Best new restaurants and bars to try in Hong Kong
Located next door to one of our favourite new bars, Saketen, The Chicken Bar is another feather in the cap for H Code. Suddenly, this slick building off Pottinger Street has become one of the coolest places to eat and drink in Central. The Chicken Bar has been popping up around town for over a month now, serving a sneak peek of its concept at events like Ginsanity and partner restaurant Honbo. When it opens, you can enjoy its all-natural fried chicken and signature Okonomiyaki Chicken Sandwich – Japanese-style fried chicken, pickles and slaw between two fresh-made buns – all day, every day. To wash it down? Ice-cold beer, of course. Opens late July.
Fresh off his appearance on Netflix’s The Final Table, Shane Osborn, now officially a ‘celebrity chef’ in the truest sense, is back with a brand-new project. With Cornerstone, Osborn has set out to shine the spotlight on high-quality produce by using modest cooking techniques. Translated, that means less fluff and more flavour courtesy of kitchen team’s impeccable execution. The space has been designed by Sean Dix (Chom Chom, Ronin), while Neal Ledesma, an alum of Osborn's lauded Arcane, handles the day-to-day kitchen operations.
The Pirata Group is unveiling not one, but two new concepts in Sheung Wan this July. Of those two, Honjo is the bigger, more upscale outlet. But don’t take ‘bigger and more upscale’ to mean unapproachable. The interiors are supposed to represent the aspirational dreams of your everyday Japanese person (it’s a Japanese restaurant, hence the angle, although we’re pretty sure you can substitute almost any nationality for Japanese in this case). Expect an eclectic collection of curios from around the world spread across the 120-seat restaurant’s four themed dining rooms and sushi counter. As for the food, international influences will marry with Japanese techniques. Rest assured: there will be sushi. Opens late July.
Tucked away inside the Prince’s Building, Kakure lives up to its name: in Japanese, ‘kakure’ means present in form but absent from sight. That should give you an inclination about the kind of discreet service and high quality you can expect at this hideaway. The menu is filled out with Edomae-style sushi and sashimi, as well as teppanyaki dishes and other Japanese treats. The seafood is flown in fresh from Japan each day while Hida wagyu figures prominently in the action at the teppanyaki grill. At the bar, you’ve got 120 rare and vintage whiskies to explore on top of some signature cocktails.
The next step in the evolution of Peggy Chan’s award-winning Grassroots Pantry has arrived. With Nectar, Chan is steering her plant-based cooking into fine dining territory, creating holistic, nutrient-dense and seasonal tasting menus using locally-sourced organic ingredients. This project, located in the same space as Grassroots Pantry, is one of few in the world to take a holistic, integrated approach to plant-based and sustainable fine dining. That’s because, more than just providing great food for the body, Chan is also shining a light on conscious consumption, demonstrating how restaurants in Hong Kong can be more sustainable in ways that go beyond sourcing ingredients from local farms and suppliers. Opens July 25.
The third restaurant in Tower 535 from the Gosango group incorporates Hiyama wagyu into the fold. But there are a few extra touches, too. For example, the deluxe afternoon tea set ($288 for two people), available from 2.30pm to 5.30pm each day. The tea set features house-made desserts and savoury treats, like shrimp toast, A5 wagyu croquettes, tiramisu, and green tea and jasmine tea ice cream. There’s also a solid all-day dining menu, as well as sake-based cocktails and fruity, tea-infused mocktails.
Repulse Bay gets a taste of Southeast Asian beach culture this July, when Sip Song opens up in The Pulse. A play on words, Sip Song means 12 in Thai, but the ‘sip’ part also refers to the obvious in this scenario: sipping on drinks by the beach. In any event, under the stewardship of Bangkok native Nuch Srichantranon, the kitchen team intends to highlight some deeper cuts from the Thai culinary repertoire. That includes kai look keuy, deep-fried hard-boiled eggs served with dried chillies, crispy shallots and a sweet-and-sour tamarind sauce (editor’s note: kai look keuy are amazing and criminally underrepresented outside of Thailand), as well as steamed whole fish served in a broth brimming with chilli and lime.
TMK (short for Temakeria) is the second project the Pirata group is opening in Sheung Wan this month. Unlike the whimsical Honjo (see above), the dive bar-inspired TMK promises a punk rock soundtrack and all the wild irreverence that might entail. The food here should complement that polished punk aesthetic. If the name didn’t give it away, the speciality is temaki, the fist-sized cones of grilled nori and sushi rice filled with fresh ingredients like king crab, bluefin tuna and sea urchin from Hokkaido. For drinks, expect sake, craft beer and highballs. Opens late July.
From high point to another, the latest outpost of Roppongi Hills hotspot 37 Steakhouse & Bar opens at The Peak Galleria this month, promising an elevated steak experience in more ways than one (...we’ll stop with the puns now). The space is decorated in oak and brass, a luxurious setting that matches the high quality of the wagyu on the menu, which comes from Japanese butcher and supplier Hiyama. Attached to the high-end steak restaurant is a sake bar serving some of the finest bottles from Sawaya Matusmoto, a 230-year-old sake brewery based in Kyoto’s Fushimi ward. Opens late July.