Header image courtesy of Wing1990hk (via Wikimedia Commons)
Separated from the bustling heart of Sha Tin by the idyllic Shing Mun River, City One and Shek Mun have left behind their reputation as sleepy residential precincts and grown into vibrant modern communities in their own right—all whilst still maintaining a laid-back, suburban atmosphere. With new eateries popping up regularly and entertainment facilities for young and old, there’s no time like the present to make your visit and uncover some underrated gems. Here is our friendly neighbourhood guide to the best things to do, and places to eat and drink in City One and Shek Mun!
With 28 bowling lanes and three snooker tables under its roof, Belair Bowling Centre has long been a regular hangout for students and families in the neighbourhood. Don’t expect much glitz and glamour, but if you’re itching for some old-school bowling fun at easy-on-the-wallet prices, then this is just the place. Billing themselves as family-friendly, they even have designated bumper lanes for kids as well as an adjoining café dishing out light bites and meals—perfect for re-fuelling in between throws.
Belair Bowling Centre, Shop 4, 2/F, Belair Gardens Shopping Arcade 1, 52 Tai Chung Kiu Road, Sha Tin | (+852) 2649 9022
What’s a trip to the suburban quarters of Sha Tin without soaking in some tranquil scenery? One of the largest parks in the district, Yuen Chau Kok Park is an idyllic haven of green conveniently located just 10 minutes from City One MTR station. Spread across a modest hill, the park offers an easy hiking trail for those who want to squeeze in a short, low-effort stroll through nature, and treat themselves to handsome views overlooking Sha Tin district.
In welcome news to history buffs, Yuen Chau Kok Park is also home to “The Old House” of Wong Uk Village, a century-old stone village house that was declared a monument in 1989. It has undergone extensive renovation and the architectural gem preserves much of its historic character, serving as a living window into the distant past.
Yuen Chau Kok Park, Yuen Chau Kok Road, Sha Tin
Whether you are a complete cycling noob or find that your pedalling skills have gotten a bit rusty after a period of disuse, Adventure Cycling Arena is the solution to your woes. Providing an open and dedicated space for anyone to learn and practise, the facility comes complete with a children’s cycling area and bikes for hire.
When you are ready to hit the ground running (or rather, cycling), there’s no better place to start than the nearby Shing Mun River, the picturesque watery backbone of Sha Tin. Depending on which way you turn, the biking trail will either connect to you to Ma On Shan or Tai Po and beyond.
Adventure Cycling Arena, 12 Siu Lek Yuen Road, Sha Tin | (+852) 2637 2743
Need a place for your little ones to cut loose and blow off some steam? Head over to 2Gather Playhouse in Shek Mun, a spacious 10,000-square-foot playhouse boasting over 10 different themed zones equipped with all the toys and activities a child could ever dream of. From slides, trampolines, and climbing nets, to sandpits, ride-on toys, and mini kitchen set-ups, there ought to be enough to keep the kids amused for hours, whether they are two or 10.
A single pass (starting from $100) will give your kid and an accompanying adult one hour of unlimited access to the facility’s play space. Afterwards, stop by the food zone and nourish your bellies with some Taiwanese snacks.
2Gather Playhouse, Shop 162, 3 On Kwan Street, Kings Wing Plaza 1, Shek Mun, Sha Tin | (+852) 5546 3075
Hong Kong is experiencing a serious boom of Instagrammable cafés—a phenomenon so pervasive that even this quiet pocket of the city is no exception to its reach. All white marble tops and homely framed wall art, Whitewood Coffee is a trendy little spot ready to vie for your dessert- and caffeine-loving attention.
The menu is a complete package of espresso-based coffees, pour-overs, and teas, alongside pan-Western mains and snack platters, but if there’s one thing you should get, it’s their signature soufflé pancakes. Paired with flavours like strawberry ($52), chocolate banana ($52), matcha ($52), and tropical fruits ($71) and generously topped with whipped cream, these light-as-air clouds of joy are a treat that’s pleasing to both the eyes and stomach!
Whitewood Coffee, Shop 207, 2/F, Kings Wing Plaza 1, 3 On Kwan Street, Sha Tin | (+852) 6345 2714
Despite touting itself as a Japanese restaurant, Seafood Ghost lets its menu wander all over Asia, with culinary influences from Japan and China to Korea, Singapore, and Thailand. For an incredible value deal, look no further than the lunch sets, which are served with a hot drink and seafood, and include over a dozen different options of hot pot and Japanese don bowls—most of them priced well under $100.
The restaurant’s crowning glory, however, is the signature seafood combo ($308), a resplendent platter of sashimi, pasta, and veggies alongside made-to-grill lobster, shrimps, mussels, abalone, clams, and squid. Diners can choose their favourite sauce from choices like garlic butter, Thai spicy sauce, Japanese pumpkin sauce, and Hong Kong-style garlic and chilli.
Seafood Ghost, Shop G11, G/F, Kings Wing Plaza 1, 3 On Kwan Street, Shek Mun, Sha Tin | (+852) 2818 4188
Ramen Dou is a cosy neighbourhood ramen shop that’s textbook Japanese when it comes to ambience and cooking techniques, but not-so-classic in the matter of flavour pairings. In addition to ramen bowls based around their signature broths—namely soy sauce and pork ($77), lobster and pork ($87), and chicken ($77)—the chef shows off his creative side and culinary prowess through limited-edition creations like the Wagyu ramen in beef broth and lemon and slow-cooked chicken ramen. Customers also get a say in how they want their ramen, thanks to the detailed order sheet that’s customisable down to noodle firmness, spiciness, toppings, and even the level of richness you’d like your broth.
Ramen Dou, Shop G1, G/F, Kings Wing Plaza 1, 3 On Kwan Street, Shek Mun, Sha Tin | (+852) 3563 5262
It’s about time, but the Sha Tin area finally has a proper Indian eatery to call its own. Celebrating the zillion delicious flavours in Indian cooking, Zillion Flavours is a takeout shop in Shek Mun’s Kings Wing Plaza specialising in authentic curry, biryani, and Indian snacks. With the owner from Kerala, India—also hailed as the land of spices—the food pays fine tribute to its roots, packed with an exemplary blend of aromatic herb and spices. The beef masala ($90) and chicken biryani ($75) served with raitha (a cucumber yoghurt condiment) are always a hit, but veggie options like the peas masala with porotta ($65) and vegetable biryani ($65) also get a lot of love here.
Zillion Flavours, Shop 128 A3, OK Mall, 1/F, Kings Wing Plaza Phase 2, 1 On Kwan Street, Shek Mun, Sha Tin | (+852) 5260 8484
The ultra-casual and slightly run-of-the-mill appearance of this dim sum joint belies the quality of the food inside, which has the place perennially packed solid with not a seat to spare. If you’re dining solo or with a small group, the mixed dim sum platter ($60) is a no-brainer, a sumptuous mix of nine handcrafted classic dim sum, from siu mai and shrimp dumplings to barbecued pork bun and water chestnut cake.
On top of steamed baskets of bite-sized goodness and homestyle rice dishes, customers also throng to The Steam Hut for their nourishing double-boiled soups (starting from $52). With daily-changing offers, the soups here owe their exquisite flavour to the five-plus hour simmering process and exclusive use of all-natural, wholesome ingredients.
The Steam Hut, Shop 225, 2/F, Kings Wing Plaza 1, 3 On Kwan Street, Shek Mun, Sha Tin | (+852) 3460 3411
From the same team behind beloved local coffee roaster Reaction Coffee Roastery comes Reactors Coffee, a cosy speciality coffee shop tucked away inside a residential shopping complex in City One. Catering to café goers of all types, those looking to develop their coffee palate will find their fill with the tasting set ($52) or hand-drip coffee (starting from $57), which has both single-origin and blended options.
Meanwhile, diners hankering for a good ol’ brunch won’t be settling for sub-par, overpriced food either—not with their wholesome menu of wraps, bagel sandwiches, burgers, and other well-executed all-day brunch sets. Rest assured that plant-based eaters will be well taken care of too, with the vegan speculoos cheesecake ($48) being the perfect case in point.
Reactors Coffee, Shop G92, Fortune City One, 1–2 Ngan Shing Street, Sha Tin | (+852) 2655 9333