly named “Beyond Colors”, the bold arrangement includes savoury treats such as the Black Mini Burger Bun with Beef Tataki (made by adding charcoal powder into freshly baked bread), the Cauliflower Shooter with Black Truffle, and the White Asparagus Panna Cotta with Avruga Caviar in Crispy Sable.
Over on the sweet side, the tea set features six types of desserts with seasonal fruits, such as the Black Sesame and Mango Cone, Black Charcoal Choux Buns with Pistachio Cream, and Blackcurrant Sponge and Chocolate Ganache. And let’s not forget those signature W Traditional and Raisin Scones – heavenly! Available from now until late July, this unconventional tea set is sure to make a dramatic statement on Instagram feeds across the city.
WOOBAR, 6/F, W Hong Kong, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon, (+852) 3717 2889
Priced at $438 for two people, from Monday to Friday, 2.30pm to 6pm
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