Header image courtesy of The Cool Cousins Cafe & Noodle Bar (via Facebook)
A witness of Hong Kong’s industrial history and a haven for young people and small businesses, the Camel Paint Building is a significant landmark for the local community amidst the gentrifying landscapes and the quick-paced life of the Kwun Tong district. Read on if you want to know more about this eccentric shopping centre!
After factories in the Kwun Tong industrial district moved away in the 2000s, many industrial buildings were left vacant, out of date and out of time. But thanks to the industrial building revitalisation policy in 2010, new life has been breathed into Camel Paint Building, as shops began moving into the empty studios. The multi-block complex has become a sanctuary for small local businesses that could not afford the steep rents of ground-floor shops, and for sprouting businesses founded by younger generations.
Now, Camel Paint houses dozens of outlets, niche shops, and restaurants that cannot be found elsewhere. Retaining the floor plan of a traditional industrial building but lodged with a variety of refreshing shops, Camel Paint Building has quickly become a key hangout haven in Kwun Tong.
Camel Paint Building is split into three blocks, with Block 3 being the most populated and comprising the most shops and restaurants. But that is not to say Blocks 1 and 2 are not worth visiting. Although this guide will mainly highlight features in Block 3, do have a look at the floor guides in Blocks 1 and 2 to see if anything piques your interest. Without further ado, let us venture into the stylish mystery of Camel Paint Building.
Sometimes Camel Paint Building can be flocked with people, and there would be long lines waiting for the main elevators of Block 3. You may walk to the back of the building and take the cargo lifts instead.
The elevators are slow in old industrial buildings, so rather than waiting for 10 minutes every time you want to travel up or down, take the stairs instead. There are three stairways that take you through every floor of Block 3 of Camel Paint Building.
Not only can you see a clear view of the hustle and bustle on Hoi Yuen Road from the staircases, but the orange and yellow walls make unique backdrops for photos too! Many visitors would also take the elevator to the top floor and take the stairs down as they browse the shops.
Camel Paint Building is best known for all the outlets it houses. You can find clothes from international brands like Nike and Adidas as well as more local chains such as Bauhaus and Initial. There are also outlets for sports gear, electronic appliances, toys, baby clothes, and even trinkets sold at the price of just a few Hong Kong dollars. Some of the bigger outlets are conveniently located near the entrance of the complex, while others are sprinkled across floors in the blocks.
Other than outlets, there are also smaller boutiques in the building, selling daily wear, vintage T-shirts, or even South Asian dresses. While most boutiques sell women’s clothing, there are also shops like Galaxy and Fung Dean Mega Sales (峰癲劈價) that focus on men’s or gender-neutral fashion.
Galaxy, Room U, 7/F, Camel Paint Building Block 3, Kwun Tong
Fungdeanmegasales, Room T, 3/F, Camel Paint Building Block 3, Kwun Tong
For a gorgeous, unique timepiece, head to Sometimes Lab—complete your look with a Chinese hour watch or maybe a retro, skeleton-exposed TACS ATL automatic twin lens set. They also sell jewellery, bags, and other accessories that are sure to spice up your style.
Sometimes Lab, Room E1, 6/F, Camel Paint Building Block 3, 60 Hoi Yuen Road, Kwun Tong | (+852) 3615 1509
We all know someone who has an undying passion for models or Legos. There are several shops in Camel Paint Building for them, but Universal Bricks is our favourite. Its collection of precious Lego sets and toy cars includes familiar modes of Hong Kong transportation such as minibuses and trams, and even specific models of buses and trains that once ran through Hong Kong.
Universal Bricks, Room B, 11/F, Camel Paint Building Block 3, 60 Hoi Yuen Road, Kwun Tong | (+852) 9238 7779
If you are searching for an unusual present, this shop does exactly what it says on the tin! Unusual carries an array of the quirkiest games and décor pieces around, from a desktop arcade shootout to musical piano gloves, and five-in-one barbecue multiple-tool.
Unusual, Room U3, 6/F, Camel Paint Building Block 3, 60 Hoi Yuen Road, Kwun Tong | (+852) 5721 2161
If you’re feeling motivated to try some nail art after watching a tutorial or two, head to Pretty Lil Nails to stock up on all the products you need. This petite shop sells reputed nail polish brands from all over the world, as well as nail art and nail care products. Looking at the colourful polish bottles displayed neatly on the simplistic shelves, the motivation to do nail art only grows stronger.
Pretty Lil Nails, Room U3, 4/F, Camel Paint Building Block 3, 60 Hoi Yuen Road, Kwun Tong | (+852) 6012 3528
Sofa so good? There are numerous stylistic furniture design companies residing in Camel Paint Building, such as Colormatch and Red Apple, providing chic furniture and interior design services.
Colormatch Sofa, Workshop T, 10/F, Camel Paint Building Block 3, 60 Hoi Yuen Road, Kwun Tong | (+852) 2365 0529
Red Apple, Room L, 1/F, Camel Paint Building Block 3, 60 Hoi Yuen Road, Kwun Tong | (+852) 2972 2157
Get everything you need for camping or hiking with Outdoor Star. Situated in a spacious warehouse, they have got everything, from tents big or small to coffee beans and outdoor cooking tools—kits and apparatus guarantee to make your outdoor adventure that much better and easier.
Outdoor Star, Room E, 5/F, Camel Paint Building Block 3, 60 Hoi Yuen Road, Kwun Tong | (+852) 3426 9228
The shopping at Camel Paint Building is not just limited to clothes and gifts—you can also buy a huge variety of groceries and ingredients! Other than delicatessens like Trendy Cook Foodie and Season Wine, there are the famous Asok Thai and SanDeulHae Korean Food Mart, which specialise in Thai and Korean groceries respectively. To get a taste of how the Korean groceries from SanDeulHae should be prepared, pop into their restaurant next door, San Deul Hae, for some authentic Korean cuisine.
Trendy Cook Foodie, Room L1, 6/F, Camel Paint Building Block 3, 60 Hoi Yuen Road, Kwun Tong | (+852) 9871 8813
SanDeulHae Korean Food Mart, Shop R, 3/F, Camel Paint Building Block 3, 60 Hoi Yuen Road, Kwun Tong
San Deul Hae Korean Cuisine Restaurant, Shop U, 3/F, Camel Paint Building Block 3, 60 Hoi Yuen Road, Kwun Tong | (+852) 2498 1932
For your sake, visit Sake Lab to find a curated assortment of the beloved Japanese alcoholic beverage. But if you would like a taste of lesser-known brands of alcohol, go to Beer Corner, where they sell beers and wines from every corner of the world, including some local breweries: H.K. Lovecraft, Carbon Brews, and Heroes Beer Co., just to name a few.
Sake Lab, Room L, 8/F, Camel Paint Building Block 3, 60 Hoi Yuen Road, Kwun Tong | (+852) 9616 8040
Beer Corner, Room M, 4/F, Camel Paint Building Block 3, 60 Hoi Yuen Road, Kwun Tong | (+852) 5410 6557
While we have previously covered the renowned Burger Saan and Katsuo Udon, there are still plenty more restaurants that offer acclaimed culinary experiences. Here are a few of them!
Though technically a Thai restaurant, The Cool Cousins is most loved for its burgers, and for good reason. Simple but perfect, the truffle sauce in the grilled portobello beef burger ($105) marries well with a burger cooked just right and the umami of the grilled mushroom. Not only are their hand-crafted burgers delicious and well-made, but there are also innovative items on the menu, such as the IC buffalo chicken burger ($129)—“IC” stands for ice cream—or the PPB burger—pineapple, peanut butter, and beef burger ($135).
The Cool Cousins Café & Noodle Bar, Room J, 11/F, Camel Paint Building Block 3, 60 Hoi Yuen Road, Kwun Tong | (+852) 3425 4611
Tosu is best-known for their grilled skewers, along with other courses and snacks you can find in a Japanese izakaya. Their grilled salted hokke mackerel ($70) and Tosu pork fried noodle ($74), among other dishes, have us salivating. The crowd-favourite Curaçao Fuji Mountain special drink ($35) is a citrus soda with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and a colour-changing ice cube to add to the exotic drink!
Tosu, Shop S, 5/F, Camelpaint Building Block 3, 60 Hoi Yuen Road, Kwun Tong | (+852) 3619 5642
If you don’t feel like having grilled or fried food, how about some hearty sukiyaki made with top quality beef? Kuuraku serves sukiyaki sets with appetizers, desserts, and a variety of beef, from US beef ($198) to Australian M9 Wagyu ($298) and Japanese A4 Wagyu ($458). For lunch, they offer more affordable sukiyaki sets, as well as yakiniku grilled meat sets (from $148). The minimalistic restaurant is rather cosy, so don’t forget to call and book in advance if you are thinking of trying it out.
Kuuraku, Shop H, 9/F, Phase 3, Camel Paint Building, 60-62 Hoi Yuen Road, Kwun Tong | (+852) 3427 9059
Well-loved for the rich soup base of their braised beef noodles ($72), and the soft gua bao (刈包; $32) stuffed full of pork belly, Wu Yue Xing provides flavours true to their Taiwanese origin. For an experience that looks and tastes great, there is also the experimental-sounding test-tube chicken (試管鹽酥雞; $48), which is actually just chunks of crispy fried chicken served alongside an assortment of seasonings, which come in individual test tubes.
Wu Yue Xing Beef Noodles, Flat F, 11/F, Camel Paint Buildings Block 3, 60 Hoi Yuen Street, Kwun Tong | (+852) 3460 3839
Holam Bakery and Call Me Chef are among the most popular mille-crêpe cake places in Hong Kong—and they can both be found in Camel Paint Building! Both are known for flavours such as Earl Grey and cookies and cream, while Holam is also known for its towel roll cakes (starting from $180) in various flavours. The two shops are actually situated opposite to one another, so it is quite easy to spot them—and conduct a self-led taste comparison, if you so wish!
Holam Bakery, Room I, 4/F, Camel Paint Building Block 3, 60 Hoi Yuen Road, Kwun Tong | (+852) 6335 7901
Call Me Chef, Shop T, 4/F, Camel Paint Building Block 3, 60 Hoi Yuen Road, Kwun Tong | (+852) 2286 0833
For Instagrammable tarts and desserts, look to Crazypie and Duo Pâtisserie. From Crazypie’s matcha mochi tart ($33) and peach tea mousse tart ($33) to Duo’s blueberry tart ($43) and seasonal special five-inch caramel coffee chocolate tart ($480), the shops bring forth great options for birthdays and other celebratory pastries.
Crazypie, Flat U, 8/F, Camel Paint Building Block 3, 60 Hoi Yuen Street, Kwun Tong | (+852) 6601 1523
Duo Pâtisserie, Room E, 7/F, Camel Paint Building Block 3, 60 Hoi Yuen Road, Kwun Tong | (+852) 9381 2885
Camel Paint Building may not be a glamorous, high-end shopping centre, but it offers a one-of-a-kind shopping experience and holds a dear place in the hearts of Hongkongers, especially of Kwun Tong people. When you’ve finished exploring the halls of the Camel Paint Building, don’t forget to take a stroll around Kwun Tong to check out all the cafés and artsy activities, and independent stores that this former industrial district!