Affectionately known as PoHo, the Po Hing Fong area, originally a quiet cul-de-sac in Sheung Wan, is now a design hub for edgy galleries, unique boutiques and eclectic eats such as Tabibito.
Helmed by Noriyuki Sugie of Restaurant VII in Sydney and of New York Mandarin Oriental Asiate fame, the restaurant features a fusion of east and west in tapas-style portions made for sharing.
This modern take on Japanese okazu cuisine is unique, like Po Hing Fong itself, where thestreets are lined with walk-up apartments (old residential buildings with no lifts) and you can still see remnants of the printing-press industry for which the area was once known.
Here you can get a real sense of what a neighbourhood in Hong Kong was like before the city became an international metropolis and financial hub.
Freshly baked bread is always an elusive thing to find in Hong Kong, but here in Po Hing Fong is Po’s Atelier, which not only supplies crusty loaves and classics such as apple turnovers and pain au chocolat to hungry Hongkongers, it offers creations with Asian twists, including its famous fig and oolong bread. You can also enjoy a coffee and pastry at Café Deadend – Po’s sister restaurant. Fortuitously, the café shares its kitchen with the bakery, and opens onto a small terrace with outdoor seating. You can enjoy a full menu here that includes gorgeously simple items such as salmon bagel and apple pie. Portion sizes aren’t the largest, but you’d be hard pressed to find another place for a quick bite that offers such serenity.
70-72 Po Hing Fong, Sheung Wan, 6716 7005; facebook.com/CafeDeadend.
Coffee has been surging in popularity for the last decade, and Teakha is here to prove that tea can be just as hip. Located in quiet Tai Ping Shan Street, this quaint little eatery makes up for its limited seating with charm. Not only is there an ample amount of reading material, but among the potted plants and exposed brick walls there is an open kitchen where you can see the staff prepare your drinks and bake the cakes for the day. Their signature brew is the masala chai, but the Sea Salt Yin Yang – their take on the classic Yuanyang, a Hong Kong tea-house concoction of tea and coffee – is given a tasty twist with a dash of sea salt. Oven-fresh cakes are also on the menu, and the osmanthus and black sugar chiffon cake is a crowd favourite. Here they also experiment a lot with new flavours, and tasty items include apple and roselle pie as well as blueberry and pecan shortbread. So whenever you find yourself in need of some serious unwinding, get yourself to this little haven.
Shop B, 18 Tai Ping Shan Street, Sheung Wan, 2858 9185; teakha.com
Dai pai dongs or open-air food stalls are iconic Hong Kong dining options that are dwindling in numbers. Marked by their signature green colour, there are approximately 20-odd of these left in the city.
You can’t miss this place, as it has more outdoor seating than in, as well as a coterie of resident cats lounging around and ignoring everybody.
With plastic chairs and folding tables sprawling out onto the pavement, this is one of the last restaurants that have the old dai pai dong feel. Famous for it pork chops, condensed milk toast and soup, the real show stoppers are the beef dishes, with the favourite the satay onionbeef on toast.
With generous slices of beef fragrantly fried in onion and satay sauce, this is one of the most comforting dishes in Hong Kong. Another is the beef noodle in tomato soup, which, though made with instant noodles, has a base of real tomatoes that brings a sweet tangy flavour to this cheap and cheerful dish.
Shop J-K, 200 Hollywood Rd, Sheung Wan, 2546 8947
There’s plenty to enjoy of the non-edible sort in PoHo. Tai Ping Shan Street is the main artery through this quaint neighbourhood, along which you will find a wealth of excellentindependent galleriesand retailers.