By Leslie Tsiang
Dec 1, 2019
IN 2019, OUR FAVORITE CITIES shot up with a legion of luxury hotels, while drinking and dining spots gave us fresh takes on traditional cuisines, sustainable menus and creative cocktails.
BEST NEW RESTAURANTS IN HONG KONG 2019
A departure from the meticulous tasting menus of his Odette in Singapore, Julien Royer’s first foray into Hong Kong reimagines the farm fare of his childhood growing up in the countryside of Auvergne. Park yourself on the green patio with a well-crafted tipple before heading upstairs for Royer’s elegant take on comfort fare, from pâté en croûte to rosemary-perfumed roast chicken.
louise.hk; two-course lunch from HK$398.
Hometown hero Peggy Chan espouses her clean-eating crusade through multi-course tasting menus at this high-end restaurant that’s taken over her flagship Grassroots Pantry. While the experience has been polished and refined, Chan’s playful sense of humor remains intact in the faux–spicy tuna roll and the vegan cheese course with dairy-free versions of pepper jack and gouda.
nectarexperience.co; Original Grassroots five-course menu from HK$680.
Aulis and Roganic
At experimental tasting-counter Aulis, celebrated UK chef Simon Rogan is delivering a farm-driven, omakase-style menu rooted in seasonal British ingredients. Two-bite delights range from a fig-and-chervil foam tart to house-made truffle-bread pudding. Find the chef’s counter too stuffy? A selection of dishes is served at Roganic next door in a less formal setting.
roganic.com.hk; Aulis dinner tasting menu from HK$1,480, Roganic full tasting menu from HK$980.
BEST NEW BARS IN HONG KONG 2019
The Sea by The Old Man
The dream team of Agung Prabowo, James Tamang and Roman Ghale has hit another home run with the sophomore venture to award-winning The Old Man (ranked ninth on World’s 50 Best Bars). The Sea builds on the theme of Ernest Hemingway’s seminal novel, from maritime-inspired interiors to signature cocktails infused with the mineral elements of the ocean.
theoldmanhk.com; signature cocktails HK$95.
This new indie wine bar on Peel Street epitomizes cool— think funky natural wines, a menu rife with pop-culture references, and not one but two happy hours daily. Helming the project are two industry veterans, Mike Watt and Ryan Nightingale, who’ve joined forces to deliver one of the best new neighborhood bars in town.
theshadyacres.com; cocktails from HK$75, “break even bottle” wine from HK$50 per glass.
Classic long drinks and highballs reign at Dai Bing, the second act to beloved gintonería, Ping Pong 129. Translating to “big ice” in Cantonese, the focus is on custom ice blocks made in the city’s first “Artisanal Ice Suite.” The specialty “bing” anchors a refreshing list of long drinks: shiso gin-and-tonic, vermouth spritzer, matcha highball—all chased down with Portuguese-style snacks.
fb.com/daibinghk; long drinks from HK$110, wine from HK$80 a glass.
In the mood for something more? Match soulful tunes with whimsical izakaya fare at jazz bar Silencio, where you can be serenaded by award-winning vocalists as you nibble creations from former executive chef of Nobu Hong Kong, Sean Mell. Come after 10 p.m. to indulge in free-flow sake and gourmet bar bites.
silencio.hk; HK$188 per person.
BEST NEW HOTELS IN HONG KONG 2019
Rosewood Hong Kong
Opened in March, this showstopper has staked its claim as the crown jewel of arts-and-design district Victoria Dockside. The hotel’s towering façade on Kowloon waterfront belies its cozy interiors, with 322 guest rooms exuding a distinct residential vibe. The eight F&B concepts range from The Legacy House, serving Shunde specialties, to DarkSide, a discreet lounge for cigar and cocktail connoisseurs that playfully picks up the local nickname for the mainland-adjacent part of the city where the hotel resides.
rosewoodhotels.com; doubles from HK$5,000.
The St. Regis Hong Kong
Designer André Fu has worked his magic once again at The St. Regis Hong Kong, weaving the brand’s familiar trademarks—Art-Deco touches, a Prohibition era–styled bar— into a new design template set to serve as the archetype for future properties. With 129 rooms, the hotel spares no expense in luxury amenities, complete with personal butler service and world-class cuisine headlined by chef Olivier Elzer’s L’Envol. Life here is all freshly shucked oysters and champagne.
marriott.com; doubles from HK$3,285.