Xiqu Centre was finally opened last year as a premier performing arts venue dedicated to promoting and celebrating the art form and rich heritage of xiqu, or Chinese opera. Located inside the West Kowloon Cultural District, the stunning architectural gem – notice how the main entrance is shaped to resemble parted stage curtains – houses a Grand Theatre, eight professional studios, a seminar hall, and the Tea House Theatre. But that’s not all, the new landmark is home to a growing number of excellent restaurants that celebrate good food and the local dining culture. From traditional Chinese cuisine and tea tastings like Moon Lok Restaurant and LockCha Tea Shop, to charming snacks like puddings and bubble tea from Don’t Yell At Me, there’s a lot to look forward to at Xiqu Centre.
RECOMMENDED: Caught the cultural bug? Get your fix by visiting Kowloon’s best art galleries.
Xiqu Centre restaurants preview
Much like the structure it’s housed in, Mook Lok pays tribute to both tradition and innovation by serving timeless Chinese dishes in a sleek and modern environment modelled after a Chinese garden. With several industry veterans at the helm, the restaurant offers solid renditions of classic crowd-pleasers, from Cantonese roast meats and sweet and sour pork to baked prawns with peppercorns, as well as its signature Peking duck.
France is renowned for pastries, Japan has wagashi confectionery, and in Hong Kong, we have our puddings and cakes. Here at Go Cakes, you can find delightful, colourful interpretations of classic Cantonese baked goods, drawing a parallel to the melting pot of culture that is Hong Kong. Discover flavours like sea salt, black sesame and black-eyed pea mochi, white lotus rice pastry shaped like a flower with turmeric and custard filling, and a purple radish cake with sakura prawns and Chinese sausage that (apparently) turns blue when served cold. Free of additives, preservatives and msg, Go Cakes also goes green by doing away with any unnecessary plastic packaging.
Nestled in the tranquil surrounds of Hong Kong Park, the historic Tai Kwun, and now, at the Cantonese opera, LokCha Tea Shop always finds a home in cultural landmarks. Soak in traditional Chinese tea culture at its newly opened Xiqu Centre branch, and expect the same high-quality tea leaves, teaware and healthy snacks.
Taking up 3,000 sq ft of space that includes an open-courtyard design concept complete with a Chinese pavilion roof, a visit to Peony Garden is like a literal walk in the park. Its central décor theme is based on traveller rest-stops in ancient China, where diners can enjoy a range of classic Hong Kong cuisines like cart noodles, roast meats and signature soy-marinated dishes (goose, pork belly, pork knuckle, the works) surrounded by wooden screens and traditional Chinese décor features.
Following its opening in Central last year, the famed Taiwanese bubble tea shop Don’t Yell At Me sets its sights on a bigger venue and will be making its way into Xiqu Centre in the near future. Founded by Taiwanese celebrity Yako Chan, the store’s winter melon honey chrysanthemum tea is a crowd favourite. Opt for the berries and roselle sparkling water when the height of Hong Kong summer calls for something a little more refreshing. Try adding white pearls or sweet potato and taro pearls ($6) for some texture – no yelling required.
Kung fu star-turned-celebrity chef Steve Lee Ka-ting has been on a roll following his launch of Ding’s Kitchen in Causeway Bay and Central’s Ding’s Club just late last year. Lee is joining forces with the historic Ki’s Roasted Goose Restaurant to bring a new concept eatery to Xiqu Centre. The venue is a platform for Lee to share and preserve Hong Kong’s unique, community-style dining culture. Diners can look forward to wallet-friendly and familiar dishes including roast goose and a wide variety of heart-warming Cantonese soups.