The temperature has finally dipped in Hong Kong, which means it’s time to dig out those sweaters, leggings and sweatpants from their winter storage boxes. With the cold settling in and the festive season upon us, there’s no shame in fully indulging yourself in good food and drink — you can worry about hitting the gym in the new year. Thankfully, our local dining scene has produced no shortage of newcomers for you to check out this month. Here are 10 new Hong Kong restaurants to try as we close out 2016.
With dreams of a Michelin star from the get-go, Singaporean chef Edward Voon is determined to make a splash in Hong Kong with the launch of his modern European restaurant Le Pan this month in Kowloon Bay. Outfitted in gold accents, the elegantly styled space will be a temple to avant-garde cuisine, with beautifully presented plates reflecting an expensive taste in decor. Expect a bit of flair and theatrics, with plenty of liquid nitrogen desserts and other science-like experiments coming out of the innovative kitchen.
Le Pan, G/F, Goldin Financial Global Centre, 17 Kai Cheung Road, Kowloon Bay, Hong Kong, +852 3188 2355, website coming soon
After expanding Le Bistro Winebeast to a larger space on Thomson Street, the original café on Mcgregor Street has rebranded to A.O.C., with a new chef onboard and an overhauled menu. With a background spanning several Michelin-starred restaurants in Europe, chef Stéphane Guillas will serve his version of French street food, with sections including “Small Bites & Nibbles”, “From the Sea”, “Butcher’s Corner” and “Cheese & Sweets”. Outstanding and affordable wines will remain a cornerstone of the cosy venue, with glasses starting at HK$38, in addition to a brand new beer and cocktail menu.
A.O.C., 15 McGregor Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, +852 2479 6833, facebook.com/aoceatanddrink
Offering contemporary bites by popular London-based Spanish joint Barrafina, Cassio is riding the tapas wave here with a chic LKF space encompassing a restaurant, lounge and terrace. The recently opened venue will provide an interactive experience featuring multiple music genres from hip-hop to Latin jazz to salsa, while serving up tapas and handcrafted cocktails. Signature Barrafina bites include the Iberico Sobrassada cured spicy sausage served in a warm tortilla, the Gambas al Ajillo with Tasmanian prawns in a sizzling sauce, and the succulent Iberico pork ribs.
Cassio, 2/F, LKF Tower, 33 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 3792 0129, cassio.com.hk
Further proof that Kowloon’s slowly reclaiming its status as a dining destination, two-Michelin-starred chef Tsang Chiu King — who has previously held esteemed positions such as heading up Langham Group’s Ming Court — is set to open his first solo venture, Dynasty Garden in Kowloon Bay. After setting a new standard for Chinese fine dining in Hong Kong, chef Tsang has garnered more than enough recognition and praise to draw curious patrons to his new digs in Kowloon Bay. We can only imagine the reward will be more than worth the trek.
Dynasty Garden, Level 1, Goldin Financial Global Centre, 17 Kai Cheung Road, Kowloon Bay, Hong Kong, +852 3188 2153, website coming soon
The latest to pop up in SoHo, the owners behind Madam Sixty Ate and Madam S’ate have introduced 12,000 FRANCS, a modern, ingredient-driven restaurant promoting European cuisine with a twist. An abstract menu features such sections as “Picked + Potted”, “Smoke + Salted”, and “Vacuum + Fire”, while the name — in case anyone’s wondering — takes after the 1795 Imperial cash prize offered by Napoleon Bonaparte for anyone who could invent a method of food preservation for his armies. Perhaps this means lots of pickling and storage jars? The restaurant has been open for just a few weeks, so we’ll be interested to see how it fares with Hong Kong’s food-obsessed crowds.
12,000 FRANCS, G/F, Elgin Building, 43 A Elgin Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2529 3100, website coming soon
Dragon Noodles Academy (DNA)
We announced the soft opening of Dragon Noodles Academy here, and the trendy Chinese restaurant is now in full swing with its army of Kung Fu noodle masters and handmade lion heads adorning the walls. Designed to evoke a 1970s Kung Fu academy, DNA pays homage to the past while stepping one foot into the future, with updated classics including turnip cake with lobster dim sum, lobster puff pastries and the signature fresh and springy Lan Zhou hand-pulled noodles made fresh to order every day.
Dragon Noodles Academy, Shop G04, G/F, Man Yee Arcade, Man Yee Building, 68 Des Voeux Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2561 6688, facebook.com/dnahkg
Surf ‘n’ turf may have been done to death in Hong Kong, but that hasn’t stopped many newcomers from jumping on the bandwagon. Hungry Lobster is the latest to get in on the action — a lobster and premium beef restaurant located in the buzzing V Point building in Causeway Bay. The menu doesn’t require much explanation, but we’re already getting excited by the look of the signature lobster roll, with its buttery grilled buns and overflowing filling of fresh lobster meat in a lemon butter dressing. If meat is more down your alley, go for the US black angus ribeye steak, or opt for the half-and-half combo for two featuring a half lobster, 8oz ribeye/sirloin/short ribs, fries and a salad (HK$338).
Hungry Lobster, Shop 3, G/F, V Point, 2 Tang Lung Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, +852 9330 5378, facebook.com/hungrylobster
Greyhound Thai-pas Bar
Newly opened in Causeway Bay’s Midtown building, Gaia Group has expanded Greyhound Café to include Greyhound Thai-pas Bar, a casual Thai street food-inspired concept which will open late for cocktails and bar bites. Mimicking the bright lights and vibrant streets of Pattaya, Thai-pas Bar will boast a more eclectic, buzzy vibe than its parent café, located one floor up, while still retaining an inexpensive price point and informal dining atmosphere. A selection of “Hoptails” made from Heineken and refreshing cocktails are on offer, to pair with bar bites such as bruschetta with Thai brandy pate, chicken satay burgers and beef massaman curry.
Greyhound Thai-pas Bar, G/F, Midtown, 1 Tang Lung Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, +852 2383 4038, gaiagroup.com.hk
The Drunken Pot
With so many restaurants ill-fated to close within the first year, it’s heartening to see a new concept expand instead of shuttering its doors. Founded by local restaurateur Vivien Shek, The Drunken Pot won the hearts of foodies and foodstagrammers earlier this year with its wide-ranging broth-dunking options and notorious 5-in-1 ‘Drunken Pot’ complete with a flaming papaya. They’ve just expanded to a new location cross-harbour, offering the signature creative hot pots and sake bombs, as well as new Instagram fodder — adorable-shaped dim sum including The Drunken Penguin (HK$48) with lotus seed paste-filled birds; and The Drunken Mon (HK$42) featuring butterfly-shaped dumplings with a cheese, kimchi, shrimp and pork filling.
The Drunken Pot, 27/F, V Point, 18 Tang Lung Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, +852 2323 7098, facebook.com/thedrunkenpothk
Another LKF opening catering to the overworked Hong Konger looking for the nearest alcoholic antidote to a hectic work schedule, IQ bar tries to keep things somewhat classy with a neon-lit counter bar, trendy bar bites, and both cocktails and dishes that make liberal use of smoking guns. With some kitschy gimmicks including a glitter-rimmed Porn Star Martini, and a Buddha Old-Fashioned complete with a floating Buddha statue in the glass, we expect IQ Bar will be offering up exactly what Centralites are looking for on a Friday night.
IQ Bar, 27-37 D’Aguilar Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 3565 6616, facebook.com/iqbar.hk