Take a culinary journey across Asia with August’s new restaurant openings in Hong Kong. From Japanese ramen to nostalgic Cantonese-style street snacks and Malaysian-style curries to artistic kaiseki, this month’s new openings offer flavour-packed fare without the fuss.
Zest by Konishi
The newest culinary concept from Lai Sun Dining, Zest by Konishi is spearheaded by one of Hong Kong’s most formidable Japanese chefs, Mitsuru Konishi. Most recently the head chef of Wagyu Takumi, where he earned two Michelin stars in 2014, chef Konishi’s extensive CV includes other venerable establishments such as L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon in Tokyo, and L’Hôtel de Carantec in France.
This month, chef Konishi settles down in his brand new home: an elegant two-storey space on On Lan Street, comprising The Dining Room on the 28th floor, with à la carte and degustation menus; and The Lounge on the 29th floor, a relaxed all-day diner with express lunch menus, bento boxes and Nippon-inspired craft cocktails. At Zest, chef Konishi weaves his signature French-Japanese style into a deeply personal menu informed by the chef’s diverse background and experiences. Expect surprising flavour profiles and a high level of finesse from this local star.
Zest by Konishi, 28–29/F, 18 On Lan Street, Central, Hong Kong
Nove Chinese Kitchen (九号館)
With a bit of Michelin-starred manpower behind it, Nove is the newest dim sum diner to open on Li Yuen Street East, backed by the same team behind chef Umberto Bombana’s Octavium (Umberto’s son is now an apprentice at the restaurant). Designed by Albert Kwan (of Shanghai Tang and China Club) in a throwback Chinoiserie style with auspicious red lanterns and Chinese ink paintings, the nostalgic spot heralds traditional dim sum offerings and Chiu Chow-style marinated delicacies — elevated with premium ingredients and modern flair.
Chef Wong Yiu Por — formerly head dim sum chef at Island Tang — and chef Poon Kwai Chung work together to bring diners technique-driven creations such as steamed pork belly buns, infused with oyster and abalone; baked abalone cheese tarts, made with 18-head South African abalone stewed for six hours; and Chiu Chow delicacies such as sliced goose, goose wings and pig trotters. Dishes go down best with a special selection of detoxifying Chinese teas.
Nove, 9 Li Yuen Street East, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2180 6799
Another formidable Japanese chef is striking out on his own at Tanigawa, which opens this month led by the former Executive Chef of Inagiku at Four Seasons Hong Kong. After three years in Tokyo, chef Tanigawa has returned to the 852 to showcase his masterful techniques at his namesake kaiseki restaurant. From highlighting the importance of dashi in Japanese cooking, to presenting an unconventional version of softshell turtle simmered in broth, chef Tanigawa breaks convention and surprises at every turn in his seasonally changing kaiseki menu.
Guests can enjoy his singular creations — from Wagyu teppanyaki with tomato and green pepper to simmered kamonasu — in the sleekly designed restaurant framed with dark wood, slate and stone. The 3-course omakase set lunch menu starts from HK$300, while an 8-course dinner starts from HK$1,500.
The Chicken Bar
After successfully testing its concept with pop-ups at PMQ, Ginsanity and partner restaurant Honbo, The Chicken Bar lands this month as a full-fledged brick-and-mortar store in Central’s hottest new dining destination, H Code. The move here is the epic okonomiyaki fried chicken — a golden-battered thigh with crunchy slaw and pickles on a soft potato bun — paired with piping hot fries and an ice-cold beer. With the fried chicken shop open until 3am Thurs–Sat (it’s open until midnight the rest of the week) — we know where we’ll be headed for our next late-night snack. The Chicken Bar joins other H Code establishments ramping up the profile of Pottinger Street including Saketen, Root Central, Nojo, Piin and Birdie.
The Chicken Bar, Shop 3, G/F, H Code, 45 Pottinger Street, Central, Hong Kong
Opening at the new cultural hub called the Xiqu Centre this August is Peony Garden, a Chinese restaurant paying tribute to the city’s culinary heritage. The casual eatery aims to revive forgotten culinary arts and favourite comfort foods — from teahouse snacks to hawker-style street food and more. The spacious, 3,000-sq.-ft. venue is designed like an open garden, with plenty of greenery, retro wooden screens and a pavilion mimicking an ancient Chinese-style garden.
Helming the kitchen is chef Chan Wai-Teng, who also looks after the Bird Kingdom Group’s flagship Cantonese dining room, Man Hing at the Greater China Club. The nostalgic menu offers Hong Kong street-style cart noodles and Cantonese roast meats, Malaysian-style curry and braised Chaozhou specialties. Other specialties to try include premium goose fillet, fried chicken with fried garlic, and fried dough sticks stuffed with dace paste and cuttlefish paste. Hong Kong street snacks are served for tea time from 11am–5pm, while various combinations of cart noodles are available until 10:30pm daily. With a spacious dining room seating 100 and an outdoor terrace overlooking the harbour (seats 40), Peony Garden is also an ideal location for private events and parties.
Peony Garden, Unit 2-3, G/F, Xiqu Centre, 88 Austin Road West, West Kowloon, Hong Kong, +852 2320 7455
Ramen lovers, rejoice: Tokyo’s Kikanbo — famous for their signature Karashibi Miso Ramen — has just landed in Hong Kong, dishing up bowls of its fiery ramen bowls in Causeway Bay. It all starts with the unctuous, lip-smacking broth: a slow simmer of pig bones, chicken bones and vegetables tainted a fiery red from the Kara red pepper spice, which imparts sensations of sour, sweet, bitter and spicy. The broth is swimming with succulent sweet braised pork belly, nori, bean sprouts, fresh bamboo and spring onion. Noodles are available in three different thicknesses, while the spice levels are customisable from 1 to 5. Kikanbo in Tokyo has a reputation for its epic queues, selling an average of 27,000 bowls of Karashibi Miso Ramen each month — we’ll have to see if Hong Kong’s follows suit.
Kikanbo, G/F, 530 Jaffe Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
Kiki Noodle Bar
From one noodle bar to the next — the popular Kiki Noodle brand has just opened its sleek new restaurant in IFC Mall. Serving the coveted instant noodles covered in a variety of mouthwatering toppings, Kiki Noodle Bar follows in the footsteps of sister concepts in Taiwan and Shanghai. Stop by for a taste of mouthwatering noodles ranging from stir-fried minced pork mixed noodles with chive flowers and fermented black bean, to Sichuan spicy tofu noodles in soup with duck blood, and dan dan noodles with Sichuan peppercorns. Wash it all down with a selection of Taiwanese-style Kiki Teas, from pearl bubble teas to fruity concoctions.
Kiki Noodle Bar, Podium Level Two, IFC Mall, 1 Harbour View Street, Central, Hong Kong
Hooman by the Sea
Adding a dose of charm to the new Art Park in the West Kowloon Cultural District is a new dog-centric café called Hooman by the Sea. The cheery stand is a welcoming place to park yourself (and your pup) on a sunny day between bouts of arts-gazing: grab a latte, cappuccino, or icy summer drink and sate your stomach with the selection of creative hot dogs.
Named after various dog breeds, the menu matches the puppy-inspired decor: the “Husky” (HK$48) is a juicy frankfurter with truffle mayo on a black bun; the “Bichon Frise” tops the sausage with salted egg yolk sauce and chopped onion with a white bun; and the “Chihuahua” is a spunky combo of crispy bacon, cheese and garlic mayo. All dogs are priced at HK$48, while for HK$58 you can DIY your own hot dog with choice of sausage, toppings and sauces. Other snacks include fish & chips, fries, and a selection of icy desserts and parfaits.
Hooman by the Sea, GF-07, Art Park, West Kowloon Cultural District, West Kowloon, Hong Kong
Overlooking the city, gourmands can discover a host of new dining destinations at the The Peak Galleria, from Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen & Bar to Anglo-Indian mess hall Rajasthan Rifles and Cow Cow Kitchen from Japan’s Tokyo Milk Cheese Factory. Joining the group is 37 Steakhouse and its adjoining concept, Mina House. At the latter, sugar addicts can stock up on all types of sweets, from decadent homemade pastries to velvety smooth cheesecakes and flaky mille-feuille topped with fresh mango, vanilla Chantilly and mango passionfruit sorbet. Pastry chef Andrew Lau employs molecular techniques in avant-garde desserts such as the Chocolate Texture, which combines foams, ice cream, jelly and sorbet.
Seating 70 guests, the honey-hued dining room also serves all-day savoury options — think pastrami panini and chicken waffles — while a street-level kiosk dishes out takeaway bites, refreshments and select beverages.
Mina House, Shop G03, G/F & Shop 101, 1/F, Peak Galleria, 118 Peak Road, The Peak, Hong Kong, +852 2885 3320
Rounding out hot pot restaurant J Pot and yakiniku specialist Wagyu Vanne, the third of Gosango’s trio of restaurants in Tower 535 has recently opened with a focus on camera-friendly platings. Sensu by Gosango offers a relaxed, all-day dining experience, with patrons invited to enjoy a set lunch, linger for afternoon tea, or enjoy a pre-prandial cocktail or mocktail. With contemporary interiors anchored by a vertical green garden, the restaurant and bar is unabashedly reeling for ‘likes’ with an Instagrammable afternoon tea set featuring bite-sized Hiyama Kuroge Wagyu croquettes, crab meat monaka and succulent shrimp toast.
From 5:30pm until late, guests can pop in for the artistically plated snack combo; priced at HK$188, the set features Japanese-style deep-fried tofu, Sakura shrimp cakes and Wagyu beef skewers. Pair it with a mocktail, craft beer or a selection of sakes including rare bottles from 230-year-old Japanese brewery Matsumoto. To celebrate the opening, those who order a drink during happy hour (5:30–7:30pm) will also enjoy a complimentary Hiyama A5 Wagyu mini burger.
Sensu by Gosango, 1/F, Tower 535, 535 Jaffe Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, +852 2885 0533