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Header image courtesy of Sam Fancy
Rainstorms and typhoons are battering the city but the new restaurants keep on coming despite the weather. Here’s where to eat and drink in Hong Kong this August.
Bringing the unique experience and flavours of San Francisco’s Chinatown to the city, Sam Fancy specialises in Asian-inspired cocktails and modern Chinese-American bites. Between the fourth-floor Merchant—a bar set under traditional Chinese glazed roof tiles—and the third-floor Association and Lanai Lounge, the multi-concept destination offers three distinct spaces that pay tribute to the Chinese-American immigration experience.
Seasonal drinks at The Merchant include Las Americas ($130) with fiery Sriracha sauce; the highball-like Ambrosia ($130) with notes of white mint and peach; and the gin-based French Concession ($130). Alongside your tipples, you can snack on recognisable sides such as General Tso’s chicken ($98) and crab rangoon ($64).
Sam Fancy, 3/F & 4/F, The Plaza, 21 D’Aguilar Street, Central
Following hot on the heels of its Michelin success in early 2022, ZS Hospitality announces Plaa, a contemporary seafood-centric restaurant. Channelling the flavours of the Land of Smiles in collaboration with award-winning chef Richie Lin and renowned Bangkok chef Ian Kittichai, Plaa’s menu is designed around seasonality and sustainability.
In a seascape-influenced dining room of soft coastal blues, coral pinks, and gentle curves, the deft culinary hands of head chef Santipap Tonkanya serve a multi-course tasting experience ($1,180) that includes the miang kham bonito tartlet wrapped in betel leaf; the complex and aromatic larb with scallop; the boat noodle-inspired giao tiao ruea of abalone and wild mushroom; and the namesake plaa, a tender and succulent grilled threadfin dressed with fragrant Thai lemon basil and coconut cream sauce.
Plaa, 2/F, 8 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central | (+852) 2389 3288
Loved by local celebrities and sought after as a popular shooting location for Hong Kong films in the 1960s and 1970s, the Chinese-Western Yucca de Lac is making a comeback this month, rising to new heights in its elegant Peak Galleria venue. First established in 1963 in Ma Liu Shui, the restaurant attracted public figures and starlets with its traditional menu, idyllic Tolo Harbour backdrop, and lush green gardens until it shuttered in 2005.
Yucca de Lac’s elevated fusion cuisine endures at its new location, where the selection spotlights signature Hong Kong recipes with a Western twist. Expect traditional teahouse classics with international influences alongside a curated wine pairing list. Among its signatures, the sweet and sour pork ($168), sizzling stuffed tofu ($118), and deep-fried marinated pigeon with secret spice ($168) come highly recommended.
Yucca de Lac, Shop 201–202C, 2/F, Peak Galleria, 118 Peak Road, Central
If you loved Auntie Āyi, Teahouse / Barhouse, and Remedy Me, get ready for Jǐng, the latest dining experience under the WellWellWell umbrella. With an eight-course menu ($999) that’s both “nostalgic for the old [and] hungry for the new,” the restaurant presents a multi-sensory experience that weaves through ancient Chinese tales and legends with each dish.
An intimate setting allowing for just 10 guests per night is enveloped in 360-degree visuals, cycling through sceneries of mythical creatures, a walled city of days past, abstract landscapes, and more. Its plates are just as artistic, led by extravagant creations like the Yang Guifei lychee lobster and the Tang sancai dharma scrolls. An optional sake pairing ($498) includes the Mutsu-Hassen Black Label junmai ginjo sake. Jǐng is by-invitation-only until further notice, with public reservations to be announced soon.
Jǐng, Shop 002, LG1, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty | (+852) 2803 7881
For an authentic taste of India, check out the newly opened Tandoori Bites. Centred around the restaurant’s purpose-built brick tandoor oven, the menu highlights traditional recipes and fusion house specialities inspired by the owner’s personal experiences.
Spices and ingredients are imported from India and the Himalayas to craft dishes like the tandoori chicken momo ($108), which chef Bharat Negi elevates by first frying and then grilling the dumplings in the tandoor oven as opposed to the regular steaming process. Other favourites include the chicken tikka naanza ($178), an Indian take on pizza featuring chicken tikka and mozzarella on fresh naan; the claypot-based tandoor oven lamb biryani ($128); a tantalising Goan fish curry ($128); and the samosa chaat ($98). Tandoori Bites also offers an exclusive selection of Indian beer, wines, and whiskies.
Tandoori Bites, G/F, 178 Queen’s Road West, Sai Ying Pun | (+852) 2342 5529
Harbour Grand Kowloon welcomes the addition of a new restaurant this summer. Located by the Hung Hom Promenade and set against panoramic views of Victoria Harbour, The Bayside promises to take guests on a flavourful journey through the Mediterranean. Whether the terrace or the dining room is your seat of choice, the spacious venue designed by Hernan Zanghellini is well-suited for all occasions to keep you imbibed and sated.
With Spanish head chef Javier Perez and executive chef Gary Batra helming the kitchen, The Bayside’s menu traverses the undulating terrains of Spain, Italy, France, and Greece, bringing the best of southern European dining to Hong Kong. Start with antipasti and tapas, like the vegetarian avocado tartare verde ($128) and Peruvian “pickle” ($168), before moving on to larger plates such as the dry-aged Wagyu bavette (starting from $238). Mixologist and sommelier Vincent Chue takes care of the happy hour tipples.
The Bayside, Shop G1, G/F, 18 Tak Fung Street, Whampoa Garden, Hung Hom
Indulge your appetite for grilled meats at Chi Yawaragu, a boutique kushiyaki experience nestled in the eclectic dining hub of Upper Lascar Row. Its “beak-to-tail” menu is served in a stark, minimalist environment of marbled surfaces and slate grey shades, with the searing flames of the grill behind the bar counter to provide theatrical illumination.
Pork, beef, lamb, seafood, and vegetables are well-represented on the menu, sourced locally and prepared in simple ways to retain the original flavour of the produce. For a complete experience, the exclusive eight skewers set ($680)—made up of appetisers, seasonal dishes, skewers selected by the chef, udon soup, and dessert—is a sound choice. From the yakitori menu, diners can sample cuts like chicken liver and heart ($48) as well as more unusual parts, such as chicken palm ($48) and chicken hamstring ($46).
Chi Yawaragu, G/F, 28 Upper Lascar Row, Sheung Wan
Bianco & Rosso gave diners a sneak peek of its concept at exclusive pop-ups in June and July, but its brick-and-mortar location was quick to follow, finding a home on Gough Street. Recreating the charming atmosphere of roadside bistros, bars, and bodegas of the Mediterranean countryside, the self-styled “house of vermouth” focuses on cocktails, fortified wines, and seasonal sharing plates. Mixologist Luca Andrei and chef Ban Jee Min invite guests to sink their teeth into Puglia burrata, Acquerello risotto, and spaghetti Martelli, alongside cocktails like the apple wine-based Apfel Strudel and Lillet Spritz.
Bianco & Rosso, G/F, 29 Gough Street, Central