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New Restaurants: Where to eat & drink in Hong Kong this September

By Jen Paolini 31 August 2021 | Last Updated 14 September 2021

Header images courtesy of Boy N Burger and Giacomo

From an (extremely) affordable burger joint and a female-led steak frites outlet to Southern Italian fine dining and a honey-focused beverage concept, we travel around the world with the most exciting new restaurants, menus, and culinary pop-ups in Hong Kong this September.

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Fireside

Let there be fire! In contrast to its upscale H Code address, Fireside goes back to basics with a primal, open-fire cooking concept, led by experimental executive chef Miguel Gallo. Formerly of Aqua Restaurant Group, Smoke & Barrels, El Bulli, and Bravo24, the illustrious culinary maestro channels his love for flame-grilling into the raison d’être of his new restaurant, presenting dishes fuelled by binchōtan, almond wood, and more.

In an almost performative process, each stage of food preparation takes place in-house in front of intrepid guests, connecting the palate to the plate. Highlighting premium imported ingredients as well as local produce, Chef Gallo specialises in selecting rare breeds of meats, such as the Galician Cachena cattle and the Herdwick sheep, and teasing out its rich, natural flavours through extensive dry-ageing, curing, and smoking.

Expect a global menu inspired by Spanish, Japanese, and Latin American cooking traditions, all meticulously prepared on the Mibrasa Parrilla, a unique grill for cooking over charcoal, and Fireside’s custom-made brick oven. Dishes like the duck confit with fire-cooked rice and grilled threadfin fish are notable examples of Chef Gallo’s prowess, while the roasted apricot & burnt cheesecake semifreddo bear witness to a playful streak.

Fireside, 5/F, H Code, 45 Pottinger Street, Central

Estro

JIA Group opens the autumn season with the arrival of Estro, an unconventional Italian restaurant with chef Antimo Merone at the helm. Bringing the coastal specialities of his native Naples to the shores of Hong Kong, the accomplished veteran swaps tradition for modernity to present a roster of elevated, forward-thinking dishes. 

His first solo venture combines the humble flavours of his Neapolitan roots with the refined techniques of Michelin-starred kitchens, and is impeccably packaged in a richly decorated, Old World-inspired dining space courtesy of André Fu Studio. Dressed in rich hues of terracotta, sage green, and turquoise, the gorgeous salon is amplified with the bespoke furniture’s soft curves and gentle silhouettes.

Settle in for a multi-course set menu (starting from $1,480) that highlights the simple yet formative ingredients of Chef Antimo’s childhood, such as the Tomato Homage, a complex dish of four tomatoes varieties that hearkens back to Italian summers in the countryside, and the Pigeon, inspired by the ruins of Pompeii, where the fowl is wrapped in burned artichoke buds and fig leaves, encased in clay, and cooked in black ash.

Estro, 2/F, 1 Duddell Street, Central

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Boy N Burger

Burgers are certainly not a novel concept in Hong Kong, where one can effortlessly experience a colourful gamut of cheap and cheerful buns, mid-range patties, as well as gourmet stacks, but what if we told you there’s a cheap, cheerful, and gourmet burger option all in one? Founded by Mel Zhou, whose goal was to create a burger brand where sustainability and affordability can go hand in hand, newcomer Boy N Burger does the impossible with its “better burgers for everyone” concept. Locally sourced vegetables and artisanal meat, fish, and dairy products take the limelight, all at price points so low that they can hardly be believed.

Serving up fast-casual bites in a gorgeous, retro-inspired space, the kitchen team is led by veteran chef Tom Brimble, who cut his teeth at a slew of restaurants in the UK and Hong Kong. Using salt moss-aged grass- and grain-fed beef, menu highlights include the classic beef burger ($28); the signature Bobby burger ($55) with double patties, cheese, and all the fixings; and the tender chicken katsu burger ($48) with wasabi mayo. 

Burger sets are available for $53 with a choice of sides and drinks—we enjoyed the unusual combination of crispy tater tots and Hong Kong-style milk tea. Don’t miss out on the popcorn chicken (starting from $22) and K-pop chicken (starting from $25) for a moreish snack!

Boy N Burger, Shop 3, 206 Johnston Road, Wan Chai | (+852) 3686 0928

G Room Bar & Lounge

If hidden hangouts brushed with a touch of sophistication are your destinations of choice, then look no further than G Room. Presented by Gaia Group—the hospitality giant behind culinary greats such as Shè, Isola, Bloom by Wang Jia Sha, and more—this new East-meets-West tapas bar and lounge centres around delicate Mediterranean bites with a Southeast Asian twist, alongside a cocktail and wine programme designed for pairing with the upscale menu.

Located in upscale K11 Musea around the corner from sister restaurant Glasshouse Greenery, G Room cleverly uses its windowless space to its advantage, purposing the walls into a wraparound LED screen that projects wondrous and serene nature scenes in slow succession, which come across as neither forced nor contrived. Decked out in subtle neutrals and notes of brass, G Room oozes polish without feeling prohibitive.

Expect an extensive host of jet-fresh seafood plates, such as the G Room seafood platter ($298), a bountiful melange of deep-fried red prawns, calamari, jack mackerel, fish cakes, and more; the whole lobster paella with Spanish ham ($598); the scallop carpaccio with caviar ($168); and the Japanese-inspired abalone shisho sea urchin pasta ($318). Other recommended items include the 63°C poached Japanese egg with shaved truffle and Ibérico ham ($128) and signature roasted suckling pig with Padrón peppers ($338). From the drinks menu, opt for the signature G Room sangria jar ($428) to share amongst friends.

G Room Bar & Lounge, Shop 504, 5/F, K11 Musea, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 2332 6662

Quiero Más

Indulge in sky-high dining at Quiero Más, the newest penthouse dining destination at M88. Sidling into the space that used to house contemporary Spanish restaurant FoFo by el Willy, the name and the décor have changed, but the cuisine has remained centred around the Mediterranean coast. Learning towards laid-back Spanish fare, Quiero Más dishes up modern Mediterranean plates inspired by the cooking traditions of southern Europe.

Whether it’s brunch with the gang, dinner with the beau, business lunch, or a family meal, Quiero Más cuts a stunning figure for all occasions, aiming to please with its lush cobalt blue, turquoise, and warm oak design details. Dinner is served from an extensive menu, showcasing the best of Spain and its neighbouring countries. Notable highlights include the lobster a la Louie ($398) in a creamy Vichyssoise purée; the red snapper “Robespierre” ($290) in a French sauce with pickled greens; the bikini sobrasada ($110) with a hint of truffle; and the golden fried dos dias patatas ($98), a crispy potato mille-feuille. Wrap up with the unmissable churros ($88).

Quiero Más, 20/F, M88, Wellington Place, 2–8 Wellington Street, Central | (+852) 2383 0268

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The Pearl

Fusing dining destination, shisha bar, and interactive art gallery into one, The Pearl is the latest culinary offering to present a multi-purpose concept. Located within the design-forward Attitude Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui, the Japanese-Italian fusion restaurant is the brainchild of co-founder and artist Rolland Cheung, whose large-scale resin installations are the focal point of the interior design throughout the dining space. Spread across a main room, a bar counter, and a terrace lounge, The Pearl is good for all occasions, and the food menu focuses on the contrasting characteristics of the delicate nature of Japanese dining and the simplicity of European cooking.

Its menu is an amalgamation of different influences. Must-orders include starters such as the refreshing botan ebi, avocado & mango layers ($98) served in a coupe glass, and mains like the sous-vide Ibérico pork ($198) with mashed yam and dark cherry confit, roast whole chicken ($488) marinated with black truffle paste, and the perfectly presented twirl of linguine with Japanese uni ($218). Enjoy the explosion of flavours with a side of herbal AD 1632 ($128), a sweet and sour cocktail concoction of genmaicha (玄米茶; “brown rice tea”) with egg white.

The Pearl, 4/F, Attitude on Granville, 20 Granville Road, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 6274 1916

The Meat Co.

Eaton Food Hall has welcomed a new concept into its treasure trove of eats! Led by an all-female team, the traditionally masculine steak frites concept has met its match in The Meat Co. Housed in a stall designed to evoke the sensibilities of a Western butcher’s counter, The Meat Co. does one thing and it does it well: an excellent bang-for-your-buck USDA Angus striploin steak (starting from $138) with fries and coleslaw on the side, as well as your choice of sauce, from smokey BBQ and herby Béarnaise to rich blue cheese and black bean and sesame.

The Meat Co., Shop 6, Level LG, Eaton HK, 380 Nathan Road, Jordan

Buzz Stand

More and more hip F&B concepts are flocking to the Tseung Kwan O neighbourhood, and this month, we’re celebrating the opening of Buzz Stand, a chic beverage stand that specialises in honey-infused drinks. Collaborating with Japan’s Sugi Bee Garden, a historic business that specialises in all-natural beekeeping methods, Buzz Stand highlights the quality manuka honey produced by the Japanese apiary, replacing conventional sweeteners and syrups in its teas, coffees, and mocktails.

Decked out in warm timber with hanging pendant lights and hexagonal honeycomb details, the open expanse of Buzz Stand is welcoming and youthful. Divided into shelves and islands for browsing around, and a “lab space” for interactive education, the shop also hosts live demonstrations of honeycomb carving for “hive-to-palate” tastings, a unique experience that allows shoppers to taste freshly harvested honey. 

Drop by for the signature banana smoothie with manuka ($52) and the caffeine-based honey black ($36), as well as sweet treats such as the made-to-order waffles ($16), drizzled in your choice of fruit-infused honey.

Buzz Stand, Shop F87, 1/F PopCorn 2, 9 Tong Yin Street, Tseung Kwan O | (+852) 2772 1127

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Giacomo

Embark on a flavourful journey to southern Italy this summer’s end with Giacomo, a sophisticated dining destination at Crowne Plaza Hong Kong. Helmed by chef Keith Yam, whose curriculum vitae boasts 20 years of experience at Michelin-starred restaurants, the newly opened dining room breathes new life into the refined gastronomic offerings of Causeway Bay and marks the return of a flagship European restaurant at the hotel.

Sample the labour of his hard-won culinary skill with signature dishes like the marinated red prawn “gambero rosso” ($400), crowned in Ossetra caviar with a Champagne tomato sauce; the homemade red prawn spaghetti alla chitarra ($580) dotted with Sicilian Datterino cherry tomatoes; the rich and hearty Aveyron lamb saddle ($590) with an earthy winter black truffle sauce; and the “Fassone” tartare ($490) that brings the beautiful flavour of Piedmontese veal to the forefront. Dessert is a palate-cleansing Japanese peach sorbet ($140) with blueberry jam.

Quality ingredients are of the utmost importance, sourced from around the globe and valued for their seasonality. Opt for lunch menus ranging from two to four courses (starting from $480) with optional wine pairing (starting from $280) or go for the full experience with a six-course gourmet degustation menu ($1,580).

Giacomo, Crowne Plaza Hong Kong Causeway Bay, 8 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay | (+852) 3980 3008

Uncle Ching From Kuching

Family-run and family-inspired, this blink-and-you’ll-miss-it hole-in-the-wall eatery specialises in East Malaysian home cooking that comes from the heart. A mum-and-daughter operation, co-founder Marina Wilson and her mum Magdaline dish up moreish bites that pay homage to the flavours found on the island state of Sarawak on Borneo, so it’s safe to say that you will not find the usual traditional Malaysian fare here.

What you will get, however, is a focused menu at wallet-friendly prices, where friends can gather for a casual meal over plates of grilled satay ($58), wings ($40), rojak ($58), and calamansi soda ($22). You’ll want to try the kolo mee ($69), a dry noodle dish tossed in a savoury sauce, and the Sarawak-style laksa ($69), a lighter iteration of the popular soup noodle which features a thinner broth and a more herbal note courtesy of its medley of spices.

Uncle Ching from Kuching, 21 Amoy Street, Wan Chai | (+852) 2810 7858

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New restaurants openings from August

Yokai

Who’s excited for Halloween? Get into the festivities early with Yokai, a brand-new themed restaurant in Central featuring the illustrations of Japan’s supernatural folk creatures by renowned Japanese mangaka Shigeru Mizuki. Based on the spirits from his celebrated Yokai Picture Book, the restaurant is dressed in gold and black interiors with a ceiling of traditional Japanese red lanterns that almost seem like they are floating above your heads—eerie!

As ghostly as the surroundings might look, the food served is as real as can be, with a focus on yakitori and Michelin-grade bluefin tuna. Helmed by veteran chef Okuma Hirofumi, the menu specialities include cuts from different breeds of chicken from both Hong Kong and Japan, such as the heart ($38), liver ($42), tender ($40), tail ($38), and gizzard ($38). For a splurge-worthy choice, consider the five kinds of Yamayuki tuna sashimi donburi ($468) for the perfect fat ratio and exquisite mouthfeel, paired with curated premium sake.

Yokai, 23/F, H Queen’s, 80 Queen’s Road Central, Central | (+852) 2368 8331

Moxie

From the minds of acclaimed chef Shane Osborn and Arcane veteran Michael Smith comes Moxie, the third establishment flying under the flag of The Arcane Collective, one of Hong Kong’s latest hospitality groups. Making its debut in Alexandra House at Landmark in early August, Moxie will propel conscious dining to the forefront in an all-day format that includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Driven by an uncomplicated approach of social responsibility and putting ethical ingredients first, chefs Shane Osborn and Michael Smith will present a multi-cultural spread of healthier dishes, a vegetable- and seafood-focused menu, and sustainable options for Hong Kong diners.

Moxie, Shop 203, 2/F, Alexandra House, Landmark, 18 Chater Road, Central

Ministry of Mussels

From the hospitality group behind omakase restaurant Sushi Yonjugo, the exclusive Tellus Lounge, and nightclub C45 comes Ministry of Mussels, a “playground for people who love to eat, drink, and cheer on their favourite sports teams”—just in time for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Part sports bar, part all-occasions restaurant, the new opening sits within the prime high-rise of California Tower, an elevated location that belies the concept’s down-to-earth nature.

Perfect for family get-togethers, lively dinners with friends, happy hours, and casual lunches, Ministry of Mussels fits the bill for a range of dining and drinking experiences, but especially ones where major sports events are the centre of attention. Matches are live-streamed across a 4,000-square-foot space featuring almost a dozen HD 4K television screens, so you can join in on the excitement no matter where you choose to sit. But the entertainment does not stop there—treat yourself to a post-dinner game of beer pong on high-tech tables for the best way to end the night.

Our favourites from executive chef Dee Kwok’s comforting American bistro menu include the crispy coconut prawns ($128); the chicharron ($98) of deep-fried pork skin with BBQ pulled pork, sour cream, and chives; and the flavourful Singaporean chilli crab mussels ($318) made with belacan, chillies, lemongrass, ketchup, shallot, and garlic, served with perfectly deep-fried mantou to soak up the broth. Other highlights from the “Around the World Mussels” menu include the toothsome lobster bisque mussels ($318), the Italian formaggi mussels ($318) with melted blue cheese, and the Singapore laksa mussels ($318).

Ministry of Mussels, 3/F, California Tower, Lan Kwai Fong, Central | (+852) 2838 4588

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Butahage

From foodie heaven Hokkaido comes Butahage, a famous butadon restaurant specialising in authentic Japanese pork donburi. Not the first donburi opening this summer—and not the last, we hope—Butahage’s main draw lies in its simple formula: the hero ingredient of Kamikomi pork, Hitomebore rice from the Miyagi Prefecture, and a secret sauce recipe that has been passed down through the generations for over 80 years.

Although Butahage has only been around since 1996—getting its start as a quaint hole-in-the-wall outlet at JR Obihiro Station—the brand draws on its Hokkaido origins to showcase culinary roots that reach as far back as the Shōwa period of the early twentieth century. Not to be missed is the award-winning Obihiro Meibutsu premium rare pork loin don ($92) and the Japanese premium rare pork belly don ($88).

Butahage, Shop G54A2, Phase 1, Telford Plaza, 33 Wai Yip Street, Kowloon Bay | (+852) 2717 0988

Sushi Mamoru

Hong Kong hospitality group Leading Nation is on fire this summer, opening restaurant after restaurant hot on the heels of one another. Following Margo and Kyle & Bain, discerning diners can now look forward to Sushi Mamoru, led by experienced chef Hirofumi Chiba. Instructed in the long-established art of Edomae sushi-making through his family, the third-generation master brings over 20 years of experience to the counter in a bid to “preserve and safeguard centuries-old sushi traditions.”

From the laboursome preparation of aged, hand-blended Hokkaido rice to the use of famed wasabi imported directly from farmer Keiichi Tashiro in Shizuoka, the attention to detail at Sushi Mamoru is staggering. Expect a 20-dish seasonal omakase experience that is second to none, proudly curated by Chef Chiba to highlight the subtle flavours and textures of prized ingredients, such as sustainable, line-caught fish and local vegetables from Leading Nation-owned farms in New Territories.

Sushi Mamoru, 32 Oi Kwan Road, Wan Chai | (+852) 2133 5700

Bretzel

What is Alsatian cuisine? Let Bretzel, the “little brother” to Parisian bistro Bouillon, show you the ways. Helmed by chefs Johan Ducroquet and Gregory Alexandre, the neighbourhood diner introduces authentic, lesser-known gastronomy from the historical Alsace region, paired with boutique labels from family wineries.

Expect starters of foie gras terrine marinated in Gewürztraminer and platters of Alsatian charcuterie and artisanal cheese, as well as mains of tartes flambée—the restaurant’s speciality—as the concise menu at Bretzel highlights multiple iterations of the famously thin “flatbread” tart. La Foret Noire, with caramelised onions, Emmental cheese, arugula, and slices of Black Forest ham, and La Savoyarde, with bacon, potatoes, caramelised onions, and Reblochon cheese, are our go-to orders.

Bretzel, 22 Upper Station Street, Sheung Wan | (+852) 2886 8076

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Carbs

Well, the name really says it all. At Carbs, expect to dig into moreish iterations of the blessedly delicious macronutrient that is found in good stuff like sugars and starches. Specialising in Detroit-style deep-dish pizzas, Carbs delivers all the components of a decadent cheat meal, in addition to treats like mac and cheese, pasta, milkshakes, ice cream sandwiches, and tiramisu cups that will make your taste buds burst with joy.

Carbs, Unit 3, H Code, 45 Pottinger Street, Central | (+852) 2886 2801

1908BC

For the British-born Chinese amongst us who are aching for a taste of home, you might be pleased to know that 1908BC has heard your woes and brought the likes of chicken balls, deep-fried shredded duck, and lemon chicken to Hong Kong. Proprietor Suzanna Ho presents the concept as bringing British-Chinese cuisine “back home to Hong Kong,” naming the establishment after the year that the first Chinese restaurant opened in the UK.

Diners unfamiliar with British-Chinese food might be startled by the menu and the loose resemblance the items bear to local dishes, but for homesick Britons (and possibly North Americans from across the pond), the crispy egg rolls ($90), butterfly prawn toast ($120), and barbecued honey pork ribs ($110) will strike a nostalgic chord.

1908BC even offers a “chip shop” curry based on the British-Chinese takeaway staple of thick-cut chips with a curried dipping sauce, served with half portions of rice and chips and toppings like prawns ($250) and chicken ($180). Just don’t expect to eat out of oyster pails here; the teal- and neutral-driven décor is sophisticated and challenges the cuisine’s humble origins, and the creative beverage programme—with notable cocktails such as the pu’er Old Fashioned ($95) and The Far East ($95) with vodka, plum wine, and Prosecco—is endlessly intriguing.

1908BC, The Pemberton, 22–26 Bonham Strand, Sheung Wan | (+852) 2116 4668

Nami

Gaia Group throws its contender for new izakaya openings into the ring with Nami, a contemporary and casual rendition of the much-loved Japanese cuisine that’s experiencing a surge of interest in Hong Kong of late. Focusing on a seafood-forward à la carte menu, Nami presents izakaya favourites done up in a modern way with premium ingredients and Japanese traditions as the backbone of the dishes.

Soak up the Edo period-inspired interiors of dark wood and red accents and indulge in chef-recommended dishes like the Wagyu & maitake mushroom rolls ($168), the seared minced toro aburi sushi ($128), the chicken meatball skewer with Japanese egg yolk ($58), and more from the exhaustive bill of fare.

Nami, 1/F, Midtown, 1 Tang Lung Street, Causeway Bay | (+852) 2383 4038

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New restaurants openings from July

Bentori

Venture down an assuming alley hidden across from Central Market and you will stumble upon Bentori, a modern yakitori joint with a colourful personality that feels much bigger and bolder than its small, intimate space. Founded by budding F&B entrepreneur Regan Yeung—who has the Healthy Chicken chain under his belt—the offers at Bentori comprise different cuts of grilled chicken skewers, refreshing sake cocktails, a beverage programme that highlights Japanese sake breweries, and a focused menu of Japanese dishes with a contemporary makeover.

Settle into the minimalistic, blonde wood interiors and marvel at the artistic touches throughout the shop, from a custom painting depicting a tiger amongst the clouds from local designer Natalie Tong to the bright neon sign by the door. As for food, the ingredients are sourced fresh from local markets, with menu highlights such as the chicken thigh with shiso leaf ($33), chicken heart ($33), chicken breast softbone ($33), chicken karaage with truffle mayo ($80), crab roe salad ($88), unagi fried rice ($150), and the creamy pollock roe udon ($150).

For those who like to imbibe, Bentori offers a small list of sake cocktails and mocktails, as well as draught beer, white and red wine, rosé, and sparkling wine. Free-flow Prosecco or sake ($300 for two hours) is also available.

Bentori, 10 Tit Hong Lane, Central | (+852) 2838 8865

Radical Chic

Mark your calendars for the opening of Radical Chic later this month, an innovative culinary experience that fuses the best of Italian gastronomy with sky-high views from the International Commerce Centre. Led by veteran chef Andrea Tarini, who presents a creative food programme featuring premium Italian meats, seafood, and seasonal produce, Radical Chic hopes to inspire a new fine-dining movement that’s unpredictable and unexpected.

Guests can look forward to an exclusive 10-course degustation menu enjoyed within a light-filled, art-forward dining space that is elegant and minimalistic. With Victoria Harbour as your backdrop, what more do you need?

Radical Chic, Shop B1, Level 101, International Commerce Center, 1 Austin Road, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 3188 5028

Jyungin

A popular izakaya concept hailing from Sapporo has set up its first overseas location in the food maze of Ferry Point. Under the watchful eye of partner Elmas Lou and owner Yohei Matsumoto, Jyungin brings its signature dishes and curated sake collection to the Jordan neighbourhood, spotlighting fresh Japanese ingredients, a warm and authentic environment of simple wood, and a comfortable dining experience to be shared with loved ones.

Highlights from the menu—and favourites from the island of Hokkaido—include the palm-sized, slow-cooked braised abalone with sake; the lean and aromatic Ezo venison deer meat patty; the Kuroge Wagyu beef offal stewed with miso; and the made-to-order okonomiyaki, all prepared following Matsumoto’s original recipes. Pair things off with Jyungin’s celebrated sake flight, where guests can taste three acclaimed sakes—Issyouseisyun Tokubetsu junmai, Princess junmai daiginjo, and Choju Kinkame junmai ginjo.

Jyungin, 33 Man Ying Street, Ferry Point, Jordan | (+852) 2816 1278

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Momoz

Delicious, moist dough parcels filled with mince that burst with flavour—just the thought of digging into a plate of momo has us salivating in anticipation! Imagine our excitement then to learn that Momoz, a brand-new Nepalese dumpling concept, is opening two locations simultaneously in Central and Tsim Sha Tsui, presenting the quintessential foodstuff in a fast-casual environment that is suitable for all times of the day. 

Expect more than just traditional and authentic iterations here; aside from flavours like classic chicken ($88) and classic vegetarian ($78), Momoz pushes the boat out with fusion creations such as the char siu momo ($88), the two-tone-pleated Hainanese chicken momo ($98) with ginger and scallion dipping sauce, and the irresistible katsu chicken curry fried momo ($88), which is paired with a homemade curry sauce.

Not just a one-trick pony, Momoz also offers roti rolls on their menu—fillings wrapped in a paratha flatbread. From the American-inspired dynamite prawn roll ($118) to the excellent Indian lamb rogan josh roll ($108), there’s something for everyone, no matter if you prefer things novel or old-school. Swill it all down with a house lemonade ($42)—made in-house with organic lemons—or the hot virgin chilli mojito ($42) to keep things spicy.

Momoz, locations across Hong Kong Island and Kowloon

Margo

Experience the decadent charms of the Old World at Margo, a modern European brasserie helmed by chef Mario Paecke, who brings years of experience from Somm and Michelin-starred Amber to the forefront and infuses it with a modern German twist. Set within a sumptuous and warm space of wood, marble, and lush moss accents, diners can settle into plush banquettes of coral pink to enjoy a dazzling meal within an open dining room. 

Chef Mario prioritises an ingredient-driven approach to elevated dining—which spotlights natural flavours and high-quality produce—and draws upon his heritage to present signature dishes like the East German-inspired croquettes ($118) with Alexandre Polmard beef carpaccio and truffle crème; the rainbow trout confit ($258) served alongside a quintessential German potato salad of Bavarian potatoes, grilled leek, and pickled radish; and the Königsberger Klopse ($430), a northern German favourite of meatballs in creamy caper sauce after his mother’s recipe.

For something sweet, turn to the dessert menu presented by Hong Kong pastry chef Eane Wong—the driving force behind the delectable pastries found at popular café chain Elephant Grounds. Specialities include the apple vanilla tarte tatin ($128) and white peach & jasmine tea crumble ($128) with yoghurt sorbet.

But that’s not all you can experience during a visit to Margo—step through a set of opaque doors to discover Kyle & Bain, an American martini bar perfect for pre- and post-dinner tipples. Dressed in opulent amber, brass, and blue velvet, the John Nugent-led beverage programme pays homage to inventors William Kyle and John Bain, whose ingenious ice machines made the luxury an affordable commodity in Hong Kong. Opt for signature cocktails like the Campari-and-grappa-blended Spumoni ($140) with Sichuan pepper and grapefruit soda, or the K&B martini ($140).

Margo, Shop 6, The Galleria, 9 Queen’s Road Central, Central | (+852) 2130 7731

Kyle & Bain, Shop 6, The Galleria, 9 Queen’s Road Central, Central | (+852) 2222 2345

Whey

In collaboration with ZS Hospitality Group, Singaporean chef Barry Quek presents his latest dining concept, an elevated take that unites modern European finesse with vibrant Singaporean influences. Quek’s follow-up to the now-shuttered Beet puts a focus on local and seasonable ingredients, taking the best from his training in Michelin-starred restaurants to dish up culinary creations that draw upon the flavours of his childhood.

From the “bak kut teh” pork ribs with homemade pepper jus and black garlic jam that showcase the richness of New Territories pork to the curry laksa rice with konjac and flower crab, the tasting menus (starting from $890) offer a wholesome look into his signature style, where no detail is too small and all traditional things can be re-invented in unconventional ways. Without giving too much away, it is safe to say that diners can look forward to a refreshing meal full of surprises, filled with compelling dishes like the Mao Shan Wang durian ice cream, served with a healthy dollop of Cristal caviar, and the seared scallops with jackfruit and pork floss.

Whey, UG/F, The Wellington, 198 Wellington Street, Central | (+852) 2693 3198

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Censu

Chef Shun Sato—who cut his teeth at Fukuro, Ho Lee Fook, and Belon, amongst others—is the gastronomical force behind Censu, a new Japanese destination where sophisticated ingredients and precise techniques shine. Inspired by his father’s nostalgic cooking and his own experiences in international, Michelin-acclaimed establishments, Chef Shun combines the five senses not only across the restaurant concept, but also in plates like the whimsical unigiri ($238)—a risotto-inspired onigiri cooked and served in abalone dashi with a crown of fresh uni—and delicate creations like the snapper and the squid white kimuchi ($148).

Good food must be paired with good bevvies, and Censu rises to the challenge with a focused menu of highballs, wines, and sake, including the signature lemon sour highball ($108) and a carafe of the Emishiki Masterpiece 2020 ($368), a premium label sourced from a small sake brewery in Japan. Sit back, sip, and appreciate the simple imperfection of the wabi-sabi interior design—inspired by the home of Chef Shun’s grandmother—with a highlight on the impressive walnut table centrepiece and traditional, plastered walls.

Censu, 28–30 Gough Street, Central | (+852) 2997 7009

Hjem

For a spot to indulge the part of you that yearns for the ultimate Swedish fika moment, look no further than Hjem. Located just across the street from the tranquil Man Mo Temple, Hjem—“home” in Norwegian—is purposed to be more than just a coffee shop, utilising its spacious venue to host community events, workshops, and more. Pop in for authentic Nordic cuisine in the form of a farm-to-table menu, curated by celebrated Scandinavian chef Jaakko Sorsa to feature a selection of smørrebrød, meat dishes, vegetarian salads, desserts, and coffee.

Notable highlights include the open-faced arctic prawn smørrebrød ($108) topped with egg and Norwegian trout roe, and the mustard-marinated Baltic herring ($128). No Nordic café would be complete without the quintessential meatballs ($118) served atop a bed of mashed potatoes and topped with lingonberries. Lastly, the giant cinnamon & cardamom bun rolls ($98) are not to be missed.

Hjem, 161 Hollywood Road, Tai Ping Shan, Sheung Wan | (+852) 2362 9193

Pane e Latte

If it has been a long time since you have last spent a weekend in Stanley, the opening of Pane e Latte should provide more than enough encouragement. Pirata Group’s latest concept takes shape in the form of an all-day seaside café, injecting a sense of Italian flair into the southern coastline of Hong Kong. As a traditional panificio—Italian bakery, that is—Pane e Latte specialises in artisanal baked goods, sweet pastries, and breads, with larger plates and savouries available for breakfast, lunch, weekend brunch, aperitivo, and dinner. Pane e Latte’s authentic bomboloni comes highly recommended, so be sure to sample this pillowy Italian doughnut filled with pastry cream.

Pane e Latte, U-C Court, 25 Stanley Market Road, Stanley

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Bengal Brothers

From the street-side stalls of India to the bustling streets of Hong Kong, the famous kati roll has travelled a long way to make an appearance in our food-obsessed hub, courtesy of passionate newcomers Bengal Brothers. Designed for convenient consumption and on-the-go lifestyles, the kati roll was invented in Calcutta in a small restaurant called Nizam’s, comprising a wrap of paratha flatbread, filled with char-grilled meats or vegetables, fresh salad, and a chutney and spice blend. Led by the dynamic duo of Tanvir Bhasin and Vidur Yadav, Bengal Brothers caters to those who seek convenient and affordable bites without compromising on flavour and nutrition. Aside from the signature kati rolls, Bengal Brothers also serves wholesome bowls, mango lassi, and potato chaat on their menu.

Bengal Brothers, Man Hee Mansion, 6 Johnston Road, Wan Chai

Americano

For a taste of Italian-American on this side of the Pacific, head to Americano, a soulful rendition of Harlem trattorias. Channelling the bustling vibes of New York City in a two-level space, Americano specialises in authentic pasta dishes, flatbread pizzas, and quality wines to pair with your meal, creating a convivial ambience that accommodates intimate dinners with family as well as larger get-togethers with friends and loved ones.

Menu highlights include the light-as-a-feather avocado gazpacho ($88) and shucked seasonal jet-fresh oysters ($178) for starters, before moving on to pasta courses like the classic black truffle mezze maniche carbonara ($188) and the orecchiette broccolini with luganega ($178), a regional Italian sausage. Be sure to finish on a sweet note with the cannoli ($98), filled with pistachio, mascarpone, and a chocolate sauce.

Americano, Shop A, Kam Hei Mansion, 33 Staunton Street, Central | (+852) 2628 6186

Tokyo Chikara Meshi

As one of the longest-standing Japanese restaurants to specialise in grilled beef bowls, Tokyo Chikara Meshi has over 45 years of experience under its belt, along with multiple branches across the prefectures. Bringing their signature grilled-to-order Japanese beef and pork bowls to our city—in addition to a menu chock-full of popular Japanese snacks—the acclaimed fast-casual restaurant has chosen Mong Kok for its first Hong Kong location, presenting itself as a convenient and excellent value-for-money dining option for shoppers in the neighbourhood.

For the full experience, start with the famous grilled beef bowl (starting from $45). Intrepid diners can opt for the salted grilled beef bowl (starting from $45) for a different take on the original recipe that is just as flavourful. Round things off with snacks like the fried chicken set ($55) and grilled dumplings set ($40) to make it a full meal.

Tokyo Chikara Meshi, Shop G8, The Forest, 17 Nelson Street, Mong Kok | (+852) 2802 3308

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By Catharina Cheung 24 January 2021
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Pazzi Isshokenmei

Killing two birds with one stone, Pazzi Isshokenmei is an eccentric concept in H Queen’s that marries the established culinary traditions of Italy with the zealous energy of Japanese izakayas. Headed up by veteran chef Philip Chow—who brings over 20 years of experience to the kitchen—Pazzi Isshokenmei pushes boundaries with its expressive flavour pairings and meticulous plating techniques, building on the cornerstone of seasonal ingredients.

From the innovative menu, the Tokyo burrata ($198) is an exceptional starter, where Japanese peach and tomato is paired with creamy Italian burrata. Similarly, the prosciutto di Parma ($288) balances the saltiness of Parma ham with the smokiness of scamorza cheese, with a dab of honey for sweetness. Amongst the mains of Japanese-inspired pasta, the miso crab tagliolini ($468) and Neapolitan-inspired aioli soba ($268) are not to be missed.

Pazzi Isshokenmei, 2/F, H Queen’s, 80 Queen’s Road Central, Central | (+852) 2555 0666

Musubi Hiro

Musubi Hiro, a new izakaya-inspired gastropub that evokes the nostalgic kaiju monsters and kyodai superheroes of the Japanese tokusatsu (特撮; “special filming”) television culture, has landed in Central with a supersized bang, bringing with it a slew of unique musubi recipes to be paired with premium sake and craft brews

From the synchronised choruses of “Welcome, Hiro!” that diners are greeted with upon entry, the upbeat Japanese hip hop music pumping over the speakers, all the way to the bold and playful personalities of the chefs behind the counter, Musubi Hiro aims to embed itself as the most vivacious new opening in the area. See if you can spot the likeness of the perennially popular Ultraman—a.k.a. the “Salted-Egg Superhero”—in the restaurant’s trendy logo!

Musubi Hiro, 37 Cochrane Street, Central | (+852) 5597 6911

Boticario

Allow yourself to be transported back to the glamour of 1920s Latin America at Boticario, the latest cocktail bar and grill restaurant to grace the underrated waterfront of East Tsim Sha Tsui. Inspired by the traditional healing culture of pre-war Buenos Aires—where pharmacies doled out herbal cures alongside modern medicines—Boticario is a haven where drinking and dining go hand in hand, spotlighting comfort cuisine and tantalising beverages.

Spanning two floors with alfresco seats to boot, Boticario is divided into a well-appointed lounge space, a spacious upstairs dining room with a balcony, and an outdoor patio, making for a versatile venue that caters to diners and drinkers alike. Rich, earthy palettes and an eclectic, flora-focused interior design rule the roost, amplified by the thoughtful accessories of antique metal ceiling panels, apothecary cabinets, and pendant light fixtures. 

Choose a seat at the cocktail bar or get cosy on the velvety banquettes, and travel back in time with the Instagrammable, rum-based Smoke Bomb and horn-shaped Brave Bullfighter, all the while delighting in a comforting food menu that sees the likes of empanadas with chimichurri and red snapper ceviche with avocado.

Boticario, Shop G5 & UG 15, Tsim Sha Tsui Centre, 66 Mody Road, East Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 2765 0800

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Pablo

Discover a modern wave of Mexican dining at Pablo, where the beloved cuisine is revamped with Southeast Asian touches. Channelling the same avant-garde approach as namesake Pablo Picasso, the mural-bedecked restaurant creates an artistic and vibrant destination to speak to the city’s young and hip. From casual lounging and romantic dining to meeting over light nibbles and cocktails, Pablo does it all, catering to a multitude of occasions with their coastal-focused menu and sophisticated beverage programme

Make it a feast with the tacos al pastor with grilled pork neck; the yellow ceviche with hamachi spiced up with mango, ginger, turmeric, and lemongrass; cheesy chicken tostadas; and tamal de cochinita, where pulled pork shoulder is baked in a banana leaf and served with pickled ginger and red onion slaw. Drinks are not to be forgotten, with signatures like the mezcal Negroni, the photogenic Calaveras, and the chilli-infused spicy margarita.

Pablo, Shop G80–85, Tsim Sha Tsui Centre, 66 Mody Road, East Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 3741 2990

New menu at Classified

Breakfast and brunch darling Classified has dreamed up a brand-new menu this season, taking inspiration from international culinary traditions to craft a refreshing roster of all-day dining plates. Featuring dishes that range from family favourites, lean and vegan options, to comfort foods from Southeast Asia and beyond, diners can look forward to staples like the Hong Kong-inspired cheese sauce macaroni ($88), the Southern-influenced fried chicken ($108), and the tofu Florentine ($115)—and that’s just for the first meal of the day!

For the rest of the day, tuck into new all-day favourites like the beer-battered fish & chips ($138) with a sizeable Barramundi filet, the minimalistic but endlessly flavourful linguine alle vongole ($148) that uses local fresh clams, and the comforting Vietnamese beef phở ($98), served in an intense and aromatic broth. Finish off on a sweet note with a classic tiramisu ($68) or wrap up with the artisanal cheese selection that Classified is famous for.

Classified, locations across Hong Kong Island and Kowloon

New menu at Goose Manor

Goose Manor, the Kowloon offspring of the legendary Yue Kee Roast Goose Restaurant, is launching a new menu to honour the sixtieth anniversary of its parent establishment. Under the dependable, third-generation guidance of the Ng family, this historic Cantonese barbecue restaurant brought its signature Qingyuan black-bearded goose out of the quaint Sham Tseng neighbourhood and into the heart of Hong Kong’s bustling dining scene.

Channelling classic flavours and established Chinese barbecue, the contemporary setting of Goose Manor is excellently suited to the new generation. From fried golden prawns and salt & pepper squid stuffed with shrimp paste to Hokkien fried rice with goose oil and abalone risotto, the new menu runs the gamut of traditional and modern, humble and luxurious. Of course, let’s not forget what Goose Manor and Yue Kee are famous for—their roasted goose, which will see itself re-invented into a lychee wood-roasted goose.

Goose Manor, No. 29, Shop C, Kowloon Center, 39 Ashley Road, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 2387 1133

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Patty Boi pop-up

Following a successful pop-up stint earlier this month, whimsical and flamboyant Patty Boi is back again for one day only to showcase the vibrant flavours of the Caribbean through all things patties—though it’s probably not quite the sort you might think of at first. Caribbean patties are what empanadas are to southern Europe and Latin America, what cornish pasties are to the British, and what samosas are to various South Asian nations, so ditch all notions of a burger patty and prepare yourself for a substantial, golden-brown pastry pocket instead.

With founder and chef Russell Doctrove at the helm, Patty Boi will be slinging signature “strains” like the Island Kush ($60), a pastry envelope filled with minced beef slow-cooked with chilli, kaffir lime leaf, homemade curry paste, and coconut cream; the Holy Grail ($60), a vegetarian-inclined Omnipork concoction stir-fried with lemongrass, galangal, garlic, and holy basil; and the Skywalker ($60), a bourbon- and vanilla-infused drunken cherry pie. New additions to the pop-up menu include the caramelised Pineapple Express ($60) and the Jungle Spice ($60), which sees minced beef paired with curry, toasted coconut, chillies, and spices.

Patty Boi is hosting its second pop-up event on Thursday, 1 July, from 1 pm until all patties are sold out.

Patty Boi pop-up, Hatch, 60 Staunton Street, Central

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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.

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