Check out Crave’s June dining guide for the latest restaurant openings and relaunches in Hong Kong.
Words Iris Wong
8 Holland Street, Kennedy Town
Tel: 2312 2996
For those who can’t get enough of Hong Kong’s small but thriving craft beer scene, here’s another great watering hole to add to your list: Alvy’s, led by Patrick Gatherer (formerly of The Globe), founders of Young Master Brewery and veteran design Paul Gelinas (Second Draft), has an undeniably cosy and welcoming vibe. Expect a comprehensive list of local and imported craft beers, a carefully curated selection of all natural wines, as well as the city’s most extensive collection of American only craft whiskies, all of which are small-batch, self-distilled labels.
To eat, Alvy’s offers its own signature style of sourdough based pizza with a mixed culture of healthy bacteria and yeast. A long and slow fermentation process means the dough develops a more complex flavour and a distinctive texture. Highlights include the fiery Sichuan-inspired Ma-La-Di-Da ($158), and A La Vodka ($108) with a creamy vodka sauce and pecorino. Small bites, such as Latkes potato pancakes with char siu ($78) and veal sweet bread ($188), are also available.
Lower level, Asia Society Hon Kong Centre, 9 Justice Drive, Admiralty
Tel: 2537 9888
AMMO has relaunched with a new dining concept where guests can enjoy sophisticated dishes in a casual setting. The all-new AMMO is a contemporary tapas bar and restaurant in the heart of Admiralty with chef Jaime Nuñez at the helm, who has accumulated over 15 years’ experience in Spanish cuisine working in Michelin-starred eateries including El Bulli, Can Fabes and Àbac. Highlights on menu include beetroot salad with orange and walnuts ($98), oyster with lime coconut soup and watercress jelly ($138) and buttermilk and paprika fried chicken with honey mustard sauce ($118). Don’t forget to grab a drink while you’re there – the sangria ($120) and white sangria ($120) are musts, along with Smoky Bulb ($120), a playful cocktail of oak wood smoke, roasted nuts, subtle bitterness and fruity flavours.
Ssal Bori Ssal
Shop B, Brilliant Court, 78 Kimberley Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
Tel: 2736 8444
Makgeolli has a long history in Korea that surpasses beer and soju, but rarely do you see this alcoholic beverage in Hong Kong due to its short shelf life. In hope of bringing this piece of Korean culinary heritage to Hong Kong, SJ opened Ssal Bori Ssal, the first makgeolli bar in town. You’ll find eight brands of makgeolli here, with the Boksoondoga ($260/935ml), an artisanal, fresh makgeolli produced with natural carbonation, being the star of the show.
To go with the makgeolli, which is commonly consumed on rainy days in Korea, Ssal Bori Ssal offers an array of comfort food, including the kimchi pancake ($80), pork belly ($220), braised pork trotter ($260) and the homely seafood and fish cake soup ($170) with a hint of soul-restoring spiciness.
Thai Brasserie by Blue Elephant
Shop 3303, 3/F Gateway Arcade, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui
Tel: 2328 2328
The famous Thai culinary ambassador Blue Elephant, founded in 1980 in Brussels and honoured by the Thai Royal Family, has opened its latest restaurant in Harbour City in Hong Kong. Under the direction of award-winning master chef Nooror Somany, named one of the 65 Thai women of influence by Bangkok Post, Thai Brasserie by Blue Elephant delivers authentic Royal Thai dining experience in its signature rich blue tone interior with a menu of over 60 dishes and desserts. Highlights include king prawns tom yum goong, which is made with rich spices imported directly from Thailand, and green curry with chicken – Nooror’s secret recipe and is made with over 10 different kinds of Thai ingredients and spices. Fans of the smelly fruit can indulge in the warm durian tart with Thai durian and three different types of cheeses.
Tsuta Hong Kong
G/F V-Point, 18 Tang Lung Street, Causeway Bay
Tel: 3188 2639
Hong Kong isn’t lacking in the ramen department, but when Japan’s first ramen eatery to receive a Michelin star opens in the 852, naturally, you’ve got to try it. Just like in Japan, only a limited 400 bowls of its ramen are available per day at a first come, first served basis, with the Causeway Bay location opening doors at 11.30am daily. On the menu are its signature Shoyu Soba (soy sauce ramen) and Shio Soba (salt ramen), both made with Tsuta’s famed nine-hour, no-MSG dashi, or soup stock, of chicken, fresh clams and dried fish. You’d expect no less from the ramen, made fresh in-store daily using several types of whole wheat and wholegrain flours. What’s more, a dash of special soy sauce, truffle sauce and black truffle oil are added to the Shoyu Soba, while the Shio Soba contains a secret mix of Okinawa sea salt and Mongolian rock salt to enhance the flavours.
By the way, did you know Tsuta’s flagship restaurant in Tokyo broke record time with its five-hour queues? Good luck, folks, and don’t say you haven’t been warned.