Header image courtesy of @hakufoodiehk (Instagram)
Like much of Asian society, we do love going out to nosey around for promising-looking cafés we may not have visited before. Most people will immediately think of the rapidly gentrifying area of Sham Shui Po—Hong Kong’s Brooklyn, if you may—when it comes to independent coffee shops, but there are great pickings out in the New Territories too. Here are eight cafés in rural Hong Kong villages for you to check out over the weekend!
Designed to bring a bit of Kiwi wilderness to Hong Kong, the oddly named Pimary is a lifestyle concept space-cum-café tucked away in a two-storey vintage house. Aside from stocking a range of sustainable homeware and farm-to-face wellness products, they’ve also got a herb garden, a rooftop space for events, and will host like-minded residence creators and artists who showcase their work in house. Tuck into a coffee or their range of herbal teas and relax in this little slice of a green oasis. Do note that Pimary is normally closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and have limited seating due to social distancing, so customers will have to ring ahead to ensure seating.
Pimary & Co., 25 Lo Tsz Tin Tsuen, Ting Kok Road, Tai Po | (+852) 2408 8938
Sitting right next door to Pimary is another fantastic rural café called Kaffee House (where do they get all their funny spellings from?). These guys are very dedicated to their caffeine craft, and serve up single origin, hand-dripped coffee from a wide variety of beans and roasters. They also have rotating cakes of the day to go with their drinks for $70 per slice, in flavours such as Baked Orange Mandarin Walnut Cake, Mixed Berries Cream Cake, or Matcha Double Fromage Cheesecake.
Starting from July this year however, Kaffee House has been closed to the public, only taking reservations from members, which is free to register for on their Facebook page.
Kaffee House, 24 Lo Tsz Tin Tsuen, Ting Kok Road, Tai Po | (+852) 2330 0233
They’ve truly got the name right for this one because Forest Cafe is tucked away among the trees of Tai Po away from the main road, feeling miles away from the city. Adding to its slightly whimsical vibe is the choice of décor; the place is decked out in antique bits and bobs, ranging from retro appliances like vinyl players and old tellys, to a bright red UK postbox, and even a set of medieval knight armour.
They also take care of your caffeine needs with syphon, hand-drip, or home-roasted coffees and, needless to say, have a menu full of grub as well. The cherry on top? No 10 percent service charge! It’s worth noting though that they have temporarily halted operations due to the health crisis, so keep an eye on their social media.
Forest Cafe, DD19 Lam Kam Road, Tai Po | (+852) 9869 0173
It’s honestly hard to miss the bright green teal of Platform’s door and windows; its interiors, in contrast, are a calm mix of grey and wood neutrals. The signature on their menu is the Icefire Apple Pie ($76) which has nothing to do with either element but comes with ice cream and a fluffy chunk of cotton candy. They also have savoury foods and a wide range of brunch offerings.
Apart from the usual array of drinks, they do have some that are a bit more eyebrow-raising, like the Cheese Latte ($45), Cucumber Latte ($45), or the Pineapple Shakerato ($48). Who’s to say they’re not worth a try though?
Platform, 254 Tin Sam Village, Tai Wai | (+852) 3583 2818
The Taiwanese-inspired Uchi is a comfy little café done up simply with earth hues. Their food and drink offerings take on a minimalist style characteristic of Taiwanese and Japanese eateries. Some of their more interesting drinks include Osmanthus Coffee ($40) and Black Sesame Tofu Milkshake ($42), but it’s their waffles and souffles that garner the most attention. Try the Hojicha Sawdust Waffle ($45)—not containing any actual sawdust, we assure you—the Poached Pear Lychee Waffle ($48), or the Hazelnut Oak Crumble Souffle ($55).
Uchi Coffee, G/F, On Shun Mansion, 49 Chik Shun Street, Tai Wai | (+852) 2677 3218
We very much agree with Lofé’s slogan that “music + coffee = life”, which is why this should be a nice place to hang out for those with similar likes. Apart from quality coffee beans and drinks, they also have a music corner, with vinyl records and even a vintage open-reel tape deck.
Their menu may not be huge, but they do carry some specialty drinks such as Soda Coffee ($45) and Pink Salt Latte ($45). Interestingly, there is also something called a Pink Salt Dirty ($45), but it’s up to you to try for yourself and see what it may be.
Lofé Plus, G/F, 53 Leung Tin Village, San Sau Street, Tuen Mun | (+852) 6558 8331
The sleek grey exteriors combined with the words “Come in, you nomad!” emblazoned on their front door will pull you into SKENE for Nomad in no time. The interior of the café is bright and stylish—we love that they’ve rounded out the corners on the ceiling for a smoother, slicker feel to the whole space. With a very decent selection of both sweet and savoury foods, we’re sure diners will find something to tickle their fancy, but summertime simply calls for an Affogato ($77), of course.
SKENE for Nomad, G/F, 8 Tai Po Tsai Village, Clear Water Bay Road, Sai Kung | (+852) 6123 0151
We always wax lyrical about the vibes at Mr Cardigan, which calls themselves a plant house—a perfectly apt description, as the entrance is chock-full of vegetation and cacti. These guys have some serious green thumbs, and no doubt succulent lovers will find this little shop irresistible. The entire coffee shop is creatively housed in the shell of a converted container and a recently added roof extension allows for a patio area with seating, creating the perfect place to while away a sunny afternoon away. It’s a bit of a shame that they only operate on weekends, though do note that due to COVID-19, they’ve temporarily ceased operations until the health crisis alleviates.
Mr Cardigan, on the corner of Shan Liu Road and Ting Kok Road, Tai Mei Tuk, Tai Po