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New Eats: Where to eat in Hong Kong this September

By Jen Paolini 25 August 2020

Weeks of relentless rain, oppressing humidity, and soggy shoes—that’s a late Hong Kong summer for you. 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 the end of your Hong Kong summer a little more bearable with the most exciting new restaurants and dining pop-ups to be found this September.

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Sip on sustainable bubble tea at Mother Pearl

Love bubble tea and sustainability—an unlikely combination at best? Wait until you see what newly-launched Po House has up their sleeves! A homegrown project with roots in Hong Kong, Po House is aiming to make conscious consumption more accessible than ever. With skincare, slow fashion, and food and beverage concepts in its pipeline, the ambitious enterprise is dedicated to providing solutions for who are devoted to reducing their carbon footprints.

Among their initial offerings is Mother Pearl, a wholesome take on bubble tea that makes the most of Asian and Western superfoods, dairy-free milk, and organic ingredients. Made in-house and from scratch with all things nutritional, Mother Pearl is also dedicated to minimising food wastage in its preparation processes—a definite plus for us. Keep your eyes peeled for their opening on 28 August and feed your thirst for bubble tea the healthful way.

Mother Pearl, 25 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central

Cobo House returns with a new location at K11 MUSEA

If your hunger has panged for a taste of visionary dining concept Cobo House since it shuttered its doors in Shek Tong Tsui, you’ll be beside yourself to hear that they are making a comeback at the most stylish location in town. 

Playing host to a powerful ‘yin and yang’ collaboration between up-and-coming chefs and frequent collaborators Ray Choi and Devon Hou, the reinvention of Cobo House features multi-course tasting menus that spotlight a single ingredient as the star of the show. We don’t want to spoil too much about what to expect, but set against jaw-dropping sea views and vibrant interiors of eclectic contemporary art, Cobo House is a stunning sight to behold—and the ideal destination for your next dining adventure.

Cobo House, Shop 602, 6/F, K11 MUSEA, Victoria Dockside, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 2656 3088 

Photo credit: Wasyokuya Yamaichi (Facebook)

Wasyokuya Yamaichi presents upscale izakaya dining

With the opening of the long-awaited Lohas mall in Tseung Kwan O comes a great number of new restaurants—and a contemporary izakaya concept is among them! Presented as an haute cuisine experience, Wasyokuya Yamaichi combines the spirited atmosphere of a traditional Japanese gastropub with the fresh flavours of seasonal seafood.

Led by executive chef Shek Tak-ming and head chefs Chu Wai-ping and Sit Wing-ming, the honed skills of grilling, sashimi-cutting, and sushi-making are brought to the forefront of the focused menu. From special sashimi sets to deep-fried karaage, no shortcuts are taken with the restaurant’s food preparation; stocks and sauces are all made in-house and produce are sourced at their freshest and most flavourful.

Adorned with 1980s-inspired décor and captivating fish-shaped crystal lights that inspire the image of an underwater dining room, to dine at Wasyokuya Yamaichi is to indulge in a dramatic encounter, perfectly suited for special occasions and nights to remember. It’s worth the trip out to Lohas Park!

Wasyokuya Yamaichi, Shop 319, 3/F, The LOHAS, 1 Lohas Park Road, Tseung Kwan O | (+852) 2818 6001

Keep scrolling for the rest of the list 👇

Neighbourhood smokehouse Smoke & Barrels now open

Inspired by the flavours of the Deep South, the team behind Cupping Room and Doubleshot presents Smoke & Barrels, a convenient and casual dining destination for New Orleans-style grub. With all foods prepared in-house with a modern smoking process, the 10-seater restaurant hosts an open kitchen and menu designed for sharing.

It’s best to come hungry and feast your eyes on sandwiches like the Signature Hot Brisket Bun ($118) and smoked meat platters, such as the spice-rubbed Brisket & Ribs ($328) and Smoked Chicken and Sausage ($268). Flavourful, tender, and thoroughly succulent, Smoke & Barrels offers plenty to tempt taste buds of all sorts. If you can’t get enough of their house-made sauces, rest assured that you can purchase bottled versions to add to your pantry.

And what would a New Orleans barbecue be like without drinks to match? With a nod to its Cupping Room origins, Doubleshot’s creative consultant Chanel Adams curated a beverage menu of spirit-based slushies and roasted coffees, rich enough to rival the searing meats. Now open for service in the heart of Central, we anticipate that Smoke & Barrels will fast become a neighbourhood favourite.

Smoke & Barrels, Shop 3, LG/F, My Central, 23 Graham Street, Central | (+852) 9612 0988

Smoke & Barrel presents authentic Texas barbecue

No, that’s not a typo and you’re not seeing double—we are indeed seeing two new restaurants concepts with (almost) the same name, both opening at around the same time. Smoke & Barrel comes courtesy of dynamic duo Chris Grare and Arron Rhodes, a Southern smokehouse inspired by chef Chris Grare’s background in the States.

Hot on the heels of the success of their first collective venture, Kinship, Smoke & Barrel channels the energy of traditional Texas-style barbecue courtesy of a genuine hickory wood-fired smoker, crafted by a family business based in Missouri. Presenting themselves as the “first authentic American smokehouse barbecue joint” to enter Hong Kong’s varied dining scene, the restauranteurs will be working closely with head chef Christopher Tuthill, a New Mexico native, to sate taste buds with a menu of all-American meats and slow-and-low cooking techniques.

Bringing the best of the Deep South and its smoked flavours to our shores, Smoke & Barrel is slated for an October soft-opening, but that shall not stop us from waiting with bated (and salivating) breaths.

Smoke & Barrel, 32 Wyndham Street, Central | (+852) 2866 2120

Singapore’s Blu Kouzina launches via Deliveroo Editions

What does Singapore know about Greek and Mediterranean flavours? A lot, apparently, if the hype around Blu Kouzina is to be believed. Hong Kong foodies, get excited—Singapore’s favourite Greek and Mediterranean restaurant is coming to our shores. Alongside its sister concepts of Lucky Souvlaki and VIOS, Blu Kouzina is the first-ever international restaurant to enter the Hong Kong market via Deliveroo Editions, partnering with the notable delivery company to share its take on authentic Mediterranean flavours, homecooked meals, and nutritious dishes.

Focusing on sustainable and organic ingredients, popular signature dishes include the Souvlaki Me Pita ($124), a beef skewer wrapped in pita bread with tzatziki spread, and the Tirokafteri ($107), made with feta cheese, capsicum, and chilli flakes. Other notable dishes include the Kotopoulo Giro ($119), a grilled chicken wrapped in pita bread and topped with tzatziki spread and red paprika. Order now from Deliveroo Editions Wan Chai.

Keep scrolling for the rest of the list 👇

Contemporary Italian dining at Aria

If you combined the elegance of Italian opera with the pure flavours of artisanal produce, it might look a little something like Aria. Perched atop California Tower with panoramic views of the city to treat your eyes, executive chef Andrea Zamboni leads diners on a gastronomic journey that’s as beautiful as a warbling melody, drawing on his Michelin-starred background in some of the best kitchens in Italy and Hong Kong for inspiration.

With a focus on seasonal ingredients, Aria elevates family-style Italian cuisine, taking classic recipes to new heights with dishes like Traditional Baked Eggplant Parmigiana with Basil, Parmesan Cheese, and Fior di Latte ($148), Italian Milk-fed Veal Cutlet Milanese Style with Tomatoes, Celery Relish, and Sicilian Lemon ($428), and Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, Apulian Burrata, and Basil ($108). Order from the à la carte menu or opt for an omakase-style menu ($2,000) featuring his favourite off-menu dishes.

Aria, 24/F, California Tower, Lan Kwai Fong, Central | (+852) 2804 1116

Photo credit: Luna Poké (Facebook)

Luna Poké brings Hawaiian-inspired poké to Kowloon

For too long, Hawaiian-inspired poké concepts have been confined to the districts of Hong Kong Island, but no longer! Located in the heart of Tai Kok Tsui, Luna Poké is brand-new poké shop that hopes to share the delights of this tropical fare with Kowloon residents. Exciting taste buds with bowls like the signature Poh Keh ($88) with tuna, tobiko, fresh seafood, and dashi shoyu, and California ($98) with salmon, salmon roe, shredded egg, and a nut-based dressing for a nuanced flavour, Luna Poké aims to transform its dining scene with fresh, healthy dishes. We wouldn’t say it’s the most authentic version of poké to be had in Hong Kong, but its twist certainly has its charms.

Luna Poké, Shop 33A, G/F, Fu Tor Loy Shopping Centre Phase 1, 9 Pok Hok Lane, Tai Kok Tsui

Handcrafted doughnuts from Ello Donut pop-up

Say hello to Ello Donut, an exciting new pop-up at K11 Art Mall in the heart of Tsim Sha Tsui. Offering a selection of handcrafted doughnuts in all shapes and sizes, with contemporary fillings that will surprise even the staunchest dessert lover. Whether you’re craving something sweet for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, these treats were made with all meals of the day in mind. Keen on a doughnut hot dog with savoury fillings? What about an icy doughnut ice cream sandwich? All this, and more, at the Ello Donut pop-up that’s open from 12 pm to 7.30 pm every day.

Ello Donut pop-up, B2 Atrium, K11 Art Mall, 18 Hanoi Road, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 5723 5668

Keep scrolling for the rest of the list 👇

Mouthwatering chicken noodles in chilli sauce

Get a dose of Sichuan spice at Hot ‘N’ Meen pop-up

If Hong Kong summers aren’t sizzling hot enough for you, might we interest you in a bowl of flaming Sichuan noodles to heat things up? Hot ‘N’ Meen, a delivery-only noodle concept, is popping up at Chilli Fagara for a limited time only to bring knife-cut noodle dishes and red-hot appetisers to daytime diners. We’re sweating at the mere idea!

From 2 pm to 5.30 pm, you can tuck into dishes like the Buddha bowl-inspired Rainbow Meen ($78), the classic Sichuan Dan Dan Meen ($68), and delicately poached Chilli Fish Soup Noodles ($78) in a fiery chilli broth that’s guaranteed to bring tears (of joy) to your eyes as you slurp. For sides, consider the Pork and Vegetable Dumplings in Artisanal Chilli Sauce ($60 for six) and Jade Vegetables with Sesame Oil ($30), among others.

Hot ‘N’ Meen pop-up, 7 Old Bailey Street, Central | (+852) 2796 6866

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Jen Paolini

Content director

Born in Hong Kong, raised in Germany, and educated in the U.S., Jen is an award-winning creative with a background in illustration, communication design, art direction, and content creation. When she’s not getting lost in a good book, you’ll find her doing crosswords, eating dim sum, covering all sides of a “Hamilton” number, and taking naps.