We’re right in the thick of summer here in Hong Kong, and after all those rain showers from the past month, we’re betting you’re ready to enjoy the outdoors in the city’s best alfresco spots. You may have your tried-and-true favourites, but for those itching to try something new, you’ve ended up in the right place.
We’ve lined up 10 new (and newish) terraces and alfresco dining spots to fill up the rest of your warm weather weekends with drinking, dining and lounging outdoors. From Kowloon to the Southside, tapas to afternoon teas, Hong Kong’s new decks and open-air summer hangouts are as satisfyingly diverse as they are each worthy of a visit in their own right.
Ready to embrace the great outdoors from beneath the awning? Read on.
La Rambla by Catalunya: Tapas on the terrace
We previously predicted that La Rambla’s massive wooden deck would be a hit this season, and right we were: The folks from Elephant Grounds are behind this new Catalan dining room, which has opened its 100-seater terrace just in time for summer. From the Terrace Tapas menu, we’re digging the lobster, espelette, cheese and avocado bikinis (HK$165), which are both light and luxuriant. From the set lunch menu, keep your eyes peeled for the goat cheese and white chocolate mousse, paired with a tart raspberry gelatine.
If you’re popping by after lunch, the Spanish Afternoon Tea (HK$240 from 3–6pm daily) is a worthwhile midday degustation, with picture-perfect plates stacked high with croquettes, bikinis, macarons, dessert pots and more. And in the evenings, particularly on weekends, you can expect live music performances to lend an upbeat vibe to this newest Central go-to.
La Rambla by Catalunya, 3071-73, 3/F, IFC Mall, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2661 1161
Garden Lounge at The Murray: Posh by the park
Neighbouring the park, botanical and zoological gardens, the concepts within The Murray Hotel are undoubtedly the plushest and most elegant additions to this summer’s slew of alfresco options. Many of the property’s dining venues feature open-air terraces to explore. The Tai Pan — a sleek, contemporary European bistro — features breezy outdoor seating with views of Cotton Tree Terrace. Fine dining Cantonese restaurant Guo Fu Lou, meanwhile, offers 48 coveted seats beneath the courtyard’s heritage tree. Finally, the recently opened Popinjays promises to be the new rooftop on everyone’s list, soaring above Hong Kong with panoramic views of the skyline.
But for a posh afternoon underneath a canopy of green, you can’t beat The Garden Lounge, a quaint oasis that feels like you’re dining in the backyard of a (very wealthy) friend’s home. We ventured onto the greenery-decked patio to sample The Murray Afternoon Tea (HK$295, available from 2.30–6pm): Perfect for a lazy afternoon catch-up, the English tradition takes you back in time not just with its fresh cucumber finger sandwiches and delectable rosemary scones, but also due to its atmospheric colonial-inspired setting situated atop the old Peak Tram station and across from St. John’s Cathedral.
Garden Lounge, The Murray Hong Kong, A Niccolo Hotel, 22 Cotton Tree Drive, Central, Hong Kong, +852 3141 8888
Café Claudel: Heritage vibes in a restored landmark
The recent opening of Tai Kwun has been a boon to Hong Kong’s cultural landscape; the beautiful revitalised complex is a rare and beautiful spot to explore and simply enjoy the intersection of culture, history, art and dining in Hong Kong. We found ourselves at French Creations’ Café Claudel one evening, right in the middle of the courtyard with prime views of the opening light show: “The History of Our Future” by Lam Tung Pang. You couldn’t find a better location to absorb the bustle of the place, whilst sipping on a drink or tucking into European classics. If you’re famished, go for the tender-roasted half chicken (HK$258) or the cod fillet (HK$268), both filling options for a hearty meal. But if you’re simply peckish, the avocado tartine with crunchy radishes (HK$68) should do just fine, followed up by the tempting banana split (HK$98) for a light afternoon indulgence.
Café Claudel, Shop 1, G08, Tai Kwun, 10 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2411 1310
Tipsy Restaurant & Bar: Tai Hang neighbourhood gastronomy
Open for eight months now, Tipsy in Tai Hang has quickly become a neighbourhood fave, drawing diners from far and wide to its hip watering hole. Don’t be fooled by the labels“Tipsy” and “bar”, however, as the gastronomy here is several notches above your average pub grub. Think naturally flavourful Spanish red prawns (HK$160) in sake and sesame oil blistered with a giant flame torch; charcoal Iberico pork (HK$268) grilled to smoky perfection and served with prune sauce, cauliflower puree and confit sweet potato; and charcoal-grilled Australian octopus with beetroot hummus, smoked paprika and sherry ($168). Rumour has it the king prawn ravioli (HK$298) with sea urchin cream and fennel foam will have you licking your plate clean. Pick out a cosy seat on the shrub-lined balcony for a prime people-watching spot as you relish in the delicious fare, and perhaps, get a little tipsy.
Tipsy Restaurant & Bar, 1/F, Little Tai Hang, 98 Tung Lo Wan Road, Tai Hang, Hong Kong, +852 2818 8807
Fratelli: Handmade pasta by the beach
Beach lovers, this one’s for you: Fronting Repulse Bay, Fratelli is a new laid-back artisan pasta bar from the same group as Rummin’ Tings and pizzeria Amalfitana just a few doors down. Taking advantage of Hong Kong’s pasta obsession, Fratelli’s head chef Michel Degli Agosti brings us his nonna’s pasta recipes complemented by a selection of fresh salads, antipasti and grilled specialties. While it’s indoor seating, the open-fronted restaurant nestled up to the sandy beach will whisk you instantly away to the Amalfi coastline — perhaps where you really wish you were this summer.
We suggest you skip the meatballs and go instead for the bruschetta burrata (HK$150) with a generous topping of milky cheese, or the bruschetta pesto (HK$90) which sings with herbaceous flavour. As for the pastas, the homemade lasagne ($150) and tagliatelle bolognese ($120) are Fratelli’s bestsellers — and rightly so. Lastly, don’t forget to save some room for dessert: the tartufo (HK$80) is a refreshing combo of vanilla, espresso and chocolate which offers a double hit of sugar and caffeine to get you through the rest of the day.
Fratelli, 112B, The Pulse, 28 Beach Road, Repulse Bay, Hong Kong, +852 2887 0082
Paper Moon: Harbourside grazing
Perched on the edge of Harbour City’s new wing in Ocean Terminal, Paper Moon almost feels like a restaurant floating in-between Central and Tsim Sha Tsui. Most would make the trip here just for the view, which is especially breathtaking at sunset with red-sailed junk boats drifting right past you. Italian comfort food is on the menu; after all, Paper Moon first came to fame in Milan, where the original restaurant was founded in 1977. The menu is classic Italian to a tee: from the selection of cold and hot antipasti, to tomato and mozzarella loaded wood-fired pizzas, and rustic pastas ranging from fettuccine bolognese to spaghetti with clams in white wine sauce. Tuck into the rustic Italian fare matched with accessible wines as you dine on the restaurant’s large wraparound terrace, watching the sun set slowly over the horizon.
Paper Moon, Shop OTE 301, 3/F, Ocean Terminal, Harbour City, 3-27 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, +852 2156 2256
Market S.E.A.: Southeast Asian reimagined
Situated beside La Rambla in IFC, Market S.E.A. is another welcome concept injecting fresh flavours into the mall’s F&B lineup. The fare is best described as contemporary Southeast Asian, with refined takes on timeless favourites such as grilled scallop laksa (HK$238), Singaporean-style wok fried black pepper lobster (HK$468) and cod fish red curry (HK$208). There was a bit of a queue outside on a Friday night when we stopped by, but with everywhere else in IFC just as jam-packed, we decided to stick to our Plan A, which turned out to be a tasty pay-off.
Sparkling lights wink at you from Tsim Sha Tsui as you settle into the cushy chairs sprawled out on Market S.E.A.’s harbour-facing terrace. Every dish we tried was a winner: from the surprisingly delicious combination of potato gnocchi with poached egg in coconut milk sauce; to the pad thai with jumbo tiger prawns underneath a featherlight egg net (HK$142); and the divine desserts including Vietnamese tiramisu and warm mango sticky rice drizzled in coconut milk.
Market S.E.A., Shop 3075, 3/F, IFC Mall, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2624 9228
Old Bailey: Haute Chinoise
Another new opening in Tai Kwun from Yenn Wong’s JIA group — the folks behind Duddell’s and Chachawan — Old Bailey belies its name with its modern dining room outfitted in splashes of colour and contemporary wood furniture. However, its menu sings a different tune: centuries-old cooking traditions pay homage to the restaurant’s historic surrounds, with regional Jiangnan dishes ranging from the Ten Treasure Duck (HK$980), to spicy ma la xiaolongbao (HK$98 for four) and the wok-fried mud crab with Ningpo-style rice cakes.
The 3,000-sq.-ft. restaurant is framed by a spacious outdoor terrace with elevated views of the Tai Kwun courtyard — accessed via the Artist’s Book Library, a mixed-use event and exhibition space featuring a collection of Asian Art Books. Equipped with a book, a tea-based cocktail, and a decadent cake provided by local favourite, Teakha, it’s easy to while away the afternoon as you soak in the heritage of Tai Kwun from the terrace, before moving to the dining room to partake in an exquisite meal.
Old Bailey, 2/F, JC Contemporary, Tai Kwun, 10 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2877 8711
Komune: Southside scenery
New kid on the block Komune adds colour to the Wong Chuk Hang neighbourhood with its playful dishes inspired by international classics. The view is an anomaly on this list, providing a perspective dominated by mountains, sky and greenery compared to the rest of the concrete and glass harbour-facing venues. In the kitchen, creative dishes rule thanks to the inventiveness of chef Alvaro Ramos, a Madrid native whose culinary influences draw from around the globe — the West Coast, China, Iberia, the Middle East, South America, you name it.
Find out what a “Fake” Caesar Salad (available on the set lunch, HK$148) or Hipster Toast (4-course brunch, HK$258) is, or play it safe with the mouthwatering Sichuan-style slow-cooked ribs (HK$368) or the Andalusian-style fried calamari with aioli. Desserts are equally fun and fascinating: the HK-Style Eggette (HK$65) and a giant cheesecake soufflé (HK$148) should satisfy your sweet tooth as you soak in the stunning Southside views. After dinner, make your way up to Komune Above where cool tunes and cocktails await, paired with birds-eye views of the island.
Komune and Komune Above, Ovolo Southside, 64 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Southside, Hong Kong, +852 3460 8157
Red Sugar at Kerry Hotel: The urban resort
Opened just last year, Kerry Hotel on Hung Hom’s waterfront has several options when it comes to taking advantage of the hotel’s unique vantage point to soak in panoramic harbour views. The Lobby Lounge, for example, is home to lush gardens, water features and some of the most impressive pieces of the hotel’s art collection. However, Red Sugar on Level 7 is not one to be overlooked; in fact, it’s impossible to do so. With a massive 270-degree wraparound terrace, Red Sugar is a rare green expanse compared to its more constricted Hong Kong peers. You can almost get lost in this resort-style plateau with unobstructed views of the Hong Kong Island skyline from Tai Koo to Central.
Food here consists of bar bites that satisfyingly teeter between Asian and Western favourites: think seared diced beef with garlic flakes and mustard (HK$148), fried shrimp spring rolls (HK$78) and crispy tofu with spiced salt (HK$78) — all making for substantial bar snacks. For those with a more adventurous appetite, you’ll be hard-pressed to stop at just one order of the frog legs, w0k-fried with a handful of spices and crispy garlic. For a full-blown meal, check out the Red Sugar brunch (HK$638 per person) for an international spread featuring seared miso cod, Challans duck breast, house-made duck foie gras, and to top it all off, the irresistible boozy liquid nitrogen ice cream.
Red Sugar, 7/F, Kerry Hotel Hong Kong, 38 Hung Luen Road, Hung Hom, Hong Kong, +852 2252 5246