If you’re looking for an easy going, low-key bar with good vibes and a wide selection of local craft beer, 65 Peel 何蘭正 is your answer. I’ve walked by this popular bar at the corner of Peel and Elgin St. dozens of times, and its minimalist decor and constant buzz have always intrigued me. Whether you’re with one friend or four, 65 Peel 何蘭正 is a great place to go after work or on the weekend for a few local beers while you tuck into a plate of some delicious fried chicken and fries.
If you’ve ever done a bit of wandering through the alleyways around LKF, you’ve likely walked past Westwood Carvery along Wo On Lane. This is one of those restaurants you probably wouldn’t take much notice of, as it’s quite small and doesn’t really stand out among the other restaurants and bars lining the street. That being said, I ended up going to Westwood Carvery for dinner the other night and was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed the food, vibe, and service.
Beef and Liberty has recently opened up in California Tower in LKF, boasting an incredibly large dining area with ample seating outside on the terrace, and a beautiful open kitchen and bar. While most people are familiar with Beef and Liberty’s burgers, this is their first location to serve a weekend brunch (that doesn’t just consist of burgers and fries). There is something for everyone on the Beef and Liberty brunch menu; from granola and yogurt to a mac ‘n cheese sandwich, the vibe is great, and nothing is over HK$80, which is unheard of in Hong Kong. Basically, this is one kick-ass brunch.
Elgin Street in Hong Kong’s SoHo is well-known for an incredibly high turnover rate for restaurants thanks to excessive rent hikes, so it’s somewhat surprising to see new concepts willingly open up. One such restaurant that has disregarded Elgin Street’s curse is 12000 FRANCS. Unlike other restaurants serving modern European cuisine, 12000 FRANCS brings diners refreshing ingredient-driven dishes that uses both traditional and modern preservation methods. Even the name, 12000 FRANCS, comes from the intriguing story of Napoleon Bonaparte who, in 1795, offered this amount in cash to anyone who was able to develop a food preservation method for his armies. Just that alone should have you wanting to pay this restaurant a visit.
Brunch and Thai food lovers, rejoice! Mak Mak has recently launched a brunch comprised of all their favourite a la carte items in a buffet-style format that won’t disappoint. Mak Mak brunch offers 20+ dishes in single-serving sizes that you can order and re-order as many times as your stomach can handle. There’s also a free-flow drink option of mocktails, Thai cocktails, or Veuve Champagne to really get you in the boozy brunch spirit. Basically, be sure to wear your stretchy pants and don’t plan anything, save for a nap, afterwards.
Despite facing a few recent hurdles, Mamasita’s Cantina promises diners authentic Mexican street food in an upbeat Latin atmosphere. With a Cuban-inspired bar on the 6th floor, offering a range of drinks and cigars, and a quaint outdoor patio, and the restaurant on the floor below, Mamasita’s Cantina has an appeal that reaches out to many. The menu includes your typical Mexican dishes like tacos, guacamole and chips, and pork carnitas, while also offering a modern Mexican take on other dinner staples.
Flaming Frango has been kicking around Soho for a little while now and I finally made it over to try their Piri Piri chicken in hopes of reliving my Nando’s experience in London. I arrived on a Tuesday evening ready to devour all of their Piri Piri goodness after a long day at work and was surprised to find the restaurant buzzing with people. Though the service was a bit slow, I was genuinely surprised at what good value (both quality and quantity of food) our meal at Flaming Frango was, considering Hong Kong has become a haven for restaurants that serve mediocre dishes the size of my palm at shockingly high prices.
Though I was initially hesitant to try My Tai Tai (those in the know of Hong Kong’s food and beverage scene likely know why), I finally gave it a go the other week after Chef Amphon Phoomphookieo took over and they went through a short period of re-branding. I went into dinner with relatively low expectations, but was surprisingly blown away by the fun atmosphere, incredible service, and fantastic Thai food. Don’t let My Tai Tai slip under your radar; this is one Thai restaurant in the city that you need to try.
The Envoy, located inside The Pottinger Hong Kong, has just launched a new Colonial Inspired Sunday brunch. For those who have no clue what “Colonial Inspired” means, it’s basically various Indian spices infused with traditional British dishes. If you’re looking for something more “brunch-y”, The Envoy also serves up a selection of traditional menu options, like your classic eggs benedict. The quality of food at The Envoy won’t disappoint, but it’ll certainly cost you a pretty penny.
Having walked by The Wellington at least once a day for the past two years (when I begrudgingly worked out at California Fitness [before it went bankrupt]), I actually never knew that URA Japanese Delicacy was in that building. Having gone unnoticed for so long, when I did her about it, I decided to give their modern Japanese cuisine a go. You can expect a lively bar (and outdoor covered beer garden!), comfortable and spacious dining area, and sleek decor at URA.