Header image courtesy of @lizeatery (via Instagram)
Tucked away in a quiet southern corner of eastern New Territories, this slow-paced neighbourhood has quite rapidly transformed from idle suburbia into a little enclave of hip waterside hangouts. With the official completion of several swanky residential complexes overlooking the Tseung Kwan O Promenade, a crop of charming coffee shops has emerged to line this peaceful trail with frequent visitors. Here is a low-down on the cafés with familiar names, as well as total newbies, that have made their way into the area.
A delight for the eyes—and for the camera lens—this elegantly cosy space is an all-day breakfast café that welcomes guests from all walks of life, even the four-legged ones! Concrete walls are contrasted against aquamarine tiling and rustic décor that seep with whimsical detailing. Right beside the entrance sits a plush, emerald sofa under a gilded sun mirror, a backdrop set-up that has cemented its place as the ultimate Instagram spot.
Served in vintage-inspired glassware, all of their drinks are as delectable as they are whimsical. A dainty orange flower and ladyfinger biscuit sit atop a pillow of cocoa powder over the velvety tiramisu coffee ($68). You can also play chemist with your drinks with the tall decanter of sky lemon soda ($52), to be stirred with the vial of butterfly pea cordial for a lavender concoction.
Pamper your furry friends with a feast on par with yours, as Stay With Café also offers a full pet menu, featuring hand-prepped delicacies like crocodile meat-stuffed conchiglie shell ($68) and an entire tea set ($88) with a bowl of Doggieccino ($25) to boot.
Stay With Café, Shop 3B, Alto Residences, 29 Tong Yin Street, Tseung Kwan O
Minimalistic in its delivery, yet meticulous in its preparation, the Tseung Kwan O branch of NOC occupies the junction between keeping things simple and ensuring a substantial depth of quality. Best known for featuring clean lines, bright spaces, and a rudimentary palette of mostly metallic greys and sleek whites, the NOC brand has gained traction as a place that integrates an air of calm into every fibre of its food and design.
The menu at the Papillons division retains its shortlist of health-focused savoury items, such as scrambled crab toast ($128), an ever-changing rotation of baked goods, as well as customary coffees (starting from $30) with blends and roasts that you can freely choose from. With a flat white ($40) in tow, simply settle into the ash-coloured seating with a built-in divider and block out the hustle and bustle around you.
NOC Papillons & Bakery, Shop 1A, Papillons Square, 21 Tong Chun Street, Tseung Kwan O | (+852) 2569 6069
With stores that line the entirety of Hong Kong Island, this famed French boulangerie has finally brought its iconic, naturally leavened bread to Tseung Kwan O. An amalgamation of their dining concepts, this corner shop is a grab-and-go bakery on one end, and a sophisticated restaurant-café hybrid on the other. A wall of imported delights like wines, biscuits, canned goods, and sauces are also up for grabs opposite the baked goods.
Accompanied by a cup of expertly prepared French black coffee ($32), tuck into goodies like the croissant (starting from $20) and plain financier ($28) that brings you back to basics with an authentic Franco feel. If you are looking to go full brunch mode, the obligatory avocado toast ($90) on sourdough and smoked salmon eggs Benedict ($110) are also available to suit your weekend needs.
Eric Kayser Café & Bakery, Shop 9A, Papillons Square, 21 Tong Chun Street, Tseung Kwan O | (+852) 3621 0237
First established in 2014 by two Hong Kong-based coffee aficionados, homegrown brand Urban Coffee Roaster has blossomed into a succession of boutique cafés offering premium coffee choices next to a menu of delectable fusion Western-Japanese cuisine. In particular, their crab meat donburi with deep-fried soft-shell crab ($148) and fluffy crème brûlée pancake ($108) take the spots as fan-favourites.
Focusing on delivering scrupulously roasted mixes, their brews all showcase expert blends and layered flavours. Taste the depths by trying a steamy flat white ($45), served in Urban Coffee Roaster’s signature white mug. On your way out, be sure to scope out their very own product line, and you might just find a pour-over drip coffee kit (starting from $78) or official printed graphic tee ($180) that catches your fancy.
Urban Coffee Roaster, Shop 12, Alto Residences, 29 Tong Yin Street, Tseung Kwan O | (+852) 2383 3362
Brought to Lohas Park by the culinary minds behind Twins Kitchen, Interval is a sleek restaurant that doubles as a coffee shop by day and moonlights as a classy wine bar by evening. Boasting an alfresco patio, the dining space spans 3,500 square feet, and is furnished in tasteful glimmers of gold and smoothed woodgrain against white marble. There is a nook that features their curation of coffees by Coffee Collective, first-rate coffee gadgets, and wines handpicked by ex-Haku sommelier Wallace Lo.
Its sister location lies in the heart of Cyberport and shares the same menu of Western cuisine with a Chinese twist. Aside from espressos ($25) and white coffees ($38), they also carry an extensive list of 12 different kinds of pour-over coffees (starting from $68). Whether you are a seasoned coffee lover or unsure of what flavours best stoke your fire, there is bound to be a cup that leaves you refreshed and thoroughly satisfied.
Interval Coffee Bar, Shop 417, 4/F, The Lohas, 1 Lohas Park Road, Tseung Kwan O | (+852) 2570 7568
Luckily for residents, Tseung Kwan O prides itself on a well-equipped sports complex encompassing an indoor velodrome, a football and sports ground that has played host to both the East Asian Games and the Hong Kong Games, a grassy stretch, a model boat pool, as well as a skate park. Welcoming hungry athletes and peppy families alike, The Alchemist Café lies right beside the entrance to the prestigious cycling tracks.
With floor-to-ceiling windows framing a gorgeous view of the fountains out front, beechwood beams, and kitschy interiors, there is a bright air of comfort throughout. The Alchemist Café is inspired by the theme of travel, not only in geographical terms, but also in the flow of ideas and culture between people. Tourism books and periodicals are set up on the shelf for browsing. Even more special is their “future postal service,” allowing you to send your future self a letter.
Serving up your usual caffeinated fare, the menu also provides more unique flavours that have been concocted by Lin Dongyuan, Taiwanese barista champion and founder of Gabee Coffee. Dubbed as “creative coffee,” their Harry Butterbeer coffee ($78) and hot cocoa espresso coffee ($62) with rosemary prove to be delicious new ways to enjoy your humble cup of joe.
The Alchemist Café, Shop G53, Hong Kong Velodrome, 105–107 Po Hong Road, Tseung Kwan O | (+852) 2632 7107
First hitting the scene in 2013, the collective of Beans cafés and bistros have gradually expanded to include eight locations all across Hong Kong. The Tseung Kwan O iteration features casual backyard dining that brings to the table snacks, sweet treats, and light meals to pair with a good cup of coffee. A faux-grass knoll and pebble-bordered pathway greet you as you enter, emulating the chilled atmosphere of being outside.
Exclusive to weekends, their breakfast listing shows an affordable re-hashing of classics like granola with yogurt ($42) and English breakfast ($76) that retain their scrumptious flavours, making it a star brunch choice. For à la carte options, you will find standard Western fare and also homemade cakes ($42), topped off with a well-stocked list of coffees (starting from $25) and teas ($39) of many kinds.
Beans The Backyard, Shop F95, 1/F, Popcorn Mall, 9 Tong Yin Street, Tseung Kwan O | (+852) 2777 7009
Helmed by former TVB reporter and Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef Icy Wong, this dining spot plates up pastas, pizzas, salads, and all-day breakfasts to dig into, all whilst enjoying shifting views of residential life through the lofty windows. A calming mood permeates the muted pastel tones and complements the clean wooden and marbled surfaces, offering a subtly glamorous setting for meet-ups over cups of flavoured organic tea (starting from $42) and cappuccino ($42).
Other than chilled lunch dates, Rise Kitchen also accommodates workshops and courses led by a team of in-house chefs who are passionate about bringing traditional baking methods to Hong Kong. In fact, their name in itself is a nod to the long fermentation process of bread-making!
Rise Kitchen, Shop 4, Alto Residences, 29 Tong Yin Street, Tseung Kwan O | (+852) 2703 9388
Revolving around the sensory pleasures that flowers can bring, this pet-friendly brunch and coffee shop places an emphasis on vibrant produce that can be used to compose stunning dishes. As a counterpart, their in-store colourway remains minimalistic, featuring an ashy monochromatic collection of couches, countertops, and walls.
After strolling along the promenade or spending a day out and about soaking up the sun, take a seat in one of Fleur’s lustrous couches and sip on a charcoal latte ($42) that swirls with the same rich grey shades as the marbled table underneath. Especially popular, the visually stunning Fleur Lover ($128) is the top item for lovers of all things floral. Composed of a dense and fluffy American-style pancake under a shapely dollop of cream, organic fresh fruit, and nuts, this treat is finished off with exquisite sprinkles of edible flowers.
Fleur, Shop 1B, Papillons Square, 21 Tong Chun Street, Tseung Kwan O | (+852) 2833 6963
As their first venture in Eastern New Territories, pet-friendly dining collective Hooman Group delivers this innovative café and cha chaan teng hybrid to the Tseung Kwan O neighbourhood. Its interiors are inspired by the modest style of Scandinavian décor with details that give a nod to traditional shopfronts, such as the glass box panels in the wall and enclaved wooden bench seats. Marrying together iconic local dishes with playful fusion touches, their dishes showcase how Hong Kong cooking intrinsically merges together East-meets-West elements flawlessly.
Toying with the staple of thick-cut toast (厚多士; hau5 do1 si2), their deviled toastie ($68) is stuffed with a decadent mix of corned beef, char siu, milky scrambled eggs, and peanut butter—all recurring characters found at cha chaan tengs everywhere. If their sister branch that specialises in hot dogs has taught us anything, their store-recommended Hooman hotdog in sweet & sour sauce ($60) plated with curly fries is definitely worth a try. Top it all off with an iced red beans matcha milk ($38), an elevated version of the signature fleecy drink we know and love well.
Hooman House, G17, Papillons Square, 21 Tong Chun Street, Tseung Kwan O | (+852) 2618 8277
If you have not already been drawn in by GoNuts’s zippy red door and bright neon signage, do try to swing by to check out their brilliant selection of coffee or choose a pint from one of their nine taps, available during the day and night, respectively. Helmed by the team behind HeySoNuts, this cross between a coffee shop and bar is their joint effort with micro-sized craft beer taphouse Once You Go Craft to bridge together the best of both worlds.
Supplementing its delicious brews are an array of impressive desserts, in addition to Western-style food for sharing. Its funky mochi-laced waffles, aptly nicknamed “moffles,” are a sweet treat to enjoy with an expertly concocted dirty ($44)—a double shot of espresso poured onto cold milk. If you are dropping by post-sunset, opt for a platter of slow-cooked Australian beef cheeks with French rolls ($318), complemented by ice-cold glasses of house IPA ($68).
GoNuts, Shop 4A, Greenwich Village, Alto Residences, 29 Tong Yin Street, Tseung Kwan O | (+852) 2796 0228
Paralleling the airy and unembellished environment of their other two Hong Kong locations, the Tseung Kwan O-based outlet of Uchi Coffee (屋子) brings to the neighbourhood their signature austere charm. Its 3,000-square-feet space stretches out to encompass a formation of cottagecore wicker seats and neat cedar benches, as well as its interior highlight: an elevated tatami-mat corner with adorable low wooden stands that seem to be lifted straight out of a little shack in the middle of the Japanese countryside.
Aside from a roster of home-style Japanese eats, like the ever-so fragrant beef ochazuke ($88), their trademark Dutch poffertjes (starting from $68) and photogenic tea concoctions are available as expected. Be sure to sample their rotation of freshly-made sweet treats, featuring the location-exclusive pure white strawberry egg roll ($58), the gossamer-textured hojicha mochi soufflé ($72), as well as the warming apple cinnamon poffertjes ($78).
Uchi Coffee (屋子), Shop 16, Monterey Place, 23 Tong Chun Street, Tseung Kwan O | (+852) 2638 0360