A relaxing week-end experience in bustling Hong Kong? A possible reprieve.
Chill out on cute coffee-shop terraces, eat at affordable trendy restaurants and go shopping in a not too crowded heritage building in Sheung Wan. Or time travel back in the 1920’s in Wanchai's emblematic Blue House.
Oh, and 30 minutes away from downtown is the strikingly beautiful Shek-O beach. Where white sand and sunbeds await you... Hear the sound of the waves already?
Breakfast at Cafe Deadend or Lof10
Po’s Atelier & Cafe Deadend, multicultural bakery
Created by a Swedish and a Hong Konger, this French bakery with a Japanese twist serves fresh breads and pastries without additives or preservatives. Next door, Cafe Dead End their sister coffee shop located in a narrow… dead-end street, has a menu focusing on salads, bagels and warm sandwiches.
ASK: for the Oolong fig bread at Po’s, order a drink at Cafe Deadend and enjoy your breakfast on their al fresco terrace.
Tucked in a residential area, not far from Po’s atelier, this beautiful and peaceful coffee shop carries this mantra : “Love what you do often” (lof10). That’s one good reason to go. The owners studied in UCLA and there’s a kind of west coast vibe in here. Second reason to go, coffee is awesome. Go early though as there’s only a few seats and a big table to share. They serve breakfast all day and dishes like korean cold noodles.
ASK: for their homemade lemonade if you already had your coffee.
FYI, if you’re more whisky than lemonade, they opened a speakeasy recently “Lof 10 Distillery”.
Endless shopping at PMQ
This former “Private Marine Quarter” (meaning home to married junior police officers), and former government school is now a creative hub housing local design talents among coffee shops and restaurants. the residential building was revamped into shops and studios for exhibitions. There’s “the taste library”, a library dedicated to food and lifestyle (fifth floor) and Sohofama at the basement, a chinese comfort food restaurant (healthy and organic).
You could spend hours exploring the dozens and dozens of curiosities at PMQ.
Little Bao for lunch
Little Bao or “where Asian street food meets American diner”. Located just opposite the PMQ, this little restaurant turns traditional chinese baos into fusion cuisine burgers. From the beef one with sesame mayo and shiso to the Szechuan fried chicken one, it’s surprising and surprisingly good, but not light. The baos are small so you can taste a few. And if you’re not into “burgers”, they serve salads as well, the Sesame Caesar was good.
ASK: for “a sweet ending”. Think crispy bao matcha ice cream sandwich.
Tea or more at Teakha
A little tea and cake shop where to enjoy a cuppa, cakes or brunch in a homey atmosphere. The owner Nana Chan, a former corporate lawyer has decided to follow her intuition and “see the world through a cup of tea”. Seems to have worked as a second tea house “Teakha II” has opened in Tai Ping Shan.
ASK: For the Hojicha Cheese cake. For a moment you won’t be able to distinguish tea from coffee, a delicate and puzzling pastry.
This eclectic neighborhood, famous thanks to the renowned book and movie “The world of Suzie Wong”, is part a red light district, part a heritage building area where trendy shops and flagship have recently settled. The wet market, the Yuk Hui KungTemple and The 1922 Blue House are worth the visit. The latter houses the Hong Kong House of Stories, where a local community collects antiques and records old stories. They organize Cultural tours to discover interesting places in old Wanchai.
Maps to the Blue House
HK House of stories - website
Dinner at Dim Sum square and/or Man Mo Café
What would be a trip to Hong Kong without Dim Sum… Choose to go classic at Dim Sum Square or fusion at Man Mo Café. But first, visit the Man Mo temple area to catch a glimpse of authentic Honk Kong. And stop by the 100 year old “Yuan Heng Spice Co” shop to get your Sichuan pepper fix.
Dim Sum Square
Dim Sum SquareThe long queue lets you guess how good the food is. It’s better to avoid rush hours but anyway it’s worth waiting. I wouldn’t go for the xiao long bao here but more for the steamed rice rolls and the hakaos. They’re nearly perfect.
Another bad attempt at making fusion food? No no no feel reassured, one of the chefs used to work at Din Tai Fung, so the xiao long bao is delicious, even more with foie gras in it. And the ratatouille dumpling is good, if you like ratatouille.
An interesting experience.
001 - Hidden Speakeasy at Central Wet Market
In Honk Kong, I couldn’t help thinking about the atmosphere in Johnny To’s movies, and where to feel it. A deserted wet market at night? that’s close to it… A speakeasy behind a stall with a hidden door bell, that’s it, that would be my favourite bar. On top of that, it’s cosy.
ASK: For their signature cocktail, the Earl Grey Martini.
Shek O beach
The route to Shek-O beach itself is worth the journey. Driving between the hills makes you realise how green and diverse Hong Kong Island is. Then the little village of Shek-O with its temple, colourful houses and little restaurants make you feel like you’re hours away from the city. After getting lost in the narrow streets, head to the beach and choose the sunbed where you’ll spend hours watching the surfers trying to catch a wave.
Maps to Shek O Beach