Header images courtesy of Boy N Burger
From an open-fire cooking concept and Neapolitan dining to affordable gourmet burgers, we travel around the world with the most exciting new restaurants, menus, and culinary pop-ups in Hong Kong this September.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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