There’s al fresco dining, and then there’s rooftop al fresco dining, and there’s pretty much no question of which is better. Summer is the perfect time to leisurely indulge in some food and drinks whilst sunning yourself until you reach Brazilian model levels of tanned. We’ve already explored rooftop bars in Hong Kong, but should you prefer to line your stomach while you imbibe, here is a list of rooftop restaurants for you to try out while the sun’s still high in the sky.
This well-loved steakhouse may not offer your typical postcard-like harbour views of Hong Kong, but it is still a great spot for sky-high dining. From the spacious terrace, you’ll get to see wrap-around views of the bustling Wan Chai neighbourhood, as well as some of the harbour. Should it get too hot, the interior is also lovely to duck back into, with views that are no less stunning. They do a good three-course set dinner ($450) with Australian filet mignon, as well as set lunches that are great value for what is included.
Wooloomooloo Steakhouse, 31/F & Rooftop, The Hennessy, 256 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai | (+852) 2893 6960
On days where the sun comes out in full force and all you want to do is soak up the rays with a fruity cocktail in hand and a delicious bite in the other, there’s no better spot to do so than at Harbourside Grill. Offering sweeping panoramic views from the Hong Kong Convention Centre in Wan Chai across IFC mall and all the way over to ICC in West Kowloon, this brand-new restaurant at the very tip of Ocean Terminal is perfect for all occasions.
Modern European cuisine is the focus of the menu, with dry- and wet-aged steaks as its stars and an authentic Spanish Josper grill—an important component in achieving high cooking temperatures—at the heart of the operation. From tableside Steak Tartare with Grilled Sourdough ($158) to Seared Scallop with Crispy Pork Belly ($218), full flavours and rich indulgence with a touch of French flair best describes the culinary experience at Harbourside Grill. Definitely one to mark down for your next special occasion dinner!
Harbourside Grill, Shop OTE401, Level 4, Ocean Terminal Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 2619 9100
Perched atop the IFC mall, La Rambla is modelled in spirit after a Spanish market and serves up interpretations of Catalan cuisine. The outdoor terrace, which overlooks the Central Ferry Piers to Kowloon and beyond, features lounge seating and makes for the perfect place to catch the sunset with a cocktail in hand.
In terms of food, they do fantastic Sunday market brunch ($550 per person) featuring fresh cuts of Tomahawk, Aragon Lamb, Catalan Butifarra Sausage, Spanish Suckling Pig, lots of succulent seafood, and their renowned paellas. La Rambla has also recently launched their afternoon tea set ($480 for two), which is available from 3 to 5 pm every Monday to Saturday and is perfect for nibbling on in the heat.
La Rambla, 3071–73, 3/F, IFC mall, Central | (+852) 2661 1161
This contemporary European restaurant takes its name inspiration from the cockatoos that live in the neighbouring Zoological and Botanical Gardens and Hong Kong Park. The visitors’ eye is first drawn to the stylish bar, then to the wraparound terrace framing the restaurant. From this vantage point, you can see Hong Kong’s most stunning skyscrapers and buildings that are dotted around Central and towards Admiralty.
They do a weekly special menu ($568 for four courses), but should you choose to order à la carte, get the Loire Valley White Asparagus ($199), the Pan Seared Hokkaido Scallops ($328), and the Suckling Pig “Porchetta” ($488).
Popinjays, The Murray, 22 Cotton Tree Drive, Central | (+852) 3141 8888
Situated in the penthouse of Prince’s Building, SEVVA is an artful and eclectic space in the heart of the city. Twice a year, a new pop-up decoration will transform the whole place and is eagerly awaited by regulars, but their crowning jewel is their wrap-around terrace, from which visitors can soak in a panoramic, 360-degree view of the city’s skyline, as well as the nightly laser lights and music show.
Their dishes are reimaginings of food from kitchens in regional Chinese homes—with a fancy, modern spin, of course. They’ve got a good range of seafood dishes from award-winning Australian chef Chase Kojima, such as the Golden Hokkaido King Scallop, Lobster Tail ($560) or perennial favourites like the Pasta Named Desire ($480), which is a dreamy king prawn, caviar, and crab roe spaghetti dish in a champagne cream sauce.
SEVVA, 25/F, Prince’s Building, 10 Chater Road, Central | (+852) 2537 1388
Following the success of the el Willy restaurant in Shanghai, Barcelona chef Alex Martinez Fargas opened FoFo in 2010 to serve traditional and contemporary Spanish dishes to Hong Kong’s diners. Its dark wood terrace grants visitors lovely views over Hong Kong’s mountains, which are studded with multi-coloured buildings that shimmer at night.
The indecisive can go straight for their “A Taste of FoFo” Special Tapas Menu ($528), which comes with seven preselected tapas and dessert, but we’d definitely order the Montadito de Salmon Ahumado ($140), the Pulpo a la Gallega ($208), the Conchinillo ($235), and the Paella de Mariscos ($498).
FoFo by El Willy, 20/F, M88, 2–8 Wellington Street, Central | (+852) 2900 2009
If Spanish isn’t your thing and you’re feeling like something more Asian, simply head next door to Market S.E.A. for some comforting Southeast Asian cuisine in a great setting. The discreetly decorated venue brings to mind elements of the ocean, framed by floor-to-ceiling windows running along the back wall with the view of Victoria Harbour. Their terrace seating is comfortable, and you’d often find us curled up on their cushion-laden couches, working our way through some small plates.
Be sure to order their Roasted Chicken with Caramelised Palm Sugar Crumb ($228) and the Soft Shell Crab & Avocado Rice Paper Rolls ($148). If you’re there over lunch, we recommend the Chargrilled Scallops Laksa ($178)—not exactly authentic, we admit, but tasty nonetheless.
Market S.E.A., 3075, 3/F, IFC mall, Central | (+852) 2624 9228
Tucked away in the laid-back Southside, Komune is built on community collaborations and therefore has paired up with the Cocktail Professors for their signature drinks and creatives for their aesthetics and cool tunes. While by no means a huge space, the garden terrace has comfy couches and wicker chairs to lounge around in, as well as calming views of the hills and sparser buildings of Wong Chuk Hang. Best of all, it’s also a dog-friendly space! As for food, we find it’s best to leave the decision to the Chef’s Top Picks ($368) and see what turns up at your table.
Komune, Ovolo Southside, 64 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Wong Chuk Hang | (+852) 3460 8157
While there is much less of a view from ICHU’s terrace, we still love it for their natural design, inspired by the mountainous terrain of Peru. Accented with sandy coloured wood furniture, the outdoor space is decked out in towering plants on the walls, truly giving the term ‘urban jungle’ a new meaning. It doesn’t even feel like Hong Kong at times, but when you lift your eyes high enough, you’re then greeted with the lights of the surrounding buildings.
Start off with an apéritif—we like the Ichu Pisco Sour ($120)—then get on with ordering the Peruvian ($150) and Heirloom Tomate ($170) ceviches, the Pez Amazonia ($420) seabass mains, and the Huancaina Gratinada ($90).
ICHU, 3/F, H Queen, 80 Queen’s Road Central, Central | (+852) 2477 7717
Inspired by the Cantonese word meaning “great” or “fab,” ZENG is an eatery and bar that brings together scenic views, well-designed interiors, and harmonious dishes. The terrace overlooks the Kowloon Peninsula and is always in high demand whenever there might be fireworks on the harbour.
Apart from scenic evenings, the terrace is also popular for sun-drenched weekend brunches. If dining here, don’t miss the Wagyu Tartare ($198) which is topped with caviar and an egg yolk injected with mascarpone truffle paste, or the Mentaiko Udon Carbonara ($128).
ZENG, 30/F, V-Point, 18 Tang Lung Street, Causeway Bay | (+852) 2353 0053
Okay, yes, we’re technically cheating a little with Aqua in that they haven’t got outdoor seating, but they do occupy the top floors of one of the buildings with the best view of Hong Kong Island. With their huge floor-to-ceiling windows affording one of the best city views in the world, are you really complaining? The interiors are also thoughtfully done up, simple enough to not compete with the view outside, yet still elegant and cosy enough for a thoroughly enjoyable meal.
Standouts from their menu include the Grilled Foie Gras with Soba and Brandy Soy Sauce ($198), the Aqua Oyster Platter with 6 Types of Roe ($788), and the Sea Urchin Spaghetti ($338).
Aqua, 29–30/F, One Peking, 1 Peking Road, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 3427 2288