Header image courtesy of @mikemikecat (via Instagram)
Did you know that the down-to-earth neighbourhood we know as Lok Fu was formerly called “Lo Fu Ngam” (老虎岩), which literally translates to “Tiger’s Den”? Originally named after the predatory feline that once roamed the area, it was not until 1963—after the first wave of public housing resettlement—that the government decided to rename this little sub-district in Wong Tai Sin to the decidedly more auspicious name of “Lok Fu,” which takes on a meaning of happiness and prosperity.
Since then, this cosy corner nestled at the foot of the Lion Rock has grown into a prime residential hub. While it’s not exactly a tourist haunt, you’d be remiss to pass up on the plethora of friendly neighbourhood eateries, tranquil green spaces, and cultural amenities that hide among the tightly packed grid of modern dwellings. Stray off the beaten path and read on to discover all the things to do, see, and eat in Lok Fu!
In need of a quiet respite from the frenzied urban life? Perhaps an afternoon spent in the refreshing embrace of verdant trees and booming flowers is what you need to refuel your battery. Claiming the title of the largest park in Kowloon, Morse Park is a sprawling green wonderland that’s divided into four district zones, with the first three sitting in Wong Tai Sin proper, and the final one— Morse Park No. 4 —spilling over to the southeastern side of Lok Fu.
Although this sub-park may not be as extensive as its counterparts, there is no shortage of leisure facilities here for the whole family to enjoy. After ambling through the landscaped gardens and soaking up the tranquil, green surrounds, take to the courts for a friendly round of tennis or hit the skatepark and try out some flips and grinds!
Morse Park No. 4, 30 Heng Lam Street, Lo Fu Ngam
Whether you believe in Chinese deities, or simply love gawking at architectural wonders, it’s worth making the Tin Hau Temple in Lok Fu Park a part of your itinerary. Dedicated to the Chinese goddess of the sea, the first incarnation of this temple dates back to the early nineteenth century during the Jiaqing reign. It was eventually forgotten and vanished from the community for a period of time, only to be revived again in the 1950s. Since then, the temple has undergone several rounds of renovation and now stands as a beautifully decked out worship place for residents of Lok Fu, featuring a traditional Chinese tiled roof, stone dragon pillars, and a small gazebo with gilded accents outside the main hall.
Tin Hau Temple, 196 Junction Road, Lok Fu
This small, 98-metre hill overlooking Lok Fu Park may appear rather ordinary at first glance, but aviation enthusiasts and experienced plane spotters will know it as a prominent landmark housing one of the last remnants of the former Kai Tak airport. Once embedded on the side of the hill was a striking red-and-white checkerboard that was used as a visual cue to help in-bound planes land on Runway 13. Although today the checkerboard is overgrown with vegetation, with little more than faded, peeling paint as a reminder of its former glory, its historical significance remains—as do the gorgeous panoramic views that can be captured from the top of the hill.
Shopaholics are sure to find their fix at this charming neighbourhood mall just a stone’s throw away from the MTR station. Spanning 36,000 square metres, Lok Fu Place is home to a bevvy of retailers that cover all your shopping bases—from fashion and beauty to household items and food—but the main crowd-puller is undoubtedly its anchor tenant Uny, a Japanese department store with its own supermarket and food court. After a thoroughly Japanese shopping experience, don't forget to check out the mall’s outdoor urban farm. Apart from growing organic fruits and veggies, the spacious outdoor venue also regularly hosts guided tours and community workshops!
Lok Fu Place, 198 Junction Road, Wang Tau Hom | (+852) 2338 7781
If you’re looking to work up a sweat and enjoy some quality time with nature, then there’s no better way to do it than by climbing up the iconic Lion Rock, one of the most popular urban hikes in Hong Kong. Known for the crouched lion-shaped outcrop sitting atop the 495-metre peak, Lion Rock technically sits between Kowloon Tong and Tai Wai, but its trailhead from the Lion Rock Barbecue Sites is located just 20-minute walk away from Lok Fu MTR station.
Even for experienced hikers, the ascent up the mountain is no small feat, as the inclines get fairly steep and there are some large boulders along the way you’ll have to clamour over. However, the breath-taking views at the summit of Kowloon peninsula and Victoria Harbour will pay all your efforts off and more!
Gochi opened its doors just last December, but it has already mustered a loyal following in a few short months, thanks to the winning combination of its stylishly appointed environment and superb Japanese-Italian fare. This chic, two-storied bar-and-restaurant is particularly famed for their fresh handmade pasta and pizzas, which incorporate subtle, yet tasteful influences from the land of the rising. Dig into their sea urchin cream pasta ($148) or Bolognese with Wagyu meatballs pasta ($128), and leave room for their signature tiramisu ($28)! If you fancy a bit of booze, they’ve also got a fantastic selection of craft beers and cocktails to go perfectly with your meal.
Gochi, G/F Unit L104A–L104B & UG2/F Unit L211–L214, Lok Fu Place, 198 Junction Road, Lok Fu | (+852) 2662 2969
Since launching its first Hong Kong branch in Tsim Sha Tsui last year, this wildly popular conveyor belt sushi restaurant has been sweeping the city like wildfire, expanding to seven locations and counting. A queue is expected no matter which branch you patron, but the one in Lok Fu is your best bet if you feel pained at the thought of waiting in line for over two hours. Once you’re seated, you have one hour to feast on the winding menu of sushi, hot dishes, fried food, and desserts. Most of the plates range between $12 and $27, so you can pig out and stuff yourself silly without breaking the bank! Some of our favourites include the kalbee beef with salt ($12), crema cantalana ($22), fried shrimp avocado roll ($12), and salmon nigiri with camembert ($17).
Sushiro, Shop L109, Lok Fu Shopping Centre, 198 Junction Road, Lok Fu | (+852) 2665 2108
Seafood might be in the name, but it’s the burgers that really shine at this cosy American eatery. In spite of the brick-lined walls, plush leather sofas, and softly illuminating wall lights suggesting a somewhat refined dining environment, you'll be pleasantly surprised to find the prices quite forgiving on the wallet, especially once you taste the quality of the food. Opt for the best-selling King of Devil’s beef burger ($52) or the onion pork burger ($40), and add on $18 for a meal set including a side and a drink or soup. Apart from burgers, they also peddle a mouthwatering selection of pasta, rice, salad, and meat dishes, so there’s something to suit every appetite!
Seafood Stand, Shop 1104, 1/F, Lok Fu Shopping Centre, 198 Junction Road, Lok Fu | (+852) 3621 0478
This buzzing family-run restaurant has been churning out hearty Chiuchow cuisine in the neighbourhood for some 40 years, amassing a loyal customer base that returns again and again for their delicious marinated cold cuts and seafood. The marinated meats combination ($35) will give you a quick crash course on the classic Chiuchow marinades while the fried oyster cake ($80) and deep-fried shrimp with pepper and salt ($98) are easy choices if you’re a fan of oceanic delicacies. As the norm of local daa laang (打冷; Chiuchow food stalls) eateries, dishes are served in hefty, shareable portions, so come with friends or prepare to bring home leftovers!
Luen Hop Hing, Shop 4, Lok Fu Shopping Centre, 198 Junction Road, Lok Fu | (+852) 2337 2038