Guide to Hong Kong – Soho Edition
The multi-cultural heart of Hong Kong, Soho is a melting pot of food, drink, culture and people. Indicating the area south of Hollywood Road with the mid levels escalator running through it, Soho brings crowds to its hill-y streets daily. Attracting a selection of world-class chefs with the PMQ boasting Jason Atherton’s Aberdeen Social Club and the Landmark claiming Joel Robuchon’s L’Atelier. From Thai to Vietnamese, French to everything in between, it’s Hong Kong’s ultimate culinary destination and home to some of the city’s coolest secret bars and rooftop hideouts. Another good news is that you can find a list of Soho restaurants here, place your order online and sit back while your delicious meal is delivered to your home, office or hotel room.
So start your day in true Soho style at Little Bao, the quirky little café serving twists on the classic Taiwanese bao or ‘buns.’ Fueling you with their ‘Eggs Benedict Bao,’ their ‘Breakfast Sandwich Bao’ and many more brunch themed Baos – they are promising you a truly instagram worthy breakfast to start your day.
Take the mid-levels escalator to the top of Caine Road and walk along until you reach Peel Street. From here you will have perfect views down to Central and experience exactly where old and new Hong Kong meet. With the sky-scrapers in the background and the near-vertical hill down framed by local shops and trade stores, walk (or stumble as it really is very steep!) down Peel Street. Here you’ll find numerous independent design shops, including the work of Lai Fan Wu, a Hong Kong based designer in charge of Fang Fong Projects. Somewhere In Time, is also worth a look – boasting an expansive emporium of vintage accessories and jewellery. Similarly Hazel & Hersey is the trendy coffee roaster selling everything from beans to mugs.
When you get to Staunton Street head along to Beer & Fish, where you’ll find a laid-back fish n’ chip shop fit for any Brit. Boasting traditional white tiling and an extensive menu of craft beers, this is a fun little place for a pit-stop.
Then head back to Peel Street, continuing your journey down. You’ll pass a little shrine on your right hand side, with burning incense fogging your way down. Keep on wandering and you’ll reach the Central market, a fresh food market located between Jubilee Street, Queen’s Road Central and Des Voeux Road Central, that sells everything from meat to vegetables and fish. Established in 1842 as the Canton Bazaar, the market was later demolished and rebuilt numerous times, becoming the largest markets in Southeast Asia by the 1960s. Although it has undergone much refurbishment and destruction over the past ten years, the market still boasts a lively Dai Pai Dong – one of the few remaining in Hong Kong today. Sadly, the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department are giving no new licenses to these Hong Kong institutions so they are a diminishing trade.
Once you have wandered down through the market, head to Wellington Street where you will be able to find numerous restaurants, cafes and small shops. If you’re searching for tools (or presents for men back at home!) this is a great street to find hidden treasures. Hickeldy-pickeldy shops are filled to the brim boast the most bizarre items waiting to be found.
Slightly out of Soho but 100% worth checking out – head to the top of the Prince’s Building to Sevva. With laid-back lounge chairs and outrageously good views over Hong Kong’s famous skyline – this is the perfect place to sip a glass of champagne and relax after a day of exploring.
Now you’ve started on the bubbly, bar hop your way around Soho in the evening starting at Lily and Bloom between 6-8pm. This moody bar in the heart of Soho boasts a fantastic Happy Hour deal that is just too good to pass up. Serving a cocktail, beer or wine for just $5 for the first drink – you’ll be wow-ed by the New York City vibe while sipping your bargain on their lounge-friendly sofas. You can also ask for a portion of chips that come free of charge (but shhhh this is not advertised so is a bit of a secret!)
Next head to Yardbird on Bridges Street for a Sake and a snack of the Yakitori type. Their delicious dishes are perfect for sharing (although you wont want to!) with their modern-Japanese twist on the classic Yakitori.
Stumble along to the Feather Boa for a knockout cocktail in this hidden speakeasy nestled on the bustling Staunton Street. Their gold-fish bowl strawberry daiquiri is my favourite, dusted with a chocolate rim! The bar is an eclectic mix of antique furniture, with a Marie-Antoinette meets the British royal family-type feel.
Images courtesy of www.facebook.com/littlebaohk, Beer & Fish Restaurant, mapio.net, tourlinker.co.kr and www.sevva.hk
Editor | Emma Russell