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After an extraordinarily tough year, Christmas is finally around the corner. It’s about time you treated yourself to a relaxing and well-deserved Yuletide meal, but where to eat? There are a lot of things to think about when choosing the perfect Christmas dinner venue—convenience, food, and ambience, to name a few—but this year, we also have to think about how to celebrate responsibly without risking our health or peace of mind. Beyond keeping groups small to comply with regulations, it’s also important to consider whether venues are well ventilated.
Trying to find a restaurant that ticks all of these boxes might seem like an impossible task in Central or Causeway Bay, but a relaxed meal outdoors in East Tsim Sha Tsui with glorious harbour views might just do the trick. Here are seven of our all-time favourite alfresco spots in East Tsim Sha Tsui—along with some sweet deals—bound to satisfy you this winter.
In light of government restrictions on restaurant and bar opening hours in relation to the pandemic, you are encouraged to book or call ahead with individual businesses before visiting.
Get ready for a sumptuous meal at this chic Italian restaurant. Celebrate Christmas in style with Spasso’s five-course Celebration menu ($698) on 24 December—savour dishes like Norwegian king crab soup and Australian lamb rack with bell pepper cream before capping the meal with a caramelised tarte tatin and petit fours. Dining with picky companions? Pop in on 20, 25, or 26 December for a decadent Christmas brunch ($428 per adult, free for children under six), where you have your pick of Italian winter warmers like bollito misto stew and pig’s trotters stuffed with spiced pork, as well as the traditional turkey and Spasso’s regular brunch offerings, like pizza and pasta. Add a little festive cheer by opting for a free-flow drinks package (starting from $198)—go on, you’ve earned it!
Spasso Italian Bar & Restaurant, G5-8 & G12-17, G/F, Empire Centre, 68 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 2730 8027
Opening hours: 12:00 pm to 9:30 pm, Monday to Sunday (takeaway-only after 6 pm)
Takeaway offers: 20 percent off self-pickup orders made by phone or WhatsApp
Whether you fancy snug wine cellar vibes or sleek, open-air harbourfront vistas, Wooloomooloo Steakhouse has got you covered. Pick the backdrop of your preference before you dig into their packed Christmas Eve set dinner ($698), with sizzling favourites such as the tangy citrus and beet cured salmon gravlax and the signature Christmas turkey ballotine with foie gras stuffing. If you missed the turkey ballotine on Christmas Eve, don’t worry: catch the dish in their three-course Christmas brunch ($248) or four-course set lunch ($245) starting from mid-December, with more details on their website here.
Wooloomooloo Steakhouse, G7-8 & UG17-18, G/F, Tsim Sha Tsui Centre, 66 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 2722 7050
Opening hours: 12:00 pm to 6 pm, Monday to Sunday
Perhaps you want to try something new this year, but love the traditional Christmas meal too much to part with it. In that case, Namo Avant Thai Restaurant would be your pick. Launched by the Michelin star-winning chef Alejandro Sánchez in collaboration with the renowned Thai chef Khun Wijannarongk Kunchit, Namo uses its expertise in contemporary Thai cuisine to craft a unique Christmas dinner ($468 on Christmas Eve, $388 on Christmas Day). Kick off the meal with appetisers such as garlic prawn fritters and spicy turkey cakes, followed with a piquant bowl of lemon leaf lime pumpkin soup with British brown crab. Take your time over mains like the fresh and buttery Boston lobster in egg cream curry for a most memorable fusion experience.
Namo Avant Thai Restaurant, G2–4 & G18–22, G/F, Empire Centre, 68 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 2739 1133
Opening hours: 12:00 pm to 9 pm, Monday to Sunday (takeaway-only after 6 pm)
Takeaway offers: 25 percent off self-pickup orders (à la carte menu only)
Christmas is for sharing, and so share a hearty beer (or five) with the gang outdoors by the sea at Brotzeit. Instead of having a set meal each, we recommend the Christmas sharing platter ($888). With beef tenderloins, a rack of lamb, pork medallions, turkey breast, and fresh seasonal veggies aplenty, this isn’t your usual snack platter but a veritable feast. To top it off, a poached pear in red wine sauce is also included in the platter as dessert. Consider adding a glass of mulled red wine for $95 an extra touch of yuletide cheer.
Brotzeit German Bier Bar & Restaurant, G6 & UG16, G/F, Tsim Sha Tsui Centre, 66 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 2316 2666
Opening hours: 11:00 am to 7 pm, Monday to Sunday (takeaway-only after 6 pm)
Takeaway offers: 20 percent off self-pickup orders (à la carte menu only)
When’s a good time for pizza? Always, obviously. This year, PizzaExpress is offering a turkey pizza ($158) just for the season, replete with pancetta, cranberry and onion sauce, peppadew pearls, rosemary and more for a festive twist on everyone’s favourite dish. As much as you’d like to, you probably can’t finish one yourself, so order a takeaway set (starting at $458 for two to three people) to share at home with friends and family. Order before 14 December to get a free side of their famous dough balls with nutella!
PizzaExpress, G31–33 & G49–51, Empire Centre, 68 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 2513 1117
Opening hours: 11:00 am to 9 pm, Monday to Sunday (takeaway-only after 6 pm)
Takeaway offers: 15 percent off self-pickup orders (à la carte menu only)
For a good ol’ American Christmas, head to the one-and-only Ruth’s Chris Steak House. This festive season, they’re serving up a holiday menu fit for a king (starting from $790 per person)—think lobster bisque and eight-ounce U.S. petite filet ($840) with a side of pan-roasted wild mushrooms and a mini cheesecake to finish. Keep the good times flowin’ with an add-on of wine ($95 for a glass, $475 for a bottle)—you have your pick of Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, or sparkling Moscato.
Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Shop 108–100, 1/F, Tsim Sha Tsui Centre, 66 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 2366 6000
Opening hours: 12:00 pm to 3 pm, Friday to Sunday
Be transported back in time at Boticario, a brand-new restaurant and bar inspired by 1920s Buenos Aires. In keeping with its name—which means apothecary in Portuguese—Boticario’s earth-toned colour palette and dark timber fittings exude vintage pharmacy vibes. The Mediterranean and South American menu is similarly on-theme, with dishes such as the signature smoked pork shoulder with jalapeño sliced onion ($208) listed under “Main Remedies”.
Starting now, Boticario’s well-stocked bar is also going to be serving limited-edition Christmas cocktails to get you pumped up for the season. Indulge in a little Christmas cosiness with Boticario’s mulled wine and cookie ($98), a heady cocktail of cinnamon, vanilla, mandarin, dried bananas and apricot brandy which comes with a freshly baked gingerbread cookie on the side. For something a little more complex and medicinal, try the Emoliente ($98), which features a shot of pisco or cognac complemented with toasted barley, flax seeds, lemongrass, dried grass, and horsetail (which is a herb—we checked).
Boticario, G05 & UG15, G/F, Tsim Sha Tsui Centre, 66 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 2765 0800
Opening hours: Temporarily closed until 23 December
Perhaps more than one restaurant caught your fancy, in which case you’re in luck! For every $500 spent at any of the restaurants or bars at either Tsim Sha Tsui Centre & Empire Centre, you can redeem a $100 dining coupon any time from 16 November 2020 to 3 January 2021.
When you’re done with your meal, don’t forget to check out the festive skylights on Mody Lane right outside the area for the snaps, but also for more free food! From 5 November to 27 December, simply upload a public post on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #tstelights2020 or #tstefestivelight, and show the post to the concierge at the Tsim Sha Tsui Centre & Empire Centre to redeem a $20 Kee Wah Bakery coupon while stocks last.
Win even more prizes with a light post-dinner “workout” in the area! In response to the months of we have all spent cooped up inside this year, Sino Group has set up a Hong Kong’s largest-ever “dance machine” outside Tsim Sha Tsui Centre & Empire Centre, where you can groove along to music and copy the dance moves of the animated characters on the 4,000-square-metre LED wall.
To encourage people to get on their feet and dancing again—in a safe way, of course—Sino has also launched a dance challenge with some seriously covetable prizes (iPhone 12 Pro, anyone?). To enter, film a short video of yourself dancing along to the screen and tag #XmasDanceChallengeHK and #TSTElights2020 on Facebook and Instagram. (Yes, it’s that simple!) So go ahead and stop by East Tsim Sha Tsui this Christmas—you won't regret it.