This traditional HK neighbourhood is now home to many of HK’s best eateries
Close to Central, far enough from chaos, Sai Ying Pun is a great place to be. It still has a lot of the old school charm (dried fish markets for days and various local shops) and the Sun Yet Sen Park is one of the best in the area. There’s even a dog park, which are few and far between in HK. But let’s face it, as amazing as Sai Ying Pun is to those of us who live there, one of the main reasons we like it so much is for its variety of great restaurants and cafés. Sure, there are a few cool shops, but we at Sassy are mostly focusing on the good eats – which are plentiful! We’ve got quite a list, so here goes:
Sassy note: If you happen to know a great spot that we’ve missed, please let us know! Email us at [email protected]hongkong.com
Read more: The Brunch Bunch – Sai Ying Pun
We have to start our guide on High Street because the number of great restos here is, well, high. We can’t name them all, but here are some of our faves:
The established Rico’s has reopened in Sai Ying Pun! This relaxed resto first started serving tables of tapas way back in 1993, so you can be sure it caters to all your Spanish favourites. Make the most of what’s on offer and indulge in a bottle of wine and dishes to share (we love the hot and sizzling sautéed prawns).
Find it at Aspen Court, 46 High St, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, www.facebook.com/RicosSpanish
With beautiful art work adorning its walls, the atmosphere at the Flying Pig is as delicious as the food. The Sunday Roast is a great brunch option as there’s all you can eat meat with all the trimmings. You’ll definitely be going back for seconds. We also think the fish and chips are delish!
Find it at 62 High St, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, www.flyingpigbistro.hk
As authentic as you can get, the food here feels like you’ve been treated to some home cooked meals. You’ll be happy you made the trek uphill to get here, but bring your own bottle of wine – it’s BYOB (no liquor license yet!). There are plenty of mocktails and even fresh coconut, if that’s more your thing.
Find it at 41 High St, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, www.facebook.com/ThaiOnHigh
Authentic Indonesian food in a laid-back, casual space makes this a great place for brunch on a lazy Sunday. Alternatively check out its music room with a nightly programme that ranges from jazz to disco and more experimental sounds. Sit-down, lounge service is available during these events. There is also a retail space within the venue featuring crafts and homeware from all over Indonesia.
Find it at G/F, 100 Third Street, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, www.ptthead.com/hong-kong
Named after a bustling street in Brixton, London, this authentic burger joint is one of the hippest new eateries in town. Oozing with flavor, everything on the menu is made from scratch – even the sauces. Owner and chef, Andy puts real passion into the food he makes and ensures all his diners leave having had the best service.
Find it at LG/F, Tai Yik House, 27-29 First Street, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, electricave.com.hk
Seriously, you can’t ask for better Korean Fried Chicken than Uncle Padak’s (nom nom nom). We often brave the uphill walk to get here because the food is that good. Think crispy pieces of deliciously moist chicken, spicy sauces (if you like!), rice balls, and even a grilled corn with cheese (trust us, it’s awesome), and its signature “Spring Onion Chicken” will satisfy both kids and adults. It’s a tiny spot (and often crowded), so either be prepared to wait or get take out.
Find it at 59 High Street, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, www.unclepadak.com
A Middle Eastern resto complete with shisha to finish off your meal! We just know it has falafel, roasted halloumi, and even tagine meals that are reminiscent of Northern Africa and regions to the east of it.
Find it at Flat H, UG/F, Hang Hing Court, 123 & 125 Third Street, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, www.passion-paradise
Flavour, flavour, flavour will have you returning to this Indian fusion restaurant on multiple occasions. Combining the essence of Nepal, India, Sri Lanka and Bhutan makes for some seriously delicious mains! Step outside for alfresco or upstairs for private dining. Chef Taran will welcome you in and ensure that excellent service compliments the delicious food.
Find it at 14 Fuk Sau Lane, MTR Exit B2, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, www.facebook.com/BlackSaltHK
Read more: BlackSalt: Spicing up Sai Ying Pun
A cute little place with an inviting charm, Glow’s eclectic menu provides hints of French, Spanish, Italian and Australian cuisine. With a range of seafood on offer, the oysters are one specialty that comes highly recommended on the menu. Independently owned by passionate, charming brothers – this is a lovely alternative to the chains that are so readily popping up throughout the city.
Find it at Shop C, Ground Floor, 1 Second Street, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, www.facebook.com/glowon2st
If you’re looking for a laid-back evening with good food, then this is the place to be. This spacious restaurant is vibrant, colourful and fun. Oranges and pinks immediately pop out as you enter the space and you can’t help but feel at home. The sangria will be flowing and the tapas provides a twist on some of the Spanish favourites.
Find it at 1 Floor, 189 Queen’s Road West, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, lapaloma.hk
Read more: Salsa Sundays: New Brunch at La Paloma
It boasts itself as a home away from home, where we can escape from the hustle and bustle of the city (it’s a hideout, get it?), which is why this place is such a nice little coffee shop. Housed in a two-story building, it’s open every day and serves up cups of java as well as a variety of pastries and light meals.
Find it at Shop B, G/F, 63 Third Street, Sai Ying Pun, Western District, Hong Kong, www.facebook.com/thehideoutcoffeehousehk
This super cosy place (think comfy chairs and sofas) is a great place to relax and hang out, but it also serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and (ahem!) cocktails. So you can come for the Eggs Benedict, share small plates with friends, or stay through happy hour!
Find it at Shops 8 & 9, Kwan Yick Building Phase 3, 158A Connaught Road West, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, www.thewinery.hk
You’ll often find queues here because the demand for this Taiwanese place is pretty high. Customers have raved about the oyster noodles and chicken rice, as well as the wide variety of bubble teas on offer.
Find it at 73 Third Street, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, www.facebook.com/pages/Yuan-is-Here
Whoever thought you could enjoy lobster popcorn? Fish School serves up creative, out-of-the-ordinary dishes that you won’t find elsewhere in HK. Tucked away on Third Street, this eclectic eatery focuses on fresh, seasonal and organic ingredients.
Find it at 100 Third Street, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, www.fishschool.hk
This quaint little tapas joint has quirky items such as Anchovy Iberico Bread, Pumpkin Croquetas, Potatas Bravas, Seafood Paella and Roasted Spanish Suckling Pig. There is enough to satisfy the hungry and those looking for just a snack.
Find it at 70 Third Street, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, chico-chicahk.com
This Aussie restaurant sits on High Street and its ambiance is warm and welcoming. Sassy friends tell us they enjoy the breakfast here, but others rave about the beef Wellington. Either way, you can find everything from starters to mains (which include 20 oz steaks!) to dessert.
Find it at G/F, Hang Sing Mansion, 76-78 High Street, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, www.facebook.com/St-Barts-High-Street
You will probably find a queue here, too, because the pho here is not only good, it’s really reasonable. If you’re looking to enjoy large bowls of noodles and beef in a delicious broth, or even curry brisket, you’ll be delighted to know these and more are all on offer here. Pick a number and wait to be called. Service is great and friendly.
Find it at Tung Hai Court, 73 Bulkeley St, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, www.facebook.com/vietnorthwd
Looking a lot like an American diner in Asia, Mr. S. Y. Punti is dog friendly, cosy and charming. Taking its cue from Hong Kong’s Cha Chaan Teng cuisine, its food it made daily with fresh ingredients sourced from the wet markets. But what keeps people coming back here isn’t just the food (and coffee!), it’s the service and friendly staff.
Find it at 4 David Lane, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, www.facebook.com/MrSYPUNTI
If you’re a fan of pancakes, you’re going to want to scoot on down to STACK. Taking ordinary breakfast food and making complex culinary creations, its menu includes pancake sandwiches, pancakes paired with fresh cod, Mexican-style pancakes topped with guacamole, ribs and pancakes… you get the picture.
Find it at 1 Third St, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, www.facebook.com/stackhk
Calling itself a “very casual izakaya” in Sai Ying Pun, the food offered here includes small plates of charcoal grilled meats, sashimi and sake to wash it down with. It does not, however, serve traditional Japanese-themed dishes, so think oyster and bamboo rice, roasted beef love handle, chicken fried Hamachi and more.
Find it at G/F, 110 Queen’s Rd W, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, www.okra.kitchen
Ping Pong 129 is a Spanish Ginotería (a gin and tonic bar) set in a big, high-ceilinged industrial space that was formerly used as a ping pong hall. Full of creatives, hipsters and anyone who just loves themselves a good G & T, and with its 40 plus gins from around the world and its retro cool feel, you just can’t go wrong with the drinks or the atmosphere.
Find it at 129 Second Street, L/G Nam Cheong House, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, www.pingpong129.com
Second Street Comfort Food and Bar
Sassy’s senior editor loves to come here and hang out with her husband on late afternoons to go people watching. It’s a chill atmosphere, has nice G&T’s and a good selection of beer. There’s a restaurant as well for when you get peckish and need something to munch on.
Find it at G/F, Shop 9-10, Island Crest, Second Street, Sai Ying Pun
Dotted across HK with three locations – Sai Ying Pun, SOHO and K-Town – Craft Beer & Co.’s has made its presence known in the 852!
There are 15 rotating brews from around the world on tap, including its own locally brewed ale. The beer menu is changing constantly so keep an eye on its FB page for details of what’s on tap!
Find it at 36 High Street, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, www.craftbrew.com.hk
This funky and decorative home goods store has everything from rugs and home décor to furniture, textiles and more. Tried and tested, it’s a Sassy favourite for all things interior design.
Find it at 1/F, 30 High Street, Sai Ying Pun, www.thornandburrow.com
We almost want to keep this secret to ourselves! Discover all the Champagne region wines at French Flair, a wine shop which houses bottles carefully selected by its experts. You can even mix a case of three bottles from different profiles. The prices are really too good to pass up.
Find it at G/F, 20 High Street, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, www.frenchflair.hk
Tak Chong Sum Kee Bamboo Steamer Company
This delicate yet hectic little shop, situated on Western Street, is one of the very few standing shops left where all the items are still made by hand. This dying craft mesmerises us every time we enter this treasure trove. Expect a mixed response when you go (the elderly owner can be a little grumpy, but the younger one cannot do enough to help), but we can never resist buying those iconic dumpling steamers, which are great for DIY projects. If you’re looking for a little bit of HK for your kitchen then head over to this store and marvel at a craft that is slowly being lost.
Find it at Hong Kong, 12 Western St, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong
If organic veg is what you’re after then head over to this dynamic duo’s hangout in the Sai Ying Pun Market on Centre Street, where they are always on hand to help you find what you are looking for.
Find it at Sai Ying Pun Market, 43-47 Centre St, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, www.facebook.com/ataosvegetables
Thank you to the fabulous Carrie Johnson for her contribution to this article.
Featured image sourced via Explore Gram. All further images sourced via respective Facebook pages and websites.