Pull up a chair at a state-of-the-art sushi counter, sip Chianti at a soulful Tuscan trattoria, and be whisked off to Bali with exotic island cuisine — here’s where to head for a taste of the best new restaurants in Hong Kong this month.
In case you were looking for yet another sushi temple to put on your omakase bucket list in Hong Kong, November sees the opening of the highly anticipated Hong Kong venture from world-renowned sushi chef, Mitsuhiro Araki. The celebrated chef took his London flagship of the same name to three-Michelin-starred fame in 2018, and moved to Hong Kong earlier this year to embark on the new challenge of opening a brand new restaurant at newly revamped heritage site, House 1881. Sushi connoisseurs can expect only the highest level of Edomae-style sushi omakase here, from a meticulous attention to ingredient sourcing to exquisite mastery over knife technique and seasonings. Stay tuned here for our full review.
The Araki, G/F, Stable Block, House 1881, 2A Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, +852 3988 0000, website coming soon
[Editor’s Update: The Araki is officially open to the public on 19 December, 2019.]
Black Sheep Restaurants unveils its newest opening this month, a soulful trattoria — and nostalgic nod to the group’s roots — Associazione Chianti. The Sean Dix-designed restaurant holds a special place in the collective BSR portfolio; after all, it was at a Florentine-style bistecca where co-founders Syed Asim Hussain and Christopher Mark first met and since then, the region has become a major source of inspiration for the pair. With this anticipated new opening, Hussain and Mark aim to deliver the quintessential trattoria experience rooted in rustic comfort fare, with highlights ranging from homemade seasonal pastas to juicy, char-grilled T-bone steaks. Have a look here for our first impressions.
Associazione Chianti, 9B Ship Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Billed as a dynamic new social gastro-market, Bayfare Social at the Rosewood Hong Kong announces its first two restaurants opening this month. The namesake Spanish gastro-market is helmed by Chef de Cuisine Álvaro Ramos, who sharpened his command over the flavours of his homeland over years at the El Willy Group (FoFo, La Paloma). At Bayfare, he brings the dynamic flavours of Spain to the table in a casual, convivial setting. Open for lunch to pre-drinks and dinner, Bayfare Social serves a selection of tapas as well as large-format rice and seafood dishes. Guests can kick off dinner with a spritz or Spanish draft beer while catching the sunset, then head inside to tuck into Barcelona-style dishes fused with Asian flair. The dining destination has been designed by New York’s Parts and Labor Design to evoke Europe’s bustling outdoor plazas, and is directly connected to cultural-retail complex, K11 Musea.
Bayfare Social, 5/F, Rosewood Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
Alongside Bayfare Social is the opening of meat market, Henry — led by chef Nathan Green, previously of Sai Ying Pun smokehouse Rhoda. Proven himself to be a master of live-fire cooking, Green will head back to the butcher’s block this month to showcase his signature nose-to-tail philosophy in a dazzling selection of charcoal-grilled meats at Henry. Taking its cues from traditional American steakhouses, Henry serves a selection of quality dry-aged steaks, chops and rotisserie cooked meats, infused with the aroma of wood-burning charcoal. The sophisticated setting features leather banquettes, a private dining room, and a sleek bar complete with a green terrace overlooking Signal Hill Park. Henry will also feature a retail shop where dry-aged heritage breeds, terrines, sausages, bacon and more will be available for purchase.
Henry, 5/F, Rosewood Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
We previously reported that Le Comptoir Group had swooped in at the 11th hour to save long-time LKF institution, Lily & Bloom, but after months of uncertainty it seems that the revival of the American eatery wasn’t meant to be. Le Comptoir have since stripped the space in a head-to-toe makeover — this autumn unveiling Poem, the transplant of their now-closed Balinese restaurant, Tri in Repulse Bay. With Poem, the group aims to bring the best of island cuisine to Centralites, making use of fresh, imported ingredients from the Indonesian island-nation.
Like other restaurants within the group (Ecriture, Bibo), undivided attention has been given to creating an elegant and stylish setting: Using recycled materials and furniture from Tri, Poem’s dining room nods to beautiful Bali with hand-crafted batik wood panels, lush greenery, and antique hand-carved furniture. The menu emphasises fresh, seasonal dishes and ethically sourced meats, from Wagyu beef rendang to spring chicken marinated with lemongrass sambal and coconut smoked free-range duck. A long antique bar has been kept in the spirit of keeping the space as one of Central’s most popular drinking destinations.
Poem, 5/F, LKF Tower, 33 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2810 6166
The latest destination restaurant offering panoramic views of the island, Zeng has recently landed at the V Point building in Causeway Bay, perched on the 30th floor and offering 270-degree views of Victoria Harbour. A stylish new wining and dining destination, Zeng translates to “positivity” in Chinese, with contemporary interiors blending East and West, featuring rose-gold accents against a palette of dark wood.
Dinner here starts with a tipple from a well-curated drinks list infused with eastern elements; don’t miss the Chinese Old Fashioned, bearing a strong kick from Chinese liquor infused with dried tangerine peel. For the main event, the dinner menu incorporates influences from all corners of the globe — highlights include truffle flat rice noodles with tender ribeye, and jumbo prawn tempura served with two dipping sauces. Zeng also boasts a VIP room and an al fresco terrace that’s primed for taking in festive fireworks displays.
Zeng, 30/F, V Point, 18 Tang Lung Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, +852 2353 0053
The Hong Kong Museum of Art marks its grand reopening this month following a four-year-long extensive renovation, inviting art lovers to check out expanded exhibition spaces within the iconic waterfront destination. To coincide with the reopening, the museum is welcoming two new dining destinations operated by Woolly Pig hospitality group. The first, Hue, is located on the first floor and covers 5,000 sq. ft. dedicated to modern Australian dining. Seated next to the floor-to-ceiling windows with views overlooking the harbour, diners can enjoy a selection of dishes created by Australian native, chef Anthony Hammel, who cut his teeth at Pei Modern under celebrity chef Mark Best. Meanwhile, Ink on the ground floor of the museum offers al fresco seating with grab ‘n’ go bites, local Hong Kong craft beers, and a variety of seasonal ice creams made in-house.
Hue, 1/F, Hong Kong Museum of Art, 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, website coming soon
Venture further west along the waterfront to the West Kowloon art district and you’ll find Café Bohème, the latest offering from French Creations. Situated in the Art Park right on the waterfront, the down-home café offers a mix of Southern French and Italian cuisine, from wood-fired pizzas to fresh pastas and healthy salad bowls. A “Greens” section caters to health-conscious customers with colourful offerings including quinoa salad, burrata & parma ham, and octopus salad with butter lettuce. A total of 11 pizzas on the menu cover the classic to the creative; while additional toppings are available for HK$15-20 extra to DIY your own pie. Wash down the meal with a spritzer (virgin or alcoholic) paired with a side of harbour views for an ideal afternoon soaking up the sun’s rays.
Café Bohème, Unit GF-06, G/F, 22 Museum Drive, West Kowloon, Hong Kong, +852 5322 7969
The Cakery’s Lee Gardens 2 location reopens its doors this month following an extensive refurb, offering a refreshed menu and new afternoon tea offerings. The popular health-conscious bakery is well known for its whimsical, colourful confections — from three-tier cakes to gluten-free cupcakes — but few know that the cake shop offers more than just sweets treats. Pop into the Lee Gardens 2 outpost and enjoy healthy lunch options such as a stuffed avocado egg bagel sandwich and The Cakery’s version of an Impossible burger. Get the gals together and settle in for the new low-cal afternoon tea; priced at HK$468 for two persons, the Instagrammable spread includes a selection of sweet and savoury bites — think stuffed romesco quinoa with baby eggplant and coconut yogurt crumble — that tick off the boxes as organic, sugar-free and vegan-friendly.
The Cakery, Shop 124, 1/F, Lee Garden Two, 28 Yun Ping Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
Lee Lo Mei
Another popular eatery unveiling a revamp this month, Lee Lo Mei returns to the busy corner of Lyndhurst Terrace with a retro new look inspired by the 1960s and a range of new menu items fusing East and West. The quirky, eclectic diner has become a favourite watering hole for the after-work crowd with its unique concoctions, while a flavour-packed menu of reimagined Cantonese dishes ensures you won’t be drinking on an empty stomach. New highlights on the menu include cinematic-inspired lunch sets (the ‘Wagyu Rouge’ is a sizzling steak that nods to 1980’s romantic film ‘Rouge’); and small plates ranging from the Crabulous Noodles to razor clams with stinky tofu.