The best things to do in North Point
Nab the perfect Instragam shot on Chung Yueng Street as the trams rattle straight through the wet market on the way to the North Point depot. A quintessential Hong Kong snapshot, watch the ‘likes’ roll in and then grab something fresh for dinner at the wet market.
Explore beyond the city’s traditional fine art galleries in Central at this avant-garde transdisciplinary art space. Initiated by Zurich University of the Arts, Connecting Space presents outside-the-box exhibitions that aren’t limited to a single genre. Local artists Frog King and Samson Young have exhibited here and a sound art presentation once featured a live fire burning to reflect the exorcism of self-doubt.
North Point is home to more than just famous egg waffles (see Lee Keung Kee North Point Egg Waffles, next tab), it’s also home to arguably the best purveyor of egg rolls in the city. Duck Shing Ho is famous in Hong Kong and queues out the door are a daily occurance. If you want be sure of walking away with their renowned goods, it’s recommended you get their early before they open.
Along with Kwun Tong’s Hidden Agenda, MOM Livehouse is one of the mainstays of Hong Kong’s underground music scene. The venue regularly puts on quality gigs and has hosted the likes of Finnish metal outfit Dreamtale and Even Dando of the Lemonheads. Check the schedule in advance and go along to enjoy some of the best live music in the city.
Established under the Leisure and Cultural Services Department’s aegis, Oil Street Art Space is a platform where young artists can experiment with and showcase their art. Housed inside a Grade II historic building that was once the Royal Hong Kong YAcht clubhouse, this place supports the city’s emerging talents. Witness their fresh take on the world.
Slightly shabby-looking these days, this looming hulk on King’s Road was once a glamorous cinema when it opened in 1952. Since ceasing operations in 1997, the building has been at risk of demolition, though it received Grade I historic building status after much public outcry. Browse the various retail shops beneath and take a look at this cultural landmark before efforts to knock it down start all over again.
This iconic theatre is home to one of the Hong Kong’s last remaining venues for Cantonese opera. Opened in 1972, this cultural venue has faced the threat of closure many times over the year but thanks to opera playwright Li Kui-ming and his million dollar rent contribution, the theatre remains in operation. Catch a performance and celebrate this important Cantonese art form.
The best restaurants and cafes in North Point
A coffee oasis in North Point, Brew Note are masters when it comes to cold coffee brews. The menu offers everything from hand-drip coffee and single origin espresso to the Press & Rock, Brew Note’s version of Aeropress on ice. The clue is in the name, the coffee house features a wall full of jazz vinyl and often hosts jam session in-house during weekends.
Clay Pot can be a little rough around the edges but, personally, we enjoy its rowdy and convivial location in the Electric Road Cooked Food Centre. Not to mention, it dishes up some cracking curries. It serves all the classics, from chicken tikka to garlic naan, but the specialties like ox tongue kadai and lamb knee masala are where the real action’s at.
This Taiwanese joint is legit. Owned by an extremely friendly Taiwanese gent – the kind who’ll lend you his umbrella if you forgot your own – the menu is a little pricey compared to most noodle joints, but it’s worth it. The signature dish here is, of course, beef noodles. The fresh broth is flavourful and packed full of wonderfully tender beef but other Taiwanese dishes such as minced pork with rice, pork knuckle and marinated chicken kidneys are just as tasty.
Anyone who thinks it’s impossible to dine with a view in North Point hasn’t been to Kwan Cheuk Heen and seen its stunning panorama of Victoria Harbour. Head here for Cantonese cuisine and feast on decadent dim sum and Canto classics such as braised abalone, char siu pork and the must-try braised e-fu noodles with lobster sauce.
Egg waffles. They’re everywhere in Hong Kong. But if you want to taste the king of gai daan zai, head to Lee Keung Kee. There are another two branches in the city as well as this one but North Point houses the original – hence the name. The waffles here are fluffy on the inside and crisp on the outside and don’t get any better.
Sitting on the corner of North Point Road and Java Road, laid back eatery Little Chilli dishes up authentic fiery Sichuan food. Its numbing bright red dishes include spicy boiled frog with bean sprouts and konnyaku noodles as well as chilli oil, chilli peppers, scallions and Sichuan peppercorns. Sound hot enough for you? If you need them, there are cooling dishes such as cold cucumber with garlic, too.
Qinghai Tibetan Noodles has no English sign and can be a little tough to find as it’s hidden down an alley behind North Point MTR station. Look for the alley off the intersection of Tsat Tsz Mui Road and Shu Kuk Street, then keep your eyes peeled for the restaurant’s orange sign. Once you find it, you’re rewarded with dishes like Tibetan style dry beef noodles with garlic sauce and awesome barbecue skewers such as mutton and grilled aubergine. It’s hard to choose when confronted with the awesome menu but be warned – the portions here are big.
The Big Bite is a Canadian style burger restaurant – something you don’t see all too often around Hong Kong. Burgers aside, also gracing the Canuck menu are ribs, steaks, hot dogs and buffalo wings – there’s even a Homicide hot wing challenge if you’re crazy enough to try. Known for its interesting selection of craft beers and tasty burgers, the restaurant seals the deal with great customer service.
Tim Ho Wan is one of the poster children for dim sum in Hong Kong. Yes, it may be a cliché go-to for tourists but it has become famous for good reason. Known as one of the cheapest Michelin-starred restaurants in the world, the service is perfunctorily but the dim sum is gold-standard. We recommend just about everything on the menu but no trip is complete without tucking into second – and perhaps third – helpings of the restaurant’s renowned baked cha siu bao.
Formerly known as Canaan Thai Snack, Tonkla popped up in the Michelin Guide’s street food list in 2016 but most punters walk right past this tiny, innocuous eatery. Their loss. With Thai owners, you can rest assured that classics like pad thai, tom yum goong, pork neck salad and the like are authentic and delicious. If you want a real spicy experience, just ask and the birdseye chillis will blow your mind.