It’s no secret that Tsim Sha Tsui is a buzzing hive of gastronomic activity these days — as proven by the record number of new restaurants opening around K11 Musea, West Kowloon Art Park and the Hong Kong Museum of Art this month. Elsewhere in town, two well-known F&B groups open duelling pizzerias, and ramen chains continue to multiply across the city. Here’s where to kick off 2020 with the best new restaurants to book this month.
The Pizza Project
Pirata Group are at it again, kicking off the new year with the launch of their latest Italian restaurant concept, The Pizza Project. Slated to open on Peel Street this month, the approachable, straight-forward concept embraces the same tightly edited one-page menu concept of popular pasta bar, Pici — this time with a focus on delicious homemade pizzas.
Guests can expect the pies to showcase the same simplicity of fresh imported Italian ingredients as Pici, with the concept spearheaded by the award-winning team: Chefs Andrea Viglione and Davide Borin and Pici Operations Manager Nacho Lopez. Expect a fun, contemporary interior, an affordable beverages list, and a handful of well-thought-out starters and desserts to complement the perfected pies. Keep an eye out here for details of the opening party on Tuesday, 14 January.
The Pizza Project, G/F, 26 Peel Street, Central, Hong Kong
181 at Fortnum & Mason
Christmas may be over, but a trip to iconic English retailer Fortnum & Mason always feels like a festive occasion. If the tea and biscuit samplings in-store aren’t enough to appease your appetite, head upstairs to the newly launched restaurant, 181, a full-service bar and dining room overlooking panoramic views of the harbour.
Here, guests can partake in the iconic tradition of afternoon tea at Fortnum’s, or opt for the full a la carte menu with delicious dinner items ranging from an excellent rendition of black pudding scotch egg, to Welsh rarebit and Fortnum’s own brand of smoked salmon with soda bread. Wash it down with the signature range of teas or grab a well-shaken cocktail at the bar for a special treat.
181, G/F, 022, 122, K11 Musea, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, +852 3916 8181
Ink Seafood Bar
The day’s fresh catch comes with a side of stunning seaside views at Ink, a casual seafood stand planted on the newly revamped Avenue of the Stars. The cheerful seafood spot is an excellent place to park yourself for a few hours on a fine day, slurping fresh oysters and indulging in succulent seafood platters of grilled shrimp, fried fish and fragrant steamed mussels. Alternatively, chomp down on a hot buttered lobster roll, chased down with an ice-cold mug of local Gweilo craft beer. Hungry diners can also DIY their spread with a choice of protein (think Atlantic salmon and soft shell crab) paired with a base of udon noodles, fried rice, or tortilla.
Ink Seafood Bar, G/F Hong Kong Museum of Art, 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, +852 3500 5581
Emmer Pizzeria and Café
Yet another pizza joint is popping up at Pacific Place, where the burger-flipping team behind Beef & Liberty have expanded from patties to pies. Named after an ancient, organic heritage grain, Emmer’s pizzas are made with the namesake grain blended with rye and fine Italian flour for a lower-gluten, higher-nutrient base. The grain is milled by hand and the dough allowed to ferment over two days for an ultra light and airy result.
The 11-inch pizzas embrace classic flavours from margherita to mushroom, quattro formaggi (four cheese), and the diavola with mozzarella, salami and a hit of red chillies. A small selection of appetisers, salads and desserts round out the bistro-style menu, while drinks include cheerful HK$60 per glass pours and few classic cocktails.
Emmer Pizzeria and Café, Shop 407, 4/F, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong
Adding to Hong Kong’s repertoire of ramen restaurants is Afuri, the famous noodle joint founded in 2001. Named after Mount Afuri in Kanagawa Prefecture, Afuri is most well known for its Yuzu Shio Ramen, with diners queuing up for hours for a taste of the intense chicken broth infused with the citrus tang of yuzu. In 2016, Afuri extended to its first US outpost, and this month, will open its debut Hong Kong flagship inside the new i.t concept flagship in The One.
The 52-seat Hong Kong outlet is devoted to the same artisanal passion for crafting a superlative bowl of ramen as conceived by founder Hiroto Nakamura, starting with the MSG-free broth and supple homemade wheat noodles. A subtle hint of yuzu lifts the meaty broth, while a selection of gyoza and hand-picked Japanese sakes are essential complements to the spread.
Afuri Ramen, i.t orange forest, 2/F, The One, 100 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, +852 2815 2177
Sichuan food fans can find a new destination to test their spice tolerance at Shu K and the adjoining K Bar, now open inside K11 Musea. Opened by the team behind celebrated Deng G Bistro & Baijiu Bar, this new restaurant-bar destination celebrates the colourful foodways across Sichuan Province, famed for the scorch of Sichuan chillies and the ma la of hua jia peppercorns, but also for the subtlety in flavours and technique.
A kaleidoscopic menu is layered with dishes that express the different sweet, sour, spicy and fragrant notes of Sichuan cuisine, from classics such as lobster with pickled chili and crispy chicken with scallion oil, to the popular red chilli hot pot layered with a sea of aromatic spices. Imaginative cocktails and a premium view overlooking the harbour round out the exciting new waterfront dining experience.
Shu K, Shops 412-413, 4/F, K11 Musea, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, +852 2545 3288
The Hong Kong expansion of US-based chain stores continues with the debut of Red Lobster — the world’s largest seafood restaurant company — with the iconic red, blue and white facade now set in the heart of Causeway Bay. Beloved for its affordable seafood options and convivial atmosphere, Red Lobster in Hong Kong will serve signature platters such as the Ultimate Feast — loaded with North American lobster tail, steamed wild-caught snow crab legs, garlic shrimp scampi and crispy fried shrimp.
A number of Hong Kong-exclusive dishes include Typhoon Shelter Lobster, with garlicky fried crustacean with chili, the umami-laden Salted Egg Yolk Shrimp, and a Milk Tea Panna Cotta for dessert. Diners can pair the selection of over 60 seafood dishes, steaks, pasta and more with the famous complimentary Cheddar Bay Biscuits, while dining in the maritime-themed dining room complete with brass portal windows, wooden planks and nautical accents.
Red Lobster, G/F, 8 Cleveland Street, Fashion Walk, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, +852 2261 2996
The new West Kowloon Art Park may have been a long time coming, but the area is finally ramping up its portfolio with a number of new cafes, music and art venues. New to the mix is FAM, a Chinese food destination exploring the intersection of gastronomy, music and art. With colourful interiors plastered with pop art and killer views of Victoria Harbour, the new venue will welcome live music performances throughout the year, while the kitchen serves up classical Chinese cuisine from wok-fried dishes to dim sum. Don’t miss the steamed har gao with gold leaf, deep-fried turnip cakes with layers of golden-fried pastry, and more unconventional offerings such as steamed red vermicelli rolls stuffed with shrimp.
FAM, West Kowloon Art Park, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, +852 2866 3667
From the group behind Greater China Club, Ramen Cubism and Umai comes Kido, a new Fukuoka-style skewer bar. Tucked away in the hidden enclave of Minden Avenue, the ‘kaunta seki’ counter features booth seating for 43 and is modeled on the style of traditional yakitori bars, with different parts of the bird — think thigh, neck and skin, liver, heart and brisket — skewered and grilled over clean-burning binchotan charcoal. The restaurant utilises female Yamato Nikudori chicken, prized for its intense flavour and tenderness, sourced from Nara City in southeastern Japan.
A range of healthy skewers are also on offer from Japanese spring onion to Kagoshima Anno sweet potato and Mangangi green pepper; or go the indulgent route with ‘kushikatsu’ fried skewers including the popular truffle in deep fried potato. Don’t leave without trying Kido’s signature dish: the Miyazaki fried chicken with tartar sauce, a tempura fried chicken nanban invented by Head Chef Kimura Junichiro’s father, known as the ‘god of chicken’ in Kyushu, and imitated all around Japan to this day.
Kido, G12-13, 8 Minden Avenue, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
Ramen House Konjiki Hototogisu
As Japanese ramen chains proliferate across the city, another Tokyo import is making its way to the 852 this month, giving diners a taste of its celebrated ‘Clam Soup’ ramen. Named a Bib Gourmand Michelin restaurant for years, Ramen House Konjiki Hototogisu caters to ramen addicts with its no-MSG homemade ‘Golden Soup’ broth, a blend of fish and pork stock cooked with a proprietary clam soup base for a subtle seafood slant. The salty ocean flavour cuts through the richness of the pork, the broth topped with truffle sauce and porcini oil, sous-vide pork slices, and wheat noodles. Other varieties including Shio, Shoyu and Tsukemen are must-tries on return visits.
Ramen House Konjiki Hototogisu, Shop 3020, 3/F, IFC Mall, 1 Harbour View Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 6333 8036