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Your neighbourhood guide to Poho

By Localiiz 12 March 2020 | Last Updated 18 August 2021

Header image courtesy of @ernesthuang (via Instagram)

Originally published by Ching Yuen. Last updated by Annette Chan.

Commonly referring to the area found “above” Sheung Wan, the neighbourhood of Poho essentially covers the streets of Po Hing Fong and Tai Ping Shan, along with the surrounding area. It is a smattering of cafés and petite boutiques, each with a unique charm that separates the neighbourhood from the rest of Sheung Wan. If you’re still not quite sure where Poho is and would like to explore it for yourself, keep reading to see what we like to do in the area!

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Where to eat & drink

Photo: @janbdiarywithlove (via Instagram)

Hei Baat Fong (囍八方)

This Poho outpost of Sham Shui Po dumpling and noodle shop Hei Baat Fong has quickly become one of our favourite lunch spots thanks to its comfortable environs, infinitely customisable menu, and fresh, handmade dumplings. You can choose from a number of noodle or rice sets—we like the tossed satay beef noodles ($48)—or customise a bowl of soup noodles as part of the self-selected noodles (starting from $45). The set, which allows for either two or three toppings, requires diners to choose the type of noodle and soup base—the secret recipe hot & sour soup is our favourite, though the special nourishing fish broth is a close second.

If you’d rather feast purely on dumplings, then you’re spoiled for choice at Hei Baat Fong—pick from over 15 variants, from soup dumplings to fried potstickers and bite-sized wontons. Can’t get enough? You can also stock up on their uncooked dumplings and freeze them at home for a quick and easy meal.

Hei Baat Fong, 3–3A Upper Station Street, Tai Ping Shan, Sheung Wan | (+852) 2590 0800

Photo: Novan Yeung (via OpenRice)

For Kee (科記咖啡餐室)

This local cha chaan teng has been around long before Poho became trendy (or was even nicknamed “Poho”), with a reputation for healthy and tasty Cantonese food that remains to this day. The owner, who is a traditional Chinese medicine practitioner, wanted to offer a healthier counterpart to deep-fried or ultra-processed foods, and came up with his Gold Medal pork chop rice ($49), which features juicy stir-fried chops drizzled in sweet soy sauce atop plain white rice.

There are other home-style dishes on the menu, of course, including breakfast-time cha chaan teng classics like thick-cut toast ($13) and yuenyeung (starting from $16), but we think their pork chop bun ($33) may be one of the best ways to start the day.

For Kee, Shop J-K, 200 Hollywood Road (entrance on Pound Lane), Sheung Wan | (+852) 2546 8947

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Photo: Bouillon

Bouillon

Bringing Parisian bistro vibes to Pound Lane, Bouillon has already cemented itself as a popular spot in the neighbourhood in the few months it’s been open. Come by during weekdays and you’ll find office workers queuing for its two-course lunch menu (starting from $228) at 12.30 pm on the dot. Expect bistro classics like foie gras terrine and beef tartare—which comes in a hefty, main portion-worthy 150-gramme serving—as well as a few “rascal dishes” and a formidable wine selection from mainly organic, sustainable, and family-owned wineries.

Bouillon, 6 Pound Lane, Sheung Wan | (+852) 2886 0056

Photo: @dittoutravel (via Instagram)

Casa Pasta

We love going to Italian private kitchen Segreto for special occasions—so you can imagine how pleased we were when chef Ermanno Lelli announced that he was opening a more accessible and casual pasta takeaway concept in Poho! Casa Pasta, which opened late last year, offers a couple of bar seats and alfresco tables at its airy ground-floor shop, where diners can tuck into Lelli’s signature authentic spaghetti carbonara ($108), as well as a traditional, slow-cooked spaghetti Bolognese ($128) made according to a recipe from the 1930s.

A couple of less traditional dishes have also snuck their way onto the menu, such as the Mex n’ Cheese mac and cheese ($118), which sees cheesy macaroni topped with sour cream, salsa, and tortilla chips, and the diavola fries ($68), featuring thick-cut fries topped with cheese and spicy Italian homemade salami.

Casa Pasta, Shop D, 2–8 Po Hing Fong, Sheung Wan | (+852) 6821 0095

Photo: bretzelhk (via Instagram)

Bretzel

Just a street over from Bouillon is Bretzel, a similarly cosy French bistro opened by the same team. Instead of Paris, however, Bretzel’s focus is the eastern region of Alsace, whose culture is as German as it is French. Tuck into Alsatian classics like Flammenküche, a.k.a. tarte flambée, a crispy flatbread that can be enjoyed with savoury or sweet toppings. We had our eye on the classic La Gratinée ($138), which features cream, bacon, caramelised onions, and Emmental cheese, but we may have to revise that now that they have introduced authentic sauerkraut!

Bretzel, 22 Upper Station Street, Sheung Wan | (+852) 2886 8076

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Giàbar

Get a taste of Mediterranean living at Giàbar, a petite “gastrowine bistro” from the group behind La Brata, Capo, and fellow Poho gem Pinco & Pallino. Occupying a small shop space marked only with the words “Wine & Food Store,” Giàbar is a friendly, convivial spot known for its delicious cheese, salumi, and Aperol Spritzes.

Roll along after work to experience a true Italian aperitivo with their popular taglieri platters (starting from $148), or tuck into a dinner of Mediterranean-inspired Italian delights—the restaurant offers seasonal weekly specials, but the ossobuco alla Milanese ($288) from the à la carte menu is a year-round crowd-pleaser.

Giàbar, 53 Sai Street, Tai Ping Shan, Sheung Wan | (+852) 6651 7600

Photo: Frantzén’s Kitchen

Frantzén’s Kitchen

Nordic cuisine is not so commonly found in Hong Kong, but tucked away in the corner of Tai Ping Shan is Frantzén’s Kitchen—which, in our opinion, is one of Hong Kong’s best fine-dining restaurants—here to satisfy your Nordic cravings with a touch of Asian influence. Its signature French toast ($125), made with a generous portion of shaved truffle and served with balsamic vinegar, aged cheese, and warm truffle tea, is something we like to start the meal with every time. For a full modern Nordic experience, we would definitely opt for the tasting menu that includes exclusive dishes you can’t find in the à la carte menu, with novel ingredients like arctic char (arguably the better cousin of salmon), plenty of root vegetables, and Scandinavian plating techniques.

Frantzen’s Kitchen, 11 Upper Station Street, Tai Ping Shan, Sheung Wan | (+852) 2559 8508

Photo: Reserva Ibérica

Reserva Ibérica

We love the rich flavours of Spanish Ibérico ham, so this Spanish ham shop is a slice of heaven for us. Reserva Ibérica has a variety of Spanish hams, including our favourite Bellota ham, as well as Spanish cheeses, sardines, and wines. There’s a small area outside of the shop for you to indulge in a ham and cheese board of your own choice along with a glass of wine or sangria, though we would probably still buy and take everything home!

Reserva Ibérica, Shop C, 15 Upper Station Street, Sheung Wan | (+852) 2111 0066

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Photo: Crit Room

Crit Room

Founded and designed by Hong Kong architect Barrie Ho as a creative place “for opinions and ideas” and “knowledge for art, wine, and food,” this sleek, minimalistic Italian restaurant cuts an uncharacteristically glamorous figure among the boutiques and bistros of Tai Ping Shan Street. Bedecked with mirrored walls and small two-seater tables, Crit Room is practically built for special dates. Its homemade squid ink taglierini pasta ($228) is a must-try, as well as the signature Genovese-style seafood soup ($228), which is simmered for 48 hours and topped with freshly sautéed shellfish.

Crit Room, Shop C, 30 Tai Ping Shan Street, Sheung Wan | (+852) 2366 9608

Photo: Teakha

Teakha

A tea specialist, Teakha serves authentic tea and tea desserts to loyal fanatics like ourselves. Teakha also crafts homemade baked goods, such as creative flavours of chiffon cake, scones, and more. For more filling options, they also offer avocado tostadas, pancakes, yoghurt, and granola. We are huge fans of their hot chocolates and their special menu changes every so often to keep things fresh!

Teakha, Shop B, 18 Tai Ping Shan Street, Sheung Wan | (+852) 2858 9185

Photo: Lof 10

Lof 10

A coffee shop brimming with Hong Kong culture, Lof 10 is the perfect example of how modern style blends with the local eccentricities. Its logo is shaped like an old neon-lit sign, and it is also engraved on the retro sliding metal door at the entrance. The laid-back venue offers a range of flavoured coffees that can also double as an aesthetic Instagram post, such as the flat white ($58) or the swirling matcha in the green tea latte ($58).

Lof 10, Flat B, 1 U Lam Terrace, Sheung Wan | (+852) 2540 2210

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Photo: Oldish

Oldish

Few places epitomise Poho’s funky, artsy vibe better than Oldish, a slopeside vintage-inspired café on Tung Street. Filled with retro furniture, antiques, and old movie posters, you instantly get a warm and cosy feeling before even sitting down. Oldish offers a mix of Asian and Western flavours on their menu, including brunch-friendly plates like the Oldish all-day breakfast ($158) and truffle eggs Benedict ($158), as well as pasta, risottos, burgers, and ribs.

Oldish, 53 Tung Street, Sheung Wan | (+852) 2697 3313

Tea brewing at Green Ginkgo Tea

Green Ginkgo Tea

Green Ginkgo Tea is Hong Kong’s first hand-brew tea bar, with premium tea leaves sourced from Japan and China that can surprise even an ardent tea lover. Each pot is brewed by their tea baristas using carefully adjusted techniques according to the types of tea and even the weather conditions. You can interact with them to understand more about the tea you’re enjoying and ask them to tailor the brews to your preferences as you go.

Whether you choose from rich, pleasantly astringent teas like the premium Uji matcha ($128) or the light and floral jasmine phoenix oolong ($158), you never know what may surprise you! Keep in mind that the original GGT is now only open on weekends, as the team is spending most of their time at their new Pacific Place branch.

Green Ginkgo Tea, 1 Tai Ping Shan Street, Sheung Wan

Photo: Cupping Room

Cupping Room Roastery

Many of you may already know of Cupping Room due to the many locations they have all over the city, but the Cupping Room Roastery in Poho affords us an extra peaceful and quiet space to spend quality time in. Its speciality coffees are perfect for a quick catch-up with friends, out-of-office meetings, and solo work sessions. Cupping Room Roastery also has a range of savoury food options to keep your stomachs from grumbling!

The Cupping Room Roastery, Shop 8, Silver Jubilee Mansion, 62–72 Po Hong Fong, Sheung Wan | (+852) 3705 0208

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Photo: Craftissimo

Craftissimo

Hidden in the top parts of Poho, you can find over 280 types of international crafts beers at Craftissimo. Their shop lets you choose to either take the beers home with you or enjoy them in the small outdoor area just outside the shop. They also have regular tap-takeovers from craft breweries and beer launches, such as Magpie Brewing, Birra del Borgo, and Saigon Sour, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled. Want something to snack on? Check out their selection of sweet treats from homegrown ice lolly brand Nice Pops—we’re hopelessly in love with the double chocolate fudge flavour.

Craftissimo, Tai Ping Building, Shop D, Tai Ping Shan Street, Sheung Wan

Where to shop

Photo: @gastronovoyage (via Instagram)

Hapi

Feel like shopping, but don’t know what you want? Head to Hapi, a multi-concept space on Po Yan Street comprising a lifestyle store, florist, and restaurant—and best of all, it’s pet-friendly! Grab a mozzarella & grilled vegetable sourdough ($120) for a wholesome light lunch, or sample the signature sea urchin ($168) dish with cauliflower mash if you’re looking for something a little more indulgent—unlike some trendy cafés out there, Hapi’s actually got some serious culinary chops, with veteran chef Daniel Birkner at the helm.

The sprawling shop makes for a great lunchtime browse, with everything from artisanal ceramic cups with matching leather coffee cup sleeves to fresh blooms, artisanal groceries, handmade accessories, and more contained within its 4,000-square-feet space.

Hapi, Shop 2–4, Tower 125, 11 Po Yan St, Sheung Wan | (+852) 2811 3623

Photo: Forest by K

Forest by K

A luxury boutique florist hidden in Poho, Forest by K creates art pieces with their flower arrangements. They offer bespoke bouquets, flower arrangements for your home or for events, as well as wedding flower arrangements. The flowers are more on the expensive side—with bouquets starting from $1,500—but for the aesthetic they provide, we say it’s well worth it. Be sure to get in touch with the florist at least three to four days in advance to give them ample time to prepare!

Forest by K, 40 Tung Street, Sheung Wan | (+852) 2877 0989

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Photo: Squarestreet

Squarestreet

Focusing on the Scandinavian aesthetic, Squarestreet is a modern accessory store that offers contemporary timepieces and other jewellery pieces. From minimalistic wristwatches to geometric earrings, they have something for everyone. The shop also doubles as a Swedish café called Kaffe, serving coffee roasted weekly in Sweden, pastries made by a Swedish baker (we love the cinnamon buns), and delicious mochas made with Hong Kong’s very own artisanal vegan chocolatiers, Conspiracy Chocolate.

Squarestreet, 15 Square Street, Sheung Wan | (+852) 2362 1086

Photo: Khromis

Khromis

This chic eyewear store is all about aesthetics; from their storefront lamp to the store interiors to every piece of eyewear on display, Khromis is aiming to stand out from the crowd. The brand focuses on using natural acetate and metal materials for their eyewear, paired with unique designs to help elevate your look of the day. If you’re looking to update your frames with something chic and modern, browse through the collection at Khromis. Like Squarestreet, Khromis’ space also includes a café—a chic, pet-friendly coffee shop called Gwee!

Khromis, 1 Tai Ping Shan Street, Sheung Wan | (+852) 2772 2373

Photo: Château Zoobeetle (via Facebook)

Château Zoobeetle

Château Zoobeetle is the only store to offer the entire collection of leather goods from Zoobeetle Paris, but they also curated a selection of music, cosmetics, books, and clothes for a full shopping experience. In-between shopping, you can also visit their wine bar and snack on a plate of French cheese and charcuterie!

Château Zoobeetle, 38 Sai Street, Sheung Wan | (+852) 2559 8555

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Photo: Tung Yao Ceramics

Tung Yao Ceramics

Tung Yao Ceramics hosts workshops at different levels for ceramics and pottery-making, which can make for a fun weekend activity with friends and family. For beginners, you can try your hand at their trial classes, whereas those of you with experience can go for something more advanced. They also have ready-made bowls, vases, and other homeware in store for sale if you are just walking past and keen to bring a handmade piece home with you.

Tung Yao Ceramics, 4 Po Yan Street, Sheung Wan

What to see & do

Photo credit: Samadhi Training Centre for the Soul (via Facebook)

Samadhi Training Centre for the Soul

In need of a more spiritual experience? Check out Samadhi Training Centre for the Soul, which offers programmes for both children and adults, including crystal bowl sound healing meditation, weekly meditation classes, and more.

Samadhi Training Centre for the Soul, 2 Tai Ping Shan Street, Sheung Wan | (+852) 9311 2915

Photo: @mountzerobooks (via Instagram)

Mount Zero

A picturesque two-storey bookstore in one of the alleyways of Poho, Mount Zero is a bookstore-slash-café that sells the owner’s personally curated collection of books. Located next to a local cha chaan teng (茶餐廳; Hong Kong-style tea restaurant), take care to avoid visiting during lunch hours, as the area around will be packed with office workers. Otherwise, it is a quiet and serene space with a public reading room on the second floor.

Mount Zero, Shop C, 6 Tai Ping Shan Street, Sheung Wan

Photo: Blue Lotus Gallery

Blue Lotus Gallery

Blue Lotus Gallery is an independent art gallery that has presented some of the biggest and most influential photographic exhibitions in Hong Kong. Located in the quiet neighbourhood of Poho, wander in to can find books and prints of old and new Hong Kong shown through the eyes of seasoned photographers as well as emerging contemporary artists.

Blue Lotus also holds the honour of being the only authorised gallery and agent of seminal photographer Fan Ho, whose gorgeous photographs of Hong Kong life throughout the 1950s and 1960s earned him the nickname the “Cartier-Bresson of the East.”

Blue Lotus Gallery, 28 Pound Lane, Sheung Wan | (+852) 5590 3229

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