Head over to the South Side…
At first glance, the industrial district on the south side of Hong Kong Island doesn’t look like it has much of a scene. But give this up-and-coming neighbourhood a chance and you’ll find unique restaurants, shops and showrooms, gyms, galleries and event spaces hidden in the ex-factory spaces. So, whether you’re a weekday worker or simply haven’t found a reason to venture on the South Island MTR Line yet, here are just some of the reasons we’re buzzing about Wong Chuk Hang…
Where To Eat:
New kid on the WCH drinking and dining block is Komune. Located in the rather chilled-out Ovolo Southside, the outdoor terrace is what we love most about this space, with its sweeping views of the southern side of the Island, Ocean Park and the ocean. Although the food here is sure to have something for everyone – with a menu that is 30% vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free – it’s the drinks that we’re thirsting for. Enjoy the vibrant HK-inspired signature cocktail, Chinese Ink (made up of rye whiskey, lychee, tangerine and lemongrass), and embrace the Southside’s relaxed and tasty “Komunity”.
Top Tip: Stay tuned! Ovolo Hotel’s ABOVE is soon to be transformed into Komune ABOVE – bringing us a new rooftop bar with panoramic views. The outdoor area is expected to seat just under 50 people, so it’ll cater to everything from corporate seminars to big birthday bashes.
Koume, 4/F, Ovolo Southside, 64 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong, www.ovolohotels.com.hk/ovolosouthside/eat
This beautifully designed multipurpose venue brings a fun and energetic dose of Africa to our shores. High up on the 15th floor is the Cafe & Bar (where diners can enjoy all-day breakfast, happy hour, and an impressive lunch menu), along with the VIP Room for private parties and dinners. The menu includes African fare such as jollof rice and baked chicken thighs, oxtail stew, South African baby pork ribs and peri peri chicken. Meanwhile downstairs, customers strapped for time can enjoy coffee, tea, juice, pastries and sandwiches at the ground floor Kiosk.
Africa Coffee & Tea, Suite 1501-1504, 15/F, 41 Heung Yip Road, Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong, www.africacoffeeandtea.com
This trendy-looking food court concept has partnered with Pho Bar (located in both Causeway Bay and down a little alley in Central) to offer up pho, Vietnamese snacks, rice dishes, both made-to-order and signature salads, bahn mi and a decent selection of beverages. Think Pan-Fried Sole Fillet with Spicy Lime Fish Sauce, Pork Neck Pho, chicken wings, and other favourites. On a no-carb diet? Replace your rice noodles with zucchini noodles. Boy, they think of everything.
Golden Monkey, Shop G08, One Island South, 2 Heung Yip Road, Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong, www.goldenmonkeyhk.business.site
Aberdeen Fish Market Yee Hope Seafood Restaurant
The sprawling waterfront Aberdeen Fish Market supplies roughly 70% of seafood to our fair city. So, it makes sense that a delicious (yet mysterious to the public) seafood eatery operates within the bustling market. Reserving a table, pre-ordering and going with a Canto-speaker is a must, but take note that this place is only open until 2pm. Produce-wise the gangs all here: scallops, prawns, crab, squid, fish, clams and more, all cooked Cantonese-style for local foodies and the hard-working fisherman who caught the goods. Did we mention the bite-sized Hong Kong French Toast?
Aberdeen Fish Market Yee Hope Seafood Restaurant, 102 Shek Pai Wan Road, Aberdeen, Hong Kong, 2177 7872
In the mood for a spot of Italian while hanging out on the Southside? GCX at One Island South does not disappoint. With pizza, pasta, paninis and other mouth-watering Italian classics (ciao bella, Pan-fried Scallop Risotto) on the menu, you can’t go wrong. And if you’re feeling like cooking up an indulgent meal yourself, GCX has a range of cheeses, cold meats, sauces, oils, seasonings, pastas, and antipasti to bring home.
GCX, Shop G09, One Island South, 2 Heung Yip Road, Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong, www.elgrande.com.hk/restaurant/gcx
Nam Long Shan Road Cooked Food Market
When exiting the MTR station, it’s hard to miss the district’s slightly rundown yet popular two-storey cooked food centre. Full of affordable cha chaan tengs and Thai eateries, this market has been a long-time favourite for WCH dwellers. The most popular spots being Green Curry House and Pattaya Thai Food. Both serve authentic curry, rice and noodle dishes as well as tasty Thai treats like mango sticky rice and coconut custard cones.
Nam Long Shan Road Cooked Food Market, 1 Nam Long Shan Road, Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong
Big groups that can’t decide on one cuisine should head straight to the aptly named Chopsticks Fork n Knife for a smorgasbord of choice from the likes of Chinese, European, Japanese and Korean menus. Take your pick from Bulgogi beef bento boxes, pan fried dumplings, sandwiches, salads, waffles, and even duck breast on an orange and couscous salad. And it doesn’t stop there! The three-page drink menu offers coffees (including colourful flavoured lattes), teas, bubble tea, and alcoholic beverages. Sounds eclectic, yes, but there really is something for everyone.
Chopsticks Fork n Knife, Shop 110, 1/F, One Island South, 2 Heung Yip Road, Wong Chuk Hang, www.lifestylefederationgroup.com/chopsticks-fork-n-knife
One of the area’s dining hot spots is definitely the spacious coffee house Sensory Zero. Bring a laptop with plans of setting up shop with the free Wi-Fi and order a cold, creamy nitro coffee, alongside a grilled baguette sandwich. I also recommend trying the beef stew in one of its many forms, as it appears on the menu on a salad, in a sandwich or in a hearty bread bowl. Keen on a tipple? Take your pick of either a local craft beer from Moonzen Brewery, a nitro coffee beer or a tea champagne beer.
Shopping Tip: Lane Crawford’s Home Store and Showroom shares the industrial open-plan space and has some of the most stylish designs from around the globe. www.lanecrawford.com.hk
Sensory Zero, 2 Heung Yip Road, Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong, www.sensoryzero.com
The Butchers Club group’s five locations around Hong Kong (with even more now in Bali and China), are known and loved for its juicy steaks and indulgent burgers. And The Secret Kitchen is no different. The massive indoor and rooftop space can be hired for small private multi-course meals, weddings, seated dinners for 200 guests, as well as standing cocktail and canape parties for up to 1,000 people. During weekdays, The Butchers Club Burger pops up for a special lunch service, serving the Michelin-listed burgers, salads, duck-fat fries and more.
The Butchers Club Secret Kitchen, 16/F & Rooftop, Shui Ki Industrial Building, 18 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong, www.thebutchers.club/wong-chuk-hang
Lebanese chef Maria Bizri’s Middle Eastern dishes feed Hongkongers at their homes, offices, event venues and even in Pomegranate’s own gorgeous space (which also boasts a large outdoor terrace). In recent years, the team has expanded and now also offers European, American and Asian cuisines for anything from cocktail parties to eight-course dinners. If you’re in the area for lunch on a weekday, be sure to check ahead to see if chef Maria’s ever-changing lunch menu has relaunched for 2018.
Pomegranate Kitchen, Unit B, 4/F, 44 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong, www.pomegranate.com.hk
Where To Drink:
One of Hong Kong’s most popular microbreweries currently has a strong mix of year-round and seasonal ales, IPAs, pale ales, lagers, porters, pilsners and white beers circulating Hong Kong’s craft brew scene. There’s even a handful of special collabs which can be found at well-known establishments. The brewery is occasionally open for Saturday tours so book the squad in for a tasting tour to witness where all the hoppy magic happens. And then drunkenly shop for growlers, branded merch, gifts and bottles to your heart’s delight. It’s worth noting that the brewery itself is actually unlicensed, so you can only taste the brews as part of a tour or to sample before buying and taking away!
Young Master Ales Brewery, G/F, Sungib Industrial Centre, 53 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong, www.youngmasterales.com
In this neighbourhood, beer lovers can brewery-hop down Wong Chuk Hang Road to Black Kite Brewery. On the local artisanal brewers’ list of beers are the usual ales, porters and wheats, but the stand out brews are definitely Oh Bacon! (yes, a smokey bacon ale which is apparently greatly paired with breakfast) and the jasmine tea-infused Southside Ale. Founded by Hong Kong-born brothers David and Daniel Gallie, the brewery schedules a few tours a month, but can also possibly cater to private parties if you ask really nicely.
Black Kite Brewery, Unit B, 11/F, Derrick Industrial Building, 49 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong, www.blackkite.hk
Where to Shop:
EDIT is back! The independent fashion boutique has finally reopened in a much larger space which is a mix of a shop, showroom and office. Local fashionistas who have been missing the Hollywood Road store will most certainly enjoy the new 3,000 square foot space, which promises to host fashion-focused events in the near future.
EDIT/EDITECTURE, Unit B, 10/F, Shui Ki Industrial Building, 18 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Hong Kong, Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong, www.edit-thebrand.com
Custom silk screen and digital t-shirt printing is the name of the game for this small lifestyle brand. Having seen them in action at events around town, we recommend the hands-on t-shirt printing experience that is provided at private parties, markets and at its own shop. Simply looking to shop? Pick from existing styles or contact the extremely friendly and efficient team about making your very own customised prints.
Print House, Unit B, 20/F, E-Tat Factory Building, 4 Heung Yip Street, Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong, www.printhou.se
Opened last year, the MCBC team are passionate about bringing high quality bicycles, from vintage classics to modern racers, to Hong Kong cycling enthusiasts. The multifaceted shop sells bikes, apparel and accessories, along with offering maintenance, upgrades and repair to customers. No storage space in your tiny flat? The shop provides rentals too!
Modern Classic Bicycle Company, Shop 202, 2/F, One Island South, 2 Heung Yip Road, Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong, www.modernclassic.bike
This epic outdoor store is fully stocked for adventurers, explorers and athletes alike. From clothing, to camping and climbing gear, to trekking equipment, APA Outdoor Shop is a one-stop-shop. And for water sports enthusiasts, it even sells accessories, paddles, SUP boards (including inflatable boards from Red Paddle Co!), kayaks and so much more.
APA Outdoor Shop, Unit A, 16/F, Gee Chang Hong Centre, 65 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong, www.apaoutdoorshop.com
This might be a one-of-a-kind thing: a Hong Kong-meets-Cali-meets-Hawaii surfing lifestyle shop. Dubbed by the owners as an “office, shop, board cave, beer fridge and hangout”, it’s a good-looking spot to shop for surfboards, fins, wax, surf cases, apparel, hats, bags and some random bits for the home.
Float Captain, Shop 1, G/F, Marina Tower, 8 Shum Wan Road, Aberdeen, Hong Kong, www.floatcaptain.com
Don’t kid yourself before you visit Mirth, grab your eco-friendly tote bags and get ready to shop. This colourful home-slash-lifestyle retail space sells furnishings, interior accessories, artwork, books, stationery, unique gifts, tableware, kitchen goods, children’s’ toys, clothing, shoes and party supplies. Remember those Instagram-worthy pool floats? I’ll take one of every style please.
Mirth, 3/F, Yally Industrial Centre, 6 Yip Fat Street, Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong, www.mirthhome.com
This carefully curated furniture, decor and home accessory store is perfect for lovers of sleek, contemporary designs from around the world. Shop for minimalistic designer’s pieces, lighting, rugs and accessories yourself, or recruit the talented professional team to design your home or business.
Establo Lifestyle Store, Unit C, 12/F, Gee Chang Hong Center, 65 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong, www.establo.hk
Who doesn’t prioritise making their bed the best (and most expensive) item in the house when furnishing a new flat? So how refreshing is it that two Hongkongers have created super comfy mattresses at reasonable prices, and that arrive at your place in a box with wheels! We love the efficiency of ordering online and waiting for the special delivery, but heading to the company showroom in WCH for mattress and pillow testing first is just so much smarter.
Skylar, 2B Kwai Bo Industrial Building, 40 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong, www.skyler.hk
Places To Go:
Ap Lei Pai
A number of hiking routes pass through WCH (including Brick Hill/Nam Long Shan near Ocean Park), but one fantastic path that often gets ignored is the coastal trek from Ap Lei Chau to the smaller island of Ap Lei Pai. If you’re coming from WCH, hop on the tiny Ap Lei Chau ferry for a short trip across the Aberdeen Harbour before getting off at the promenade. Make your way for 15 minutes to Lee Nam Road near South Horizons to start the hike. Now you can choose to go around the island for a bit of coasteering, or up over the steep top of Mount Johnson. Either way, it’s a scramble down the opposite side of Ap Lei Chau towards Ap Lei Pai. Note: you will get wet but please make sure you cross during low tide.
Large, not crowded and cheap, you won’t have to sign on to an expensive country club for the summer here! With eight separate pools, lounge chairs, diving boards and lots of slides for the kids, this public swimming spot is perfect for a relaxed family outing on a sunny day. But don’t forget the towels!
Pao Yue Kong Swimming Pool, 2 Shum Wan Road, Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong, bit.ly/WCH-SwimmingPool
Hong Kong’s granite and volcanic cliffs make for some great rock climbing, but the indoor version is now a fitness trend. Practiced by people of all ages and athletic abilities that may never want to bring the climbing outdoors, or who just want to learn in a safer environment. Actic V offers just that and a great workout. Open for adult and children courses, parties and outdoor experience days, this gym features higher and wider bouldering walls with over 100 routes.
Actic V Climbing Gym, Shop B, G/F, Tin Fung Industrial Mansion, 63 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong, www.atticv.com.hk
Pilates and yoga: check. Strength, cardio and high intensity interval training: check. Antigravity and Xtend Barre: check, check! This bright and comfortable studio has a wide range of fitness courses, top-notch equipment and very accommodating, professional instructors leading small classes.
Flex Studio, Shops 308-310, One Island South, 2 Heung Yip Road, Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong, www.flexhk.com
Rides, an aquarium, a zoo, shows, and Halloween activities – how can you go wrong? And this year Ocean Park has just paired the old-school Mine Train ride with Samsung Gear VR to take the experience to the next level. I’m booking my Ocean FasTrack tickets now (no queues for me, thanks).
Ocean Park, 180 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Hong Kong, www.oceanpark.com.hk
Everyone’s favourite creative outlet has opened a brand-spanking new 2,000 square foot studio with a 1,200-square foot terrace. Book up the space for kid’s parties, team building, birthdays or just for a reason to get messy and to get the artistic juices flowing.
artjamming, Yally Industrial Building, 4D, 6 Heung Yip Rd, Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong, www.artjamming.com
Living in this city means we’re always on the go. Multitasking, stressing and rarely at peace, we’re in desperate need of the ancient techniques and practices of yoga and meditation to bring balance, calm and focus to one’s mind, body and spirit. Red Doors Studio offers many ways for their clients to heal, be more self-aware, relax and ultimately rejuvenate, with Gong Baths, Mindfulness programs and Kundalini yoga.
Red Doors Studio, Flat A, 21st Floor, Lee Fund Centre, 31 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Hong Kong, www.red-doors.com
Opened in 2010, the contemporary art gallery originally focused on solely bringing photography and image-based art from emerging and established artists to the Hong Kong art scene. Over time, the gallery (one of the largest in our city) has opened up to more artists from around the region and sometimes further for exhibitions and collaborations.
Blind Spot Gallery, 15/F, Po Chai Industrial Building, 28 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong, www.blindspotgallery.com