Welcome to a brand-new (and hopefully much better) year! With 2020 and its horrors behind us, we take our taste buds on the prowl for the latest and greatest that the city’s culinary scene has to offer. Celebrate new beginnings with the most exciting new restaurants and pop-ups to be found in Hong Kong this January.
Look, we get it—travel has been off the cards for the better part of a year now and we’re feeling antsy to indulge our wanderlust. As one of the most quintessential experiences of travelling centres around the flavourful offerings of one’s desired destination, why not take your taste buds travelling at Passepartout instead? Named after the fictional character in Jules Verne’s Around the World in Eighty Days, the petite café oozes Parisian bistro charms, but you’ll find much more than just French fare on its focused menu.
Shocking (but surprisingly welcome) for such a small establishment, the team at Passepartout crafts almost everything from scratch, including their rotating flavours of ice cream and seasonal pastries, with an attention to detail that is admirable. Highlights from the menu include the globally-inspired mains of Calcutta ($118), an Indian-influenced take on the Southern classic of chicken and waffles with butter chicken and spiced masala waffles, and Yokohama ($158), a heart-warming bowl of Japanese comfort flavours, featuring toasted rice patties, pickled daikon, onsen eggs, and tender slabs of char siu in a mouth-watering tare (垂れ) glaze.
Don’t leave without tasting from the beverage menu; the thoughtfully hand-picked selection of teas and the Avo-gato ($60)—affogato served with homemade avocado ice cream—are stunners, as is the Cino ($50), a modern take on the traditional yuenyeung (鴛鴦; a classic Hong Kong-style beverage blend of coffee and tea).
Passepartout Brunch & Coffee, Shop 2, G/F, Chung Wai Commercial Building, 447–449 Lockhart Road
Love grilled meat but hate sharing your food with others? You’re in luck, for a solo yakiniku dining experience has come to Hong Kong this January. Yakiniku Like, a highly acclaimed yakiniku specialist from Tokyo, makes its long-awaited local debut at bustling New Town Plaza, presenting a double whammy of rewarding your cravings for lush Japanese bites while minimising public contact. Promoting a fast-casual experience with the joy of dining alone and wallet-friendly prices, the modern concept of Yakiniku Like centres around a personal grill, so the diner may prepare their food however they like. Throw in a convenient, “contactless” ordering system and a focused menu of eight yakiniku sets and you’ve got a winning formula. How’s that for socially distanced dining?
Yakiniku Like, Shop 408, Level 4, Phase I, New Town Plaza, Sha Tin
Following hot on the heels of last month’s eager Italian restaurant openings, Da Filippo Trattoria is the latest offering from celebrated chef Andrea Alimenti, a Michelin-star-studded veteran with more than 20 years of experience under his belt. Taking pride in presenting a slew of everyday Italian dishes that most diners should have no trouble recognising, Da Filippo Trattoria rests on the basis of just two fundamental principles: traditional Italian family flavours and affordable prices. An open area of 150 seats encourages a jovial all-day dining experience, suitable for quick meals, casual catch-ups over aperitivo, and sit-down feasts of leisure.
One cursory glance through the menu reveals classic appetisers like beef carpaccio ($188), crispy octopus ($158), classic meatballs in tomato sauce ($98), and Caprese salad with pesto sauce ($108). Variety aside, the stars of the show at Da Filippo Trattoria are the house-made pizzas (using sourdough that has been fermented in-house for 24 to 48 hours) and fresh pasta, made on-site daily using flour from a family-run mill in north-central Italy. From the moreish lobster tagliatelle ($288) and the novel foie gras tortellini in duck broth ($188) to the irresistible Meat Lovers pizza ($188) with six different types of meat, there’s a little something to suit everyone. Just be sure to leave some room for dessert—you don’t want to miss out on the tiramisu ($68) or the ricotta cheese pie ($68).
No opening date has been confirmed yet but we expect Da Filippo Trattoria will open within the month.
Da Filippo Trattoria, Shop 3203–3204A, 3/F, Gateway Arcade, Harbour City, 25 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
As Lai Sun Dining’s latest culinary offering, Masa Hong Kong sure is the belle of the ball. Set against the glittering backdrop of the Central skyline, this refined and minimalistic dining experience is presented by chef Masataka Fujisawa, who also helms the prestigious and intimate omakase (お任せ) concept Sushi Masataka in Wan Chai. While the opening date is yet to be announced, what we can expect from Masa Hong Kong is an exclusive culinary journey presented atop Hinoki cypress counters and a taste of nothing but the finest Japanese ingredients and techniques.
Masa Hong Kong, 5/F, CCB Tower, 3 Connaught Road Central, Central | (+852) 2131 1303
For those who always find themselves torn on where to have their next meal, Kollabo comes to the rescue. Uniting a whopping total of 15 different Japan-based Korean cuisine brands under the banner of one restaurant, Kollabo highlights fan-favourites from each culinary concept, delivering an eclectic and all-encompassing menu influenced by well-known Korean and Japanese delicacies. Whether you fancy Korean spicy fried chicken with cheese ($278) from Myongmul Dakgalbi, raw crab marinated in soy sauce ($228) from SoBackJa Ganjanggejang that’s made using a 40-year-old secret sauce recipe, or a heart-warming bowl of spicy tofu stew ($98) from Sogongdong Dookbaegi, even the pickiest of eaters will find something to love at Kollabo.
Kollabo, G1014–1015, G/F, Yiu Sing Mansion Stage 10, Taikoo Shing, Quarry Bay
From Westside Hospitality, who brought us 11 Westside and Westside Taqueria, comes OBP, a casual drinking and dining concept that embraces the Korean sool-jip (술집; “alcohol house”) experience. Dreamt up by beverage director Daniel Eun and chef Junwoo Choi, OBP leverages on their Korean heritage to present a host of traditional sharing plates and modern cocktails made with Korean alcohol, such as soju, makgeolli, and baeksaeju.
Indulge in exciting bites like the spicy braised pork rib ($238), paired with a Dokdo (sour apple) gimlet ($120) to cool down the taste buds, and continue with dishes like the ever-popular kimchi pancake ($108) and boneless fried chicken ($108). Of course, when in an alcohol house, let’s not neglect the drinks: the South Korean football team-inspired Red Devil 02 ($120) and the fruit-filled Hourglass ($120) are our top picks. Discerning lovers of Korean alcohol will delight to know that OBP is the only establishment in Hong Kong that offers Damun Premium Makgeolli ($160), a sweet and smooth Korean-made rice wine that pairs perfectly with the moreish bar bites.
OBP, 3–5 Old Bailey Street, Central
Rise and shine and roll on over to Exchange Square, where the irresistible waft of freshly baked artisanal goods from Rise will greet you. A new bakery concept presented by all-day dining darling Classified Group, Rise offers a comforting selection of homemade pastries, baked items, and savoury dishes that will make the start of your day just that much better. Whether you are dining in or taking away, the hearty breakfast platter and daily quiche are not to be missed, and the tri-colour hummus, flavoured with pea, beetroot, and carrot, is a hit as well.
Rise by Classified, Shop 313, 3/F, Exchange Square Podium, 8 Connaught Place, Central
Blending the dynamic energy of chic Korean lifestyle with delectable Korean flavours, Rollin marries gourmet K-rolls with fashion accessories in a convenient takeaway package. Set within the retail urban wear concept Belowground and launched by Francesco Lee of Moyo and Moyo Sik, Rollin offers savoury and sweet bites for quick and casual on-the-go meals. Sneakerheads will no doubt love the presentation as well, as the rolls come packaged in a branded shoebox. For a taste of what Rollin is all about, opt for the Korean fishcake & tofu roll and the truffle beef rice roll, where East meets West in the best ways possible.
Rollin, Belowground, B49–B52, B55–B56, B59–B61, Basement, Landmark Atrium, 15 Queen's Road Central, Central