Header image courtesy of @rashnull (Instagram)
Originally published by Amanda Sheppard. Last updated by Inés Fung.
Located on the sleepy eastern end of Hong Kong Island, Quarry Bay and Tai Koo are home to a succession of shiny office buildings and residential blocks, and most people wouldn’t even give the area a second thought. We reckon it’s often overlooked, as Quarry Bay and Tai Koo are also home to great restaurants and a plethora of spots to get active. Join us in exploring this underrated neighbourhood with our neighbourhood guide, and you’ll find that there’s so much more to Quarry Bay and Tai Koo than sprawling malls and stuffy suits!
Ice Palace in Tai Koo’s Cityplaza mall is a beloved ice skating rink that’s open year-round. It’s the largest rink on Hong Kong Island, and they’re due to reopen this summer with revamped facilities after almost 40 years in use. The rink is great for skaters of all ages and levels: You’ll be sharing the space with both beginners whose knuckles have gone white from gripping the handrails, and ice-skating pros who make whizzing around seem effortless. Skate rentals are included in the friendly entry fee, and if you’d like to buy your own, the skate shop is right nearby. Need some help on the ice? Ice Palace also runs a skate school for skaters of all ages.
Ice Palace, 1/F, Cityplaza, 1111 King’s Road, Tai Koo Shing | (+852) 2844 8688
Quarry Bay is one of the starting points for two gorgeous hikes: Mount Parker and Sir Cecil’s Ride. You can access both these hikes via Mount Parker Road besides the Quarry Bay Municipal Services Building on King’s Road, and the routes are clearly marked.
Start off with the Quarry Bay Tree Walk, where you’ll find educational signs detailing the flora and fauna of the area, as well as quaint worship altars along the way. The beautifully maintained Woodside Biodiversity Education Centre, also known as Red House for its red brick exterior, is a great photo spot, and the Wartime Stoves, which are relics from when Quarry Bay was a training site during World War Two, can be found nearby in stunning condition too. Continue along part of Wilson Trail to explore the peaceful waterfall at Sir Cecil’s Ride, or summit Mount Parker to get to Tai Tam Reservoir. The choice is yours, and you’ll be surrounded by gorgeousness regardless.
Quarry Bay Promenade connects Quarry Bay Park and Tai Koo Shing Park to form a harbourfront green space that rivals its cousin Tamar Park on the west side of the island. The parks cover over 20 acres of land and are filled with playgrounds, rollerblading and jogging paths, and open spaces that are perfect for picnics or an outdoor workout sesh.
The large Pet Garden at the promenade is a popular spot for the neighbourhood dogs and has both turf and shaded areas for your furry friends to play in. As you get closer to Sai Wan Ho, you’ll spot the Fireboat Alexander Grantham Exhibition Gallery rising out of the water. The bright red vessel was decommissioned in 2002 after 50 years of service and turned into a firefighting and marine rescue museum space. If all this isn’t enough to convince you to pay a visit to this lovely waterfront park, you can also enjoy cherry blossom blooms here in spring.
Ryze is the largest indoor trampoline park in Hong Kong and is an energy-charged bounce fest for all ages, offering over 7,000 square feet of connected trampolines that go from wall to wall and even up to the ceiling. Bored of just jumping around? There are also ninja obstacle courses, slacklines, trapezes, foam pits, and bounce boards to keep you entertained on your day out. “Flights”—as they’re known at the park—take off every half hour, and you can buy tickets for one- to two-hour sessions online.
Ryze, 3/F, Kodak House, 321 Java Road, Quarry Bay | (+852) 2337 8191
If you’re interested in rock climbing, Verm City is the place to get started. Verm City is Hong Kong’s largest climbing gym where you’ll find facilities ranging from basic bouldering practice to an augmented reality climbing wall. The little ones (or anyone who’s just getting started) can begin their climbing journey with the Clip N’ Climb system, which features fun climbing installations like a six-metre-tall vertical drop slide. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert climber, Verm City will have something for you.
Verm City, 4/F, Kodak House, 321 Java Road, Quarry Bay | (+852) 2560 8128
Tong Chong Street Market is an eco-friendly street food market that you wouldn’t expect to find in the midst of the shiny office towers in Taikoo Place. Here, you’ll have the chance to discover over 40 stalls of fresh produce and creative culinary delights from both local and overseas vendors, with anything from freshly baked breads and homemade jams and kefir up for grabs. While it’s currently closed due to COVID-19, you’ll still find sustainable food pop-ups in the market space that rotate partners regularly, like the Impossible Foods food truck.
Tong Chong Street Market, Tong Chong Street, Taikoo Place, Quarry Bay
ArtisTree is a modern multi-purpose space tucked away in Taikoo Place dedicated to the visual and performing arts. It has played host to events supporting the local arts and culture scene, like their exclusive Open Rehearsal series that features a behind-the-scenes look to dance troupes and theatre groups. Check the calendar to see what’s on and let yourself get inspired!
ArtisTree, 1/F, Cambridge House, Taikoo Place, Quarry Bay
Sugar is a hidden gem of a rooftop bar on the thirty-second floor of EAST hotel in Tai Koo. It’s got stunning views of the harbour that could rival any of those in Central and Causeway Bay, and a delicious cocktail list and tapas menu to go along with it. Its alfresco deck is popular with the office crowd in the neighbourhood, and the resident DJ’s tunes are guaranteed to keep the party going all night long.
Sugar, 32/F, EAST, 29 Taikoo Shing Road, Tai Koo | (+852) 3968 3738
Spanning three stories is the warm and inviting bar and chophouse Mr & Mrs Fox. Offering a whimsical twist on Western classics, you can dig into dry-aged steaks, burgers, and more, and wash it all down with craft beers, yummy wines, and cocktails. Mrs Fox on the ground floor is a casual hangout spot, perfect for an afternoon session, while Mr Fox upstairs is a more formal sit-down affair. Our favourite spot in Mr & Mrs Fox, though, is The Den, hidden behind a bookcase on the top floor and accessed by playing the piano nearby.
Mr & Mrs Fox, 23 Tong Chong Street, Quarry Bay | (+852) 2697 8500
Enoteca is a friendly Mediterranean wine bar and restaurant where you can kick back and relax. You’ll find a spectacular deal on all your favourite Italian and Mediterranean classics here, like pizzas and pasta as well as fresh seafood dishes. The outdoor dining area is dog-friendly, and on weekends, you’ll find the airy space filled with diners tucking into light meals and fine wine.
Enoteca, G/F, 35–41 Tong Chong Street, Quarry Bay | (+852) 2744 6000
Satisfy your sweet tooth with Healing Bakery’s signature profiteroles. They are freshly made in-house on a daily basis and are only available at 1.15 pm and 5.15 pm on weekdays. There are four to six flavours available every day, and you’re limited to buying four pieces at a time. Now you might be wondering, “What makes these puffs so special?” That’s because instead of custard cream or ice cream, Healing Bakery’s puffs are filled with homemade mochi. Their signature flavours include a “dirty” Belgian chocolate, Ovaltine crunch, and teas like matcha, sencha, and Earl Grey. If you’re feeling down, cracking open one of Healing Bakery’s mochi puffs is sure to brighten up your day.
Healing Bakery, Shop D1, G/F, King’s View Court, 901 King’s Road, Quarry Bay
Craving Italian classics? Head to Ask for Alonzo, a modern Italian trattoria with a menu inspired by Alonzo’s grandmother’s cooking in the south of Italy. It gets busy during lunch and happy hour, packed with suits from nearby offices, but the food is always made fresh and delivered to your table before your stomach even begins to grumble. You can’t go wrong with their signature pasta and risottos, and a glass of Italian vino.
Ask for Alonzo, 18 Hoi Kwong Street, Quarry Bay | (+852) 2856 2911
Little Nyonya does a smashing laksa and Hainanese chicken and is a breath of fresh spicy air amongst the eateries in Quarry Bay. The restaurant itself is very cosy, leading to long lines outside hoping to get a table. The menu is focused, as Little Nyonya knows the high quality of what they’re cooking up: homemade Singaporean and Malay meals that would warm even the coldest of hearts. The laksas here are hearty and packed full of flavour as a result of MSG-free soup-making. The spice and coconut milk levels are perfectly balanced, too. Little Nyonya is only open between noon and 3 pm, so be prepared to show up early if you want to give this place a go.
Little Nyonya, Shop D9, G/F, 18 Hoi Tai Street, Quarry Bay
Camper’s is a quaint Japanese joint opened by experienced Japanese chef Fujita Kenta, and the menu here is a continuation of the (almost) two decades of cooking he did in Tokyo, but with a more vegetarian-friendly approach as well as no additives and minimal fat. Dining at Camper’s feels like you’re hanging out in a Japanese home, and the food is wholesome and heartwarming. Their signature dish is the humble Japanese curry, and we highly recommend ordering it with the seven-hour slow-cooked Spanish Kurobuta pork or 15 kinds of veggies!
Camper’s, Shop 13, G/F, Chung Hing Mansion, 13 Pan Hoi Street, Quarry Bay
You can’t get fresher seafood anywhere than Umimachi Don, as the produce here is bought fresh, not frozen from Tsukiji Market in Tokyo, and brought directly to Hong Kong. Each sashimi don is covered with slices of thick and juicy seafood like uni and tuna and has just the right amount of Japanese rice at the bottom. Umimachidon’s bowls are eaten in three ways: firstly, with soy sauce and wasabi; then, in a unique sushi jelly; and lastly, you add in a light fish broth. It’s a little pricier than other restaurants in the area, but the quality makes it all worth it.
Umimachidon, Shop 6, G/F, Dragon View House, 7–9 Hoi Kwong Street, Quarry Bay