These are a few of our favourite things…
Can you believe it’s almost 2018? We can’t either. We’ve spent the past 12 months dining and drinking and enjoying all of what the 852 has to offer. And now that a new year upon us, we wanted to take a look back at some of our favourite meals (and drinks, naturally!) of 2017. Here are the restos and bars that stood out to us – be sure to check them out for yourselves!
Surmayee Tetarbe, Partnerships Manager
One of the few cuisines I can’t get enough of (other than my mother’s cooking) is Mediterranean, so when I heard about a new family-run, hole-in-the-wall spot in Kennedy Town, I knew I had to check it out. AZIZA has quickly become one of my go-to spots for lunch or dinner, and you are guaranteed delicious food and generous service with a smile regardless of how busy they are (and they get very busy, so book before you go). With portion sizes that will leave your belly full, and a price tag that doesn’t break the bank, AZIZA ticks all the boxes in my book! I recommend getting the Falafel, the Baba Ganoush and the Shish Taouk, and don’t skip the homemade Couscous, either, as it’s the perfect complement to the meats. A great spot for anything from an intimate dinner to a lunch with the girls, AZIZA gets two thumbs up from me!
AZIZA, Shop D, G/F, Shun Cheong Building, 28 Hau Wo Street, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong, www.facebook.com/AZIZAHKG
Roxanne Dowell, Senior Editor
I get to try a lot of new menus, go to new restaurants and sip new cocktails, so choosing my favourite means it has to really stand out. But more than anything, it has to be good value for the money, which is rare find in Hong Kong. That’s why my choice for 2017 has to be Pici. This no-frills, no reservations pasta restaurant has both a lively and fun atmosphere and really delicious food, all for a very reasonable price (and it just opened another one in Central!). The fare here is something an Italian friend once said to me, “tastes like home.” (Can you get a better recommendation than that?) The Pappardelle with beef cheek ragu (slow cooked for eight hours), onions, carrots and celery is one I order every time. But because its tasting menu is so great, I often stuff my face with the Tagliatelle with porcini mushroom, butter and Parmesan cheese, and whatever the Fresh Pasta Of The Day is as well. And with the desserts here being so delish, I have to end my meal with the Tirimisu, because #treatyoself.
Pici, 16 St Francis Yard, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, www.pici.hk
Tiffany Ku, Photography Intern
If you’re a gin lover and a speakeasy enthusiast like me, Dr. Fern’s is just what you’ve been looking for! Amidst all the chaos of Central, you’ll find Dr. Fern’s quietly tucked away in Landmark. Inside, you’ll find a well decorated and intimate space that has a unique vintage, apothecary feel. The lighting is soothing, and the vibe is elegant. Best of all, with more than 150 different types of gin from around the world, Dr. Fern will prescribe the perfect concoction that’ll ensure you forget about the stressful day you had. Dr. Fern’s is without a doubt one of my go-to places, it simply never disappoints. So if you haven’t been, make sure you head over and get your much overdo check-up from Dr. Fern!
Dr. Fern’s Gin Parlour, Shop B31A, First Basement Floor, Landmark Atrium, 15 Queen’s Road, Central, Hong Kong www.facebook.com/DrFernsHK
Annie Simpson, Editorial Assistant
In our city, it’s easy to try a new restaurant every week and never go back to the same place more than once. So, for me, I know I really like a place when I just can’t stop myself from going back time and time again. All it takes is a quick glance at Alvy’s Insta page, and I’ll no doubt want to go for dinner that evening (side note: I like pizza. A lot). But Alvy’s is so much more than just a good pizza. Sure, the Bak Gwei, with Gruyere béchamel, char siu, mozzarella, and geung yeong is undoubtedly delicious, but the overall vibe and atmosphere at Alvy’s is what I like so much about. It’s unpretentious; with loud music, friendly service and a really good beer selection (shout out to the wide range of local HK beers that always feature on its ever-changing selection of taps), making it the perfect spot for everything from a chilled out date night, a lively group dinner, or even a hangover-curing takeaway.
Alvy’s, 8 Holland St, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong, www.facebook.com/AlvysHK
Kat Lau, Sassy Mama Editor
Beyond the cheeky name of this restaurant (ask a friend who speaks Cantonese what it means… if you dare!), lies a walk down memory lane. For readers who grew up in Hong Kong, the throwback nostalgic decor of the restaurant is enough to bring you back time and time again. From movie posters of yesteryear to local childhood sweets in glass jars, it’s a buffet for the eyes. And that’s just the interior! The food can only be described as elevated street fare using premium ingredients such as Wagyu beef, lobster tail and abalone. The Golden Shrimps with salted egg yolk, cauliflower and black truffle and the Roasted Lobster Tail served with crispy steamed buns, condensed milk foam and H.K. style black pepper sauce have both been repeat orders for me. You must try the “Ho Fun” in H.K. Style with A4 Wagyu beef, flat rice noodles, and turnip as well. End the feast with the Sweet Rice Dumplings which has the signature ginger soup encased in a clear “ball”. A word of warning, eat it all in one bite if you don’t want a mess!
LEE Lo Mei 李好味, G/F – 1/F, 8 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, Hong Kong, 2896 7688, leelomei.hk
Hayley Kaplan, Editorial Intern
Whether you’re a gin enthusiast, a whisky connoisseur or you’re just looking to try something new and different, The Woods Annex is a fabulous (and unique) way to celebrate an occasion or have a girls’ night out. With the team’s expansive knowledge, and a seriously impressive library of spirits to choose from, this appointment-only bar is the perfect way to broaden your horizons and your palate. And, its casual and unpretentious vibe just adds to the fun. I love that each tasting flight is tailored and curated to your individual taste and preference, and the Annex’s team makes sure you’re trying boutique spirits you wouldn’t necessarily find, let alone be able to request, in a regular bar. If you find something that really strikes your fancy, you can even order a bottle for yourself through The Woods, and it goes without saying the range of artisanal canned cocktails is absolutely ingenious – make sure you grab a few to go!
The Woods Annex, 64 Staunton Street, Central, Hong Kong, www.thewoods.hk/annex
Beatrice Hug, Graphic Designer
I’m a big fan of any place that makes you feel right at home, and Three Blind Mice owner, Ed, – with his larger-than-life presence – opens his doors wide to anyone with an appetite for a good time and even better food. Pick and choose from an array of the most comforting of Italian comfort food. I recommend the simple but classic Arancini Balls and the Italian Meatballs – both generous in size and flavour – and wash it all down with whichever magical concoction the very talented bartender presents you; it’s all good. Always packed to the brim and spilling outside, Three Blind Mice has a neighbourhood block party vibe, so whether you’re stumbling in for a quick drink or having more of a “civilised” sit-down dinner, you’re in for quality food, drinks and time.
Three Blind Mice, 35 Ship Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, 2447 7793, www.threeblindmicehk.com
Elle Noble, Partnerships Manager
I LOVE ramen and have my faves scattered all around Hong Kong. However, I was recently excited to visit the new Gough Street branch of Zagin Soba after hearing rave reviews of its Happy Valley branch. A short and simple menu means you have three choices of ramen. I recommend the signature dish and a must-try, the (oh so creamy) cappuccino like, Chicken Broth Ramen. Topped with fried red onion, bamboo, slices of chicken and tender pork, with perfectly cooked noodles. Priced at $138, the ramen here is a little on the pricier side, but (in my opinion) worth every penny! If you prefer a richer broth and dipping your noodles, don’t miss the Tsukemen Ramen. I’d also recommend not leaving until you have tried the fried chicken…so come hungry!
Zagin Soba 座銀, G/F, 7 Gough Street, Central, Hong Kong www.facebook.com/ZaginSobaHK
Roxanne Dowell, Senior Editor
We were lucky enough to get a sneak peek at the new bar, COA, while it was still in its soft opening. Because I love me some fine tequila (and mescal), I was super excited to find out it had a massive selection of both, and its owner, Jay Khan, schooled me on the variations of how each were made and how differently they tasted (yes, I tried a few, too, and the drinks were de-lish). Featuring yummy bar snacks – guac, chips, French fries and even quesadillas – the vibe here is really cool and laid-back, making it a great spot for after work drinks and get-togethers with friends. But what really made it special for me was the M&T – that’s right, Mescal & Tonic, which I think may just take over for the beloved G&T. Just sayin’.
COA, 6-10 Shin Hing St. Central, Hong Kong www.coa.com.hk