With the holiday season drawing nearer, this month’s new restaurant openings are giving us plenty of reason to get the celebrations started early thanks to some promising new additions to Hong Kong’s dining landscape, including some big names set to debut their first solo ventures or sophomore concepts in Hong Kong. From the opening of Mandarin Oriental’s ex-Executive Chef Uwe Opocensky‘s eponymous restaurant to a fast-casual deli from none other than British TV star Jamie Oliver, October is loaded with star power in the F&B scene. Scroll down to see the 10 new restaurants that should be on your radar this month.
After shocking local gourmands by leaving the Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong last year to flip burgers at Beef & Liberty, lauded chef Uwe Opocensky is making another bold move: opening a solo venture — an eponymous restaurant, in fact — this month. Simply named Uwe, the cosy venue is likely to be the closest you’ll get to dining in the home of the seasoned, German-born chef, with everything meant to be a pure expression of Opocensky’s cooking philosophy, from the unique tableware to the meticulously plated dishes and the warm hospitality.
With the intimate, stripped-down ambience of the restaurant (which replaces Bayta on Hollywood Road), the goal is to have diners focus solely on the nature of the food and the plate. And with chef Opocensky at the helm, it’s almost certain each dish will be stunning. Expect a strong emphasis on local and organic ingredients, with set tasting menus complemented by special cheese and wine pairings. You can make a booking now for the soft opening period this month, with the 3-course lunch priced at HK$788 per person and the 6-course dinner priced at HK$1,228 per person (excluding wine pairing); make reservations here.
Uwe, G/F, 252 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, +852 2546 8665
After debuting its protein-heavy menu at a pop-up at The Optimist a few weeks ago, Pirata Group‘s latest concept is on track to open in October. MEATS is being billed as a “meat bar” focusing on house-smoking, rotisserie and charcoal-grilling as the cooking methods of choice. Helmed by chef Paddy McDermott, this newcomer is all about the elements of raw butchery and fire, with minimal seasonings and ingredients used in order to let the premium cuts shine, from juicy rack of lamb to thick-cut steaks. Supplemented by a range of delicious starters (think black sesame honey-glazed drumsticks and bone marrow with anchovy butter), craft cocktails and the warm, easy-going hospitality that Pirata Group is known for, we have a feeling MEATS is set to be another winning concept from the team behind some of our favourite Hong Kong venues.
MEATS, G/F, 28-30 Staunton Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2711 1812
“Demon Chef” Alvin Leung may be one of Hong Kong’s most recognisable Michelin-starred chefs, but he’s remained relatively quiet in Hong Kong in recent years as his jet-setting career has taken him around the world for roles on television shows such as MasterChef Canada and Wok Stars. That’s all set to change this autumn as chef Leung reveals two new concepts in the works — the first of which will officially open on 9 October.
Named Plato 86, Leung’s first Spanish venture will feature a selection of traditional Spanish dishes upgraded with the Demon Chef’s signature innovative, modern twists — think crispy whole suckling pig, red prawn paella, and snails and sweetbreads for mains, and Leung’s version of Crema Catalana, or Spanish custard with a caramel topping, for dessert. Located in the open-air Brim 28 complex near the Wan Chai waterfront, Plato 86 will join Leung’s other concepts in the area, including three-Michelin-starred Bo Innovation and casual Korean joint Bib ‘n’ Hops.
Plato 86, Shop 2, 1/F, Causeway Centre, 28 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, +852 2882 9286; website coming soon
While Jamie’s Italian has undoubtedly had its ups and downs with quality control since the flagship opened in Causeway Bay back in 2014, the cheerful deli concept from the fast-talking chef has us intrigued from a brief glance at the menu, with tasty items such as hot pastrami sandwiches, roasted chicken with orange, fennel and cranberry, and lemon and herb baked salmon starring on the menu. Only the fourth Jamie’s Deli to open worldwide, we’ll be waiting in line to see how the soup and sandwich counter stacks up to other similar concepts around town.
Jamie’s Deli, Shop 412, 4/F, Ocean Centre, Harbour City, 3-27 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, +852 3758 3333
Italian restaurant Paper Moon has opened a harbourside location in Ocean Terminal, offering a menu of simple, classic Italian recipes dished up with a side of stunning views. A Milan import with locations around the world including Istanbul, Beirut and Manila, the authentic Italian eatery is versatile as a casual lunch spot or a fancy dinner destination, delivering authentic versions of Italian classics such as stewed baby octopus, homemade potato gnocchi and yellowfin tuna carpaccio. Those needing a protein fix can dig into heavier mains including breaded Milanese-style pork chop and 300-day grain fed Australian ribeye, while pizza lovers will be able to savour piping-hot pies from the 1.4-tonne Ambrogi pizza oven shipped in directly from Italy. We’re eyeing the Pizza Valtellina, which comes loaded with beef bresaola, mozzarella, rocket salad and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.
Paper Moon, Shop OTE 301, 3/F, Ocean Terminal, Harbour City, 3-27 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, +852 2156 2256
Opening mid-month, Sushi Taki is the latest Japanese restaurant to land in Hong Kong, delivering creative omakase with ingredients flown in fresh daily from Japan. A worthy addition to Tsim Sha Tsui’s burgeoning food scene, Sushi Taki offers an extensive à la carte menu as well as omakase at three different price points (HK$800, HK$1,180 and HK$1,580). The restaurant is divided into three sections: the main dining area, a private room, and a 7-seat granite stone sushi bar where the creative omakase includes dishes such as fresh sakura shrimp tempura and creamy uni and cuttlefish with yuzu, cucumber and shiso. Meanwhile, a parade of fresh fish is served up delicately seasoned with the kitchen’s homemade soy sauces, from blushing-pink otoro tuna to thinly sliced shimaaji (striped mackerel) with ponzu, spring onions and shiso flowers.
Sushi Taki, 17-19 Ashley Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, +852 2706 2028
If you have a craving for pizza and pasta this month, you’ll want to make your way over to La Brata, a newly opened Italian trattoria on Old Bailey Street. Replacing Alba Wine & Dine, La Brata touts a philosophy of fresh, seasonal Italian ingredients prepared simply in a fuss-free environment. We’re digging the generous, hearty portions, from towering antipasto platters loaded with salty swatches of prosciutto and spicy salami, to handmade pastas including fresh tagliatelle with wild mushrooms and strozzapreti amped up with shaved bottarga and sea urchin. Follow up the pasta with the flank steak, sliced medium rare and served on a bed of plump cherry tomatoes and arugula. You can wash down the hearty meal with reasonably priced Italian wines by the glass or a well-made classic cocktail.
La Brata, 11 Old Bailey Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2553 3602
Michelin-starred ramen eatery Tsuta has opened up its second outpost in Hong Kong, giving those who haven’t yet had the patience to wait out the long Causeway Bay queues another chance to get their soba ramen fix. Opening in Kowloon, the Harbour City store will serve an exclusive new addition to the menu: miso soba, made with 100% soybean Hatcho miso from Tokushima Prefecture in Shikoku, Japan for a deeper, more richly flavoured miso.
Using the same 9-hour, slow-simmered dashi broth drawn from a combination of whole chickens, fresh clams and dried fish, the miso soba is full of earthy, fermented flavours for a umami-rich bite. Like Tsuta’s other award-winning bowls, the specialty ramen is topped off with raw red onions for acidity, thick slabs of char siu pork, and the slippery, toothsome soba noodles that have become a trademark of the Michelin-starred eatery. The new store is more spacious than the Causeway Bay flagship, with 31 seats in total — hopefully translating to less waiting times for devout ramen seekers.
Tsuta, Shop G111, Gateway, Harbour City, 3-27 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, +852 3188 2748
There’s been a bit of a Mexican rebirth going on with the opening of Kennedy Town taqueria 11 Westside, courtesy of “LA’s Taco King” Esdras Ochoa — and we’re crossing our fingers that that momentum continues to build in the coming months. The latest to plant its roots is Los Sotano, an underground Mexican bar in the heart of Lan Kwai Fong. With sultry interiors filled with low-hanging lights and wall art inspired by Día de los Muertos (“Day of the Dead”), Los Sotano is set to be a new favourite destination for agave lovers, with a selection of over 80 tequilas and mezcals.
Head bartender Robert Kariakin hails from Los Angeles, and made a name for himself at Hollywood’s The Abbey as well as Mexican Club, Toca Modera. At Los Sotano, he’ll be shaking up concoctions such as the Bad Hombre (HK$140) made with Reposado tequila, Cynar, pineapple, pimientos and beer; La Negra (HK$160) with Añejo tequila, Campari, sweet vermouth and orange liquor; and the Cinco De Mayo (HK$170) with Añejo tequila, cognac and Benedictine. To line the stomach, punters can snack on a selection of hand-crafted street tacos and quesadillas. And if you’re looking for a reason to splurge, Los Sotano also stocks some of the finest and most expensive tequilas — the one-of-a-kind Caso Dragones and Clase Azul Ultra Anejo, each priced at an eye-watering HK$3,000 a shot.
Los Sotano, 21 D’Aguilar Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2970 3887
There’s a bit of Muggle madness brewing in Mong Kok as Potterheads from all over have been crowding a newly opened Harry Potter-themed café. Aptly name 9¾ Cafe (we don’t really need to explain this to you, do we?), the café promises to be a wonderland for all things Harry Potter, from movie memorabilia including wizarding books and Sorting Hats stacked on the shelves, down to the magical menu populated with HP-themed dishes such as the ‘Aragog’ soft shell crab, ‘Romanian Longhorn’ pumpkin pasta, and the ‘Chinese Fireball’ (a loaded spicy salmon pasta). You’ll also find a range of colourful bevvies, from ‘Polyjuice Potion’ to ‘Felix Felicis’ served up in glass lightbulbs, as well as the famous (non-alcoholic and sickly sweet) butterbeer that’s a straight ticket to Hogsmeade.
9¾ Cafe, 4/F, Prosper Commercial Building, 9 Yin Chong Street, Mong Kok, Hong Kong, +852 9432 6555