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Ethos Concept Shop & Café
The interior of Ethos Concept Shop & Café

Shek Tong Tsui: Ultimate Guide

Home to a number of hipster cafés and indie shops, this area is reinventing itself as the next big ’hood in Hong Kong

By Olivia Lai
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Often overshadowed by its trendier neighbours, Sai Ying Pun and Kennedy Town, Shek Tong Tsui is finally coming into its own thanks to its increasing number of fantastic restaurants, cool cafés and independent shops. Hop on the MTR to HKU Station – or the tram to Whitty Street, if you prefer – and experience all the best things to do in Shek Tong Tsui courtesy of this guide.

Best things to do and eat in Shek Tong Tsui

Artisan Garden Café

Restaurants Cafés Shek Tong Tsui

Like a Pinterest mood board come to life, Aristan Garden Café boasts a wall completely decked out with Fire-King mugs – so that’s your Instagram photo of the day sorted. The charming Aussie-inspired café also has a modest outdoor patio area and a cosy indoor space where you can enjoy finely-brewed coffee and waffles, too – the buttermilk fried chicken is a must-try.

Artisan Room

Restaurants Contemporary European Shek Tong Tsui

Sleek and chic, this is artisanal coffee shop combines finely crafted drinks – whether it’s coffee, organic tea or juices – with an equally well-crafted ambience. The joes are excellent and the crowd is cool. However, for us, the food is king. Enjoy a sweet or savoury éclair or a delicate quiche while you relax out on the outdoor terrace.

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Blank

Shopping Shek Tong Tsui

Established by two architects, Blank is a shop that promotes well-designed stationery products. Sourcing items from Japan to Germany, this is the place to pick up everything from stylish mechanical pencils to scissors that look like they probably won a design award.

BBM Lounge

Bars and pubs Cocktail bars Shek Tong Tsui

At the bottom of Hill Road exists a hidden cocktail bar. Step inside BBM and you’re welcomed by neon lights, gold clad walls and menus that glow in the dark. The bar serves fun and creative drinks. Don’t miss its signature six-month barrel-aged cocktails, such as the Smoky Manhattan (served in a glass dome that’s filled with smoke) and Spiked Tea (a tea-infused gin-based tipple).

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Café Malacca - satay
Photograph: Courtesy Café Malacca

Café Malacca

Restaurants Malaysian Shek Tong Tsui

Café Malacca is one of the few places in town that serves up authentic Malaysian and Singaporean food. The refined yet homely dishes never fail to impress. Order classic street-style dishes like gado gado, beef rendang and Singaporean laksa before indulging in desserts like kaya toast durian tong yuen. 

Chau Kee

Restaurants Chinese Sai Ying Pun

Chau Kee’s ‘lava’ french toast is legendary and people from far and wide travel to Shek Tong Tsui for a bite. There are three flavours to pick from: custard (the crowd favourite), sesame and taro. Aside from its popular french toast, the cha chaan teng offers a range of quality dim sum including truffle har gao, excellent cheung fun, and custard buns.

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Classified

Restaurants Shek Tong Tsui

A local institution, Classified has made a name for itself serving up European-style bites, baking homemade treats and offering a comfy neighbourhood vibe at each of its locations. At this branch at The Upton, there’s a semi-outdoor seating area and the menu features the chain’s popular burgers and smoothies. Oh, and let’s not forget the cheese selection – here they dish up French fromage from Les Frères Marchand and English goodies from Neal’s Yard Dairy.

Cobo House by 2am:dessertbar

Restaurants Japanese Shek Tong Tsui

A concept co-founded by Janice Wong – twice named Asia’s Best Pastry Chef – of the original 2am:dessertbar in Singapore, this Cobo House location offers a range of seriously gorgeous edible art. On the savoury side, there’s pasta like the Korean beef ribs ragu and Hokkaido uni spaghetti. For sweets, the Pop Mountain (a tower of popcorn with ice cream and pink salt) and the Sour Cube (a cream cake housing red fruits and honeycomb) are both must-tries. 

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Ethos
Photograph: Courtesy Ethos

Ethos Concept Shop & Café

Restaurants Cafés Shek Tong Tsui

A minimalistic café-slash-concept store located on the slopes of Hill Road, Ethos’s speciality is its pour-over and ice-drip coffee. The restaurant space is also one of few spots in Hong Kong where you can find decent Viennese coffee and some pretty great sweet and savoury crepes. Meanwhile, the shop next door showcases a broad range of minimalist apparel and home products. With goods carefully handpicked from Scandinavia, Taiwan and our very own SAR, expect the finest aesthetic wares.

Feather & Bone

Restaurants Shek Tong Tsui

The brick-and-mortar incarnation of online deli Three Butchers, Feather & Bone opened its second sit-down restaurant at the end of last year. The venue has made a name for itself thanks to its fuss-free food and neighbourhood charm. Diners are encouraged to peruse the butcher’s counter, which boasts a fine selection of premium meats that can be cooked à la minute in the restaurant’s open kitchen.

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Explore another local ’hood

Wong Chuk Hang: Ultimate Guide

Things to do

Aside from becoming known for its increasing range of art institutions, under-the-radar cafés, restaurants and a craft beer scene add to Wong Chuk Hang’s charm. Follow this guide and get acquainted with some of the area’s many hidden gems.

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