Over the past couple of years, the once-sleepy Kennedy Town has blossomed into one of Hong Kong’s trendiest dining areas. Dominated by casual, yet refined, bistros and modern eateries, the restaurants in the district tend to be spacious and sophisticated, without being pretentious or overpriced. Here are the best places to dine in this burgeoning waterfront neighborhood.
Restaurant, Mexican, $$$
Courtesy of Chino
Created by Erik Idos, who spent almost a decade in the kitchens of the internationally renowned NOBU restaurants, Chino is a welcome addition to Hong Kong’s severely underrepresented Mexican scene, serving refined Mexican dishes with a distinctive Japanese twist. The food here is eclectic yet delicious, consisting of dishes such as a Nozaki beef taco with guacamole and shishito peppers, and an eggplant katsu with chipotle sesame.
Channeling the spirit of a summer picnic in the idyllic French countryside, this casual and welcoming eatery boasts a spacious, high-ceilinged interior with light wood furnishings. The signature menu item here is the Picnic Basket, which comes in a gorgeous wooden hamper and contains salads, dips, and small bites such as pork rillette, cheese, smoked salmon, seasonal soup, and more. However, if you’re in the mood for a more traditional restaurant experience, there’s also an extensive à la carte menu full of French classics.
Named after the trendy district in historic East London, Shoreditch, a British gastropub, serves hearty comfort food such as battered fish and chips and lamb meatballs, as well as small plates such as haggis bonbons with scotch whisky sauce and venison-stuffed chicken wings. The industrial chic interior features wood tables, exposed brick, and floor-to-ceiling windows. There’s also a tempting brunch menu, which is divided into two sections: one for traditional indulgences such as Scottish baps and a full English breakfast, and another for clean, healthy fare such as a granola yogurt with berries, goji, and chia.
Featuring a seductive industrial interior with an open kitchen and bar, this ambitious vegetarian dining spot is appealing to vegetarians and carnivores alike. Each plant-based dish at Vanimal is made with quality, seasonal ingredients, including innovative champion dishes such as an orzo pasta with lotus root chips and tom yum foam and Japanese somen with pear and cold lime broth.
A warm and laid-back spot on Forbes Street, Comptoir is the perfect place to grab a drink and a bite with old friends. This cozy, modern bistro serves Spanish tapas with a French-Asian twist, such as tuna-stuffed piquillo and squid tempura with wasabi mayo. There’s also an upstairs wine cellar containing over 130 bottles of predominantly French wines.
Named after an old colonial term that refers to a waterfront promenade along the harbor, Praya is an intimate Irish restaurant that specializes in rustic recipes such as slow-roasted lamb rump and whole roasted red snapper. Diners can also take advantage of the impressively stocked bar running the length of the back wall.
The menu at Butcher & Baker Café features dishes from around the world, including pizzas, pasta, seafood and noodles, as well as eclectic fusion bites such as miso cod tacos and lamb chop lollipops. Apart from the spacious dining area, the space contains a butcher shop, florist, bakery ice cream parlor, and a dedicated kids’ corner where you can keep your tots occupied while you enjoy your meal.
Diners looking for a classic French experience should head to Bistronomique. Helmed by local restaurateur David Lai, a classically trained French chef who’s worked at the Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco and Alain Ducasse’s Le Louis XV in Monaco, Bistronomique serves refined fare such as steak tartare, frog’s legs, braised rabbit, and herb-crusted bone marrow.