For a town filled with so many serious foodies and numerous Michelin-starred restaurants, Hong Kong is a weirdly big fan of unusual concept restaurants – see the number of pet cafés and cartoon dim sum places all over the place that regularly get Instagramed. It can be tricky, though, knowing which ones actually have worthwhile food, so here are our top picks for the best strange eateries out there.
Hong Kong’s quirkiest-themed restaurants
From a city that boasts one of the best airport in the world, it should come to no surprise that there’s an aviation themed restaurant in Hong Kong. Enter through the entrance akin to a boarding gate before stepping into the eatery, which is designed to look like a flight cabin complete with airplane seats and windows. Instead of mediocre food you typically get served onboard a flight, The Galley takes their menu as seriously as pilots with passengers’ lives. Expect well-cooked lamb striploin and dry-aged beef steaks, as well as a surprisingly wonderful selection of cocktails and craft beer.
Just when we thought we’d seen every kind of animal-themed restaurant and café in Hong Kong, a creepy-crawly themed restaurant popped up in Central. Café Animojo is a venture opened by wildlife conservationist Toni Kingston. The venue features six reptile displays including snakes, tree frogs and scorpions, which are all set to replicate the animal’s natural habitat. The restaurant aims to educate the public on animal welfare and the importance of conservation. Food-wise, the menu centres around healthy and organic ingredients.
As evidenced by Florentijn Hofman’s giant Rubber Duck installation from 2013, Hongkongers love rubber ducks. This restaurant, based on B Duck, the popular clothing brand, invites you to chow down on 3D rubber duck-shaped rice dishes, duck face-shaped cheesecake, and the popular local dessert mango pomelo sago. Except this version comes with rubber duck-shaped jelly in a foamy bowl – like a bubble bath, get it?
Even without the gimmicky hook of Peanuts, Charlie Brown Café is enticing with its voluminous variety of drink options. Their menu features more than 40 coffee and ice frappa choices, including the Charlie Brown caffe mocha and latte – complete with Snoopy’s adorable face as latte art. A customer favourite is the Snoopy-shaped moulded rice – a real dog’s dinner.
Go for a spin on crazy carts – actually pretty safe electronic go-karts – after fuelling up on Western fusion cuisine and deep-fried snacks. Granted, the food isn’t going to be adding to Hong Kong’s collection of Michelin stars, but there’s plenty of space for some exciting drifting, spinning and high octane racing in the 15,000sq ft venue. Think Mario Kart but in real life.
This Kwun Tong spot is exactly what every city needs – an indoor fishing shrimp farm. The Cube, as we’re dubbing it, is currently Hong Kong’s only indoor venue where you can fish for shrimps, lobsters and all things crustacean, and then barbecue it straight afterwards. The restaurant provides everything from fishing rods to bait, so all you need to do is sit back and wait for your meal to bite.
Secret Garden could almost be mistaken for a hipster joint what with its wooden furniture and natural light – if only it weren’t for all the Hello Kitty imagery plastered across the restaurant. The garden-style eatery tries to crowbar the popular cartoon character into every dish in every conceivable way, from Hello Kitty-shaped waffles, tarts and cakes to toasting her image on the inside of burger buns.
Dracula would not be a fan of this place, apart from, perhaps, its tavern-like rustic setting. If you’re a garlic lover, though, you may be, well, mad for it. The Korean import serves Italian cuisine with Asian accents and the recipes are all about the pungent bulb. Signature dishes include garlic covered steaks, spicy garlic pasta and garlic snowing pizza. Just have a breath freshener at the ready.
With its interior designed like the pirate ship Thousand Sunny from the mega-popular Japanese manga/anime One Piece, dine with characters from the series and sup on Japanese-Western fusion fare, including burgers and yakitori topped with character cut-outs. The whole place is a photo-op bonanza.
Rabbitland offers a new kind of dining experience where diners can enjoy stroking and petting a furry friend in between sips of tea and coffee. Situated in an upstairs space in Causeway Bay, there are up to six rabbits for diners to makes friends with. You can feed the rabbits bits of grass while playing board games. Just remember to wear or bring socks as shoes must be taken off.