Best new restaurants and bars to try in Hong Kong
British chef Simon Rogan is breaking into the Hong Kong dining scene with the opening of Aulis in Causeway Bay. Already in Cartmel (where it’s housed next to Rogan’s two-Michelin starred L’Enclume) and London, Aulis is touted as a developmental kitchen for Rogan and his team to experiment in. With an intimate chef’s table setting that seats up to 12 guests, the Hong Kong location offers eight- to 10-course tasting menus that change on a regular basis to showcase the breadth of the kitchen team’s creativity.
Founded by Taipei bartending maestro Angus Zou – formerly of Alchemy, once rated one of Asia’s 50 Best Bars – and brought to Hong Kong in conjunction with Antonio Lai, Draft Land’s jam is cocktails on tap. The idea of pre-made cocktails is heretical to some – there’s not a shaker or jigger in sight – but Zou claims the drinks here are far more precise and consistent than regular bars. He even goes so far as to describe staff in the Taipei original as ‘engineers’ rather than bartenders. Whether you’re a cocktail purist or not, it’s definitely somewhere to check out.
Taking over the the space formerly occupied by Stone Nullah Tavern, Fini’s is a casual, fuss-free eatery that plates up NY-style pizzas, homemade pastas and Italian-inspired cocktails.
The self-proclaimed pioneer of the weird-yet-delicious cheese-tea trend finally lands in Hong Kong with this outlet at New Town Plaza. Specialising in hand-shaken beverages, the chain has gained widespread popularity on the Mainland, with people queueing for hours for a sip of its wildly creative drinks. Try the rich cheese-cap tea, special fruit tea or bubble tea – all of which will leave you hankering for more. If you’re looking to get downright indulgent, opt for the eggette roll sundae, which is exclusive to this first Hong Kong store.
This inconspicuous venue offers experimental haute cuisine that marries European and Japanese cooking. Headed by Nakao Kazuhisa, the former executive chef for the Japanese ambassador in Hong Kong, Le Bec Fin serves meticulously crafted and gorgeously plated dishes as part of its omakase experience. Dishes change depending on what’s in season but look out for house favourites such as French onion soup, grilled Spanish red king prawns and Hokkaido sea urchin pasta.
Popular Seoul-based sweets spot Le Bread Lab opens its first outlet in the 852. Like the brand’s other stores, the Mira Place location is pretty in pink and offers an assortment of cutesy sweets and cakes. Be sure to try the signature strawberry omelette – a small, folded cake topped with cream, strawberry and icing sugar – and the strawberry latte.
Sharing is caring at Pica Pica, which specialises in Spanish dishes that are designed to be enjoyed family-style. The neighbourhood tapas joint in Sheung Wan is helmed by chef Edgar Sanuy, formerly of the highly rated Peel Street restaurant BCN, who excels at adding playful modern touches to classic Spanish dishes. Try the black paella rice as well as the red prawn hotdog with grilled prawn head.
Stave off the January chill with a bowl of steaming noodles from Ramen Cubism. The restaurant specialises in handcrafted noodles served in broths prepared with meticulously sourced ingredients. There are several soup bases on offer, all with quirky names such as the Earth Bird – Clear Broth and the Sea Soy Soup. Also be sure to try the matsu hayashi dumplings, which are fried to a crisp golden-brown and served with chilli sauce.
Why eat at one place when you can eat at three? You can do exactly that at Savor Japan, which houses a trio of food brands all under one roof. Start at Beat Bakery, which offers healthy, east-meets-west baked goods made with all-natural ingredients. Then fill up with a rice bowl at Nijuuichi Don. Finally, end your visit on a sweet note at Chez Shibata, the famed Nagoya pastry shop renowned for its beautiful cakes.
Housed within Lane Crawford at IFC, Shè is a venue for those with a taste for the finer things in life. Traditional Chinese fare get a glamorous, contemporary makeover and includes everything from roast meats and vegetarian dishes to dim sum and rice and noodle options. The restaurant also serves premium Chinese teas, many of which are available in the inventive cocktail menu.
This Japanese restaurant opened its first store in Tuen Mun and quickly found a fanbase thanks to its affordable yet high-quality food. It’s since expanded with two more locations, the latest of which is this bright and welcoming space in Tsim Sha Tsui. The menu has something to suit all tastes, from fresh seafood donburi and seasonal sushi platters to robatayaki and teppanyaki dishes – all at wallet-friendly prices.