Header image courtesy of Dear Lilly
Originally published by Abi Englefield. Last updated by Alisa Chau.
The pre-date jitters have set in and you are having a venue-related breakdown. But don’t panic, because cocktail connoisseur Abi Englefield has a tried-and-tested list of date-worthy restaurants around Hong Kong to ensure your evening runs smoothly. Well, as far as the venue goes, anyway—you’re liable for your own escape plan!
Brought to you by Australian bar designer Ashley Sutton, who is known for creating whimsical settings which are ideal for wooing your date, Dear Lilly is the love shack that has it all. Think floating love letters, fragrant blooms, a sepia colour palette, and more vintage trinkets than a Disney princess can shake a magic wand at! With gorgeous cocktails and a splendid menu that is particularly famed for their afternoon tea items, the delicate presentation and beautiful environment will have you both stunned and starry-eyed.
Dear Lilly, Shop 4010, Podium Level 4, IFC Mall, 8 Finance Street, Central | (+852) 2771 6060
Set against the backdrop of Tai Kwun, Madame Fù hearkens back to a bygone era of cocktails at salon gatherings. Boasting six distinctly designed rooms—all of them perfect for Instagramming—sweep your date off their feet with Madame Fù’s delectable Cantonese and Northern Chinese dishes, all whilst comfortably seated amongst the beautifully adorned and plush settees.
Snap a selfie overlooking the central parade grounds at the Red & Blue Verandah, snuggle up in The Library, or simply share a gorgeous dessert together in the Grand Café. Besties celebrating Galentine’s can keep an eye out for the elegant Pink Room, a favourite amongst girl squads and classy ladies having luncheons.
Madame Fù, 3/F, Barrack Block, Tai Kwun, 10 Hollywood Road, Central | (+852) 2114 2118
If you are someone who blushes at the thought of Latin lover characters straight from old Hollywood films, be prepared to swoon even more when you are hit by the authentic Spanish vibes of Rubia. Gorgeous Spanish reds and whites are balanced with delicious tapas that showcase traditional and seasonal flavours. Fill up your growling stomachs by digging into their famed Rubai Gallega boneless rib-eye ($499), or fill the air with chatter instead while nibbling on a spread of acorn-fed hams and lightly salted padrón peppers ($75).
Rubia, UG/F & 1/F, C Wisdom Centre, 35–37 Hollywood Road, Central | (+852) 2889 1199
Spread over two floors, this cosy and intimate Tsim Sha Tsui restaurant offers the perfect setting in which to enjoy some delicious wine, tasty tapas, and gorgeous fromage with that special someone. Enjoy the incredible menu of French delights, fine wine, and cocktails, like the ever-so-delicious gin-based Something Fresh ($98) or fruity Give Me the Best ($98). And if you swing by on a Wednesday night, you might even lap up some live acoustic tunes. It’s a perfect hidden gem for date night to woo your boo.
Scarlett Café & Wine Bar, 2 Austin Avenue, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 3565 6513
Located on the first floor of the Little Tai Hang Boutique Hotel, Tipsy is the ideal spot for dinner and drinks in the laid-back precinct. The oyster & wine combo is the perfect way to kick start your date-night feast, serving up four freshly shucked Stella Maris oysters, paired with two glasses of house white wine. With must-order dishes like the blistered Spanish red prawn in sake & sesame oil ($188 each) and food-gasmic truffle toast with Parma ham & mozzarella ($88) on the menu, you know you are in for a good time. The Tipsy Cooler ($118) and Sunset Moment ($108) are also delicious and best served outdoors on the terrace.
Tipsy Restaurant & Bar, 1/F, Little Tai Hang Boutique Hotel, 98 Tun Lo Wan Road, Tai Hang | (+852) 2818 8807
Bridging artful French-influenced cooking with fresh, premium ingredients from Japan, Le Rêve brings to the table a fusion concept unlike any other. Akin to an omakase, their signature surprise menu puts you in the expert hands of their resident chef, setting loose your culinary imagination to encounter flavours from your wildest dreams. Seasonal catch like wild hamachi, Balik salmon, and quality meats like their juicy Wagyu tenderloin will take lead. Step into their sleek and dimly lit trove of wonders and take your date along on a journey of undiscovered tastes—and don’t forget to round off your trip with a glass of perfectly paired wine.
Le Rêve, 10/F, Zing!, 38 Yiu Wa Street, Causeway Bay | (+852) 2866 1010
Showcasing emerald tones in true Rosewood fashion, with Indian-influenced patterns and artwork as a twist, this elegant dining room is definitely the spot for an unforgettable evening. Inspired by beloved Indian street snacks, the elevated presentation of dishes like sweet potato chaat ($98), paneer mehti mattar makhana ($148), and beetroot raita ($58) serve as a delightful shared meal. Even more enticing are their desserts and delicious cocktails, with standouts like Fig Kulfi ($80) that bring you straight to the buzzing back streets of New Dehli.
Chaat, 5/F, Rosewood Hong Kong, Victoria Dockside, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 5239 9220
Hidden within the glitzy brightness of Lee Garden, this seventeenth-century Edo-inspired hideaway of bamboo and blond wood is a little paradise just right for some (semi-)alone time. The understated yet memorable interiors of Ta-ke section off into five zones, each representing a part of a traditional Japanese courtyard.
Kaiseki, teppanyaki, as well as omakase sets are lovingly prepared by chefs behind the foregrounded counter, allowing you to experience a varied assortment of high-quality items. Though many of their little plates are swapped out seasonally, their monkfish liver with crispy wafer and teppanyaki grilled A5 Wagyu are regular choices that should not be missed. One thing to note about omakase joints is that they typically open for two sessions with a rest period in between, and Ta-ke is no exception, so reservations are a must.
Ta-ke, Shop G01, Lee Garden Two, 28 Yun Ping Road, Causeway Bay | (+852) 2577 0611
Take your date to the Italian seaside at Osteria Marzia! This coastal-inspired Mediterranean restaurant draws upon the colourful and diverse cuisine that elevated Italian food to the forefront of international dining. With a menu that represents the flavours of Campania and Amalfi through to Puglia and Sicily, you cannot go wrong with the awe-inspiring fire-roasted seafood tower ($888) and zesty tuna tartare ($298) with celery, orange, and Calabrese crumbs. Share a red prawn tonnarelli ($288) between two and finish off on a sweet note with their dessert selection. The dreamy, maritime décor and nautical design accents surrounding you will make anyone feel like they are on a sunny honeymoon!
Osteria Marzia, G/F, The Fleming, 41 Fleming Road, Wan Chai | (+852) 3607 2253
Many minds might turn to Amber at the MO when fishing around for the ideal romantic spot to bring your boo, but we want to do you one better: Check out quiet and humble Somm instead, nestled in-between chef Richard Ekkebus’s famed restaurant and Sushi Shikon. Perfect for oenophiles, this understated restaurant and bar stocks over 1,600 different labels of whites, reds, rosés, sparkling wines, and more.
Signatures like Japanese pork belly, BBQ sauce & Hakata cabbage ($328) and potato & black winter truffle gratin dauphinois ($198) will keep you sated, while over 110 different wines and sakes offered by the glass will keep you happily imbibed. Though you may not be feasting on harbour views at Somm, rest assured you will be soaking up a next-level kind of intimacy with your partner only afforded by such a private atmosphere.
SOMM, 7/F, The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Central | (+852) 2132 0033
For a classic Italian fine-dining experience, head to the tucked-away Gaia Ristorante, which offers a glamourous alfresco setting right in the heart of the city. This sophisticated Italian eatery offers a daily buffet of the finest and freshest antipasto, a full menu of classic Mediterranean fare, and over six hundred Italian and French wines to choose from. Shrouded by crimson parasols and surrounded by glimmering fairy lights—as well as a fountain in the distance—could there be an open-air spot any more romantic than this one?
Gaia Ristorante, Unit 01–05, G/F, Grand Millennium Plaza, 181 Queen’s Road Central, Central | (+852) 2167 8200
Born out of local singer Hins Cheung’s passion for traditional French dining, this radiant eatery has an iconic legacy that dates back to 1967. As the first revolving restaurant in Hong Kong, it is decked out in lush interiors and grand décor that is reminiscent of a Baz Luhrmann film set. With romance settings cranked up high, tuck into mouth-watering selections devised by Michelin-star-studded chef Bruno Ménard with your significant other, all under the coy eyes of Roman goddess of love and marriage Juno. Dine-in sessions are typically split into two periods during the day and evening, respectively.
Junon, 2/F, Wu Chung House, 213 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai | (+852) 2808 0882