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Your ultimate guide to PMQ, Hong Kong’s centre for local artisan culture

By Fashila Kanakka 1 February 2021

Header image courtesy of Yiu Cheung (via Shutterstock)

PMQ in Hong Kong is possibly every artisan’s dream, as the floors are lined with workshops and events partaking in either curating or promoting artistic talent in an array of skills. PMQ was built in 1951 and originally served as a Police Married Quarters (hence its name), before revitalising into a creative space that showcases exhibitions and hosts workshops. If PMQ is an alien name to you, no worries—follow our guide to discover the wealth of local brands and artists who call PMQ their home, the delicious and hip eateries to fuel up at during your trip, and, of course, the latest happenings in PMQ to get your creative juices flowing.

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Things to see & do

Photo credit: PMQ

Craft your own clock

At Rcube, it’s all about making time count rather than counting the time. Join their DIY clock concrete & resin workshop ($550) to handcraft a clock using a unique double-layer technique, where you learn to combine concrete with resin flow art to create a trendy and one-of-a-kind household accessory. At the end of the two-hour workshop, you’ll walk away with one DIY clock and two coasters. Find out more information about how to sign up for the workshop here.

Rcube, Shop H408, 4/F, Block B, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central

Make your own cosy scarf

Felt is an eco-friendly and natural textile material. Unlike other fabrics and fibres, there will be no wastage of materials when working with felt, as wool does not require cutting of excess fabric. Wool is versatile, warm, and soft, and quite forgiving even for beginner crafters. Doesn’t all of this just encourage you to make your own wool accessory? A Studio X YC presents a wool felt scarf workshop ($1,680), where over the course of three hours, learners get to take their pick from their favourite shades of wool and design their own scarves. Find out more information about how to sign up for the workshop here.

A Studio X YC, Shop H406, 4/F, Block B, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central

Paint yourself some coasters

Now that it’s winter in Hong Kong, you’re likely to be sipping on endless hot beverages, in which case, a coaster will always come in handy—either for yourself or for a loved one. 513 Paint Shop offers a coaster painting workshop ($150), which lasts for an hour and a half and allows you to customise your cork coasters using colours from their stunning paint collection! Find out more information about how to sign up for the workshop here.

513 Paint Shop, Shop H513, 5/F, Block A, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central

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Where to shop

Photo credit: Bamboa (via Facebook)

Bamboa Home

Bamboa is Asia’s first bamboo speciality brand. It produces beautiful high-quality home and lifestyle products using sustainable bamboo from the forests of Southeast Asia. It’s an environmentally-conscious brand that even uses sustainable packaging (how awesome!). The products range from bamboo bedsheets to bamboo face masks and eco-friendly bathroom essentials.

Bamboa Home, Shop S304, 3/F, Block A, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central | (+852) 2291 0285

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Photo credit: 513 Paint Shop (via Facebook)

513 Paint Shop

Founder Eunice Cheung is a well-established interior architect and her brand 513 Paint Shop offers colours in every shade and tone imaginable. With a focus on sustainable living, this boutique paint shop specialises in environmentally safe paints. Whether you’re choosing from the signature 513 Paint Collection or going rustic with chalk wall paint, 513 Paint Shop will have the perfect colour just for you. The paints are so vibrant, too—they’re not your average tones and are all so satisfying to browse through!

513 Paint Shop, Shop S513, 5/F, Block A, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central | (+852) 2155 2282

Photo credit: Bathe to Basics (via Facebook)

Bathe to Basics

Our skin is our largest organ, so without a doubt, it deserves a lot of love, care, and attention. Bathe to Basics produces skin-friendly products that prioritise healing and rejuvenation, focusing on ingredients that moisturise, refresh, and gently clean our skin. The carefully developed formulas are optimised to feel light on sensitive skin. Their products range from face wash, cleansing foam, shampoo, aroma diffusers, and more, and they also offer refill stations for their basics line to cut down on packaging.

Bathe to Basics, Shop S403, 4/F, Block A, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central | (+852) 2858 8135

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Photo credit: Tove & Libra (via Facebook)

Tove & Libra

Most of us know about the problems of fast fashion, but living in Hong Kong, we’re just bombarded with such brands. Tove & Libra is here to change just that, with its streamlined and sustainable clothing line that saves the planet whilst keeping you stylish. The soft materials are heaven for sensitive skin! We get to look and feel our best with their thoughtfully produced dresses, jumpsuits, cardigans, and trousers.

Tove & Libra, Shop S306, 3/F, Block A, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central | (+852) 9662 9923

Photo credit: PMQ

Cilocala

If you were a leprechaun, then you’ve travelled to the end of the rainbow and found your pot of gold! The array of colours in this shop are all so captivating as the shop itself adorns a minimalistic look. Cilocala means “from white” in Japanese—the sneakers and rucksacks in this shop all started from white, and product quality is focused to the tee. These bright neon tones are worth coming out of your comfort and are bound to capture all the attention.

Cilocala, Shop S412, 4/F, Block A, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central | (+852) 2116 0897

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Where to eat & drink

Photo: Louise (via Facebook)

Louise

This Michelin-starred French restaurant brings fine-dining to PMQ. Though this restaurant is high-end, it still emanates homely feelings thanks to the warm tones and comfortable seating. Your stomach is in for a feast, with dishes like the Mediterranean octopus salad with confit tomato & pesto ($208) for starters to look forward to, artisan French cheese collection ($358) to perfectly pair with wine, and roasted Hong Kong yellow chicken with Niigata rice & salad ($958) to have for mains.

Louise, G/F, JPC, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central | (+852) 2866 0300

Photo credit: Moment by Moment (via Facebook)

Moment by Moment

Unleash your inner Leslie Knope at this waffles joint that offers made-to-order Belgian waffles. This cosy café is a great place to unwind in the afternoon whilst indulging in some guilt-free dessert. You can opt for Belgian Liege waffles with fresh fruit & Mövenpick ice-cream ($118) or go ham on the gammon ham & cheese waffles sandwich ($40). Pair it off with a pretty drink from their menu—perhaps a London Fog Earl Grey tea latte ($40) or the sparkling watermelon lemonade frizz ($45)?

Moment by Moment, Shop H102, 1/F, Block B Hollywood, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central | (+852) 9251 2512

Photo credit: PMQ Taste Kitchen (via Facebook)

Taste Kitchen

PMQ launched Taste Kitchen in partnership with Twins Kitchen, using the space as an incubator to facilitate, nurture, and promote Hong Kong’s up-and-coming talented chefs. It’s a chef’s perfect stepping stone as they get to show off their culinary skills and dazzle their customers. Menus change every month or so as new dining concepts test the waters at Taste Kitchen. This incubator programme is first of its kind in fostering creative food talents in Hong Kong!

Taste Kitchen, Shop H113–H114, 1/F, Block B Hollywood, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central | (+852) 6532 6528

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Photo credit: PMQ

Famaland

Eat good, feel good—Famaland mostly uses local produce and natural ingredients to curate its healthy Chinese dishes and soups. Famaland’s recipes are vetted by professional Chinese doctors, so you know you’re getting the real deal for your health. Dishes here are cooked without additives or MSG, and the names of the dishes are already a giveaway as to how healthy the food is! There’s the detox soup ($98), traditional Shanghai pan-fried pork buns with organic Danish pork ($68), Grandma’s organic mapo tofu ($98), and spicy Sichuan mala fried rice ($128). Lunch sets cost $108 per person.

Famaland, Shop G09–G14, G/F, Block A, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central | (+852) 2858 8238

Photo credit: Sake Central (via Facebook)

Sake Central

Hongkongers love Japanese culture and food, and there’s no doubting that we love sake. Aside from being a sake heaven, Sake Central also collaborates with specialised brand displays and handmade Japanese glassware and ceramics. Concentrating in sake, it’s no surprise to see their menu offering a huge range of labels where you can opt for a glass, a tokkuri, or a bottle. For bites, there’s oyster ($268), Hokkaido scallops ($88), the sardine udon ($128), and spicy chicken sando in doubanjiang sauce ($88).

Sake Central, Shop S109–S113, 1/F, Block A, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central | (+852) 2656 6552

Gustaci

Have yourselves a pizza party! At Gustaci, diners can expect authentic Neapolitan culinary delights, presented by executive chef Angelo D’Ambrosio. Gustaci makes full use of Chef Angelo’s pizzaiolo background to perfect their naturally leavened dough before baking it to perfection in their Moretti Forni electric deck oven. Highlights from the pizza menu include classics such as the margherita ($130) and the marinara ($100); specialities like the gattò ($135) with mozzarella, potato croquettes, and salami; vegetarian options such as the funghi cardoncelli ($145) with pickled mushrooms, mozzarella cheese, and yellow cherry tomatoes; and specialities like the tartufo nero ($380), a decadent pie of mozzarella, Parmesan, and black winter truffle.

Gustaci, Shop HG01-05, Block B, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central | (+852) 2981 1418

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After you’re done taking in all that PMQ has to offer, there’s still plenty do in the neighbourhood. You can visit some of Hong Kong’s abandoned sites in Central, stop and stare at some street art on the island side, or if you’re looking to explore the cafés and happenings of Sheung Wan, we’ve got that covered for you as well.

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Fashila Kanakka

Contributor

Fashila was born in India but raised in Hong Kong and shares a strong bond with both her home and birth land. She loves hunting for hidden gems and finding the road less travelled. When she’s not breaking her back from educating and shaping little earthlings, you can find her loading up on succulents at the Flower Market, buying yet another book to rest on the shelf, or making calories come to life by baking.

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