HK Restaurant Roundup: New F&B openings include ladies-only speakeasy, Tuscan steak spot

Poem’s vegetable curry with coconut potato puree, pickled daikon and carrots (left), and Hue’s buffalo ricotta dumplings (right). Photos via Facebook and Spice Marketing.
Poem’s vegetable curry with coconut potato puree, pickled daikon and carrots (left), and Hue’s buffalo ricotta dumplings (right). Photos via Facebook and Spice Marketing.

In Hong Kong, new restaurant and bar concepts are like the hydra’s heads — one falls, and two new ones appear. It can get tedious keeping up with all the new F&B options competing for your attention, so let the Coconuts HK Restaurant Roundup cut through the noise with a rundown of some of the latest openings in the city. 


 

Asaya Kitchen

Asaya's sun-dried tomato tartare. Photo via Instagram.
Asaya’s sun-dried tomato tartare. Photo via Instagram.

Where: The swanky new Rosewood hotel, located just a few steps away from the Avenue of Stars. With its prime Victoria Harbour location, it also boasts a great view of Hong Kong Island.

Who: The kitchen is headed by Renaud Marin, formerly of the now-defunct deli-slash-French-restaurant Cochin, and the Sheung Wan French restaurant Upper Modern Bistro.

What: With its focus on health-conscious food, Asaya Kitchen is marketing itself as offering “wellness gastronomy.” So, unsurprisingly, the menu is long on vegetarian and fish dishes made from seasonal ingredients sourced from local farmers and fisheries. The restaurant bills itself as championing “an artful Mediterranean and healthy Japanese diet-inspired menu.”

Plant-based options include the sun-dried tomato tartare (HK$140), and the grilled kai lan (or Chinese broccoli) with ricotta, hazelnut, and dukkah (HK$135).

For those of you who want some omega-3s, the fish options include a pan-fried sea bream with crushed courgette, marinated vegetables, and black olives (HK$175), and a grilled red snapper with marinated red bell peppers, anchovy gremolata, and herb salad.

No desserts here, but there are fruit juices.

The only unhealthy option (or quite healthy, depending on which scientific studies you read) is the wine selection.

6/F Rosewood Hong Kong, 18, Salisbury Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui
+852 3891 8888
Mon to Sun 12pm-2:30pm and 6pm-10:30pm

 

Hue

Hue's pork loin with radicchio puree and fermented blue berries. Photo via Spice Marketing.
Hue’s pork loin with radicchio puree and fermented blue berries. Photo via Spice Marketing.

Where: The Hong Kong Museum of Art at Tsim Sha Tsui, which reopened this month after four years of renovations.

Who: Restaurant group Wooly Pig HK — the group behind Madam S’ate, Big Sur, Bathers, and Mr Chipper — helm this restaurant, while Executive Chef Anthony Hammel will be making his first foray into the Hong Kong dining scene. Hammel previously worked for chef Mark Best’s Pei Modern restaurant in Sydney, and then at Prime Steak House & Seafood Grill by Mark Best on the cruise ship Genting Dream.

What: Modern Australian fare with a focus on fresh and seasonal ingredients.

Starters include Hue’s Caesar salad (HK$130), made with Spanish white anchovies, applewood smoked egg, and bacon bread crumbs placed on top of the romaine lettuce, tossed with a vadouvan-spiked dressing; and the Carabinero prawn (HK$220), which is served with smoked herring caviar in a beurre blanc sauce.

For mains, Hue offers buffalo ricotta gnocchi (HK$290) on top of a bed of broccolini and broccolini puree, dressed with a smoked hazelnut and brown butter sauce; an Iberico pork loin (HK$340) served with fresh and fermented blueberries, and dressed with radicchio puree; and their aged duck breast (HK$360) with pan-roasted quince and sweet Chinese black garlic sauce.

And don’t worry, there are desserts, including a crème fraiche mousse with fresh raspberry, rhubarb, and Earl Grey ice cream (HK$115), and a 72 percent cacao bitter chocolate tart (HK$130) served with vanilla cream and hazelnut ganache.

1/F Hong Kong Museum of Art, 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
+852 3500 5888
Mon to Sun 11pm-10pm

 

XX

Photo via Facebook/XX.
Photo via Facebook/XX.

Where: Like a proper speakeasy, it’s tucked away in a hidden corner of the recently-opened luxury hotel Rosewood Hong Kong.

Who: Cocktails here are crafted by Rosewood Hong Kong’s director of bars, Arkadiusz Rybak — previously bar development manager at Japanese brunch spot Zuma — who is also in charge of the Rosewood’s other classy drinking establishment, Darkside.

What: The chic women-only (hence the name “XX,” a nod to female chromosomes) speakeasy is decidedly cozy — it can only fit 40 people — and is reservation-only.

The bar has a short cocktail list — heavy on stereotypically “girly” flavors like strawberry and jasmine — with an extensive range of wines and spirits, though you can also order classic cocktails or ask the bar team to whip up something custom for you.

Signatures include a champagne cocktail called the “Sexy,” made with jasmine, bergamot, champagne and London No. 3 gin.

5/F, Rosewood Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
+852 5239 9219
Tues to Sat 12pm-10pm; Closed on Sun to Mon

 

Aziza

Aziza's Hummus. Photo via Facebook.
Aziza’s Hummus. Photo via Facebook.

Where: The hipster haunt of Sai Ying Pun.

Who: The team behind the Kennedy Town Aziza have opened a second location in Sai Ying Pun after the original opened in 2017 to popular acclaim. The restaurant is owned by Mohsen Ibrahim, who was the chef at Central Middle Eastern restaurant Habibi.

What: Middle Eastern and North African food, and hot and cold mezzes, so expect lots of baba ganoush, halloumi, grilled meats, and tagines.

Popular dishes include the hummus (HK$60) and falafel (HK$72) — no surprises there — as well as the bosara (HK$65), a spread made from broad beans, onions, garlic, and herbs.

On the heartier side of things are the lamb shawarma (HK$125) and a tagine with vegetables and chicken (HK$137).

Shop 1B, G/F, Upton Tower, 345 Des Voeux Road West, Sai Ying Pun
+852 2886 4889
Tues to Sun 12pm-3pm and 6pm to 10pm; Closed on Mon

 

Poem

A spread by Poem. Photo via Facebook.
A spread by Poem. Photo via Facebook.

Where: LKF Tower, in the space where Lily & Bloom used to be.

Who: Restaurant group Le Comptoir — known for Bibo, Picniq, and Ecriture — are the people behind this restaurant. After taking over the old Lily & Bloom premises (which used to occupy two floors), they’ve split it into two restaurants, with Poem on the fifth floor, and a Japanese restaurant (also owned by the same group) on the sixth.

What: Balinese food. Some of you might remember Le Comptoir’s old Balinese restaurant Tri, which opened in 2015 and shut in 2018. Some of the interior elements from Tri also make an appearance at Poem, so there’s a sense of déjà vu here.

The menu is Balinese with some French influences, like the seared scallops (HK$148) served with sambal matah, coconut lime yogurt, and sago; tuna tartare (HK$198) with sambal-marinated tuna with kalamansi gel, fried shallots, grated caviar, and cashew crackers; lamb shank with gulai curry, coriander and fried cassava (HK$218); and Batik lobster (HK$498) served with sweet basil and vegetable fried noodles.

5/F, LKF Tower, 33 Wyndham Street, Central
+852 2810 6166
Mon to Fri 12pm-3pm and 5pm-11pm; Sun to Sat 11am-4pm and 5pm-11pm

 

Associazione Chianti

Spread by Associazione Chianti. Photo via Facebook.
Spread by Associazione Chianti. Photo via Facebook.

Where: Ship Street in Wan Chai.

Who: Black Sheep Restaurants — the group behind a string of eating establishments that typically come under the label “a bit pricey but consistently good.” This includes places like Osteria Marzia, Maison Libanaise, Artemis and Apollo, New Punjab Club, and Rajasthan Rifles.

What: Tuscan feasts, featuring lots of pastas and steaks.

Expect to spend a fair bit; antipasti and salads are priced between HK$118 and HK$178, pastas are between HK$118 and HK$188, and meats are priced between HK$218 and HK$1,298 (though many will serve three or four people.)

Their monster T-bone — a traditional bistecca alla Fiorentina (HK$1,198) seasoned with salt, pepper, and herbs — weighs a full kilo, making it a rather impressive cut to share with your meat-loving friends.

Their signature pasta, Garganelli Omaggio a Cammillo (HK$118), with a Chianti and beef ragu, is a similarly meaty option.

15 Ship Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
+852 3619 3360
Mon to Sun 6pm-10:45pm

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