Summer’s coming to an end, and the fall season is heating up for fashion, culture and, of course, restaurants. As always, there’s no shortage of new dining options around town, so we’ve selected 10 that we think deserve to be on your radar. This month’s highlights include a noteworthy noodle house, another stunning rooftop spot in Causeway Bay and a promising Mexican newcomer. And if you’re not ready to say goodbye to your summer body just yet, don’t worry, there are plenty of new spots focusing on healthy, nutritional food as well. Whether you’re in the mood for tacos or Thai, rooftop views or relaxed vibes, these 10 new restaurants will satisfy all your cravings.
In certain Hong Kong social circles, discussion of local Thai restaurants begins and ends with Chachawan, the casual Sheung Wan eatery with a cultish following. That might explain why there’s so much buzz surrounding the opening of Samsen, a new spot helmed by Chachawan’s founding chef, Adam Cliff. Located next to the historic Blue House in Wanchai, this newcomer is modest, with only 35 seats, and transporting, thanks to the vintage-Thailand aesthetic created by the firm Charlie & Rose. As for the menu, Samsen is wholly dedicated to noodles, served in soup or stir-fried, made with minimal fuss and authentic recipes. This is a no-reservations restaurant, so be prepared to queue.
Samsen, 68 Stone Nullah Lane, Wanchai, Hong Kong, +852 2234 0001, no website
The first opening amongst Pacific Place’s planned slate of new restaurants, Operetta brings Italian comfort food to the first floor of the luxury shopping arcade. The menu is Italian — expect pizza, pasta, and grilled meats — but this isn’t your standard red-sauce joint. That’s because Japanese chef Mitsuru Konishi is serving as Operetta’s culinary director, meaning you’ll find a ginger & wasabi dressing with the shrimp ceviche, and linguini served with sakura shrimp. Helming the kitchen is head chef Fabio Sgrò, a native of the northern Italian region Piedmont, who brings with him authentic techniques and traditions. Aside from Italian wine, of course, the 130-seat space will also serve creative cocktails designed by bar manager Jonny Amir, who’s spent the past decade studying the origin of various spirits and perfecting his craft.
Operetta, Shop 112, 1/F, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, +852 2115 8080, operetta.hk
As part of its HK$300 million makeover, The Park Lane Hong Kong is set to open a new rooftop bar and restaurant called SKYE, which will be the latest in a recent string of Causeway Bay newcomers offering fabulous views of the city skyline and Victoria Harbour. Previously based in the UK and Dubai, head chef Lee Adams will serve contemporary French cuisine in a clubby space that will feature a nightly DJ. Brought to life by the world-renowned architecture and interior design firm Design Worldwide Partnership, the space also features work by German street artist KEF. Occupying 8,000 square feet, including a large outdoor deck, SKYE is certainly this month’s largest debut.
SKYE, 27/F, The Park Lane Hong Kong, 310 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, +852 2839 3327, parklane.com.hk
Bostonian Seafood & Grill
Though it’s not a new restaurant per se, Bostonian Seafood & Grill (formerly known simply as The Bostonian) has received a major makeover and, even if have been there before, you may not recognise it in its new incarnation. Following a two-month renovation, the space now exudes an industrial-chic vibe and is divided into three spaces: a craft-beer bar, the main dining room and a private Champagne room. Reclaimed ship wood, handcrafted copper, rustic metal, and nautical accessories are among the design elements that make the new space feel like a fancy shipyard. Meanwhile, the menu has been given a makeover with a focus on sharing plates, with standouts including lobster Thermidor (grilled or steamed) and braised iberico pork cheeks in Tempranillo wine.
Bostonian Seafood & Grill, Lower Lobby Level, The Langham, 8 Peking Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, +852 2132 7898, langhamhotels.com
Following Ee Da Le and My Tai Tai, forthcoming Mamasita’s Cantina will be the third and penultimate restaurant to open at 8 Lyndhurst Terrace this year. Under the auspices of Harlan Goldstein, the two-storey space will feature a Mexican restaurant on one level, and a Cuban-themed bar on the next. The bar’s décor takes its inspiration from the picturesquely dilapidated architecture of Havana, and it will feature lively music and an outdoor terrace. Drinks will include mojitos, margaritas and Mexican mezcals, as well as wines from Chile, Argentina and Spain. Details are scant on the food at the moment, but we have high hopes, as Mexico native Edgar Navarro has been brought onboard to oversee the authentic recreation of Mexican street food classics.
Mamasita’s Cantina, 5/F & 6/F, 8 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2896 6118, mamasitas.hk
Following the closing of their longtime location at The Peak, which operated for 22 years, Cafe Deco Group have opened their new flagship restaurant in Tsim Sha Tsui. The expansive, 6,000-square-foot space draws on Art Deco elements to celebrate Cafe Deco’s heritage, and it features a breathtaking view of Hong Kong Island and the harbour. Longtime Cafe Deco favourites such as the tapas selection, oysters, tandoori Himalayan chicken, Australian Angus beef and American ribeye remain on the menu here, while live Canadian lobster is one of the new highlights. Diners can choose to have their lobster served in a variety of ways, including grilled and serves with black truffle hollandaise and mash potatoes. The restaurant will also offer a semi-buffet Sunday brunch with live entertainment every week.
Cafe Deco, 20/F, THE ONE, 100 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, +852 2849 5111, cafedecogroup.com
Elephant Grounds Star Street
Local coffeehouse Elephant Grounds has opened a fourth location in the Star Street Precinct, and it’s the biggest and best of the lot. As the first branch to offer all-day dining, EGSS offers freshly baked breads and pastries in the morning, with a full menu beginning at 11:30am. Highlights include beef short rib donburi, Japanese fried chicken and black cod with a white miso marinade. Weekend brunch service will be available on Saturdays and Sundays, featuring an absolutely gorgeous avocado toast topped with a poached egg, radish, watercress and garlic-parsley purée. New signature coffee blends, beer on tap, cocktails and ice cream sandwiches are also part of the mix, not to mention the handsome, beautifully designed space.
Elephant Grounds Star Street, 8 Wing Fung Street, Wanchai, Hong Kong, +852 2778 2700, elephantgrounds.com
Beef & Liberty
Beef & Liberty’s PMQ pop-up will close in mid-September, but fortunately another (permanent) location has just opened in the heart of Lan Kwai Fong, in California Tower. The new branch features the same Michelin-recommended burgers, plus a new cocktail bar and an expanded menu with new snacks. Live DJ sets on Fridays and Saturdays will add to the party vibe, as will a closing time that’s only defined as ‘late’.
Beef & Liberty, 3/F, California Tower, 30-32 D’Aguilar Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2450 5778, beef-liberty.com/hk
The Elephas isn’t just a restaurant — it’s an entire concept. Nestled within The Warrior Academy, a training facility in Sai Ying Pun, The Elephas is dedicated to nutritious food and outstanding coffee. Using wholesome, high-quality ingredients inspired by Thai cuisine, the health food bar serves a wide range of food, including options that are raw, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan — but that doesn’t mean the menu is boring. Signature dishes include crispy vermicelli with chicken & omelette in sweet chilli sauce, tossed minced chicken with avocado and green oak leaves, and a salad of roasted Norwegian salmon, pomelo and grapefruit. Smoothies are available, as is artisanal coffee sourced from South Asia and three teas from Blooms Craft Tea.
The Elephas, Shop 118 Hong Kong Plaza, 188 Connaught Road West, Hong Kong, +852 2838 3979, theelephas.com
When it opened in Wanchai, Kasa quickly earned fans with its cute décor and upscale takes on Cantonese classics and dai pai dong favourites. Now, with a new location on Wellington street, the casual eatery is trying something entirely new: health food. Designed primarily for takeaway orders — there is limited seating upstairs — the new branch specialises in what it calls ‘vegetable-forward’ offerings, while still utilising Cantonese flavours. There are 12 options available daily, broken down into three categories: vegetables, healthy carbs and lean meats. (For takeaway, customers select three options to be packed up in individual boxes.) Our favourite part? The picture-perfect, Instagram-ready interior that makes you feel good about making healthy choices.
Kasa Central, G/F, 61 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2868 6864, no website