Su Casa is one of those private kitchen-like establishments on an upper floor somewhere, serving oysters and western-style dishes but with very local servers and a very local clientele. Here, you ring a doorbell in front of a big black door in a nondescript building, and are welcomed into a small, dark room with pale magenta curtains covering most of the windows. (It’s definitely not a place for the claustrophobic.)
In terms of the décor, we have to admit that we can’t pinpoint exactly what has changed at the newishly revamped Café Deco, besides the eye-catching patisserie by the entrance and a couple of private rooms—but we’re stilling loving those hallmark floor-to-ceiling windows, the open kitchens and the generous space between the tables.
With its fabulous view and floor-to-ceiling windows, Cafe Deco is a great stop after shopping in the Peak Galleria.
With its fabulous view and floor-to-ceiling windows, international restaurant Cafe Deco is a great stop after shopping at the Peak Galleria. Grab a seat at the oyster bar, or book a window or patio table.
We’ve long had an impression of Knutsford Terrace as a place of cheesy chain restaurants and drunken international school teachers, but after our visit to Amico, we’re thinking that there’s something more to this pedestrian strip off Kimberley Road.
Cooked food centers are some of the best places to have a meal in Hong Kong, despite their ridiculous name and unassuming exteriors. Thanks to the low rent charged by the government, cooked food centers offer dirt-cheap, yummy food.
This dai pai dong is tucked away in the corner of a municipal building, which includes the indoor wet market and a library. Admittedly, not the most likely of places for a slap-up meal. Being Thai, the proprietress displays her ultra-friendly, down-to-earth Thai-style smiles and service, and she has spent the time and effort to decorate the stall with plastic blossoms to honor the spirits and royals.
This colorful café looks like it’s been decorated by a grown-up emo chick, but the canvases of sinister manga and anime-looking Betty Boop characters hanging on the bright green walls next to a Union Jack flag didn’t seem to faze the other guests.
After spending a good 10 minutes looking at every odd toy, picture and memorabilia usually found in an old school nursery, we tried to order brunch dishes, which ended up being a group effort. The sweet and friendly staff couldn’t speak a lick of English so they asked a lady at a nearby table to help with our order.
The experience for Canto-speaking peeps might be quite different from ours, and this small and homey Sai Ying Pun spot could be a nice place for a cheap and simple—if not exactly western—meal. But for those of us looking for the real deal, it’s a different story.
This achingly chic restaurant slash after-hours hangout is particularly hard to book; we had to wait two months to finally get a table for two for dinner one weekend.
Ammo is owned by prolific restaurateur Tony Cheng (who’s also behind The Drawing Room, Le Salon and Hainan Shaoye) and designed by a couple of American architects who gave the space a very on-trend, industrial-chic vibe. The whole building is surrounded by lush foliage and you almost feel like you’re in a posh resort somewhere in Southeast Asia instead of good ol’ Admiralty.
Ammo pays homage to the site’s military past (it used be an explosives magazine compound for the British military)—its name, supposedly an acronym for the somewhat clunky string, “Asia, Modern, Museum and Original,” is also obviously short for “ammunition.” But the food, thank goodness, has nothing to do with mess hall grub. The official line is Ammo offers Asian- and Mediterranean-style dishes, but from the pictures alone (I haven’t been yet), the food looks very Italian indeed.Just up the slope from the Shangri-La is Ammo, the new restaurant slash bar at the Asia Society opened by restaurateur Tony Cheng (who's behind Hainan Shaoye and The Drawing Room).Originally, we had planned to come here straight after the Shangri-La, but a check on the time indicates it’s not even 10pm, which means Ammo will most likely still be a bit of a snooze, piping in boring, failsafe classical music. (We actually went to Ammo the weekend before, and witnessed how the venue transitions from uppity restaurant to an upbeat bar later in the night.)Questionable music choices aside, the place is posh—there are lots of metallic and copper touches to pay tribute to the site’s past as a munitions storehouse for the British military, and the floor-to-ceiling windows offering views of the lush greenery just outside make this bar and eatery one-of-a-kind.
Gordon Ramsay protégé Jason Atherton seems primed to conquer Asia’s dining scene, what with buzz-generating openings like Waterhouse in Shanghai and Pollen Street Social, Esquina and Keong Saik Snacks in Singapore—all opened since 2010.
Another tapas restaurant is coming to town, this one headed by English chef Jason Atherton—whom our travel columnist Hana covered a few pages back. (He’s also launching a restaurant in Singapore. Busy man!)
Quick rundown on Mr. Atherton: he’s worked at Gordon Ramsay’s Michelin-starred restaurant, Maze, at the Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square, and opened his own Michelin-starred restaurant Pollen Street Social—both in London—before expanding his brand to Asia, where he’s now popping out gastronomic ventures at record rates.
The one in Hong Kong is called 22 Ships, after its location in the Star Street Precinct, and it will be a tapas bar.
Stay tuned for details.
Thai food lovers will not be disappointed by the fare offered at this tiny, quiet joint in Wan Chai. As evidenced by a few proverbs scribbled on the wall, the owners of this eatery are Christian, but the religious theme is not at all palpable.
Nestled on the ground floor of an old commercial building surrounded by car repair shops, even Cheung Sha Wan residents might miss Chao Hui Guan. What you won’t miss, however, is the consistently long queue of people outside.
We were pretty excited to see this little takeout joint open in our ‘hood; focusing on simple roast chicken with a French twist, the spot provides something a little different from the typical CCTs, various Asian restaurants, cafes and other takeaways in the area.
Before you even see this street-side shop, you’ll catch the fumes of cooked poultry wafting down the alleyway. A giant red rotisserie oven behind the glass-walled kitchen is the main showcase, and it’s packed with rows and rows of golden, corn-fed, France-bred birds all waiting for chef Aurelien Malik Benbernou to unskewer and serve to his customers. You can get the chicken in quarters ($50), halves ($90) or whole ($150), and have them accompanied with mash, ratatouille, roasted veggies and other sides. You can also get sandwiches, salads and quiches here.