The Restaurants Our Editors Are Booking For Dinner Now That Restrictions Have Lifted
In a somewhat unexpected turn of events, the Hong Kong Government officially confirmed the relaxation of certain social distancing rules on February 16, 2021 that restaurants would be able to resume dinner service from February 18—and tables would now be capped at four persons, rather than the previous two. It brings a sigh of relief after 10 weeks of evening closures, when restaurants were only allowed to operate dine-in until 6:00pm, with only takeaway or delivery after the cut-off time. The extra operating hours will allow the industry to welcome back diners for a proper dinner, and the Tatler team are already thinking of where to go to first. Check out the suggestions below from our editors, who can't wait for the extra hours to support Hong Kong's F&B industry.
Day drinking and early dinners have been fun and all—better than having restaurants closed!—but one of the things I miss most about dining out is being able to while away an evening with friends, enjoying great wines and pecking at delicious food. Godenya, a sake-focused omakase restaurant hidden away off Kau U Fong, is one place I’ve been intending on heading back to for a while now to enjoy chef Shinya Goshima’s one-of-a-kind Japanese dishes and extremely well considered wine pairings.
—Charmaine Mok, Content Director, Tatler Dining
I have cooked dinner almost every evening for the last few months, which has been intense––particularly as meeting friends over food has also increasingly happened at home. Recently, I’ve felt culinary inspiration begin to wane, too, with pasta and pesto on the menu more often than usual. So, I can’t wait to eat out again, whether that means grabbing a bite after work at neighbourhood favourites in Quarry Bay like Umimachidon for seafood donburi or Camper’s for Japanese curry; checking out new(ish) restaurants with friends––I’m dying to try Batard and Soil to Soul; or belatedly marking a special occasion––and that means a meal at Arcane, always my top spot to splurge.
—Rachel Duffell, Regional Content Director, Asia, Tatler Dining
For me, Bayfare Social has it all—hearty Spanish-inflected cuisine, comfortable interiors that lack the stuffiness of your usual luxury hotel restaurant, cocktails by the carafe, and a view of our iconic harbour. The service is also warm and knowledgeable: I wouldn't have developed a taste for Lebanese wine otherwise! Of course, it only helps that my favourite bar, DarkSide, is footsteps away, though unfortunately that will have to wait for another night when bars are allowed to reopen too.
—Gavin Yeung, Editor, Tatler Dining
Lamma Island Seafood
I moved to Lamma Island at the end of last year, and only had a few short weeks of enjoying the new neighbourhood before the dining restrictions were enforced, so I'm looking forward to seeing the island come a little more alive past 6pm. In terms of local dining, some mid-week drinks and tapas at Dale Candela is top of my list. Tatler Asia's Editorial Director Eric Wilson also can't speak highly enough of Genuine Lamma Hilton Fishing Village Restaurant in Sok Kwu Wan, so I may have to take some friends for a visit some time soon. Aside from that, it's one of my closest friends birthdays at the end of the month, so we're going to take advantage of the four people per table rule and consult Tatler's ultimate brunch guide for a girls day out.
—Annie Simpson, Digital Content Director
My girlfriends and I have booked a table at Carbone for February 18. I’m also really jonesing for a night at an izakaya––good simple food shared with friends, ice cold sake––so dinner at somewhere like Yardbird, Sake Central, Sumi or Moto would really hit the spot. I also wouldn’t mind a night of good music and carb-loading at Posto Pubblico. For something more local, I can’t wait to go for a bowl of noodles after work at Chin Jor Fan Tong in Tai Hang.
—Coco Marett, Lifestyle Editor
I'm a sucker for good Japanese food and Honjo in Sheung Wan has become a fast favourite. The décor is so chic and intimate and the service is always impeccable. I could eat their wagyu takaki all day every day. I’m actually salivating just thinking about it. Thank god for 10pm dining— I'll be heading there this week!
—Tara Sobti, Society Editor
Situated within the beautiful boutique hotel, The Pottinger Hong Kong, The Envoy is always my favourite spot for brunches and happy hour drinks. The elegant décor, impeccable service and scrumptious food and drinks offerings have made it a perfect place for snazzy brunches and date nights. I miss their chicken skewers and pulled-pork burgers so much, and I have already booked a table for a weekend brunch date with my friends!
—Helen Yu, Assistant Editor
Soil to Soul
Having lived in Japan for two years, I find it hard to pick a place that caters wholly to my lactose-intolerant, crab allergy diet plus other food restrictions (no spicy and oily food). The safest option for me was to always just eat vegetarian or vegan food. Coming back to Hong Kong, I find myself still opting for the same practice. One of the gems I found is Soil to Soul and their Korean temple-inspired, vegetarian food. I’m intrigued because Korean food is big on meat so what this place offers is refreshing for me. I’ve only been there for afternoon tea and instantly fell in love with their simple yet filling menu so I can’t wait to try what they have for dinner.
—Jianne Soriano, Digital Writer
My best friend and I have made taco Tuesdays at 11 Westside a tradition. Tables get booked up weeks in advance thanks to the half price taco deal that runs all night, so we made sure to book a table the second dining restrictions were eased. For the days leading up to taco night, we’ve booked Acme to try their new corn creme brûlée, and TMK’s new branch on Star Street for a lively Friday date night.
—Doris Lam, Digital Writer
I love restaurants that come with a story or history. Originally opened in 1967 at the top floor of Wu Sang House, Mong Kok’s tallest commercial building, Parisian style bistro Junon was once a go-to for the stylish and those who admired western culture in the colonial era. Cantopop singer—and history buff—Hins Cheung revived the cabaret dining venue in Wan Chai half a century later. Since then, Junon has attracted many vintage lovers from Hong Kong and afar. While travelling overseas still seems a little tricky, what better options are there than travelling back in time for fine dining?
—Zabrina Lo, Associate Features Editor