Neighbourhood Guide: Where To Eat, Drink And Shop In Sai Ying Pun
Where to eat
Brut! is the epitome of modern dining; creative plates made to share, a well curated selection of small batch wines, a lively, informal atmosphere and charismatic staff.
The restaurant's one-page menu isn't shy in playing with bold flavours, featuring dishes like drunken chicken with fried ginger and a wild mushroom mousse, roquefort mac and cheese, and lamb ribs with blackberry relish and shiso to name a few.
Brut!, Shop C, G/F, Tung Cheung Building, 1-11 Second Street, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, +852 3460 5863; brut.com.hk
French fine-dining restaurant, Bâtard brings together good wine and simple yet perfected French dishes to Sai Ying Pun. Try the signature stuffed roast chicken with fresh herbs, roasted quail with maitake mushroom, and cold angel hair with caviar for an unforgettable meal.
Batard,Shop E1 & E2, G/F, Viking Court, 165-166 Connaught Road West, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, +852 2318 1802, batardhk.com
Opened by Chachwan alumni Walaiphan Hanyut and Renee Dancel, Krua Walaiphan serves some of the most authentic Thai food in Hong Kong in a cosy, unpretentious setting.
The dishes are generous in size and don't miss a beat when it comes to flavour. The laab moo is herbacious and refreshing, the grilled tiger prawns with glass noodles will transport you to the smoky street stalls of Thailand, the charcoal grilled chicken has perfectly crispy skin and succulent meat and the salt-crusted whole barramundi is simply stunning. All dishes are made MSG-free.
Krua Walaiphan, 29 High Street, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, +852 2804 1555; facebook.com/kruawalaiphan
Kaum at Potato Head
While Potato Head in Hong Kong may not have the beach front and infinity pool that its original Bali outpost does, it has certainly done well in capturing the rich and addictive island flavours at Kaum, its bright and airy Indonesian restaurant.
Its menu is a colourful selection favourites like gado gado salad, nasi goreng and a fabulous babi guling, while introducing Hongkongers to more unusual dishes like braised young jackfruit and red beans in a mild coconut curry and a Ternate style ceviche that beautifully combines marinated raw tuna, virgin coconut oil, lime, pomelo and toasted kenari nuts.
Potato Head, 100 Third St, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, +852 2858 6066; potatohead.co
Newly opened Pondi is a celebration for the senses. Taking over a sweet little two-story space in a cul de sac, the intimate, earthy space is dimly lit with soft lighting and candles, and has a charming porch area with outdoor seating.
The menu is a love letter to Pondicherry, showcasing nostalgic, homely flavors from India in a way that Hong Kong hasn't seen yet. Served on beautiful ceramics, diners can enjoy dishes like air dried lamb loin with braised ribs and garden peas in a caraway seed cream, yoghurt croquettes served with candied beets and pickled shallots in a sunflower crust and local snake beans with a moreish anchovy sambal. Wine pairing is encouraged.
Pondi, 14 Fuk Sau Lane, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, +852 2761 4900; facebook.com/pondihk
Craving for a New York bodega-style sandwich? Fat Chad's indulgent Reuben sandwich, Cubano and lamp chopped cheese will have you wishing you're strolling down the streets of the Big Apple.
Fat Chad’s, G/F, 119B, Second Street, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, +852 5536 9665, fatchads.com
Casa Cucina & Bar
Opened in April 2021, Casa Cucina & Bar is Sai Ying Pun's go-to place for handmade pasta that's perfect for your next date night.
Founded by Amber chef Anthony Cheung, the restaurant specialises in Italian classics and pasta that's served in the style of cicchetti—small dishes that's similar to the style of Spanish tapas.
Casa Cucina & Bar, Shop 8 & 9, 158A Connaught Road West, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong; +852 2887 9666, casacucina.hk
After waving goodbye to their Kennedy Town location, Catch has made itself home in its new home in Sai Ying Pun. Soft opening on November 20, the new restaurant will feature all of its well-loved Australian dishes from crab fries, oysters, to top-notch brunches.
Catch, 9-10 Second Street, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, catch.hk
Locofama has established itself as one of the best healthy yet hearty restaurants in Sai Ying Pun over the years since its opening. This health-forward restaurant serves organic bites and health-conscious hearty dishes such as black truffle crab dip with toasts, spicy spinach quesadilla, as well as specials including squid ink hummus with tortilla chips, and cauliflower rice with sous vide egg and asparagus.
Locofama, G/F, 9-13 Fuk Sau Lane, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, locofama.com
Noodle fans will love Dam:a, a brand new noodle bar opened by the team behind Korean restaurant OBP. Taking inspiration from Korean noodle bars, Dam:a elevates a simple noodle with luxe ingredients and careful preparation.
Try their hairtail pate on sourdough with caviar and dill for an Instagram-friendly bite, and don't forget to order a bowl of Sullung which features three-day beef broth, South African wagyu, brisket and bean sprout.
Dam:a, G/F 110 Queen’s Road West, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, instagram.com/dama.noodlebar
Where to drink
Ping Pong 129
Once upon a time, this space served as a ping pong hall for locals to get together and hit the paddle. Today, locals get together here for a different reason—to enjoy its superb selection of gins from around the world and a menu of delicious tapas to pair.
Its soaring ceiling creates a dramatic effect, while buzzing neon lights and elements from its past life as a rec hall make it uniquely Hong Kong.
Ping Pong 129, 129 Second Street L/G Nam Cheong House, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, +852 9835 5061; pingpong129.com
The Music Room at Potato Head
An audiophile's dream come true, The Music Room is located at the end of a hidden passageway inside Potato Head, and it feels as though you've stepped into someone's chic basement hideaway from the '70s—velour-coated lounge chairs, mod style furniture and the pièce de résistance; a DJ booth set against a floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall shelf filled with vinyl records.
A listening room and bar unlike any other in Hong Kong, it has a well curated music programme geared towards serious music lovers, and regularly hosts renowned local and international DJs.
Potato Head,100 Third St, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, +852 2858 6066; potatohead.co
Premier Cru is perhaps one of Hong Kong's most underrated wine shops and bars. Working directly with wine makers in France, this "French wine library" specialises in wines from the Rhone Valley and Burgundy regions.
It's a great place to peruse for unusual or lesser known bottles, and better yet, once you've picked one, you can head to the courtyard to enjoy it al fresco with friends. Chin chin!
Premier Cru, 15 High Street, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, +852 9522 5267; premiercru.hk
Where to shop
Live Zero is a haven for bulk goods that are free from harmful packaging. They stock a large selection of organic pantry staples including a variety flours, lentils and nut butters, as well as a delightful selection of sweet treats ranging from dried fruits to chocolate-covered goodies.
Here, you'll also find a plethora of eco-friendly self-care items, like bio-based sunscreen by Surfer's Barrier, reusable facial rounds by Marley's Monsters and cleansing bars by Ethique. The store recently launched Live Zero Bulk Beauty, a collection of high quality skincare products that are ethically produced, free from nasty toxins and packaged 100% plastic-free. This includes clay masks, essential oils and even body glitter—everything you need to transform your beauty routine.
Live Zero, G/F, 33 High St, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, +852 9433 3394; livezero.hk
Bones and Blades
Conscious carnivores can't seem to get enough of this high end butcher, which specialises in premium meats that are carefully sourced from farms that align with their philosophy of sustainable, ethical farming. Bones and Blades' knowledgeable staff take great pride in their work, and are more than happy to help you pick from their selection grass-fed, free range meats, homemade sausages and artisanal condiments to enjoy them with.
Not one for cooking? The butcher's adjoining restaurant, Quarter Master, serves its prime cuts in the form of steaks, burgers, lamb chops and other meaty delights.
Bones and Blades, 1 Second St, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, +852 2540 0052; bonesandblades.com