What’s new in Hong Kong’s food scene in December 2022? From Christmas pop-ups and new restaurants, to ‘farm-to-glass’ sustainable cocktails at Tell Camellia and afternoon tea at Cordis Hong Kong
Here are some of the best new openings, new menus, and other food news from Hong Kong including new chefs, afternoon teas, Christmas treats and even sustainable cocktails for those who want to feel good about their evening tipple.
New restaurant openings in Hong Kong
Nearby on Ship Street, Bàrbar is adding to the neighbourhood’s Spanish offerings. A wine and tapas bar, the concept will provide the usual suspects as well as more novel offerings such as a pigeon rice pot that can be enriched with foie gras.
Trattoria Kagawa by Mihara
Just down the road, Trattoria Kagawa by Mihara presents chef Terufumi Mihara’s fusion of Italian recipes enlivened with ingredients – found on some 80 per cent of the menu – from the chef’s home prefecture of Kagawa, on Japan’s Seto Inland Sea.
Meanwhile in Sheung Wan, Rêveri is the brainchild of husband-and-wife duo Jessica Kesumo and John Law. The pair aims to present expansive Asian flavours via Western cooking styles in a relaxed and accessible atmosphere.
New menus to try in December
Lan Kwai Fong’s popular Italian eatery Aria has revamped its concept and menu. Executive chef Angelo Vecchio is turning the focus to classic Italian recipes and seasonal menus. Each of the latter is named after a featured ingredient, such as castagne (chestnut) for autumn, and guests can find a range of sharing plates perfect for indulging in alongside Aria’s wines and cocktails.
Seasonal cooking is a thing at La Rambla too, where executive chef Rafa Gil has updated the weekend brunch menu and added enticing new dishes to the standard à la carte offerings, including both elevated Spanish favourites and Catalan-inspired dishes with a Japanese twist.
Staying in Central, Testina has unveiled an array of new dishes for this season, too. As well as popular classics, the daily special menu offers diners flavourful options like beef heart, home-made wild boar pappardelle, and hare tagliolini, subject to on-the-day availability.
New chefs in the city
Richard Solnik at Bedu
Richard Solnik has been appointed head chef at Sheung Wan Middle Eastern favourite Bedu. Solnik has spent the last 12 months working under executive chef Corey Riches and has been deemed ready to take charge of the kitchen on Gough Street. Solnik will be looking to further Bedu’s sustainable focus using a range of exotic products and flavoursome spices to showcase the diverse vegetable-driven cuisine of the Middle East that Bedu is famous for.
Afternoon tea deals in Hong Kong
The Arcane Collective’s conscious all-day dining restaurant Moxie has launched a contemporary afternoon tea set (HK$358) for those with the luxury of free afternoons. Created by chef de cuisine Michael Smith, the set comes with three savoury bites and three sweet pastries, with seasonal ingredients at the forefront of each dish.
Alibi – Wine Dine Be Social
In Mong Kok, Alibi – Wine Dine Be Social, at the Cordis Hong Kong, has partnered with Guerlain to offer the Fly to the Stars afternoon tea set, available until December 31. Savoury items include hand-dived scallop with bergamot gel and ikura, and a foie gras parfait served with spiced orange fig purée. Sweet treats range from a lemon vanilla honeycomb trifle to the Christmas-scented cinnamon scone with honey orange jam and clotted cream.
Salisterra x Baking Maniac
Those seeking something even more festive can head to Upper House where Salisterra has partnered with Hong Kong bakery Baking Maniac to offer decadent s’mores and candy cane cake-pops, to complement the Mediterranean restaurant’s own scrumptious finger sandwiches and chestnut Mont Blanc, all topped off with cinnamon vanilla eggnog and mulled wine.
Scrumptious Christmas desserts
Date by Tate
You can indulge your sweet tooth this holiday season courtesy of Date by Tate’s limited-edition Christmas pastry collection. Available to order online, new delights include a range of festive financiers, in Christmas Tree (green tea, HK$38 per piece), Snowflake (hazelnut, HK$38) and Christmas Wreath (orange cinnamon, HK$38 for two) flavours, and a white truffle honey pear tart (HK$500). If you’re entertaining friends and family, consider the Christmas biscuit chocolate gift set (HK$688) that includes four boxes of raspberry rocher, lemon and thyme sable, soy pulp mixed spices gingerbread cookies, and pistachio marshmallow biscuits.
Vive Cake Boutique
Just in time for Christmas, Vive Cake Boutique is popping up at Landmark Prince’s until December 31. The stall will showcase the artisan cakery’s complete collection of edible art, from buttercream and chiffon signatures to imaginative seasonal and festive offerings. This includes founder Vivien Lau’s newest creation, the Prince Sesame (HK$580, four-inch) – a black sesame chiffon cake with black sesame mascarpone cream and airy filling.
Trendsetting magazine Monocle is bringing its popular London shop and cafe to East in Taikoo. As well as bringing a range of Monocle products, visitors will be able to partake of a limited-edition menu that includes scones (HK$50), cinnamon buns (HK$45), a crème brûlée (HK$65), a Twist Negroni (HK$95) as well as Domain signature coffee.
Anyone looking to do some good this December should visit the Cookie Smiles pop-up at the Landmark. This aims to raise HK$600,000 for two beneficiaries: Box of Hope and the Vocational Training Council’s Shine Skills Centre. The pop-up runs until January 2 and will offer a range of gingerbread cookies created by various celebrity chefs and culinary experts.
Sustainable cocktails and winter warmers
Highlights include drinks such as the Bitter Tweet (a mix of milk oolong tea and marigold leaf, Fernet Hunter and whisky), and the Darjeeling Sour made with redistilled tea, basil, green apple, spices and gin. Hopefully trailblazers like Tell Camellia and Penicillin, Agung Prabowo’s closed loop concept, will inspire more bars to follow suit.
- Winter in Hong Kong is a busy time for restaurants with Christmas and New Year on the way … and this month sees new Spanish, Korean and Japanese-Italian fusion eateries opening in Wan Chai
- Meanwhile, Lan Kwai Fong’s Aria and IFC’s La Rambla launch new menus, Monocle brings a festive pop-up to the city, and celebrity chefs whip up cookies for charity at Landmark