Header image courtesy of The Steak Room
Summer is fast approaching, bringing with it weeks of relentless rain, oppressing humidity, and soggy shoes. But as dreary as the weather may be, your taste buds don’t have to settle for drab flavours, especially since travelling around the world is off the table for the foreseeable future. Make your Hong Kong summer a little more bearable with the most exciting new restaurants and menus to be found this July.
If good food occupies a special and sacred place in your heart and stomach, then the next stop on your dining pilgrimage should be Soil to Soul, a brand-new Korean vegetarian restaurant inspired by the country’s influential temple cuisine. Helmed by certified temple food master and chef Gu Jin Kwang—a protégé of renowned Korean Buddhist nun Wookwan—this newcomer to Tsim Sha Tsui’s cutting-edge K11 MUSEA focuses on contemporary healthy dining and traditional vegetarian recipes, all based on an ancient food philosophy that dates back a thousand years.
Spotlighting natural, organic, and plant-based ingredients, Soil to Soul presents a menu of wholesome lunch sets, six- and eight-course tasting dinners, à la carte dishes, bar snacks, and unique beverages. Dishes to look out for include the Korean Ginseng Salad, cold Mushroom Terrine with Sweet & Spicy Sauce, and gluten-free Korean Turnip Dumplings. Traditional Korean pancakes also feature heavily on the menu, as well as various Korean-style noodles, fried rice, rice balls, rice cakes, and kimbap.
Fans of the famous Buddhist nun whose highly acclaimed cookbook brought temple food into the mainstream will be delighted to know that Chef Gu pays homage to his mentor with the Wookwan tasting menu, an omakase-style tasting that includes her original recipes. In accordance with Buddhist philosophy, all foods abstain from pungent herbs and are prepared in accordance with three principles: clarity, flexibility, and compliance with the Buddha-Dharma. Sitting among powerful interior design inspired by the traditional Chinese philosophy of wuxing—the five phases of fire, water, wood, metal, and earth—we think that this must be what a religious dining experience feels like. Soil to Soul is slated to open in mid-July.
Soil to Soul, 704, 7/F, K11 MUSEA, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 2389 9588
On the hunt for a new neighbourhood favourite? Look no further than XUÂN, celebrated chef John Nguyen’s newest baby. The Vietnamese-American kitchen veteran takes a bold and progressive approach towards Vietnamese cuisine in his latest venture, drawing inspiration from the indomitable spirit and intrepid writing of eighteenth-century poet Hồ Xuân Hương to create a menu of northern Vietnamese influences.
With exceptional phở as Chef John’s claim to fame, the classic noodle dish makes several appearances in the form of a Beef Prime Rib Phở ($138) with slow-cooked Angus prime rib in a rich beef broth; a Chicken Phở ($128) with local three-yellow chicken, simmered chicken broth, chicken oil ginger, and pickled garlic; and the XUÂN Signature Beef Phở ($158), which features Angus prime rib, braised beef tongue, and oxtail served in a 24-hour beef broth, Chinese doughnut, housemade chilli sauce, and pickled garlic.
For starters, dig into the Braised Beef Tongue Salad ($118) on a bed of pomelo, green mango, fresh herbs, and homemade citrus dressing and snag one of the Chả Giò Crispy Spring Rolls ($128) before they go like hotcakes! Made with fresh grouper, crab meat, fragrant Vietnamese herbs, and homemade nước mắm, this is an appetiser you’ll want to order seconds of. Share a larger plate of Cơm Gà Hoi An Chicken Rice ($168) for a grand finale to the meal, featuring a heaving dish of hand-pulled three-yellow chicken, duck egg, Vietnamese ‘chicken meatloaf,’ turmeric- and garlic-flavoured rice prepared with chicken stock, pickled green papaya, and carrot, all served with a spiced ginger nước mắm.
XUÂN, G/F, 18 Lun Fat Street, Wan Chai | (+852) 2891 1177
Step through the stunning architecture of 1881 Heritage and approach The Queen, the revitalised landmark’s newest traditional Chinese restaurant that brings aromatic and fiery dishes to incite the senses. Dedicated to preserving the traditional approach to crafting authentic Chinese food, The Queen creates an unforgettable nostalgic dining experience among the colonnades and rich history of 1881 Heritage.
Expect a vast selection of dim sum and seafood delicacies fit for royalty, courtesy of head chef Ki Pak Chan, formerly of Macau’s Michelin-starred Wing Lai, who will be bringing The Queen’s fine Chinese dining to life. In the kitchen, you’ll find a star-studded team, which counts renowned chef and “spice master” Lee Chi Kwong, who contributes over 20 years of Sichuanese culinary experience, and chef Saito Chau—who cut his teeth at Dim Sum Library, Hutong, and John Anthony—as its members.
The Queen’s signature menu offers recognisable delights such as Steamed Shanghainese Dumpling with Spicy Soup, Beetroot and Wild Mushroom Dumplings, and Steamed Rice Roll with Crispy Shrimp, all of which are presented with a modern twist to surprise palates familiar with dim sum classics. Round out your stately feast with the iconic Chinese flavours of Black Truffle Crispy Chicken with Chives Sauce, Sichuan-style Lobster and Tofu, and Handmade Scallop Soft Puffs with Crispy Rice in Lobster Soup and revel like kings and queens for the night.
The Queen, G/F, FWD House 1881 Main Building, 2A Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
Contemporary French dining has found a new home in ODEA, led by a Michelin star-studded team spearheaded by chef Calvin Choi, formerly of the InterContinental Hong Kong. Set against a romantic backdrop of notable Victorian architecture, ODEA offers extensive dining experiences that range from lunch through afternoon tea, and brunch through dinner, with a focus on family-style French dishes, delicately presented.
Highlights of the menu include the imaginative Seared Duck Foie Gras and Crème Brûlée with a side of French beans and savoury bacon, Fresh Hamachi and Champagne Jelly with Pickled Beetroot; and an elegant Red Prawn Carpaccio with Citrus that marries the best of brine and zest. For mains, the Pan-seared Dover Sole with Spices, Semi-dried Tomato, and Basil packs a flavourful punch, while the toothsome Spaghetti with Applewood Bacon and Sea Urchin and Roasted Baby Chicken with Raz El Hanout pave the way for sweet, sweet desserts.
ODEA, G/F, FWD House 1881 Main Building, 2A Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
Last but not least, The Steak Room rounds out the mass of new restaurants opening up at 1881 Heritage. Defined as the ultimate dining destination for meat lovers, the entire former team behind InterContinental Hong Kong’s STEAK HOUSE Winebar + Grill and chef Calvin Choi reunite to recreate their most-acclaimed grill courses. Exhibiting a selection of premium meat cuts from around the world, The Steak Room guarantees a global farm-to-fork experience within the elegantly rustic space of 1881 Heritage. Among its signature dishes, the globally-renowned, chocolate-fed Mayura wagyu features prominently, and beyond its prime steak menu, other surf and turf delights include the scrumptious Dungeness Crab & Ahi Tuna Avocado, Baked Lobster Macaroni, the USDA Beef Steak Tartare, and the Iberico Pork Collar Burger served with Fries.
The Steak Room, G/F, FWD House 1881 Main Building, 2A Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
Take to the skies at Causeway Bay’s newly-opened Moon Yue, a contemporary restaurant atop Cubus offering panoramic views and mouthwatering Cantonese dishes. Housed within the ‘ice cube’ landmark, the fashionable dining destination is presented in a jet-black setting of opulent rose gold accents and dark, wooden interiors. Have a quick sip of exquisite cocktails at the upscale, long cocktail bar before moving on to a full meal of six- or eight-course dinner tasting menus (starting from $388) featuring signature dishes like the Moon Yue Lobster ($1,188), fried with salted egg yolk and stir-fried with milk in traditional Shunde-style, and the Fiery Assorted Seafood ($388), an oceanic smorgasbord of scallops, abalone, geoduck, squid, and grouper, flamed with cognac for a stunning visual effect.
We also love the whimsical plating of the Double-boiled Seafood Soup in Whole Watermelon ($588), inspired by seasonal summer fruit and cooked with various premium seafood, as well as the rich aromas of the Crispy-skin Fried Chicken in Two Ways ($438), a nostalgic Hong Kong favourite of fried chicken stuffed with minced shrimp. There’s also something at Moon Yue for plant-based diets: Tuck into the Vegan BBQ Pork with Honey Sauce ($128), painstakingly handcrafted from wheat gluten to resemble BBQ pork, and the Typhoon Shelter-style Aubergine with Sakura Shrimp ($128) a dish that resembles traditional typhoon shelter-style tofu, but is in fact crispy-skin aubergine, dressed with sakura shrimp.
Moon Yue, 28/F, Cubus, 1 Hoi Ping Road, Causeway Bay
Looking for a gorgeous neighbourhood hangout that won’t break the bank? District 8, a Parisian bistro concept, is about to become your new favourite watering hole. Located in the heart of Civic Square on the Elements mall rooftop, Woolly Pig Hong Kong’s latest restaurant offers both indoor and alfresco dining options for all occasions, whether you’ve set your sights on doing some damage over a quick lunch or taking things slowly over a leisurely brunch.
Surrounded by chic wooden features and décor inspired by Paris’s iconic street life, tuck into hearty comfort foods with easy-to-swallow prices, such as Roast Bone Marrow with House-made Baguette ($130), Pork & Fennel Sausage with Harissa & Celeriac ($180), and Rangers Valley Hangar Steak ($330). Cocktails, mocktails, and wines come aplenty, with stand-outs including Thyme of My Life ($75) and French Breakfast Martini ($90), a playful concoction of butter croissant-infused vodka, strawberry marmalade, egg white, and fresh lemon. How’s that for a drink to start the weekend?
District 8, Shop R009, Civic Square, Elements, 1 Austin Road West, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 2537 7555
A bold food hall concept in the basement of Jardine House, BaseHall has taken the spirit of local food courts and combined it with some of Hong Kong’s top homegrown culinary talents. Where else would you be able to customise your meal by picking and choosing dishes from Hong Kong’s best menus?
From Japanese-inspired rotisserie chicken and traditional British pub grub to plant-based bowls and cookies the size of plates (we’re not kidding), there’s something that appeals to every palate, so say goodbye to arguing over where to go for lunch and dinner and worrying about how to appease warring taste buds and preferences. Click here to read our full dining guide to BaseHall and get ready to unleash your hunger on these 10 thrilling restaurant concepts!
BaseHall, Shops 9A, 9B & 9C, LG/F, Jardine House, 1 Connaught Place, Central
We’re waiting with bated breath for more information on Argentinian chef Agustin Ferrando Balbi’s first solo restaurant, Andō, created in collaboration with Yenn Wong’s JIA Group. Here’s what we know so far: It’s Spanish- and Japanese-inspired, the food is structured around tasting menus, and it is a project that is extremely close to Chef Agustin’s heart.
Bearing a name that is plucked from his Latin surname Ferrando, Andō offers complex connotations and meanings in both Spanish and Japanese, merging together the two cultures and their nuanced and beloved cuisines. If his former project, HAKU, is anything to go by, then we expect to taste mouthwatering creativity and multi-dimensional flavours with this latest addition to Central’s dining scene. Andō is now taking reservations online from 7 July and beyond—click here to reserve your table and be the first to experience Chef Agustin’s intriguing new concept.
Andō, 1/F, Somptueux Central, 52 Wellington Street, Central | (+852) 5239 9220
Here’s another dining mystery waiting to be unravelled and ravaged by enthusiastic foodies: Chef Will Meyrick, the celebrity chef behind Asian Food Channel’s Street Food Chef who made a name for himself with Mama San and fine dining establishment Sarong, is opening his second restaurant in Hong Kong!
Joining a growing roster of impressive restaurants popping up at Elements, Monsoon will be the newest destination for the comforting flavours and textures of Southeast Asian cuisine, coupled with a signature contemporary twist courtesy of Chef Meyrick. With head chef Gede Budiana, a veteran of Indonesian and Southeast Asian cuisine who has worked with Chef Meyrick for 17 years, taking charge of the project on the ground in Hong Kong, Monsoon will continue to take Will Meyrick’s devotion to Asian flavours to the next level. Watch this space to stay updated on the latest regarding Monsoon’s opening this summer.
Led by chef Antonio Oviedo, JIA Group’s neighbourhood tapas bar is making a loud and proud return to Ship Street with an exciting new look and compelling Spanish flavours. Leveraging on his Madrid background, Chef Antonio revamps the menu at 22 Ships in a bold and authentic manner with a range of multiregional tapas, a curated selection of Spanish grape varieties from different regions, and a menu of social drinks aimed to delight patrons during happy hours.
Dig into the Boletus Croquetas with Iberico Ham ($48), a traditional croqueta with creamy Boletus mushroom filling and the Iberico Salchichon Tartare with Avocado Sorbet ($160). Also of note is the Rusa and Sea Urchin on Toast ($180), which combines potato salad with sea urchin—the two favourites of Spaniards, given a modern twist by Chef Antonio.
For mains, meat lovers can happily tuck into the Roasted Suckling Pig ($388) with succulent meat that falls off the bone, prepared following a traditional recipe and slow-cooked for 24 hours before roasting. Another highlight is the Chicken Pepitoria with Ibérico Ham, Saffron, and Almonds ($298), Chef Antonio’s take on a generations-old Spanish family dish.
22 Ships, 22 Ship Street, Wan Chai
Take your taste buds on a trip to Southern Italy and Sicily with Osteria Marzia’s new summer menu! Taking inspiration from the seasonally abundant produce grown throughout the scenic seaside regions of the Mediterranean, chef Lisette Magampon presents a series of creative and masterfully crafted dishes to herald Italy’s summer harvest.
Osteria Marzia’s seasonal menu features bright summer flavours like Terrina di Pomodoro ($238), a tomato-focused antipasto that shines a spotlight on heirloom tomatoes in a layered terrine with nectarines and a rich and creamy burrata. Of course, even under the punishing sun, we can make space for pasta, and the meticulous Lorighittas Al Nero ($298), a house-made ragu with squid ink and braided lorighittas pasta, is a true treat for the palate. And not to leave out the bounties of the ocean, the showstopping Orata alla Griglia ($388), a succulent sea bream fillet, is served with roasted tomatoes and zucchini rounds in a light tomato date consommé. With dishes that remind us of the iconic Italian coast, we can at least pretend we’re basking in the Amalfi sun with a refreshing tipple in hand.
Osteria Marzia, 41 Fleming Road, Wan Chai | (+852) 3607 2253
Few innovations or newfangled twists can beat the warm and welcoming flavours of a classic Hong Kong diner dish, but Rosewood’s Holt Café is throwing their hat into the ring with an enriched menu that showcases the favourites of all local staples. If you’ve ever wanted to try elevated versions of Hong Kong-style Baked Tomato Iberico Pork Chop Rice ($240) and Premium Char Siu Rice ($240) made with premium Japanese grains, nutty Iberico pork from Spain, artisanal soy sauce from heritage brand Yuan’s, and sophisticated cooking techniques, then this is the menu for you.
When it comes to beverages, Holt’s Café pays homage to the city’s colonial history with a comprehensive tea menu, created in collaboration with renowned 40-year-old Tak Cheung Tea Shop. Showcasing an exceptional collection of leaves, including a choice of 19 fermented Pu’er teas, each curated selection is the result of a collaboration between Holt’s Café tea master Alan Leung and Tak Cheung Tea Shop owner Mr Cheung. The same exceptional brewing skills led to the creation of an outstanding Hong Kong-style Milk Tea ($80)—a perfect accompaniment to any local comfort food dish.
Holt’s Café, Level 2, Rosewood Hong Kong, Victoria Dockside, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 3891 8732
While you may not be able to travel to southern Europe this summer, rest assured that southern Europe is coming directly to you. Casa Lisboa, a Portuguese stalwart with a storied legacy, is introducing a six-course Taste of Portugal menu ($380) to battle the pandemic blues, filled with delights such as Codfish Cakes with garlic mayonnaise, Pica-Pau of beef tenderloin cubes with pickles, olives, mustard, and coriander, and Duck Rice Lisboa-style, a rich terrine of chouriço and slow-roasted pork belly. Mains are followed by one dessert of your choice, and we highly recommend the Serradura, a layered dessert of crushed biscuits, whipping cream, red bean, and fig.
An impressive platter of European cheeses is also on the cards, as part of a Wine & Cheese Journey tasting menu ($298) with Portuguese port wine. Showcasing three glasses of different types of port wine and six types of cheese from Portugal, England, and France, the mellow sweetness of port wine and sharp cheese make a notable pair and create the perfect happy hour experience to start an evening right.
Casa Lisboa, 2/F, Parekh House, 63 Wyndham Street, Central | (+852) 2905 1168
Looking for a reason to dine out? Swire Restaurants is commemorating its fifth anniversary this year with a series of celebrations prepared by each of their four restaurants: The Continental, MR & MRS FOX, Plat du Jour, and PUBLIC.
Fabulous dining privileges and jubilant tasting menus are available from now until the end of the year, and grand European café fare at The Continental is featuring dishes like Oysters with Shallot Dressing & Lemon ($42), Lobster & Red Prawn Spaghetti ($325), 18-ounce Chateaubriand ($660), and sweet Chocolate Soufflé with Raspberry Ice-cream ($120).
Not to be outdone, the three storeys and “personalities” of MR & MRS FOX are coming together to offer a Shellfish Platter (starting from $698), Lightly Smoked Mediterranean Sea Bass ($218), Australian M5 Wagyu Dry-aged Strip Steak ($498), and Baked Alaska ($120), while humble French bistro Plat du Jour is highlighting an intimate Parisian dining experience with their Lobster Bisque ($115), Spaghetti Arrabiata with Lobster Tail ($295), Beef Bourguignon ($195), and Apple Tarte Tatin with Vanilla Ice-cream ($60).
Finally, PUBLIC at One Island East is serving up a semi-buffet (starting from $238) showcasing a wide selection of Western and Asian tastes, including a live sashimi and sushi bar and Italian antipasti platters of cured meats for dine-in, making it the perfect spot to grab a bite while shrugging off the stress of the workday with their entertainment facilities, such as a beer pong table, dart machines, and more!
Hong Kong’s burger craze is showing no signs of slowing down, and American burger specialists Five Guys are taking the lead in bringing their juicy buns to all corners of the city. Following its outlets in Wan Chai, Tsim Sha Tsui, and Central, the newest location in bustling Fortress Hill spans an area of over 4,660 square feet, occupying prime real estate on Electric Road.
As with all Five Guys shops, diners are encouraged to build the burger of their dreams by exploring different blends of toppings and customising their freshly spun milkshakes with everything from peanut butter to bacon bits. With 250,000 potential burger and hot dog combinations available, the possibilities are endless!
Yep, Pirata Group’s hit restaurant The Pizza Project is taking its bustling Peel Street vibes to a second home in the Star Street Precinct, and everyone’s invited to the grand opening! Bringing the same straightforward flavours and electrifying energy to Wan Chai, fans of this dynamic pizzeria can expect to see the same handmade pies they have come to love from the Central location. Naturally, to celebrate the expansion, The Pizza Project will fling open its doors in style with a giveaway of 500 pizzas starting from 6 pm on Tuesday, 7 July 2020. Don’t miss out on free pies, guys!
The Pizza Project, 5 Star Street, Wan Chai