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New retail, food, and culture destination Airside opens in Kai Tak this September!

By Celia Lee 19 September 2023

Header image courtesy of Airside

Hong Kong shopping mall aficionados can look forward to the opening of Airside at the end of the month! Located in Kai Tak, the fresh neighbourhood repurposes the area where Kai Tak Airport once stood. With the goal to promote the coexistence between humans and nature, this new lifestyle destination embraces and celebrates its location’s rich cultural heritage, while offering new shopping and dining options for all. Here’s what we know so far about Airside.

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Nurturing “wholeness”

Practising sustainability and paying attention to nature were guiding principles during Airside’s conception. Driven by the idea of “wholeness,” the design and structure of the mall highlight the deep connection between humans and the environment through art, culture, and lifestyle.

An abundance of greenery will welcome visitors within and around the mall—a rare sight in the densely populated neighbourhood of Kowloon City—including a rooftop garden and urban farms. These green spaces will introduce a series of tropical and local flora to the mall, while seasonal produce will be grown and harvested for food and beverage tenants to use.

Airside will also be one of the access points to the Kai Tak cycling trail surrounding the old airport. The trail connects various scenic spots in Kai Tak and beyond, such as the former airport nullah, baptised the Kai Tak River; the former taxiway bridge, named the Kai Tak Bridge; and the revitalised green spaces Kai Tak Green Way and Sky Garden along the old runway. Cyclists will have access to an automatic bike parking bay located just outside of the mall, making cycling more accessible as a form of daily transportation for city dwellers.

Embracing history

The mall’s name refers to a restricted area in airports, beyond customs and immigration, paying homage to the neighbourhood’s past while signalling the unique experience visitors will encounter when visiting the mall. Positioning itself as the first iconic landmark in Kai Tak, it is only fitting that Airside celebrates the rich history of the area. The opening campaign, “Up in Airside,” showcases a series of exhibitions and immersive experiences that draw from Kai Tak’s aviation history.

The interactive exhibition, “Desire to Fly,” spans across multiple floors of the mall and includes a display of the Beagle Pup 100, the first single-engine aircraft to travel from England to Hong Kong in 1972! Visitors will find that the “Idea Cloud” zone on the second floor features old flight journals, logbooks, photos, posters, and other aviation paraphernalia related to the iconic airport, before moving onto a series of artworks, installations, and interactive works created by local artists.

Aviation enthusiasts will be delighted to visit the Flight Experience Zone, where they can engage in a thrilling game of Drone Soccer, control an aircraft in flight simulation, and take part in paper airplane workshops.

Where to shop

In addition to the usual shopping mall staples, shoppers can browse through local brands’ boutiques. B’in Select offers designer lifestyle items that are unique to the city, while the online platform Garian gathers its international stockists at a pop-up store. Home-grown labels Fingers Work and The Wax Can will offer electronic device accessories and scented candles, respectively. Visitors can also look forward to White Market, which gathers local handmade lifestyle brands, as well as the Pinkoi autumn pop-up store, where the Taiwanese online marketplace, in collaboration with Kyoto cultural creative brand Sou Sou, will present delicious gourmet treats alongside lifestyle items.

Proud to be a pet-friendly mall, Airside also offers a selection of destinations for its furry visitors. Pets can enjoy a relaxing grooming session at Hola il Colpo Hair and Pets. Once they are camera-ready, pet parents can snap a picture with their furry babies at All Japan Pet, a premium pet boutique complete with photo spots and pet-sized traditional yukata (a light kimono made of cotton). You can give your furry friend an immersive airport-themed experience at Ruff & Fetch, a pet supply store equipped with self-service pet care and rehabilitation facilities. Finally, Purr’licious is the perfect one-stop for feline snacks.

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Where to eat

You can refuel on your adventures around Airside and Kai Tak at one of the mall’s dining destinations. Highlights include Nana’s Green Tea, where the popular Japanese matcha specialist will bring its mouth-watering delights to the city, including parfaits, roll cakes, and matcha-based drinks; Relish Kitchen by Alot, a new restaurant concept between the chic catering brand and solid wood furniture store where guests can enjoy a choice of comfort foods in a relaxed environment; and Airside Café, an expansive outlet located at the naturally sunlit atrium. For quick meals, head over to Foodmuse, Airside’s food court, and sample across international and local cuisines.

Getting there

Airside is located just under 10 minutes from Kai Tak Station. The easiest way to get there will be by MTR. Take the Kwun Tong line to Diamond Hill Station or Ho Man Tin Station and interchange to the Tuen Ma line to Kai Tak Station. Alternatively, take the East Rail line to Tai Wai Station or Hung Hom Station and interchange to the Tuen Ma line to Kai Tak Station. You can find your way to the mall through all four exits, but Exit A is the most direct.

Airside’s soft-opening is on 28 September, with more shopping and dining destinations, art and cultural experiences, and pet-friendly ventures soon to follow!

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Celia Lee

Staff writer

Born and raised in Hong Kong and educated in the UK, Celia is passionate about culture, food, and different happenings in the city. When she’s not busy writing, you can find her scouting for new and trendy restaurants, getting lost in a bookstore, or baking up a storm at home.