As I sit here and write this, it is pouring with rain, meaning the thought of being anywhere outside right now does not appeal in the slightest. However, when it isn’t raining, in Hong Kong we are blessed with the kind of weather where we can enjoy sitting outside for at least most of the year. Here are my top five picks for the best alfresco restos in HK:
Without going further afield deep into the New Territories, Cheung Sha beach on Lantau is one of the most beautiful beaches Hong Kong has to offer. But no trip to Cheung Sha is complete without a stop at The Stoep for a beach barbecue. Although service leaves a lot to be desired, The Stoep serves up some quality South African fare at affordable prices. Definitely start with a jug of Pimms and some seeded bread with hummus, before moving on to some boerewors and rainbow trout. Make sure you eat enough to send you into a comfortable food coma so you can enjoy a peaceful nap on the beach afterwards.
The Stoep 32 Lower Cheung Sha Village, Lantau
2980 2699 thestoep.com/
The Peak Lookout
Although this restaurant tends to be on every tourist’s hit list, that doesn’t mean to say that we Hong Kongers should neglect it. The view over the south side of the island is spectacular (on a good day at least) and the food is delicious, especially the Tandoori items. Taking you away from the hustle and bustle of central to a beautiful setting above the city, The Peak Lookout could be the perfect date place.
The Peak Lookout 121 Peak Road, The Peak
Although Shek O is full of delicious and cheap local restaurants, if you’re looking for something different, try Black Sheep. With its hippie and almost backpacker-esque vibe, Black Sheep is like something you would expect to find in Thailand or Bali, and for me that is part of what makes it so special here in Hong Kong (it won a place in Hester’s Perfect Summer too!). The other part that makes it special is, of course, the food; they won my heart with the whole baked garlic bulb and pesto dip for the freshly baked bread, but the pizzas are also delicious. Don’t expect to pay backpacker prices, however, as Black Sheep definitely isn’t cheap for what it is.
The Black Sheep G/F 330 Shek O Village, Shek O
This place is so beautiful that people often use it as a wedding venue. One-thirtyone, off the beaten track in Sai Kung, is a gorgeous three-storey terracotta-coloured house with spectacular views of the crystal clear sea beneath it (as seen in the picture at the top of this article!). The four-course lunch costs $600 and the six-course dinner is $1200 for beautifully presented and delicious French fare. One-thirtyone is perfect for any special occasion, or just because you feel like doing something special – just make sure you book far in advance as it understandably has a seriously long waiting list.
one-thirtyone 131 Tseng Tau Village, Shap Sze Heung, Sai Kung
2791 2684 www.one-thirtyone.com/
While inside the restaurant, service may not be up to scratch and prices may soar, outside at La Terrazza it’s a whole different story. Having outdoor space in Central is always going to be something special, but wait till you see the terrace at Lupa and you’ll want to come as often as you can. The menu is much more limited than inside, but out here you can enjoy some delicious pizzas, cooked in the traditional pizza oven, which actually aren’t even available inside. Even if you’re just coming for a cocktail, definitely give La Terrazza a shot, and you won’t regret it. Check out our full review of Lupa here.
Lupa 3/F, LHT Tower, 31 Queens Road Central, Central
2796 6500 www.diningconcepts.com/lupa/index.php
Check out more from Ale on her fab blog, The Dim Sum Diaries!