There’s been an explosion in Kennedy Town (K-Town) since the MTR Island line’s extension 2 years ago. Once almost solely populated by Hong-Kongese and surrounded by factories, fishing and an abattoir, K-Town has had a face-lift.
Hipsters have moved in and with them, funky restaurants, bars and coffee shops. There are still remnants of K-Town’s past, so let’s spend a day and see what we find.
Slower, yet more scenic, Hong Kong Tramways historical double deck tram has been running from Causeway Bay to K-Town since 1903. It’s still the most affordable and eco-friendly public transport in the region.
Dai Pai Dong‘s (open air food stalls) were a way of life in Hong Kong from the early 1900’s. Located on busy streets serving noodles, congee and wok dishes, Dai Pai Dong licenses ceased in 1956 due to traffic congestion, fires and hygiene issues. Graze Dai Pai Dongs to your hearts (or stomach’s) content inside Smithfield Cooked Food Market on Smithfield Street.
Hor Hor Deem on Belcher’s Street serves a tremendous brisket noodle soup along with other bowls of deliciousness. Cheung Fun (wide rice noodles packed with prawn, chicken or pork) are one of Hor Hor Deem’s staples. Shared tables, a boisterous crowd, and 3 ladies serving steaming bowls of noodles for over 20 years put the “comfort” in comfort food. Open from 4 pm to 3 am, this is a popular late night venue for post-pub sustenance.
Although Tai Hing spread the love with multiple branches, they can still rock a roast and the branch on Smithfield Street is no exception. Goose, duck, chook and pork belly are snapped up quickly so be early for mouth watering crispiness.
Harbour Restaurant on New Praya is easily found with their live fish tanks on the footpath. A stalwart of pre-upmarket K-Town, Harbour Restaurant is still serving straight from the tank although the price per kilo may be escalating along side the rent.
Kinsale had a name change to Praya Waterside Eatery last September along with a refurb and a new chef. The vibe here is casual with views across to the water from bar, booth and table seating.
Pop in for happy hour daily from 4 – 8 pm and select from the HK$40 drinks list. Open from 3 pm weekdays but serving brunch on weekends, we recommend sharing some appetisers and if the scallops with pork belly are on the menu, don’t miss them!
Greg Malouf and family are no strangers to Hong Kong so opening Catch in K-Town was a no brainer.
A daily selection of natural oysters served with 3 dressings; champagne, sesame & soy and tomato & basil is a perfect way to start.
Graze appetisers of seared scallops on cauli purée with beetroot pickled cauli & truffle caviar or sticky spicy lamb ribs with sesame and coriander (cilantro). Catch Fish & Chips is a winner, but our personal favourite: Citrus & Ginger baked salmon served with sautéed asparagus, broad beans and toasted walnuts.
Conceived in an old crocodile farm in Fremantle Western Australia, Little Creatures Brewery‘s K-Town location takes up a disused sugar and flour warehouse. Little Creatures staples are here, most shipped from Aus, but they do brew the famous Pale Ale onsite. Slightly different to the original although just as flavoursome, include Little Creatures K-Town Pale to your 6 x 100ml tasting paddle.
A good wine list for the less brew inclined and a well-constructed menu including sharing plates will keep the wolf from the door. Welcoming and knowledgeable staff can turn a quick visit into an all day affair. 😉
Pop into Tequila on Davis between 5 & 8-pm for Happy Hour. Offering 18 tequilas, try the 6 shot paddle or switch up your margarita to a Golden Great. A smooth mix of Gold Tequila, Grand Marnier and lime juice; you may never return to a standard margarita again.
Sports bar and drinking hole for K-town expats, The Old China Hand is where to head for a darts, pool or ping pong. You’re likely to catch your team on one of the TVs and the Old China Hand makes no bones about being a good old beer drinking pub.
Located opposite MTR Exit C, Forbes 36 works the local crowd. Sunday brunch, rotating lunch offers, a quiz night and impressive beer and wine lists maintain a steady flow of patrons after work, weekends, pretty much all week really. We’re fond of Forbes 36, they stock our home-town Coopers Sparkling, Pale and 62 Pilsner.
On Belcher’s Street, you’ll find Lo Pan Temple. Dedicated to “the patron saint of builders and contractors”, it was built in 1884 and houses an impressive art collection.
For incredible views, head up Mount Davis. Belcher’s Street becomes Victoria Road after Cadogan Street and follows the coast to Mount Davis Path. Spectacular views from the top make the cardio workout worth it.
Stop off at Sai Wan Swimming Shed on your way up Mount Davis. Historically, these sheds and wharfs dotted Hong Kong Island and Kowloon bays, but Sai Wan Swimming Shed is the last. There are plans to re-establish these once the 2nd phase of Hong Kong’s water treatment project is completed.
K-Town isn’t a destination for serious retail therapy just yet although cosmetic and electronics chains are here. Boutiques, homewares or local designers are few and far between, but you will stumble across typical Chinese grocers stocking anything from bamboo steamers to bobby pins.
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Exploring another corner of Hong Kong; it’s a thing we love….