Best things to do and eat in Sai Kung
Honeymoon Desserts’ mango pudding is the best of the best when it comes to relieving Hong Kong’s sweltering summer heat. Thick mango chunks nestle in a bed of cool, creamy puree and the dessert is bursting with citrusy aromas from the juicy pomelo. The sago adds a satisfying squidgy-ness and once you’ve had one, you’ll be addicted. The branch in Sai Kung is where it all started before its global expansion, so you know the desserts here are top shelf.
With a massive stylish campus built in 2010, this design school focuses on fashion, product design, communication and interior design. The gallery here is a 600sq m exhibition space that’s open to the public and shows a wide range of art and design, from innovative typography to stunning photography. Check the opening hours though, as they vary from exhibition to exhibition.
Lion’s Nature Education Centre isn’t so much a farm as it is a wide, sprawling park. Take a stroll on a sunny weekend and you’re likely to see plenty of families playing badminton, playing with their dog, bird-watching or simply lying on the grass. The 16-hectare centre is also home to a large lotus pond, an insectarium, a rock academy, shell museum, Chinese medicinal herb garden and a butterfly valley − all of which provide a great opportunity for science-curious kids to explore nature. A large part of the centre consists of natural woodland with a conveniently marked trail. As one sign notes ‘more you walk, more you learn!’ There’s a small cafeteria but Lion’s is the perfect place to enjoy a big picnic, so pack in advance.
This dinky oasis serves all-day breakfasts and healthy Mediterranean lunch offerings like a haloumi bowl with quinoa, pickled beetroot and lemon tahini dressing. Stop by for nourishing grub and good coffee, as well as comfy couches, fast Wi-Fi and plenty of sockets for your laptop or phone.
Having been subjected to the intense scrutiny of those sage reviewers from the Michelin Guide, this Sai Kung seafood restaurant is now the proud owner of one star. Spread over three floors, the mantis shrimps, crabs and scallops are must order dishes, though the salted fried chicken and seafood soup are also popular. You can even bring your own fish and have it prepared by the kitchen.
It’s a bit out of the way but you just can’t do a Sai Kung food tour without mentioning One Thirty-One. This exclusive private kitchen is located in a gorgeous three-storey Mediterranean-style house overlooking Tolo Harbour, 10 minutes from Sai Kung Town by taxi. The seasonal menu changes regularly, so check in advance before you book.
Passion Drink’s USP is its fruitades: healthy fruit sodas that come in varieties such as salted lemonade and pomegranate vinegar. The refreshingly sour and fizzy flavours are unusual in the best possible way. Also available are a variety of detoxifying pressed juices as well as smoothies and delicious cold noodles.
Eat a pineapple bun – or better yet, a buttered pineapple bun – from the famous Sai Kung Café and Bakery. Not sure if it’s worth the trek? Hong Kong screen legend Chow Yun-fat is said to be a fan, which is a glowing endorsement if we’ve ever heard one. Another massively popular order is their Portuguese egg tart, which melts in your mouth when it’s fresh out of the oven. Yum.
Looking for a party venue? Secret Garden is a secluded private outdoor lawn that’s perfect for anyone looking for a more intimate gathering. Surrounded by palm trees and fresh air, the seriously-photogenic venue offers a range of packages from cocktail receptions to buffets and banquet dinner parties.
One of the few clean freshwater river pools in Hong Kong, Sheung Luk Stream is located just beyond the beachside village of Sai Wan. It’s an easy one-hour hike from the village with decent views overlooking High Island Reservoir along the way as the trail winds through East Country Park. You’ll pass through three small basins before reaching a deep – trust us, it’s very deep – river pool. For those looking for a thrill, you can cliff jump into the rock pool, but go carefully if you do. Otherwise, simply make it a lazy day and picnic on the surrounding rocks.
Discover another local ’hood
Home to one of the largest cat cafés in the city, massive party rooms and some of the best local restaurants offering homemade comfort food, Tsuen Wan is an underrated neighbourhood that deserves to be on your radar.