From new speakeasy bars set amongst jail cells and inspired by 1970s Britain, to ancient Chinese festivals showcasing Hong Kong’s unique living-culture, now is a great time to visit. Here’s what’s currently hot in Hong Kong so you can start planning your trip today…


Located in the newly-fashionable district of North Point on Hong Kong Island, the new Hotel VIC on the Harbour opened in July. Serving up spectacular panoramic views of Victoria Harbour, the hotel offers 671 affordable luxury guestrooms and suites. Dining options include a sophisticated rooftop restaurant and bar and international cuisine at an all-day outlet. This is further complemented by the diverse eateries and superb shopping in the hotel’s podium floors, as well as in an adjacent mall and the vibrant surrounding area. www.hotelvic.com


Recipient of two-Michelin Stars and Five Stars from Forbes Travel Guide, the highly regarded Cantonese restaurant Yan Toh Heen has relocated to a new harbourview home within the InterContinental Hong Kong. Designed by Henry Leung of CAP-ATELIER, the venue preserves the restaurant’s rich heritage and elegant jade theme, whilst showcasing a unique series of spaces. The interior is inspired by a jade jewellery box, which opens to reveal layers of treasured collectibles and discoveries of Cantonese culinary arts. www.hongkong-ic.intercontinental.com

The retro-themed, Cross Cafe has opened a second store in Causeway Bay. The menu features traditional “bing sutt” delicacies as well as authentic Hong Kong-style food and drinks made from one of Hong Kong’s oldest and most iconic dairy brands, Trappist Dairy. Try the Deep Fried Trappist Milk; Crispy Bun with Pork Fillet & Homemade Dressing or Fried Rice with Black Truffle Sakura Shrimps & Egg White. www.facebook.com/crosscafehk

The Murray, Hong Kong, a Niccolo Hotel, has opened Popinjays, a sophisticated rooftop dining and bar concept. Reflecting Hong Kong’s vibrant, cosmopolitan style, the lifestyle destination is designed to attract the city’s flamboyant, fashionable crowd throughout the day and late into the evening. Popinjays, a term once assigned to parrots, takes its name from the resident cockatoos along neighbouring gardens. As the hotel’s lifts open onto the rooftop, guests are drawn to the stylish bar and wraparound terrace that frames the restaurant. Dotted with inviting lounges and comfortable couches, the outdoor terrace provides the perfect vantage point to appreciate the most Instagram-worthy views. Along with a world-class selection of classic cocktails, bespoke creations and specialty spirits, guests can choose from a variety of bar snacks. www.niccolohotels.com

Chua Lam, a revered food critic and columnist in Hong Kong, has launched his own pho shop, Chua Lam’s Po on Wellington Street in Central. Opened in early July, the restaurant serves steaming bowls of beef pho made from a recipe from Lam’s all-time favourite pho restaurant in Melbourne, Pho Dzung. http://hk.chualamspho.com

Chaiwala, a sophisticated dining destination in Central’s new cultural hub on Wyndham Street opened it’s doors in mid-August. Embracing the philosophy that Life is Chai, Chaiwala offers a dramatic backdrop of creativity for lively and vibrant nights out with modern Indian cuisine. http://chaiwala.hk

Pici, the simple no fuss neighbourhood pasta bar, has opened in Tsim Sha Tsui. Pirata Group’s third Pici location and first Kowloon opening, brings fresh, homemade pasta dishes to a wider Hong Kong audience. Taking residence on Tsim Sha Tsui’s Hart Avenue, Pici continues to feed Hong Kong’s appetite for homemade pasta following the success of the Wan Chai and Central locations. www.pici.hk

The Aqua Restaurant Group will open two new flagship restaurants, The Chinese Library and Statement, and an innovative new bar, The Dispensary, at the new Tai Kwun development. The restaurants will reflect the unique East-West heritage of Hong Kong with a stunning bar sitting between the two. Launching in September 2018 the restaurants will occupy a prime location on the first floor of the historic Headquarters Block, the former Police Officers’ Mess. In the East wing, The Chinese Library will celebrate the different regional Chinese cuisines which have become popular in Hong Kong over the years. Statement restaurant situated in the West wing will be a showcase of innovative British cuisine, echoing Hong Kong’s colonial heritage while also displaying some of the more avant-garde culinary directions found in London today. Linking these two restaurants is The Dispensary, an elegant lounge bar adorned with nostalgic ornaments that reveal clues to Hong Kong’s colourful past. www.aqua.com.hk

Meraki Hospitality Group, of the popular Brazilian Japanese restaurant Uma Nota, introduces BEDU – a Middle Eastern restaurant and bar that interprets the region’s deeply rooted street food culture for modern day appetites. BEDU opens its doors in August on Gough Street and guests can expect a sociable and lively atmosphere. The menu created by Chef Corey Riches is designed for sharing alongside a curated cocktail list; all of which adapt to the seasons as it would for a Bedouin in their travels. The new restaurant will encompass a relaxed space with a bar and semi-open kitchen overlooking the main dining area. A fresh and inviting design that echoes a nomadic lifestyle and balances classic with contemporary. Natural materials such as leather, reclaimed wood, distressed metals and jute (a material often used by Bedouins) are used across the interior. www.bedurestaurant.com


Found within a series of former interlinked jail cells within Tai Kwun’s E-Hall, Behind Bars is both literally and figuratively a space to connect with others. The location speaks to both Yenn Wong (JIA Group) and entertainment creative Angus Wong’s want for the venue’s identity not to be bound by physical address, but with time. Behind Bars aims to contribute to and champion Hong Kong’s many communities, fostering collaboration and conversations. The beverage program is under the guidance of JIA Group’s awarded Bar Manager, James Barker, who has crafted a line of classic cocktails that form a series. Bottled in glass, they come adorned with a rotation of illustrations. www.taikwun.hk

A sophisticated British salon located in Hong Kong’s new Central cultural district, Hugger Mugger opened in mid-August. Just steps from the new Tai Kwun precinct, Hugger Mugger is a clandestine meeting place for those in the know, serving cocktails inspired by Britain’s cultural legends. Concealed behind an unassuming red door and down a flight of stairs, an enigmatic atmosphere of intrigue awaits guests. http://huggermugger.hk


Hong Kong Disneyland Resort (HKDL) has unveiled the name of its newest Marvel attraction, Ant-Man and The Wasp: Nano Battle! The attraction will debut in 2019 as the park continues the multi-year expansion of the resort.

Link Stanley Plaza draws inspiration from the grand Wonderfruit Festival in Pattaya, Thailand to turn up the positive vibe of the bright season by creating unwind zones in eight shades representing art, music, fitness, relaxation, environment, pet, gourmet and bazaar.  www.linkhk.com

The Hungry Ghosts Festival, or Yu Lan, runs until 8 September 2018.  According to traditional Chinese belief, the seventh month in the lunar calendar is when restless spirits roam the earth. Many Chinese people make efforts to appease these transient ghosts, while ‘feeding’ their own ancestors, particularly on the fifteenth day, which is the Yu Lan or Hungry Ghost Festival. For those visiting, it’s a perfect opportunity to experience the city’s living culture, with locals tending to roadside fires and burning faux money and other offerings for ghosts and ancestors to use in the afterlife. Food is also left out to sate the appetite of the hungry ghosts.  There will also be exhibitions showcasing customs and traditions in Victoria Park and Chinese opera performances held around the city. www.discoverhongkong.com/eng/see-do/events-festivals/chinese-festivals/the-hungry-ghost-festival.jsp

Now in its thirteenth edition, the Asia Contemporary Art Show will take place from 28 September to 1 October 2018 at the Conrad Hong Kong. Regarded as the longest running and most successful hotel art fair in Asia, around 80 galleries from Asia and the world, including up-and-coming and mid-career artists, will be present. The General admission opens on 29 September. Tickets start from HK$270 (approx. AU$44) and are available from www.hkticketing.com


Plaza Premium Group (PPG) has launched a new lounge concept to debut in Hong Kong International Airport. The lounge aims to redefine the airport lounge experience through personalised hospitality. Designed by award-winning Hong Konger Kinney Chan, the lounge represents a calming oasis for travellers to escape the busy terminal. Natural materials, soothing colours, and artwork including a large forest mural have been installed to create a tranquil and serene ambiance. Whether sitting back with a premium whisky or crafted cocktail, indulging in a gourmet meal, or soothing the senses with a relaxing massage, travellers can curate their own pre-flight experience before embarking on the next stage of their journey. www.plazapremiumfirst.com


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