Sate your appetite at the best new restaurants to book a table at this month.
While we may be seeing a slower period for new openings this month, that certainly doesn’t mean that takeout or delivery is your only choice for eating well. With Hong Kong’s resilient restaurant scene, it’s no surprise that the city’s chefs and restaurateurs are still giving us ample reason to wine and dine. From a Spanish beef-focused follow-up to Pica Pica, to a pair of cosy new Italian trattorias and a delicious gastropub — here are the best new restaurants to spend your dining dollars this month.
From the team behind Sheung Wan’s beloved tapas restaurant Pica Pica comes Rubia, a brand new Spanish eatery. Open smack dab in the middle of Central on Hollywood Road, the new destination for meat lovers stars Northern Spanish hand-reared beef, prized for its rich marbling and robust flavour, alongside a range of seasonally inspired small plates.
A classic range of tapas includes patatas fritas, piquillo peppers with mustard dressed greens, and a delightful selection of cold cuts and cheeses. Then move on to the family-style a la carte dishes, from the spicy potato and beef bomba, golden-fried with a spicy paprika sauce; to huevos rotos, or broken eggs. Naturally, the Rubia Gallega beef — raised on the Galician Hills of Northern Spain — is the highlight, best chased with Estrella Galicia Lager & Maeloc Draught Cider or the Rubia Old Fashioned, made with steak fat-washed Maker’s Mark.
Rubia, UG/F and 1/F, C Wisdom Centre, 35-37 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2889 1199
Ask for Alonzo
Tai Hang continues to ramp up its gastronomic profile with the opening of Ask for Alonzo, a Mediterranean-Italian restaurant with a focus on fresh seafood. The second location after the Quarry Bay opening, the cosy 35-seater trattoria will bring a relaxed experience to the neighbourhood, serving home-style family recipes, freshly made pastas and quintessential Italian dishes.
Pasta dishes range from the Deluxe Spaghetti Carbonara topped with salty Roman guanciale pork, and the hearty Rigatoni Amatriciana with fresh tangy tomato and an extra serving of succulent pork. Other creations include the TLC Panini, a sandwich riff on Bolognese ragout, and roasted Italian suckling pig with black forest mushroom sauce. A cheerful bar menu includes well-priced drinks ranging from a deluxe Negroni with a splash of lemon to Alonzo’s Auntie Maria Aperol garnished with fresh fruit and thyme.
Ask For Alonzo Tai Hang, 11 Lin Fa Kung Street West, Tai Hang, Hong Kong
Although technically a bar, the first concept by award-winning mixologist John Nugent, The Diplomat is certainly worthy of a visit by discerning foodies this month for its carefully thought-out gastropub fare, served in a cosy setting replete with brown leather banquettes, colourful ceiling tiles and tinted glass. The signature house burger is already an LSA favourite, while other dishes to pair with your craft libations range from a hearty suckling pig cubano, to creamy black truffle mac & cheese, and pommes frites spiced with espelette pepper. The pub brasserie-style menu goes hand-in-hand with the expertly crafted cocktails that draw from a menu of notable state leaders and historical figures. Stay tuned for our full review.
The Diplomat, LG/F, High Block, H Code, 45 Pottinger Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 3619-0302
Another cosy Italian trattoria is popping up on Sai Ying Pun’s epicurean hub Third Street this March, opened by four food-obsessed Hong Kong natives. Named LucAle, the charming Italian restaurant and bar boasts a bit of star power behind the kitchen: Alessandro Angelini, who most recently headed up the Shangri-La’s acclaimed Italian restaurant Angelini, and Luca De Berardinis, chef at the Conrad Hong Kong.
Stepping out of the fine dining sphere, the experienced culinary veterans hark back to the roots of familial Italian-style dining at LucAle, providing a welcome escape from the hustle and bustle of the city in the form of a laid-back trattoria. Start off your meal with a platter of premium Italian salumi, then dig into heartier mains such as premium cuts of Italian meats and fresh seafood dishes. A range of homemade pastas include a white Bolognese with 24-months Parmigiano Reggiano, and the vegetarian spaghettini “Chitarra” style, with black truffle. Wash it all down with cheerful tipples from Aperol Spritz to biodynamic wine.
LucAle, Shop A, 100 Third Street, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, +852 3611 1842
Dim Sum Bar
Specialising in expertly crafted Cantonese dim sum and contemporary Chinese dishes, Dim Sum Bar’s new opening in Nina Mall complements its Harbour City flagship with new exclusive dishes from hearty hotpot options to claypot rice. Those flocking to the renowned dim sum restaurant will be able to try the exclusive new collagen-rich fish maw and chicken pot, a hearty winter-warmer slow-boiled for several hours; as well as the homemade shrimp wonton and chicken pot, where plump prawn-filled wonton bob around in a nourishing soup base.
Another winter favourite, claypot rice, gets an upgrade with preserved sausages and salted egg yolk, paired with steamed pork ribs and pumpkin. Enjoy these new dishes alongside the diverse array of dim sum offerings from steamed pork ribs to black sesame rolls, baked abalone and chicken pastry, and baked bird’s nest egg tart. A new lunch set is also available (weekdays 11:30am–2:30pm) featuring rice dishes and dim sum starting from just HK$50.
Dim Sum Bar, Shop No. G01A, G/F, Nina Mall 1, 8 Yeung Uk Road, Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong, +852 2633 5099
K11 Musea gets another injection of Michelin-star power with Tirpse, the Hong Kong outlet of the original Tokyo fine dining restaurant. The flagship received its coveted star within two short months of opening in 2015, and is to this date the fastest in attaining a star. Conceived by chef-owner Ohashi Naotaka, the renowned restaurant has now expanded to the Kowloon waterfront, helmed locally by chef Shimizu Yuta, who showcases similar Japanese-French sensibilities in an elegant and elevated menu. An 8-course tasting menu is priced at HK$1,288, progressing from stunning appetisers and seafood to creative mains such as guinea fowl with hummus and harissa, and Challans duck with bamboo. Savour the decadent menu in a stylish contemporary dining room paired with panoramic views over the harbour.
Tirpse, Shop 219, 2/F, K11 Musea, Victoria Dockside, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, +852 2333 0031
If you’re a fan of cheap and cheery Japanese maki rolls, you’ll want to make a beeline for Chotto Maki, which has just expanded to a second location in Wan Chai. Grab takeaway or pull up a seat inside the cosy shop to scarf down the creative rolls, from the Chotto Crab roll mounded with fresh crab meat, to the ‘Beef-iyaki’, almost like a cross between sushi and kimbap, and the vegetarian roll featuring crunchy asparagus, mango, shiso leaf and fried garlic chips. Boasting quirky decor and a cute logo, the restaurant offers boxed grab ‘n’ go rolls for your convenience throughout the day, as well as carbonated Japanese soft drinks for those dining in.
Chotto Maki, G/F, No.33 Amoy Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
The tasty imports from the good ol’ U. S. of A. continue with the opening of Cinnabon in West Kowloon, giving late risers the jolt of caffeine and sugar they need to get started in the am. The beloved American chain calls all sweet tooths to get their fix of the chewy, warm and soft rolls sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon and blanketed in a rich cream cheese frosting. The Olympian City shop sells the classic Cinnamon Rolls, as well as Chocobon and Caramel Pecanbon — all of which come in three different sizes: classic, minibon and bonbite. Of course, the indulgent treats are best paired with a cup o’ Joe — grab a rich Arabica coffee blend or sate your sweet tooth further with frozen drinks such as MochaLatta Chill and Chillatta.
Cinnabon, G06, G/F Olympian City 2, Hoi Ting Road, West Kowloon, Hong Kong
Long-established Japanese restaurant, Ginza, first opened in 1981, has made its comeback within the glitzy K11 Musea complex, bringing back its traditional Japanese food across various styles and cooking methods of the cuisine. Customers can pop by the beloved restaurant to choose from sushi, teppanyaki, tempura, traditional washoku, rice and noodle specialties, with the highest quality ingredients imported fresh from Japan daily. Well-priced sets make this an attractive lunch option, while dinner sees elevated signature dishes such as grilled silver cod, turtle soup and various teppanyaki options.
Ginza, 1/F, 125, Muse Edition (next to MoMA Design Store), Victoria Dockside, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, +852 3102 2220
Shake Shack’s beloved all-American burgers and hand-spun milkshakes have proliferated across the city, recently opening a new location in Elements Mall to cater to the West Kowloon lunch crowd. Fast food lovers can get their fix of the classic Shakeburger, ‘Shroomburger and flat-top dogs and crinkle-cut fries in between bouts of shopping for a quick and tasty re-fuel. After chowing down on burgers and fries, don’t leave without ordering the That’s My Jam Concrete (vanilla custard, mango passion fruit jam, fresh raspberries, and crumbled shortbread), with 5% of sales donated to support disadvantaged individuals in Hong Kong.
Shake Shack, Shop 1005-1006, 1/F, Elements, 1 Austin Road West, West Kowloon, Hong Kong, +852 2719 8282