While we’re rarely at a loss for new openings to report at the start of each month, the crop of new restaurants set to debut in September has us particularly excited. Traditionally the beginning of the busy season for restaurant openings, this September kicks off with a number of highly anticipated, big-name openings. From Black Sheep Restaurants’ brand new concept to Gordon Ramsay’s latest, the world’s most expensive Wagyu sandwich to the world’s best pizzeria — there’s no shortage of places to pile up your plate this month. Without further ado, here are the 10 best new restaurants to try this September.
Artemis & Apollo
Slated to open towards the end of the month, Black Sheep Restaurants’ Greek taverna, Artemis & Apollo pays tribute to the vibrant, produce-centric dishes found up and down the Mediterranean coastline. Replicating the leisurely pace of the Greek lifestyle, the spacious new eatery promises to become Wan Chai’s destination for long, leisurely lunches and raucous dinners fuelled by plenty of ouzo (a popular Greek anise spirit).
The menu is meant to be shared family style, starting with a selection of mezzes from bright fava mash made from pureed yellow split peas, to traditional taramasalata, or creamy mullet roe dip with warm bread. Mains include fresh seafood — think grilled calamari drizzled with lemon — to a fantastic selection of spit-roasted meats, including chicken or pork souvlakis served with warm pita and yogurt, and charcoal-roasted Tasmanian lamb. Meanwhile, the wine list does a brilliant job of showcasing under-appreciated wines that speak to the region’s distinct terroir — perfect for whiling away the afternoon in the greenery-filled courtyard.
Artemis and Apollo, G/F, 9 and 11 Moon Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, +852 2818 8681
Harbour City is ramping up this month with another brand new opening, this time from a little-known chef by the name of Gordon Ramsay. The TV star and celebrity chef savant will plant an overseas branch of his Maze Grill concept inside Ocean Terminal, joining other Dining Concepts celebrity chef collabs including Laurent Tourondel’s BLT Steak and Michael White’s Al Molo. As Ramsay’s flagship Hong Kong restaurant, Bread Street Kitchen & Bar, prepares to shutter this month (to be re-opened eventually at The Peak, we hear), fans of Ramsay’s no-fuss, gastropub style of dining will no doubt be flocking to TST this month for a taste of juicy premium steaks, steakhouse sides and classic bistro dishes such as steak tartare and moules marinière.
Maze Grill, 4/F, Ocean Terminal, Harbour City, 3-27 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, +852 2765 0890
Wagyumafia, Japan’s cult beef purveyor dishing up one of the world’s most expensive Wagyu beef sandwiches, is set to land in Hong Kong this month, following a buzzed-about pop-up at Elephant Grounds earlier this month. Brought to Hong Kong by the folks behind the popular coffee concept and La Rambla by Catalunya, Wagyumafia — led by social media-savvy owner Hisato Hamada — will take over the group’s old Catalunya location in Wan Chai, with an intimate 12-seat counter dedicated to the creme de la creme of Japanese beef. Naturally, the highlight of the menu is the signature Wagyu katsu sando (the most expensive version uses Chateaubriand beef and costs upwards of HK$1,500): with the intensely marbled beef deep-fried to a precise golden-brown cutlet, sliced into thick squares and sandwiched with tangy tonkatsu sauce between toasted milk bread.
Wagyumafia, Guardian House, 32 Oi Kwan Rd, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Ryota Kappou Modern
While Hong Kong may not need another Japanese restaurant, the latest kaiseki counter to open in Central certainly has our interest piqued. Helmed by Ryota Kanesawa, an alumni of Tenku RyuGin (the Hong Kong branch of the three-Michelin-starred Tokyo restaurant), Ryota Kappou is the accomplished chef’s first restaurant, with a spacious restaurant and open kitchen allowing him to showcase his full range of technique and culinary innovation.
As expected, the 8-course tasting menu speaks to the seasons, from sweet corn tempura to Karuna shrimp and abalone anointed with nori and fresh wasabi; while other dishes, such as the delicate foie gras starter dotted with sweet raspberry, showcase the chef’s boundary-breaking creativity. A stylish dining room has been designed by founder Louie Shum, a well-known Hong Kong interior designer; who together with Kanesawa hand-sourced all the ceramics and tableware on a trip to Osaka and Kyoto. We recommend going for the full 8-course menu with sake pairing to fully enjoy the subtleties of chef Kanesawa’s cooking.
The world’s best pizza has officially landed in Hong Kong — for those seeking proof for themselves, now’s the time to head over before the crowds descend. Helmed by the distinguished pizzaiolo Franco Pepe, Kytaly offers up 19 signature pizzas, spanning the gamut from classic to creative variations, with the premium toppings all flown in from the region of Caiazzo, the home of Pepe’s flagship restaurant, Pepe in Grani. Start with a few gorgeous starters, from a Parma ham salad with Grana Padano cheese, to a modern caprese: then dig into your choice of delectable pizzas. The “Pizza Classiche” section sticks to tried-and-true combinations, while the “Pizza Creazioni” is where Pepe’s genius truly shines, from the Viandante, made with mortadella, ricotta, pistachios and lemon peel; to the Sole Nel Piatto, where Piennolo tomatoes cosy up to black olives from Caiazzo and meaty Cetara anchovies.
Giving Wagyumafia a run for its money is Hanare, another Wagyu beef-themed kaiseki experience. Run by the group behind other high-end concepts such as Sushi Saito and Yakiniku Jumbo, the exclusive chef’s table seats just nine per night, offering up a taste of the rarest and best Wagyu beef cuts in the world, which have all been hand-selected by owner-chef, Norimisu Nanbara. But it’s not just grilled beef you’ll find here: the kaiseki menu is marked by creativity and ingenuity, showcasing the versatility of the premium cattle through the whimsy and masterful techniques of head chef, Koya Takayuki. Similar to a sushi counter, each course is served directly and personally by the chef using only the finest seasonal ingredients, with interaction encouraged as part of the experience from preparation to plating.
Hanare, Shop 302, 3/F, Man Yee Building, 68 Des Voeux Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, +852 6136 0898
Next Door Café & Bar
Japanese-Hawaiian chef Bryan Nagao has been in and out of the Hong Kong dining scene for decades, having opened the iconic Philippe Starck-designed Felix at the Peninsula Hong Kong in the mid-90s, before venturing out on his own at Kokage in Wan Chai, followed by the short-lived Japanese-Italian fusion restaurant D Diamond, and the most recent, Town in 2014. At the popular Causeway Bay restaurant, the global-minded chef presents creative dishes informed by culinary influences from around the world, drawing from French, European and Japanese cuisines to present a style that’s uniquely his own.
This month, Nagao is making waves again in the Hong Kong dining scene: opening a casual cafe and bar concept, Next Door Café & Bar, on the 2nd floor of Lee Garden Three. With furniture designed by BoConcept, the minimalist restaurant exudes style, complete with a marble-walled dining area and an 800-sq.-ft. terrace overlooking Lee Gardens. Located just a block away from Town, Next Door focuses on healthy foods made with high-quality ingredients, putting a hearty spin on all-day dining while still incorporating Nagao’s fusion sensibilities. The menu is anchored by burgers, pastas and 12 rotating salads made in-house daily with ingredients such as samphire and Hawaiian palm hearts, while morning bagels come courtesy of Schragels Bagels, served with locally roasted coffee.
Next Door Café & Bar, Shop 206-210, 2/F, Lee Garden 3, 10 Hysan Avenue, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, +852 2606 6665
Just opened in QRE Plaza, located off Lee Tung Avenue, Heat is a passion project from Executive Chef Israel “Isy” Freitas, serving an a la carte menu focusing on beef and fresh seafood dishes evocative of the Mediterranean coast. Open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, Heat is all about simple, flavour-packed cooking, with sumptuous steaks and premium produce cooked on the Josper grill for a hit of smoke.
Bunker down in the industrial-chic dining room touched with exposed brick work, marble and copper accents, and tuck into dishes such as “Scallops in Black”, with the succulent mollusks served with black mayonnaise coriander sponge and black trumpet mushrooms; 60-day dry-aged ribeye beef; and the Iberico pork collar with sauteed mushrooms and a honey mustard sauce. Desserts are instant crowdpleasers — think flourless chocolate brownie and white chocolate panna cotta — while a separate lounge and bar area welcomes guests for late-night drinks and small plates.
Heat, 23/F, QRE Plaza, 202 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, +852 2246 8805
With summer fading away, it’s time to dig into cosy, soul-warming hot pot again with the promise of cooler weather just around the corner. New Taipei import Quan Alley is set to be a promising new addition to the local hot pot scene — an upscale restaurant focused on elevating the hot pot experience into a culinary art form through an emphasis on visuals and aesthetics in addition to flavour.
Officially opening at Harbour City on 6 September, Quan Alley offers a long list of visually pleasing dishes: there’s pork neck, carefully sliced and arranged to look like flower petals; the “Floriculture in Vogue”, where vegetables come courtesy of a basket created by a floral artist from France; and shrimp, pork and cuttlefish ice pops which play off nostalgia for a childhood favourite. Enjoy dunking the ingredients in the spicy hot pot soup base, which features 15 different herbs from Sichuan, and is fermented for seven days for an intense aroma. The restaurant accommodates 84 diners in total, with three separate VIP rooms.
Quan Alley, Shop OT G57, G/F, Ocean Terminal, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, +852 3188 2840
Pasta lovers, rejoice: Pirata Group’s uber popular Pici has unveiled a new branch in Tsim Sha Tsui, following in the footsteps of its popular outlets in Wan Chai and Central. The casual pasta bar has been a hit for its rustic home-style cooking, offering quality ingredients and delicious handmade pasta in a cosy setting. Pici TST will focus on delivering the same familiar, rustic flavours, with the homemade pasta rolled daily in signatures such as fagottini with duck, sliced leeks and green peas (pictured above); and the yolk-filled ravioli sauteed with porcini and shimeji mushrooms. The TST location also features exclusive items including the seafood salad made with a medley of prawns, calamari and other fresh seafood; and a dedicated gluten-free menu featuring six delectable pastas. For weekdays a revolving set lunch menu (HK$148) includes a starter, pasta dish and dessert — sure to be an instant hit with the TST office crowd.
Pici Tsim Sha Tsui, Shop 10/11 & 12, G/F, Block A Windsor Mansion, 29-31 Chatham Road South (Entrance on Hart Avenue), Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, +852 2771 2231