Cover Ocean crudo by Ricardo Chaneton of newly-opened Mono (Photo: Mono)

Far from being a slow month in hospitality, January is shaping up to be full of pop-ups, guest chef stints and new openings

We closed out 2019 with a run-down of dining events to mark your calendars with, and little time has passed before even more activity started dropping onto our radars. In January alone, there are plenty of new restaurants, bars and cafés to check out, as well as new ideas to fill up your eating itinerary this month.

New Openings In Hong Kong


What: Paulo Airaudo’s first opening in Hong Kong takes a prime waterside location at Harbour City and is run by executive chef Son Pham. Dishes are presented in sharing portions, ranging from charcoal-grilled meat and seafood to more delicate small plates (razor clams in chorizo vinaigrette, fresh oysters from The Netherlands with Iberico ham, tomato and yuzu). Read more

Where: Shop OTG63, G/F, Ocean Terminal, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong;

Dang Wen Li

What: Award-winning pastry chef Dominique Ansel officially opened his first Hong Kong patisserie on January 7, with a capsule collection of locally-inspired sweet treats, which are rendered in his classic tongue-in-cheek style where nothing is as it seems. Queues are to be expected, and on the first day of opening most of the pastries were sold out by early evening. Read more

Where: Shop OT G63A, G/F, Ocean Terminal, Harbour City, 3-27 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong;

The Diplomat

What: The first speakeasy in H Code by award-winning mixologist John Nugent (formerly of Lily & Bloom) is inspired by state leaders, historical figures and others of influence. Expect cocktails such as Pearl, a classic concoction including black coffee amaro, Campari, green chartreuse, pineapple, ginger and almonds. Read more

Where: LG/F, High Block, H Coe, 45 Pottinger Street, Central, Hong Kong; +852 3619 0302;


What: Taking over 6,000 sq ft of harbour-side space at West Kowloon Cultural District’s art park, FAM is a new contemporary Chinese restaurant that places equal emphasis on music and art as well as gastronomy. The menu has a sizeable dim sum selection as well as the full gamut of Cantonese staples.

Where: Unit G/F 01-03, 22 Museum Drive, West Kowloon Cultural District, Kowloon, Hong Kong; +852 2866 3667;

The Pizza Project

What: Opening this month will be Pirata Group’s pizzeria concept in Soho, which will follow pasta specialist Pici’s straightforward, simple approach to a single food item. The venue will launch with a street party on January 14, where everyone is invited to join the Pirata team for pizza, prosecco, Aperol Spritz and wines between 7 and 9pm. Read more

Where: G/F, 26 Peel Street, Central, Hong Kong;

Matchali Pop-Up at The Upper House

What: Homegrown matcha brand Matchali was created by cousins Cara and Laura Li in 2019, and the duo are presenting the fruits of their labour with their first pop-up serving all manner of colourful tea-based drinks at The Upper House for one month. Using ceremonial-grade matcha powder handled by a fifth-generation tea processing expert in Uji, Kyoto, the drinks range from multi-layered creations utilising fresh fruits and plant-based milks to simple, hand-whisked matcha. Alternative drinks are available too, such as turmeric ginger tonic, grey latte (black sesame, activated charcoal and cashew cream), and yuzu hojicha soda.

When: January 2-23, 2020. 8am-4pm Tuesday to Friday; 9am-5pm Sat and Sun. Until January 9, you can bring a friend to the pop-up to get an extra second drink at no extra cost.

Where: 6/F, The Upper House, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong;

The Birder’s Lodge Pop-Up at Room 309

What: Antonio Lai’s secretive cocktail bar at The Pottinger Hotel is temporarily transformed into a bird paradise resplendent with artistically gnarled nests, floral arrangements by Kirk Cheng, and scents of the forest. The special menu includes creations such as the Little Robin, a mix of Redbreast 12 Year Old Whiskey, porcini mushroom liqueur, Amaro Montenegro, and umami bitters; or Sialia, named for the showy songbird, with its combination of Absolut Elyx vodka, pine liqueur, pimento rum liqueur, dark barley syrup, lemon and lime juice, cream, egg white and soda. Only 10 servings of each cocktail are available each day.

When: Now until February 29, 2020

Where: Room 309, 3/F, The Pottinger Hong Kong, 74 Queen's Road Central, Hong Kong;

Davide Degiovanni at Test Kitchen

What: A taste of Italy awaits at the Test Kitchen, which will be hosting chef Davide Degiovanni of Gordon Ramsay’s Union Street Café in London. Born and raised in northern Italy, Degiovanni will be staying true to his roots with a five-course menu that makes the most of the Italian ingredients in season right now: think winter vegetables served with bagna cauda, gnocchi with leeks, gorgonzola and hazelnuts, and ox cheek cooked with Jerusalem artichokes, radicchio tardivo and fermented orange.

When: January 9-12, 2020

Where: Test Kitchen, Shop 3, Kwan Yick Building Phase 3, 158A Connaught Road West, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong;

Kutan x Wagyumafia

What: Chef Kotaro Nakashima of Kutan kaiseki restaurant in Tokyo will be partnering with Hisato Hamada of Wagyumafia to present a two-night-only multi-course extravaganza featuring wagyu. The dinner, priced at HK$3500, will be paired with a new sake brewed in collaboration with Sharaku Brothers from Miyaizumi Brewery. Unfortunately, the dinner is currently sold out but eager diners can still get on the waitlist in case of any cancellations. 

When: January 12-13, 2020

Where: Wagyumafia, Shop 1B, 32 Oi Kwan Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong;

Antonia Klugmann at Tosca di Angelo

What: In the second instalment of Tosca di Angelo’s “Gems and Pearl” collaboration series, where chef Angelo Agliano partners with a notable female chef from Italy, Antonia Klugmann of L’Argine a Vencò will be taking the stage. Klugmann’s restaurant, situated in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region just miles from the border of Slovenia, is converted from an old mill and serves just 18 guests per seating. As typical of chefs with access to fantastic produce, including those from their own vegetable and herb gardens, Klugmann has become known for her creative interpretation of seasonal ingredients that speak of the Italian terroir.

When: January 14-15, 2020

Where: Tosca di Angelo, 102/F, The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, West Kowloon, Hong Kong;

Ana Ros at Tate Dining Room

What: Leading chef Ana Ros of Slovenia’s Hisa Franko will be joining forces with Vicky Lau of Tate Dining Room to present a ten-course menu for two nights only. Franko will showcase five of the courses, Lau four, and the final course will be a collaboration between the two. Priced at HK$2,180 with a drinks pairing available for HK$580, the menu includes dishes such as Lau’s charcoal kinki fish with fermented Chinese black bean sauce, and Franko’s wild duck heart marinated in umeboshi and oyster emulsion. The collaboration is the first of three events where Lau partners with an important female representative in the culinary space, including Manu Buffara of Restaurante Manu in Brazil, and Leonor Espinosa of Leo in Colombia.

When: January 16-17, 2020

Where: Tate Dining Room, 210 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong;

8-Hands Dinner At Mono

What: Mono, Ricardo Chaneton’s newly opened restaurant in collaboration with JIA Group, is already one of the hottest venues in town—and it’s about to start the year with a statement as the chef readies to host his first collaboration dinner with three other South American culinary heavyweights. Joining Chaneton will be Agustin Balbi of Haku, Virgilio Martinez of Central Restaurante, and Pia Leon of Kjolle. The 12-course menu features two dishes and one canapé by each chef and is priced at HK$2,880 with an optional wine pairing at HK$880.

When: January 22, 2020

Where: Mono, 5/F, 18 On Lan Street, Central, Hong Kong;