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.
Figaro is another one of Central’s hidden gems: a quaint French wine bar. If you love good wine, Figaro boasts an extensive wine collection, all stored in an impressive wine cellar on the second floor. Aside from good drinks, Figaro recently launched an incredibly good-value food menu, thanks to Chef Jon Irwin, where the majority of dishes are all under HK$150. Figaro is a breath of fresh air in Hong Kong’s dining scene and makes for an enjoyable fuss-free evening of food and drink.
Lily & Bloom have established themselves as a go-to cocktail bar in the heart of Central for six years and counting. While many have gone to the bar for drinks, it’s likely most have yet to venture down a floor to the restaurant. Lily & Bloom have recently gone through a complete revamp; first their cocktail menu was scrapped and 13 new cocktails were added, and now their a la carte menu has just been given a facelift. Chef Billy Otis stayed true to their American classic roots, but has sourced as many of the ingredients as possible from local Hong Kong markets. Each dish on the menu is full of flavour, impeccably presented, and uses simple ingredients in a fun and creative way.
Zuma is a well-known restaurant chain found in various large cities throughout the world, so it’s no surprise that Zuma hosts one of the most popular Sunday brunches in Hong Kong. Thankfully, starting November 14, Zuma is launching their Saturday Sessions; a different take on their Sunday brunch with an emphasis on cocktails and sharing platters. Only $450 HKD for 2.5 hours, where you can sip on an array of drinks and eat a satisfying amount of Japanese food while listening to Zuma’s in-house DJ spin some awesome beats.
If you’re tired of going to the same type of bars and are looking for a different dining and bar experience, The Woods Hong Kong has you covered with their innovative prix fixe menu that change every few months. Their recently launched “Tidal Waves” is certain to offer any seafood lover a spectacle for the eyes, and a whirlwind of flavours and textures for the mouth. We loved how this menu is very much about the experience of eating and drinking, focusing on quality ingredients, and informative and engaging staff.
The small town of El Nido exudes this quaint, friendly, and charming vibe throughout. El Nido is not as developed as many other popular South East Asian destinations (though it might very well become just that in the near future), which I really liked about it, so don’t expect a street filled with bars and drunken tourists, or any chain restaurants or shops.
Like I mentioned in my previous post on stopping over in Puerto Princesa, there isn’t that much to do in the city center. If you have a day to spend wandering about the city, there are a handful of tourist attractions you can visit during the day and some great restaurants and bars to check out at night. They are all within walking distance, unless you’re incredibly lazy or are on the verge of heatstroke and can’t bear to walk another step. If that’s the unfortunate case, there are plenty of tricycles haphazardly about the streets that will take you to any of the locations below for a nominal fee.