Hong Kong’s Most Off-the-radar Eateries
They say there’s approximately one restaurant for every 600 people in Hong Kong. You’ll find Michelin-starred dining establishments and popular old-school institutions all over the guidebooks; then there are the hidden, off-the-radar restaurants that are more than worth your time – if only you knew where to look. From eateries in alleyways to upstairs hipster enclaves, check out our picks of the best off-the-radar restaurants in the city.
Full Cup Cafe
When strolling around Mong Kok, instead of playing on your phone, look up – cool, out-of-the-ordinary upstairs cafes and eateries are around just about every corner.
Mong Kok’s hipster central Full Cup Cafe takes up five floors, each with a different theme. Music lovers, make a beeline for the third floor, which puts on indie gigs every weekend. Alternatively, grab a seat on the sun-drenched terrace on the fourth floor.
3-7/F, Hanway Commercial Centre, 36 Dundas Street, Mong Kok, (852) 2771 7775
Foodtrip Bedana’s Filipino Restaurant
Taking up a spot in an unassuming alleyway in Jordan, Foodtrip Bedana’s Filipino Restaurant serves up delicious, authentic Filipino cuisine. On the menu, you’ll find classics like the super-moreish sinigang na baka (tamarind soup), which makes for a perfect starter; sizzling pork sisig (a spicy dish made with parts of a pig’s head and liver); kare-kare (oxtail in peanut sauce), and of course, adobo.
Shop J, G/F, 2 Saigon Street, Jordan, (852) 2332 3643
Hidden gem Masala Bay is a private kitchen run out of the Clearwater Bay home of chef Vandana Anand. Accommodating up to 16 diners indoors and 30 out in the garden, Masala Bay serves up northern Indian and Afghan food. Lean meats and vegetables are used as main ingredients, and most dishes are tomato- or onion-based. Catering to less than a handful of diners every month, Masala Bay is particularly popular during festivals like Diwali.
(852) 9306 3967, firstname.lastname@example.org, address provided upon booking confirmation
Sumac is a restaurant hidden in plain sight. The Lebanese restaurant is situated on Glenealy, a surprisingly quiet hill right by the wilderness of Wyndham Street. Here you’ll find the authentic flavours of Lebanon and the Mediterranean in an exotic setting, complete with terra cotta furnishings and an alfresco dining area. Who knew there was such a cool spot just around the corner from the overwhelming crowds of LKF?
G/F, 8 Glenealy, Central, (852) 2147 9191
Tea Saloon by AnotherFineDay
Located on the quieter end of the Central–Mid-Levels Escalators, Tea Saloon by AnotherFineDay is a great little spot to relax and spend time with a good book. Order from a huge selection of teas, cakes and other sweet treats in the quaint, yet decadent setting, complete with Victorian-inspired furniture. Don’t miss the British-style afternoon tea set.
G/F, 80-82 Peel Street, Mid-Levels, (852) 2525 8257
SYUT is helmed by local post-rock band Tfvsjs and serves up unexpected fusion cuisine. Here, you’ll find western-inspired dishes, presented with a Scandinavian touch. Think the food is out there? You’ll be even more surprised by the industrial building space the restaurant is housed in, half of which serves as the band’s recording studio. SYUT is about a 15-minute walk from Ngau Tau Kok MTR station.
Unit B, 10/F, Gee Luen Factory Building, 316-318 Kwun Tong Road, Ngau Tau Kok, (852) 2415 4999
Opening up just as the “restaurant hidden in an alleyway” trend was taking off, Djiboutii continues to attract a hip, attractive crowd to its backstreet digs. This bar/restaurant serves a mix of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine, alongside some innovative cocktail creations. There’s a jungle thing going on with tribal decorations aplenty, while the dim, purple lighting adds to the cool vibes. Grab a plate of baba ganoush with naan bread, order yourself a signature Djiblutea lavender-based cocktail, and go to town.
Shop 1, G/F, 2 Landale Street, Wan Chai, (852) 9449 0777
Andrea Lo is a freelance journalist and translator based in Hong Kong. After cutting her teeth in the industry as a staff writer at a lifestyle magazine, she embraced the freelance life in 2015 and hasn’t looked back. She spends her time exploring the best of Hong Kong’s dining and nightlife scene, trialling new fitness trends, and travelling to exotic locales – all in the name of “research”.