Hong Kong dining recommendations

Where a Hong Kong night owl likes to eat after work and with friends

  • Omakase, burgers, laksa, pizza, duck and momos are among interior designer JJ Acuna’s favourite dishes
  • Acuna prefers late-night nibbles to a full-on dinner, and he supports independent businesses
PUBLISHED : Monday, 10 December, 2018, 12:45pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 10 January, 2019, 5:39pm

James “JJ” Acuna is the creative director of JJ Acuna/Bespoke Studio, an interior design and architecture services company.

Usually when people come to town, I’m the late-night guy. My friends come for business and I’m quite busy as well, so we always have to go somewhere that’s open late.

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Hong Kong has a lot of late night offerings. I’m not talking about full dinners, I’m talking about cool, chill bites that are easy to eat and good with drinks.

These are all the places we go to if we’re working late and everybody is ready to hang out or meet up. They’re all independent businesses, they’re not part of restaurant groups and I’d really like to support that.

When we want to go a little bit fancy, we go to Okra Bar (110 Queen’s Road West, Sai Ying Pun, tel: 2806 1038), upstairs from the Okra Kitchen, for omakase and sake pairings by chef Max Levy. We try to get in around 8.30pm or 9pm, and because it’s so meticulous, and takes such a long time to prepare the omakase, we end up staying about three or four hours.

If you’re in Wan Chai, check out Honbo (New Sun House, 6-7 Sun Street, Wan Chai, tel: 2567 8970). These are really the best burgers in town. Michael Chan is the founder and proprietor. He went to medical school and studied to be a doctor, but he found that he had a passion for hamburgers.

You feel really good after eating his burgers. They are not as greasy and the potato bread bun is really light.

For late-night Malaysian noodles – very casual – I go to Mean Noodles (Nam Wo Hong Building, 148 Wing Lok Street, Sheung Wan, tel: 3104 0288). The founder, Kevin Lim, actually studied and trained in architecture, but he also trained at Le Cordon Bleu. He designed the interior himself, and he does really inventive stuff with his dishes.

The laksa noodles are delicious, and he has a very interesting drinks programme. He has really great cocktails that are Southeast Asian [influenced], like lemongrass and ginger-based gin and tonics.

If I’m in a large group, we go to Blue Supreme (21 Tung Street, Sheung Wan, tel: 2323 3633). They recently made a name for themselves with their brunch and all-day menus and their craft beer selection.

 We go there for Scotch eggs and the duck confit burger, and the milk and cookies, which is a dessert. It’s a very New York ambience, very friendly and open late.

If we have a little more time, I like to take people to a restaurant I designed called Pinot Duck (18 Lun Fat Street, Wan Chai, tel: 2891 1177). It’s a large space for casual and easy to eat duck dishes and it’s a great place to have drinks and meet large groups of friends.

 The cocktails are Chinese-oriented that mostly have a floral or medicinal base. Also, there’s an extensive wine list, because after all it is a wine and duck destination.

For the best pizza in town, I think of Alvy’s (8 Holland Street, Kennedy Town, tel: 2312 2996). I go there for their whisky, and the pizza. The Sichuan pizza is really good.

I always order latkes, which is a fried potato dish – the best I’ve ever had in Hong Kong. I also order their meatball dish. It’s moist and the sauce is just right. It’s made fresh every day.

Up 9 (Unit H, 9/F, Winner Building, 13-17 Wing Wah Lane, Central) is a Nepalese place. I love it because it has delicious food, it’s hearty and economical, and it’s open until 5am. It’s a good place for momos: fried momos, chilli momos, steamed momos.  

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You may find the address, but there’s no mark on the door – nothing, so you have to knock. It’s good for an after-party.