To most, Sheung Wan equates with either the trendy eateries clustered around Man Mo Temple and up the hill at Bridges Street or around the bend of Queen’s Road where the dried seafood sellers gather. But the little quarter of Po Yan Street and New Street and the tail end of Hollywood Road is a gem of hidden charm in the shadow of Shui Yuet and Kwun Yam temples.
Though residents and hardcore art buffs will recall Para/Site Artspace with wistful sadness the art anchor in this little corner of Sheung Wan now is the relatively well-known Cat Street Gallery (222 Hollywood Road, www.thecatstreetgallery.com). But the little guys haven’t vanished completely. Island 6 gallery (G/F 1 New Street, www.island6.org) is part of the Liu Dao (literally, six islands) collective that opened its Hong Kong gallery in 2012 following Shanghai and Phuket. The collective comprises “tech geeks” and other creatives that produce innovative and interactive new media installations that reflect what’s going on in Asia right now. The rotating exhibitions at Island 6 can be based in anything from video and photography to neon and LED. Around the corner is the Giant Year Gallery (G/F, 15-17 New Street, www.giantyeargallery.com), quite the opposite, focusing on contemporary ceramic art by local emerging artists. Since it opened in May 2013, Giant Year has featured just three artists, so vanishing exhibitions are not an issue. The gallery has a new show coming in October. Not surprisingly Lomography (G/F 2 Po Yan Street, www.lomography.com) is here, gleefully fulfilling all our low-tech, analogue photography needs.
If art’s not your thing, there’s plenty of shopping on this corner too. The Stalk Room (G/F 4 Po Yan Street) brings new meaning to florists. The shop calls what they do “plantscaping,” and true to its word, it’s like no other flower shop in the city and transcends the very notion. Travel behind the 7-Eleven, past a row of local chachanteng, and just before the stairs leading up to SoHo you’ll find Niin (200 Hollywood Road, www.niinstyle.com). Niin designs and retails ethically and environmentally responsible jewellery and accessories, leaving as small a carbon footprint as possible. You can buy Niin online, but the boutique is a demonstration in practising what is preached, and it’s worth
No neighbourhood is complete without someplace to eat, and in recent years Sheung Wan has come leaps and bounds, led by the still-hip Duecento Otto on Hollywood. Choices now, however, include the casual Corner Kitchen Café (226 Hollywood Road, www.cornerkitchencafe.com), the de facto neighbourhood haunt ideal for coffee and a pastry on Sunday morning as you people watch across from Hollywood Road Park. For anyone more interested in the cool factor, Cha Cha Wan (G/F, 206 Hollywood Road) offers delicious northern Thai treats with hipster attitude. If it’s comfort food you want, there’s a new Café Deco Pizzeria (11 Po Yan Street, www.cafedecogroup.com) in the ’hood for more effortless dining. Finally gourmands will be pleased to know that coming soon is B.A.M le garde manger (6 Po Yan Street), a French deli and wine bar at the corner of New Street, just up the road from Aurora Fine Wines (Shop B, 5-13 New Street, www.aurorafinewines.com), for when it’s time to just kick back at home with a nice glass of Chardonnay and a terrine.