Scorching temperatures have arrived in Hong Kong, so it’s time to embrace lighter, healthier fare to get us through the sluggish summer days ahead. Whether you’re dining on jet-fresh sushi, plant-based meat dishes, or nutritious café fare at the newly opened Tai Kwun heritage centre, this month’s new openings are all about eating clean and celebrating the vast diversity of ingredients in the healthy food sector these days. Scroll down for the list and get your bookings in early for this month’s brand new restaurant openings.
There seems to be no better time than now for fine-dining sushi aficionados in Hong Kong: After the highly anticipated launch of the three-Michelin-starred Sushi Saito in Four Seasons earlier this year, Hong Kong is welcoming another Michelin-acclaimed restaurant staunchly committed to the art of exquisite sushi omakase. A staple of the Osaka scene for 28 years now, Sushiyoshi bears two coveted stars and is renowned for its inventive and creative omakase from chef-owner Hiroki Nakanoue.
In Hong Kong, Sushiyoshi will offer the same modern take on traditional Edomae-style sushi, with novel flavours born from seasonal ingredients — think waffle with scallop tartare, caviar and uni rice, and botan shrimp carpaccio. The restaurant offers a HK$680 lunch and 17–21 course omakase menu nightly, priced at HK$1,980 and up. Helmed by head chef Sugawara, expect twists and turns as the evening progresses that should enthral even the most veteran sushi diners in Hong Kong. The restaurant seats just 12 around the 200-year-old Japanese Hinoki cypress wood counter. Book now if you want to be one of the first in the door.
Sushiyoshi, 1/F, The Otto Hotel, 8 Cameron Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, +852 2657 0280
The latest from JIA Group (Chachawan, Duddell’s, Mak Mak, Rhoda) will officially open its doors in the swish new Tai Kwun complex in late June, offering a taste of Jiangnan cuisine, which encapsulates the varied culinary influences of cities south of the Yangtze River such as Shanghai, Nanjing, Hangzhou and Yangzhou. Aptly mirroring Tai Kwun’s identity as a heritage centre, Old Bailey will pay homage to the culinary traditions of old, recreating the Jiangnan custom of congregating at home for special meals with loved ones, cooked by private home chefs. Designed by Basel-based architects Herzog & de Meuron, the homespun restaurant will have a distinct focus on health food and nourishment, with a menu that’s been consulted on by Mina Park from Korean healthy kitchen Sook, and Nana Chan from popular café Teakha. Enjoy the balanced and fresh fare in the airy dining room or on the sunny outdoor terrace.
Old Bailey, 2/F, JC Contemporary, Tai Kwun, 10 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong
Also setting up shop in Tai Kwun is the 10th opening from French Creations — Café Claudel, a Parisian-themed café serving quintessential French dishes courtesy of chef Kevin Li. Following the tried-and-tested formula of the group’s other venues, Café Claudel will offer up a casual and cosy ambience with a menu packed with French bistro faves such as foie gras terrine, tartines, croquettes, roast chicken and more. A quaint terrace is reminiscent of the sidewalks of Paris — ideal for a spot of people-watching while sipping on a café au lait with breakfast (we’re eyeing the truffled eggs with toast) or an afternoon tête-à-tête fuelled by a cheese platter and a long list of affordable French wines. Meanwhile, a special dessert selection reinvents classic Parisian sweets with a contemporary spin. Seating 70 in total, Café Claudel’s all-day menu is open from 11am to midnight.
Café Claudel, Shop 1, G08, Tai Kwun, 10 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong
Salt and Barrel
If you’re a fan of chef Taran Chadha’s flavour-packed Indian fare at BlackSalt in Sai Ying Pun, you’ll want to scooter over to Shek Tong Tsui this month to check out his latest venture, Salt and Barrel. In collaboration with local breweries Black Kite & Kowloon Bay and The Tramline Liquor Co., Salt and Barrel is all about kebabs washed down with fantastic brews. Diving into the history of the subcontinental dish, Taran offers his own spin on the humble kebab with a proprietary blend of spices and modern cooking techniques. A relaxed interior with motifs drawing from the Mughal Empire contributes to the casual and fun vibes as diners — a mix of young professionals, families and university students from the neighbouring HKU — down kebabs with a selection of 15 taps on offer, as well as craft spirits and wines.
Salt and Barrel, 1 South Lane, Shek Tong Tsui, Hong Kong (next to the B2 exit of HKU MTR Station)
If you weren’t in-the-know already, Pinot Duck is here to spread the word about the trusty pairing of duck and pinot noir, with a dizzying amount of duck dishes and an accessible list of the bright and fruity red wine. The Stanley Plaza restaurant has recently opened a branch in Wan Chai, offering a hearty taste of mouthwatering duck dishes, from succulent mini duck burgers to duck tacos and classic crepe wraps. Of course, you can also opt for the signature whole or half Peking duck (HK$500/HK$250) — each duck roasted in the purpose-built oven with refractory ceramic walls to retain the high heat needed for tender, juicy meat and succulent, crispy skin. Afterwards, head to the Pinot Duck bar to further explore the selection of old and new world wines, or opt for a beer on tap from local brewery Moonzen.
Pinot Duck, G/F, 18 Lun Fat Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, +852 2891 1177
Nara Thai Cuisine
Frequent foodie travellers to Bangkok will know of Nara Thai Cuisine, a chain of authentic, modern Thai food restaurants started by a group of women entrepreneurs that has spread to six outlets across the city. In 2016, local restaurateur Pearl Shek partnered up with Nara co-founder Yuki Srikarnchana to open the offshoot Apinara in Pacific Place; now, Hong Kong is set to get its own version of the original restaurant, scheduled to open in Sha Tin this month.
With a relaxed and hospitable environment that’s one of the core tenets of the female-run Nara brand (“nara” refers to both the founder’s name and the Sanskrit word for “Thai woman”), the restaurant proudly touts authentic Thai tastes with a contemporary twist, serving up everything from signature hawker dishes — think Thai boat noodles and tom yum glass noodles with pork balls — to more unconventional creations such as the Rainbow Soup Rice Noodles with Fish Fillet. Other signature dishes include the soft-shell crab yellow curry and fried butterfly pea rice with crispy fish and Thai herbs. Wash it all down with the tropical-inspired cocktails, each adorned with trinkets and garnishes mirroring the fun and festive atmosphere of the restaurant.
Nara Thai Cuisine, Shop 507, 5/F, New Town Plaza Phase 1, 18 Sha Tin Centre Street, Sha Tin, Hong Kong, +852 3188 1138
Craving Shanghainese flavours this month? Head over to Shanghai Garden, newly opened in Exchange Square with a focus on the city’s haipai culture evolved from its melting pot of East-meets-West cultures. The new flagship restaurant is decked out in an elegant colour palette of vivid emerald tones and warm wood furniture, with plush velvet banquettes and an herringbone floor adding to the celebratory feel.
Start your journey here with the braised bean curd sheet stuffed with diced vegetables, shredded bean curd dumplings, and braised minced pork balls, before digging into a platter of pan-fried sheng jian bao. Signature mains include the barbecued duck and stir-fried duck cone — where bite-sized wraps are filled with juicy minced duck –as well as deep-fried yellow croaker, braised pork knuckle and baked crab shell stuffed with fresh crabmeat in cheese. In a nod to Western culture, the traditional menu is paired with a modern craft cocktail list: try the Spicy Mary, a twist on the Bloody Mary which substitutes Tabasco for red chilli and Japanese seven-spice.
Shanghai Garden, Shop 402, 4/F, Exchange Square, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2180 7288
It’s health food’s time in the spotlight as Hong Kong sees a wave of new vegetarian restaurants and plant-based alternative ingredients being introduced to the local food scene. New to the healthy food spectrum is Kind Kitchen by Green Common from founder David Yeung, which focuses on plant-based ingredients (“food 2.0”) in a mix of fusion dishes that highlight novel ingredients and flavour pairings.
Here you’ll find some of the latest revolutionary products in the food-tech space: from plant-based meats such as Beyond Burger and Omnipork, to the vegan-based alternative to scrambled eggs, Just Scramble. Stop by for humble vegetarian and non-vegetarian fare, as well as a brand new Kind Kids’ Menu that celebrates 100% plant-based kids’ dishes. The family-friendly space also includes a child play centre and mini grocery store for keeping the little ones entertained while helping to instil the foundations of a nutritious diet.
Kind Kitchen by Green Common, Shop 1, 1/F, Nan Fung Place, 173 Des Voeux Road Central, Hong Kong
Beef & Liberty
Move over Popeye’s — we’ve got a new pit stop on our next flight out of Hong Kong: Beef & Liberty, newly opened at Hong Kong International Airport. The newest outlet of B&L operates from 7am–1:30am and is already seeing a steady flow of traffic from busy travellers seeking a hearty respite, with a good range of the signature B&L burgers as well as three airport-exclusive items: the char siu burger, the “Hong Kong Breakfast Toastie”, and a milk tea crème brûlée for satisfying sweet cravings. We recently stopped by the sprawling 120-seat restaurant (located to the left as you pass through customs in Terminal 1), and were impressed by the speedy service and the extensive range of items on offer. In addition to an impressive aviation-themed design, Beef & Liberty also offers one of the only bars at the airport: a partnership with Moonzen Brewery which includes a self-service bar for jet-setters to grab a quick drink.
Beef & Liberty, Unit 7E138, Departures East Hall, Terminal 1, Hong Kong International Airport, Hong Kong