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The 15 Hottest New Restaurants in Hong Kong

Where to find Thai noodles and Sichuan peppercorn pizza in Asia’s bustling metropolis

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Today, Eater returns to Hong Kong to check in on 15 newish restaurants that have been garnering some serious buzz. As with the Hong Kong 38, we've tapped local food writer Janice Leung Hayes to offer her picks for the hottest openings of the past 12 months.

Among her selections are restaurants offering tongue-in-cheek nods to their Chinese heritage (Happy Paradise, Dragon Noodles Academy) and eateries taking traditional street food up a few notches (Le Petit Saigon, Cô Thành Restaurant). Fine-dining options certainly aren’t overlooked with choices, including an Instagram-worthy restaurant decked out in millennial pink (Tate Dining Room), a notable revamp of a legendary Hong Kong restaurant (Caprice), and a French-Japanese newcomer run by Michelin-pedigreed chefs (Haku).

Here now, and in geographical order, the Eater Heatmap to Hong Kong.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Alvy’s

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8 Holland St
Kennedy Town, Hong Kong
+852 2312 2996
Visit Website

While Alvy’s does have the vibe of a New York neighborhood bar, it’s unlikely diners will find a Sichuan peppercorn pizza or char siu latkes in the five boroughs. Nonetheless, Alvy’s sourdough pizzas and wide range of craft beers — one of the owners is also behind Young Master Ales, one of the city’s most exciting craft beer breweries — have Hongkongers wishing Alvy’s was in their neighborhood.

Hong Kong Heatmap Alvy’s
Pizza at Alvy’s
Photo: Alvy’s / Facebook

2. Tate Dining Room & Bar

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210 Hollywood Rd
Sheung Wan, Hong Kong

Award-winning chef Vicky Lau has moved her small fine-dining restaurant into a more spacious location further west. Her background in graphic design is still a central theme. The interiors feature an elegant take on millennial pink, and the tasting menu–only offerings retain their focus on aesthetics, while increasingly drawing from the chef’s Chinese heritage, as with the “Ode to Chiu Chow Classic,” a delicate dish of foie gras royale and goose marinated with five spice, per Chaozhou (a city in Guangdong) tradition.

Hong Kong Heatmap Tate Dining room
A dish at Tate Dining Room
Photo: Tate Dining Room / Facebook

3. Frantzén’s Kitchen

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11 Upper Station St, Tai Ping Shan, Hongkong
Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
+852 2559 8508
Visit Website

International heavyweight Frantzén’s Kitchen is a casual outpost of the venerable Restaurant Frantzén in Stockholm. Here, chef Jim Löfdahl serves a a more decadent — yet modern — style of cooking and offers a new perspective to local diners for whom Nordic cuisine only meant light and vegetal.

Hong Kong Heatmap Frantzén's Kitchen
French toast
Photo: Frantzen’s Kitchen / Facebook

4. Happy Paradise

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52-56 Staunton Street, UG/F
Central, Hong Kong
 +852 2816 2118
Visit Website

May Chow has been challenging diners to rethink Chinese food — and collecting accolades for it — since her first restaurant Little Bao opened in 2013. Her latest restaurant, Happy Paradise, is all about revisiting Hong Kong-style retro kitsch with the finesse of a chef. Dishes like slow-cooked chicken with chrysanthemum, rice puffs and Shaoxing wine, or pan-fried scallops made to look like cheung fan (rice noodles) star on the menu. Completing the package is an out-of-the-box cocktail list, with drinks such as the Kowloon Soy Smash made with mezcal, Thai basil, ginger, and topped with soy “air,” and the Durian Painkiller, filled with fruit-infused dark rum and cream.

Hong Kong Heatmap Happy Paradise
Scallops from Happy Paradise
Photo: Happy Paradise / Facebook

5. Cô Thành Restaurant

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G/F, 2-4 Kau U Fong
Central, Hong Kong

For a long time, Hongkongers associated Vietnamese food with pho, but a new breed of restaurants like Cô Thành are changing that by offering dishes like bun bo Hue, a pork and beef noodle soup from Central Vietnam, and bun mam, a preserved fish and shrimp soup, to their menus. To learn the ins and outs of Vietnamese cuisine, the owners of Cô Thành apprenticed with Nguyen Thi Thành, aka the Lunch Lady, the street stall vendor who became an international celebrity after appearing in Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations. The restaurant is even named after her, as Cô Thành translates to Madam Thanh. But when dining at Cô Thành be prepared to wait — lunchtime queues are almost a fixture here.

Hong Kong Heatmap Cô Thành Restaurant
Phá lấu
Photo: Co Thanh / Facebook

6. Employees Only Hong Kong

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19 Lan Kwai Fong
Central, Hong Kong
+852 2468 2755
Visit Website

Less than a year after opening its first Asian outpost in Singapore, this legendary New York City bar has taken up residence in Hong Kong. The choice of location is bold — although once the epitome of Hong Kong nightlife, Lan Kwai Fong is better known these days for its rowdy pubs and tourist bars. But at Employees Only, well-crafted cocktails with carefully chosen ingredients — such as the EO Gimlet, made with house-made cordial, or the Fraise Sauvage, featuring wild strawberries and Tahitian vanilla — offer a welcome respite for cocktail lovers in this corner of town.

7. Dragon Noodles Academy

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Man Yee Arcade Shop G04, G/F, Man Yee Building, No. 68 Des Voeux Road, (Entrance outside Arcade on Pottinger Street, dig opposite the TopShop)
Central, Hong Kong
+852 2561 6688
Visit Website

Modeled after a kung fu academy, complete with lion’s heads for lion dances, this funky Chinese restaurant serves up twists on staples like hand-pulled noodles in a bisque-like lobster soup and Peking duck sliced three ways (skin-only, skin and meat, meat-only) and paired with different condiments from sung choi bao to Sichuan-style stir-fried duck loaded with dried chiles. In the glitzy Central neighborhood, it can be hard to find a decently-priced meal, but DNA helps fill that void.

Hong Kong Heatmap Dragon Noodles Academy
A meal at Dragon Noodles Academy
Photo: Dragon Noodles Academy / Facebook

8. Caprice

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Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, 8 Finance St
Central, Hong Kong
+852 3196 8888
Visit Website

One of Hong Kong’s most important French restaurants has welcomed new chef de cuisine Guillaume Galliot, who was previously at the two-Michelin-starred Tasting Room in Macau. Galliot is known for injecting Asian flavors into modern French cuisine, like his version of laksa with crab, confit egg, leeks, hazelnuts, and sudachi (a Japanese lime-like citrus).

Hong Kong Heatmap Caprice
A dish at Caprice
Photo: Four Seasons Hong Kong

9. Octavium Italian Restaurant

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8/F One Chinachem Central, 22 Des Voeux Rd Central
Central, Hong Kong

He may have been awarded a lifetime achievement award earlier this year by Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, but Umberto Bombana, who is best known for 8½ Otto e Mezzo, the only three-Michelin-starred Italian restaurant outside of Italy, isn’t resting on his laurels. Octavium is a smaller and more casual affair with short prix fixe menus that change constantly with the seasons. Expect dishes like marinated raw Japanese snapper with mandarin orange and roasted veal with trombetta squash and watercress.

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10. Dr. Fern’s Gin Parlour

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Shop B31A, First Basement Floor, Landmark Atrium, 15 Queen’s Road
Central, Hong Kong
+852 2111 9449
Visit Website

“Do you have an appointment?” the hostess in a lab coat asks when guests step into Dr. Fern’s — but only if they have opened the correct door. As its name suggests, this is a gin-focused bar with more than 250 varieties on the menu. If it’s all too overwhelming, the “doctor” can help guests find the right gin-based libation. And since it’s decked out in whimsical floral wallpaper and Victorian-style furniture, Dr. Fern’s Gin Parlour is also a popular place for afternoon tea, served with a G&T, of course.

Hong Kong Heat Map Dr. Fern's Gin Parlour
Dr. Fern's Gin Parlour
Photo: Dr. Fern’s Gin Parlour / Facebook

11. Green Common

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Shop OTG61, G/F, Ocean Terminal, Harbour City
Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
+852 3102 1220
Visit Website

Although Hong Kong once topped global charts for the most meat eaten per capita, one of the most significant trends in recent years has been the push towards vegetarianism — and the main proponent of that movement is Green Monday. The plant-based advocates have recently opened several cafe-in-shop concepts, serving creative takes on Asian favorites like “Hainan Runaway Chicken,” Tom Yum vegan pork jowl pho, and was the first place outside of the United States to serve the Beyond Burger, the plant-based burger that “bleeds.”

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12. Haku

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Shop OT G04B, Ground Floor, Ocean Terminal, Habour City
Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
+852 2115 9965
Visit Website

Agustin Balbi, Hong Kong Tatler’s Best New Chef 2016, has moved from modern French cooking to French-leaning Japanese cuisine, which seems to be a natural progression for him as an alum of several modern Tokyo restaurants, such as the fabled RyuGin. Under the direction of Hideaki Matsuo, of three-Michelin starred Kashiwaya, Balbi heads up Haku on a day-to-day basis and has created a menu of Kappo-style cuisine, including tartare of chu-toro and beef topped with caviar and served with rice tuiles or Hokkaido sea urchin served on thick slices of toasted brioche.

Hong Kong Heatmap Haku
Chu-toro and beef tartare
Photo: Haku / Facebook

13. Le Petit Saigon

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16 Wing Fung St
Wan Chai, Hong Kong
+852 2455 2499
Visit Website

The winds of Vietnam continue to blow through Hong Kong, and one of the strongest contenders for the city’s best banh mi thit (aka banh mi) is Le Petit Saigon, a quaint takeout counter located next to sister restaurant Le Garcon Saigon, a Vietnamese grill bistro that opened back in 2015. Chef Bao La travels to Ho Chi Minh City constantly and has modeled his sandwich after his favorite banh mi there: with a thick smear of pork liver and finished off with a dash of Maggi sauce.

Hong Kong Heat Map Le Petit Saigon
Banh mi thit
Photo: Le Petit Saigon

14. Pici

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16 St Francis Yard
Wan Chai, Hong Kong
+852 2755 5523
Visit Website

A decently priced plate of pasta cannot be taken for granted in Hong Kong, so when Pici, which makes its own fresh pastas on-site daily, appeared on the scene, queues started forming immediately. It also helps that it’s located on one of the cutest cul-de-sacs in Wan Chai.

Hong Kong Heat Map Pici
Roman ravioli at Pici
Photo: Pici / Facebook

15. Samsen

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68 Stone Nullah Ln
Wan Chai, Hong Kong
+852 2234 0001
Visit Website

A bowl of Thai boat noodles were extremely hard to come by in Hong Kong until Adam Cliff opened this diminutive noodle joint. Cliff worked with David Thompson, the Australian chef known for his scholarly approach to Thai food, when Thompson’s restaurant Nahm was in London (it has since moved to Bangkok). Punters pack in daily for the likes of wagyu beef boat noodles, but fans follow the restaurant’s Instagram account obsessively to catch the appearance of khao soi, a crispy egg noodle dish in a thick, curry-like soup.

Hong Kong Heat Map Samsen
Khao soi at Samsen
Photo: Samsen / Facebook

1. Alvy’s

8 Holland St, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong
Hong Kong Heatmap Alvy’s
Pizza at Alvy’s
Photo: Alvy’s / Facebook

While Alvy’s does have the vibe of a New York neighborhood bar, it’s unlikely diners will find a Sichuan peppercorn pizza or char siu latkes in the five boroughs. Nonetheless, Alvy’s sourdough pizzas and wide range of craft beers — one of the owners is also behind Young Master Ales, one of the city’s most exciting craft beer breweries — have Hongkongers wishing Alvy’s was in their neighborhood.

8 Holland St
Kennedy Town, Hong Kong

2. Tate Dining Room & Bar

210 Hollywood Rd, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
Hong Kong Heatmap Tate Dining room
A dish at Tate Dining Room
Photo: Tate Dining Room / Facebook

Award-winning chef Vicky Lau has moved her small fine-dining restaurant into a more spacious location further west. Her background in graphic design is still a central theme. The interiors feature an elegant take on millennial pink, and the tasting menu–only offerings retain their focus on aesthetics, while increasingly drawing from the chef’s Chinese heritage, as with the “Ode to Chiu Chow Classic,” a delicate dish of foie gras royale and goose marinated with five spice, per Chaozhou (a city in Guangdong) tradition.

210 Hollywood Rd
Sheung Wan, Hong Kong

3. Frantzén’s Kitchen

11 Upper Station St, Tai Ping Shan, Hongkong, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
Hong Kong Heatmap Frantzén's Kitchen
French toast
Photo: Frantzen’s Kitchen / Facebook

International heavyweight Frantzén’s Kitchen is a casual outpost of the venerable Restaurant Frantzén in Stockholm. Here, chef Jim Löfdahl serves a a more decadent — yet modern — style of cooking and offers a new perspective to local diners for whom Nordic cuisine only meant light and vegetal.

11 Upper Station St, Tai Ping Shan, Hongkong
Sheung Wan, Hong Kong

4. Happy Paradise

52-56 Staunton Street, UG/F, Central, Hong Kong
Hong Kong Heatmap Happy Paradise
Scallops from Happy Paradise
Photo: Happy Paradise / Facebook

May Chow has been challenging diners to rethink Chinese food — and collecting accolades for it — since her first restaurant Little Bao opened in 2013. Her latest restaurant, Happy Paradise, is all about revisiting Hong Kong-style retro kitsch with the finesse of a chef. Dishes like slow-cooked chicken with chrysanthemum, rice puffs and Shaoxing wine, or pan-fried scallops made to look like cheung fan (rice noodles) star on the menu. Completing the package is an out-of-the-box cocktail list, with drinks such as the Kowloon Soy Smash made with mezcal, Thai basil, ginger, and topped with soy “air,” and the Durian Painkiller, filled with fruit-infused dark rum and cream.

52-56 Staunton Street, UG/F
Central, Hong Kong

5. Cô Thành Restaurant

G/F, 2-4 Kau U Fong, Central, Hong Kong
Hong Kong Heatmap Cô Thành Restaurant
Phá lấu
Photo: Co Thanh / Facebook

For a long time, Hongkongers associated Vietnamese food with pho, but a new breed of restaurants like Cô Thành are changing that by offering dishes like bun bo Hue, a pork and beef noodle soup from Central Vietnam, and bun mam, a preserved fish and shrimp soup, to their menus. To learn the ins and outs of Vietnamese cuisine, the owners of Cô Thành apprenticed with Nguyen Thi Thành, aka the Lunch Lady, the street stall vendor who became an international celebrity after appearing in Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations. The restaurant is even named after her, as Cô Thành translates to Madam Thanh. But when dining at Cô Thành be prepared to wait — lunchtime queues are almost a fixture here.

G/F, 2-4 Kau U Fong
Central, Hong Kong

6. Employees Only Hong Kong

19 Lan Kwai Fong, Central, Hong Kong

Less than a year after opening its first Asian outpost in Singapore, this legendary New York City bar has taken up residence in Hong Kong. The choice of location is bold — although once the epitome of Hong Kong nightlife, Lan Kwai Fong is better known these days for its rowdy pubs and tourist bars. But at Employees Only, well-crafted cocktails with carefully chosen ingredients — such as the EO Gimlet, made with house-made cordial, or the Fraise Sauvage, featuring wild strawberries and Tahitian vanilla — offer a welcome respite for cocktail lovers in this corner of town.

19 Lan Kwai Fong
Central, Hong Kong

7. Dragon Noodles Academy

Man Yee Arcade Shop G04, G/F, Man Yee Building, No. 68 Des Voeux Road, (Entrance outside Arcade on Pottinger Street, dig opposite the TopShop), Central, Hong Kong
Hong Kong Heatmap Dragon Noodles Academy
A meal at Dragon Noodles Academy
Photo: Dragon Noodles Academy / Facebook

Modeled after a kung fu academy, complete with lion’s heads for lion dances, this funky Chinese restaurant serves up twists on staples like hand-pulled noodles in a bisque-like lobster soup and Peking duck sliced three ways (skin-only, skin and meat, meat-only) and paired with different condiments from sung choi bao to Sichuan-style stir-fried duck loaded with dried chiles. In the glitzy Central neighborhood, it can be hard to find a decently-priced meal, but DNA helps fill that void.

Man Yee Arcade Shop G04, G/F, Man Yee Building, No. 68 Des Voeux Road, (Entrance outside Arcade on Pottinger Street, dig opposite the TopShop)
Central, Hong Kong

8. Caprice

Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, 8 Finance St, Central, Hong Kong
Hong Kong Heatmap Caprice
A dish at Caprice
Photo: Four Seasons Hong Kong

One of Hong Kong’s most important French restaurants has welcomed new chef de cuisine Guillaume Galliot, who was previously at the two-Michelin-starred Tasting Room in Macau. Galliot is known for injecting Asian flavors into modern French cuisine, like his version of laksa with crab, confit egg, leeks, hazelnuts, and sudachi (a Japanese lime-like citrus).

Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, 8 Finance St
Central, Hong Kong

9. Octavium Italian Restaurant

8/F One Chinachem Central, 22 Des Voeux Rd Central, Central, Hong Kong

He may have been awarded a lifetime achievement award earlier this year by Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, but Umberto Bombana, who is best known for 8½ Otto e Mezzo, the only three-Michelin-starred Italian restaurant outside of Italy, isn’t resting on his laurels. Octavium is a smaller and more casual affair with short prix fixe menus that change constantly with the seasons. Expect dishes like marinated raw Japanese snapper with mandarin orange and roasted veal with trombetta squash and watercress.

8/F One Chinachem Central, 22 Des Voeux Rd Central
Central, Hong Kong

10. Dr. Fern’s Gin Parlour

Shop B31A, First Basement Floor, Landmark Atrium, 15 Queen’s Road, Central, Hong Kong
Hong Kong Heat Map Dr. Fern's Gin Parlour
Dr. Fern's Gin Parlour
Photo: Dr. Fern’s Gin Parlour / Facebook

“Do you have an appointment?” the hostess in a lab coat asks when guests step into Dr. Fern’s — but only if they have opened the correct door. As its name suggests, this is a gin-focused bar with more than 250 varieties on the menu. If it’s all too overwhelming, the “doctor” can help guests find the right gin-based libation. And since it’s decked out in whimsical floral wallpaper and Victorian-style furniture, Dr. Fern’s Gin Parlour is also a popular place for afternoon tea, served with a G&T, of course.

Shop B31A, First Basement Floor, Landmark Atrium, 15 Queen’s Road
Central, Hong Kong

11. Green Common

Shop OTG61, G/F, Ocean Terminal, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong

Although Hong Kong once topped global charts for the most meat eaten per capita, one of the most significant trends in recent years has been the push towards vegetarianism — and the main proponent of that movement is Green Monday. The plant-based advocates have recently opened several cafe-in-shop concepts, serving creative takes on Asian favorites like “Hainan Runaway Chicken,” Tom Yum vegan pork jowl pho, and was the first place outside of the United States to serve the Beyond Burger, the plant-based burger that “bleeds.”

Shop OTG61, G/F, Ocean Terminal, Harbour City
Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong

12. Haku

Shop OT G04B, Ground Floor, Ocean Terminal, Habour City, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
Hong Kong Heatmap Haku
Chu-toro and beef tartare
Photo: Haku / Facebook

Agustin Balbi, Hong Kong Tatler’s Best New Chef 2016, has moved from modern French cooking to French-leaning Japanese cuisine, which seems to be a natural progression for him as an alum of several modern Tokyo restaurants, such as the fabled RyuGin. Under the direction of Hideaki Matsuo, of three-Michelin starred Kashiwaya, Balbi heads up Haku on a day-to-day basis and has created a menu of Kappo-style cuisine, including tartare of chu-toro and beef topped with caviar and served with rice tuiles or Hokkaido sea urchin served on thick slices of toasted brioche.

Shop OT G04B, Ground Floor, Ocean Terminal, Habour City
Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong

13. Le Petit Saigon

16 Wing Fung St, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Hong Kong Heat Map Le Petit Saigon
Banh mi thit
Photo: Le Petit Saigon

The winds of Vietnam continue to blow through Hong Kong, and one of the strongest contenders for the city’s best banh mi thit (aka banh mi) is Le Petit Saigon, a quaint takeout counter located next to sister restaurant Le Garcon Saigon, a Vietnamese grill bistro that opened back in 2015. Chef Bao La travels to Ho Chi Minh City constantly and has modeled his sandwich after his favorite banh mi there: with a thick smear of pork liver and finished off with a dash of Maggi sauce.

16 Wing Fung St
Wan Chai, Hong Kong

14. Pici

16 St Francis Yard, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Hong Kong Heat Map Pici
Roman ravioli at Pici
Photo: Pici / Facebook

A decently priced plate of pasta cannot be taken for granted in Hong Kong, so when Pici, which makes its own fresh pastas on-site daily, appeared on the scene, queues started forming immediately. It also helps that it’s located on one of the cutest cul-de-sacs in Wan Chai.

16 St Francis Yard
Wan Chai, Hong Kong

15. Samsen

68 Stone Nullah Ln, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Hong Kong Heat Map Samsen
Khao soi at Samsen
Photo: Samsen / Facebook

A bowl of Thai boat noodles were extremely hard to come by in Hong Kong until Adam Cliff opened this diminutive noodle joint. Cliff worked with David Thompson, the Australian chef known for his scholarly approach to Thai food, when Thompson’s restaurant Nahm was in London (it has since moved to Bangkok). Punters pack in daily for the likes of wagyu beef boat noodles, but fans follow the restaurant’s Instagram account obsessively to catch the appearance of khao soi, a crispy egg noodle dish in a thick, curry-like soup.

68 Stone Nullah Ln
Wan Chai, Hong Kong

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