In our new Neighbourhood Guides, our dining editor charts a culinary path across Hong Kong, tracking down the absolute best eats to be had in every neighbourhood in town.
The waterfront neighbourhood of Kennedy Town has transformed over the years from a quiet port-side destination on the very fringe of Hong Kong to one of the city’s most active shopping and dining hubs, a change spurred in no small part by the extension of the MTR’s Island Line four years ago. Located on the western end of the island, this laidback neighbourhood is a true foodie’s paradise: a place where you can find everything from taquerias to vegetarian restaurants, pizzerias to modern Indian eateries all within a few blocks’ radius — many boasting quaint seaside views and breezy alfresco dining options. Without further ado, here are the best places to sate your hunger (and thirst) in Kennedy Town.
Hong Kong may often be regarded as a Mexican food desert, but renowned chef Esdras Ochoa — of Los Angeles restaurant Salazar — brought us some much-needed relief last year when he opened taqueria 11 Westside inside The Hudson complex. We’d travel much further distances than Kennedy Town to get a taste of Ochoa’s supple, handmade tortillas filled with everything from well-marbled carne asada marinated in Mexican ponzu sauce, to al pastor (smoky roasted pork and fresh pineapple chunks) and the pollo asado: juicy squares of grilled chicken tinged with spice and citrus. Book-end your taco platter with the freshly mashed guacamole, made tableside, and inventive desserts, and chase it all down with well-made cocktails from beverage director Daniel Eun.
11 Westside, 1/F, The Hudson, 11 Davis Street, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong, +852 3996 7754
A collaboration between local craft-beer makers Young Master Brewery and Patrick Gatherer, formerly of The Globe — Alvy’s embodies everything you’d expect from your quintessential neighbourhood pizzeria: friendly service, laidback vibes, and an affordable menu to boot. The highlight of the menu is the excellent sourdough-based pizzas, which enjoy a long and slow fermentation, resulting in an extra chewy and pliable crust dotted with pockets of char. We’re partial to the “a la vodka” pizza, an NYC-inspired pie featuring a tangy vodka sauce and sharp pecorino; and the “Ma-La-Di-Da”, a fiery number which combines savoury salumi with the numbing spice of Sichuan peppercorns. An equally impressive drinks menu includes Hong Kong’s largest selection of American-only craft whiskeys, as well as brews from Young Master Ales and a natural wine list.
Alvy’s, 8 Holland Street, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong, +852 2312 2996
Aussie import Little Creatures embraces the Down Under character with chilled-out vibes and a menu conducive to easygoing, alfresco dining. The restaurant takes advantage of Kennedy Town’s (relatively) cheaper rent to encompass a massive 6,000-square-foot brewery, bar and restaurant, with lofty ceilings exuding a raw, industrial vibe and plenty of counter stools for sampling the extensive range of brews on offer. Combining Australians’ love of beer and pub grub, Little Creatures serves an ever-rotating selection of drinks — including the three beers brewed on-site — complete with comforting Aussie fare, from smashed avocado toast to hearty pizzas and sandwiches. Larger plates are well suited to large groups, from Australian grass-fed ribeye steak to the irresistible uni spaghetti carbonara.
Little Creatures, Shop 1, G/F, New Fortune House, 5A New Praya, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong, +852 2833 5611
Fans of Middle Eastern food should be well acquainted with Mama Malouf and its chef-owner, Australian native Alex Malouf. The nephew of Greg Malouf — the famous Australian chef and recognised authority on Middle Eastern cuisine — Alex is carrying on the family legacy with this acclaimed eatery proffering authentic Middle Eastern fare, served in colourful and fresh arrangements bearing the unmistakable influence of farm-fresh Australian fare. At Mama Malouf, it’s easy to pass the hours lounging around on the comfy benches decorated with colourful cushions, tucking into a round of shared-style mezze — think silky hummus, earthy baba ghanoush, tarragon labneh and homemade pickles. Mains and side dishes are also made for sharing; signatures include grilled haloumi, crispy falafel, roasted carrots with yogurt, and grill-heavy mains — from skewers to shawarmas — accompanied by vibrant dips and sauces.
Mama Malouf, 93 Catchick Street, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong, +852 2817 3828
Next door to Mama Malouf is sister restaurant Catch, which serves a seaside-inspired menu of fresh ocean produce and small plates for sharing. Fresh ingredients are sourced both locally and internationally and utilised in a number of rustic, bistro-style dishes such as beer-battered fish ‘n’ chips and spicy crab with angel hair pasta. With a long-established customer base, Catch exudes a distinctly relaxed and friendly neighbourly atmosphere, with owner Alex Malouf often spotted manning the kitchen or managing front-of-house. The eclectic menu extends to Asian-inspired starters such as chunky tuna tartare, and even a selection of burgers (try the soft shell crab or the popular crumbed fish burger). Those who work in the area can also pop in for the 3-course set lunch priced (HK$138–$148) with a special oyster deal, or come by on the weekends for a true Australian-style brunch that turns up the heat on classics such as avocado toast.
Catch, G/F, 95 Catchick Street, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong, +852 2855 1289
With an unbeatable location right on the waterfront promenade, Beeger falls right in line with Kennedy Town’s chilled-out vibes, sporting a quirky gastro-pub feel and working man’s fare that’s made it a popular weeknight haunt. A portmanteau of “beer” and “burger”, Beeger specialises in hand-ground beef patties, caramelised on the flat top and finished off with unexpected toppings such as foie gras. The no-fuss patties go hand-in-hand with Beeger’s selection of craft beers, imported from all around the globe.
Beeger, Ka Fu Building Block A, 25 New Praya, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong, +852 2812 2328
Fish & Chick
If a walk along the seaside promenade induces a craving for fish ‘n’ chips, you can pop into the aptly named Fish & Chick, a mom ‘n’ pop shop recognisable by its blue and white awning. The freshly beer-battered fish are generous in size and well executed — from UK-imported codfish to New Zealand hake and Icelandic haddock — served with a plentiful mountain of fresh-fried chips. Other seafood dishes include salted cod brandade and sea bream ratatouille, and the shop has also added a rotisserie selection to cater to poultry lovers. We’d recommend sticking to the fish ‘n’ chips, though, because they’re hands down some of the best in town.
Fish & Chick, Shop 6, G/F, 25 New Praya, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong, +852 2974 0088
British gastro-lounge Shoreditch is all about bringing a relaxed, urban-style eatery to the streets of Kennedy Town, while staying committed to serving local residents with quality offerings at wallet-friendly prices. Named after one of London’s districts, the British-inspired menu includes pub grub such as chicken wings and haggis, as well as larger offerings such as lamb meatballs and fish ‘n’ chips. The breezy, all-day venue transforms effortlessly into a cosy date-night destination, with trendy street art splashed across the walls and intimate two-tops. Grab a table by the open-fronted entrance to enjoy a spot of people-watching while noshing on grilled ox tongue salad, blue mussel linguine and Wicks Manor Farm pork belly served on a bed of smooth parsnip purée.
Shoreditch, 18 Catchick Street, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong, +852 2242 3777
Unlike its sister location in Wan Chai, Fishsteria Waterside combines chef Gianni Caprioli’s rustic sea-inspired Italian cuisine with breezy waterside views. The chef behind other hit restaurants such as Giando and Giá Trattoria Italiana brings to Kennedy Town a more curated offering of ocean-inspired offerings, with a menu including whole-roasted fresh fish, bountiful seafood platters, and signature Caprioli dishes such as creamy burrata and tomatoes and homemade pastas. New to the Kennedy Town branch are instant crowd-pleasing options such as fish sandwiches and succulent lobster rolls chock-full of fresh lobster meat in a citrus-tinged dressing. The restaurant faces out to the Kennedy Town waterfront, promising to match its menu with equally inspiring sea views.
Fishsteria Waterside, New Fortune House, 2-5A New Praya, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong, +852 2511 0006
Dim sum aficionados might already be familiar with Sun Hing, a hole-in-the-wall local favourite which curbs dim sum cravings from the odd hours of 3am to 4pm daily. Whether you’re grabbing a late-night snack after a long night out, or grabbing an early bird breakfast before heading to work, Sun Hing has you covered with all the classic dim sum faves from fragrant siu mai to fluffy char siu baos, golden fried spring rolls and dumplings of all shapes and fillings. Service is brusque as expected, but the offerings measure up to other dim sum joints around town and a meal can easily be had for less than HK$80 per person. For dessert, don’t miss the piping-hot custard buns, which ooze their golden liquid centres satisfyingly as they’re split open at the table.
Sun Hing, Shop C, G/F, 8 Smithfield Road, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong, +852 2816 0616
You could barely get a foot in the door when Chino first opened in 2014; the crowds may have died down nowadays, but Chino still maintains the high quality and inventiveness of its Mexican-inspired offerings. Discerning foodies will appreciate some of the more out-of-the-box creations, from ox tongue with pickled jalapeños to duck carnitas with grape tomatillo, while recurring favourites include the grilled sweet corn and uni and scallop tostadas. Although the dishes are rooted in Mexican culinary traditions, Asian ingredients are peppered throughout the menu, injected effortlessly to add complexity and depth to the offerings. With a steady stream of new dishes, it’s worth going back to Chino again and again — whether to try out the kitchen’s latest creations or simply to get your fix of Chino’s excellent house tacos, washed down with a cheeky highball at the bar.
Chino, 1B New Praya Kennedy Town, Kennedy Town, +852 2606 0588
A true neighbourhood haunt, Hotpot Instinct has thrived over the years thanks to its tasty, fuss-free menu and sheer variety of hot pot ingredients to dip and dunk to your heart’s content. Gather around the large tables and choose your choice of broth from the digital menus — ranging from ma la to fish maw with chicken and tomato oxtail — then tick off as many ingredients as you desire, from classic fish and meatballs, tofu and veggies, to more unconventional offerings including cheese-filled seafood balls and truffle-dusted meatballs. The old-school restaurant is popular with university students for its buzzy atmosphere, complemented by retro décor, trendy lighting fixtures, dark-brown leather sofas, and wine cabinets filled with all types of Japanese sakes.
Hotpot Instinct, 1/F, Kam Ho Court, 144-148 Belcher’s Street, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong, +852 3464 0741
For enjoying a leisurely glass of vino paired with delectable tapas, Kennedy Town wine bar Comptoir fits the bill with its cosy interiors and communal atmosphere. This neighbourhood bistro has been going strong for well on four years, serving up delectable sharing platters along with a curated selection of hearty bistro offerings, not to mention shelves lined with over 130 labels of specially sourced Old and New World wines. Not just popular with the Francophile crowd, Comptoir has become a choice spot for after-work aperitivo and casual weekend rendezvous. On the ground floor, grab a casual bar stool underneath handwritten chalkboard menus of the day’s specials; upstairs, a private function room caters for larger parties and private events. Favourites include the tuna tartare, crispy croquettes, and the soul-warming beef daube Provençal.
Comptoir, G/F, 42 Forbes Street, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong, +852 2453 9873
Funky fusion diner Missy Ho’s is always reliable for a fun night out (if you can find the hidden entrance, that is), with its buzzing vibes and eclectic décor including a full-sized swing that’s lowered down from the ceiling for guests to take a whirl after-hours. It’s easy to get sloshed at this watering hole given the affordable, well-made libations, but Missy Ho’s food is well worth a visit in itself. This is an example of Asian fusion done right, with a line-up of mouthwatering bar snacks: Tuck into a round of tuna tataki with yuzu sauce, pork belly baos and prawn lettuce wraps, then follow it up with a mix of maki rolls — our favourite being the Godzilla Roll, a spicy tuna number with crispy fried tempura and a sweet teriyaki glaze.
Missy Ho’s, Shop G9, G/F, Sincere Western House, 48 Forbes Street, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong, +852 2817 3808