Neighbourhood Guide: SOHO, Hong Kong

HONG KONG


Hong Kong’s ultimate dining and drinking destination, Soho, houses a plethora of cuisines and some of the city’s best chefs. Here are the best places to eat, drink, shop and see in the buzzing neighbourhood of Soho.


The trendy neighbourhood of Soho needs no introduction. Perched in the epicentre of Hong Kong’s bustling finance and business centre, Central, the area provides a dense collection of restaurants and bars, spanning across cuisines from French fine dining to modern Sri Lankan bites. Populating the area between Elgin Street, Hollywood Road, and Staunton Street, Soho is a go-to to satisfy any palette, whilst lending the opportunity plenty to explore new finds and things to do at every visit.


Restaurants

Photo: Louise

Louise


Rising to fame initially from the success of Odette in Singapore, Chef Julien Royer opened Louise in collaboration with Yenn Wong from JIA Group for his Hong Kong debut. Taking over two floors of what was previously Aberdeen Street Social, the restaurant is rendered with 1930s colonial style interiors and serves rustic, refined French cuisine—as inspired by Royer’s upbringing in his countryside hometown. Executive Chef Franckelie Laloum helms the kitchen and the eatery has since earned a quick MICHELIN star within nine months of opening. Some of the regional favourites include the roast yellow chicken for a twist on a classic and the Pâté en croûte, for a melt-in-your-mouth experience.


PMQ, 35 Aberdeen St, Central; louise.hk


Photo: Fukuro

Fukuro


Inspired by quintessential izakaya—a concept for late-night Japanese bites and drinks—Fukuro brings together people, food, and drink in a social, ambient setting. The venue is slightly hidden next to its Blacksheep partner restaurant Ho Lee Fook and opposite Seoul Bros, making it almost feel like a speakeasy. The menu tempts with tapas-sized portions, perfect for sharing, with the crispy caramel butter corn and yaki udon reigning high on recommendations. It wouldn’t be the full Tokyo experience without a complementing alcoholic beverage—the sake and whiskeys are a must.


The Soho, Winly Building, Elgin St, Central; fukuro.com.hk


Photo: Hotal Colombo

Hotal Colombo


It’s pretty difficult to find Sri Lankan food in the city—in fact, there are only a select few. Topping the charts on popularity for the rare-to-find cuisine, Hotal Colombo takes a regal approach to the street-style dishes. Celebrating the colourful, diverse culture, the restaurant is run by executive chef and Sri Lankan Gisela Alesbrook who aims to showcase regional specialties from vibrant chutneys to the exotic karis. The cocktail menu follows suit, incorporating Sri Lankan ingredients and fresh fruits to whip up unique flavours. As if the food isn’t enticing enough, the 60s-inspired design will have you feeling nostalgic and groovy.


G/F, 31 Elgin Street, Soho, Central; hotalcolombo.com


121BC


Moving from Peel Street to Hollywood Road—luckily for its Soho clientele—121BC is a Sydney-originated Italian osteria and enoteca restaurant. Sharing the Italian family spirit, the eatery serves substantial-sized plates for groups to indulge in the finest homemade dishes from antipasti to fresh pasta. Also serving as a wine bar, 121BC has a diverse range of reds and whites to choose from to pair with the best meats.


LG/F Hilltop Plaza, 49 Hollywood Road, Central; 121bc.hk


Photo: LA VACHE!

LA VACHE!


Steak and frites are a French staple, and LA VACHE! has brought the dish to Hong Kong for a quick, affordable fix. Taking note from traditional Parisian brasseries, the restaurant is decked in checkered tablecloths and white-red furnishings to keep the vibe simple and casual. The menu is also simple as they focus on what it does best—steak and golden fries. Top it off with a glass of wine for a breezy, end-of-the-week comfort meal.


48 Peel St, Central; lavache.com.hk

12 Hart Ave, Tsim Sha Tsui


Coffee & Bars

Baked

Amidst bars and busy restaurants, an intimate brunch spot whisks you away from the crowds of Soho. Baked is perched on Elgin Street and cooks up delightful sourdough, wraps, salads, and even curries to perk up a morning (although the restaurant is now open for dinner too). Head here for a caffeine boost or try their own-made beer for something a little stronger.


Wai Yuen Building, Elgin St, Central; bakedhongkong.com


Feather Boa


Few have heard of this hidden bar—a venue frequented by regulars and only known from word of mouth. To get in, you have to knock on the door of a seemingly abandoned store on Staunton Street. Enter the enclosed space to find a Victorian-style lounge bar and typically, a crowd of people sipping martinis. It almost feels like a timelapse, with the head bartender dressed in elegant, Gatsby attire, and candles lighting up the room with a backdrop of antique paintings and furniture. Order the fresh strawberry daiquiris followed by a Malteser martini—it will keep you buzzed all night long.


36 Staunton St, Central


Photo: The Old Man

The Old Man


Earning the title for Best Bar in Asia 2019, The Old Man impresses with its Ernest Hemingway theme, inventive cocktails, and top-notch service. Although small in size, the bar welcomes an abundance of customers every night, tickling the taste buds of adventurous cocktail enthusiasts. Pay a post-dinner visit to see what the fuss is all about—it’s well worth it.


Lower G/F, 37-39 Aberdeen Street, Soho, Central; facebook.com/TheOldManHK


Shops


G.O.D


Hong Kong’s quintessential lifestyle and homeware brand is a one-stop shop for quirky, East-meets-West city souvenirs. Although you don’t have to just be a tourist to find something—there’s a vast selection of everyday items from lucky cat purses to neon street sign-graphic umbrellas.


48 Hollywood Rd, Central; god.com.hk


Art Supermarket


The Art Supermarket aims to bring original art from Western and Asian emerging contemporary artists to one venue. Find regular updates on the latest showings and exhibitions by visiting their website or social media platforms.


5 Staunton St, Central; artsupermarketasia.com


What to do


Admire the street art


Hong Kong’s art scene has undeniably expanded over the past few years, bringing together local artists from near and far to curate murals on iconic streets. Explore some of Soho’s incredible wall art—hint, there’s one at Uma Nota and outside G.O.D.


Visit PMQ


Historic PMQ transformed from a police compound to an arts and creatives hub, showcasing talents from across the city. The space houses a variety of boutiques, from cooking classes to soaps and candles.