Autumn’s cool temperatures and clear skies make Hong Kong a glorious place to visit this time of year. And the city grows only more appealing with a wellspring of fresh culinary energy.
To pique your appetite, we’ve rounded up a few of the most notable recent openings. Featuring “Italian omakase,” modern Shanghainese, next-level Spanish fare and an ode to soybeans, these exciting new dining establishments will make your next trip to Hong Kong all the more delicious.
Taking over the top few floors of Landmark Mall in Central, Forty-Five is a new multi-concept art, design and lifestyle hub that’s home to several dining destinations. Among them is The Merchants, a serene Shanghainese restaurant overlooking Victoria Harbour from its 43rd-floor perch.
An homage to the merchants of Canton who controlled foreign trade during the Qing dynasty, the restaurant’s belle époque interiors transport you to a world of jade onyx, cherrywood and handcrafted wallpaper. In this picturesque space, look forward to modern Shanghainese cuisine, ranging from elevated dim sum to larger plates like jasmine-tea-smoked duck, braised meatballs in sweet soy sauce, and Shanghai-style crispy chicken.
After your meal, head upstairs to the Cardinal Point rooftop terrace to soak up 360-degree skyline views with a cocktail. Other notable restaurants within the Forty-Five include The Cristal Room, a collaboration between heralded French chef Anne-Sophie Pic and luxury crystal maker Baccarat, and Kaen Teppanyaki, a Japanese steakhouse.
Joining legacy restaurants like Forbes Travel Guide Five-Stars Lung King Heen and Caprice at the recently renovated Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, Noi (meaning “us” or we” in Italian) distinguishes itself with its “Italian omakase” menu and stunning views of Victoria Harbour.
To showcase the freshest, most vibrant flavors, lauded Argentine-Italian chef Paulo Airaudo updates the 10-course tasting menu every couple of weeks. It could feature dishes like Japanese hamachi, lamb with morel and foie gras, chitarra pasta with red uni, and goat cheese flan.
Another Four Seasons newcomer, ARGO replaces the former Blue Bar with a traditional conservatory-like restaurant and cocktail bar. Soft blue hues, curved metal fixtures and terrariums dangling overhead bring the space to life.
Inspired by six classic Hong Kong flavors — soybean, apricot kernel, XO sauce, vegan char siu, black vinegar and aged tea — and made with lots of local botanicals, the cocktails are particularly impressive. Try the Dynasty Old Fashioned (a heady mix of Michter’s bourbon, Ferrand cognac, toasted soy grinds, soybean orgeat and bitters) for an unexpected and unique twist on the classic.
Meanwhile, the bar bites take you all over the world, running the gamut with duck tacos, burgers, amaebi (sweet prawn) tartare, charcuterie, cheese and fluffy Hong Kong pandan egg waffles. While best known as a cocktail bar, ARGO also serves a top-notch breakfast buffet for hotel guests and a lunch buffet that’s open to all.
Across the water in Tsim Sha Tsui, Five-Star Rosewood Hong Kong also welcomed two new additions in the past year: BluHouse and The Dining Room by BluHouse.
Overseeing both eateries, Italian chef de cuisine Giovanni Galeota has envisioned BluHouse as the more casual of the two, with its upbeat market atmosphere, panoramic views of the Hong Kong skyline and counters brimming with timeless Italian dishes.
Choose among Roman-style pizzas by the slice, handmade pasta dishes, octopus salad, Italian cold cuts, artisanal Italian cheeses, rotisserie, authentic pasticceria and gelato — or share with friends for a little bit of everything. No matter what you select, you’ll feel good knowing the restaurant supports underserved groups in Tsim Sha Tsui with donations and employment programs.
The Dining Room
Hidden behind a curtain within BluHouse, The Dining Room is the place for a celebratory meal or an elegant night out thanks to its handsome blue-leather banquette seating, white tablecloths and dazzling cocktail bar.
To experience an array of Galeota’s signatures, try one of the tasting menus, which include standouts like La Tartelletta (a savory burrata tart with baby sweet peas, vermouth and Kaluga caviar), housemade agnolotti pasta with Genovese-style ragu and onion sauce, and Atlantic sea bass with polenta crust.
If you’d prefer a lighter dinner, enjoy a few dishes à la carte alongside revived Italian aperitifs from the 1980s or expert wine pairings from the extensive cellar with more than 500 labels.
Since opening last year, Agora has garnered a free flow of accolades — and it’s easy to see why. Set in a charming courtyard within Tai Kwun — Hong Kong’s former-police-station-turned-arts-heritage-and-culture-hot-spot — this contemporary Spanish restaurant feels down-to-earth yet sophisticated, novel yet authentic.
Madrid-born chef Antonio Oviedo celebrates the flavors of Spain, combining his memories with innovative techniques. Seasonal ingredients from Oviedo’s native country star in his expressive lunch and dinner tasting menus.
After a delicious serving of freshly baked pan candeal — an iconic Spanish bread with a crispy crust and fluffy interior — and aromatic Verdial extra-virgin olive oil, the menu progresses through small bites and larger portions. Depending on the season, you might get to taste a variation of the chef’s deep-sea carabinero prawns with crispy paella, flaky salted codfish with Oviedo’s signature Basque pil pil sauce, or tender txuleta beef with morel mushrooms.
For a taste of Hong Kong culture, look no further than Mora. Hidden away between the antique vendors along Cat Street Market (on Upper Lascar Row in the Sheung Wan neighborhood, just west of Central), Mora welcomes you with soothing shades of cream, walnut and jade green alongside modernized Ming dynasty-style furniture and antique Chinese vases.
From lauded chef Vicky Lau, who’s also behind TATE Dining Room, this charming Chinese-French eatery zeroes in on one of the world’s oldest and most versatile ingredients: soy. Known for her artistic and inventive approach, Lau plays with the textures and shapes of soy throughout the tasting menu. Whether it’s soymilk, soft tofu, sauce or tofu skin, each dish incorporates the ingredient (sourced from her soy milk company, ĀN Soy) in subtle and surprising ways.
The menu evolves with the seasons but typically includes signatures like udon noodles in soy milk lobster bouillon, mapo tofu and ultra-creamy soy milk ice cream for dessert.
Here’s one for those looking for a fresh take on French gastronomy. Chef Olivier Elzer, who also leads L’Envol at The St. Regis Hong Kong, among other acclaimed restaurants, recently opened Clarence with a vision to craft lighter takes on French classics using Asian cooking techniques, like steaming or Japanese robata and teppan grilling.
On the menu, look for creative dishes like “Yakifrenchy” skewers (classic French bites like frog legs, escargot or duck confit prepared kushiyaki-style), octopus topped with uni and tomato foam, or a teppan-grilled skate wing with brown butter and spices.
While there, peek inside the beautiful brick Sommelier Room, where you’ll discover a black-marble tasting table and floor-to-ceiling wine fridges full of mature vintages from rising stars and prestigious producers — many of which can only be found at Clarence.