Quarry Bay’s Tong Chong corridor has been an after work hangout for years and now the rest of Hong Kong is making it a destination
Quarry Bay’s position near the top of the list for premium — if non-core — office space is not in question. With blue-chip tenants seeking ever more cost-effective solutions, Taikoo Place leapt to the fore long ago, and its star continues to rise as it comes closer to Central prestige. The opening of Swire Properties’ Taikoo Place Apartments only cements that. And now soon-to-be residents of the new serviced apartment are blessed with an abundance of things to do close to home.
Quarry Bay Promenade
With a less crowded view than at TST or Wanchai, Quarry Bay Promenade, ending at Quarry Bay Park, is popular with dog walkers, joggers and loungers. The park features a football pitch, tennis and basketball courts, cycle path, and tai chi garden, as well as the decommissioned Alexander Grantham fireboat, now a museum.
Mount Parker Road Green Trail
Hong Kong’s hiking scene is world class and this easy walk to Tai Tam, part of the Hong Kong Trail, will only take about 90 minutes of your day. Well-signed and pleasantly shady, an historic highlight is the Taikoo — aka Swire — red brick house and former home to sugar processing workers near the barbeque pits on Tai Tam Reservoir Road.
Tong Chong Street Market
Satisfy your local organic produce and gastronomic cravings at the weekly Tong Chong Street Market, held every Sunday until the end of December in the courtyard at Taikoo Place (and restarting in spring). Innovating food vendors like Grassroots Pantry, Bread & Beast and Common Ground among others share space with local farmers for anyone who wants a taste of all that’s trendy as well as sustainable in food and beverage.
With dominant fast fashion boring many of us with shoddy, disposable clothing, independent, well-made designer duds are making a comeback. The tiny Le Strawberry boutique carries carefully sourced fashion from Japan, Italy and beyond, and though it doesn’t carry as much as the nearby Zara or H&M, what they do have is better constructed and more unique than what those chains offer.
Coffee shops need to be at street level and so Alchemy Coffee, which is also a roaster that sources its own beans, is just the ticket. Also serving a great breakfast to go with the joe, Alchemy is another hidden gem that’s strong with the basics: espresso, lattes, and cappuccino.
Plat du Jour
No dining scene would be complete without a French outlet, and Plat du Jour’s chic bistro vibe not only looks the part but serves up Gallic favourites (escargot, duck confit, chocolate mousse) with flair. Open for lunch and dinner, this unfussy eatery also knows how to take its time in the evening, giving those in the mood for it an unrushed, truly leisurely French night out.
Mr & Mrs Fox
With a boisterous and chic neighbourhood watering hole downstairs (Mrs Fox) and more formal dining upstairs (Mr Fox), the buzzy Mr & Mrs Fox is hard to beat for mood matching. Perched on the corner of Tong Chong and Hoi Want streets on three floors of Taikoo Place Apartments, the Foxes are defined by their earthy brass, wood, high ceilings, plush seating and bare concrete as well as a non-budget busting menu of savoury standards, charcuterie and more creative nibbles and mains.
News Room Diner
Retro diners are always a good time, and News Room has the added advantage of being open early for breakfast during the week. Waffles, pancakes, omelettes and the full-on American breakfast start the workday right; burgers and other classic diner fare end it that way.
Regardless of what the address might indicate, Shiro — at the end Tong Chong Street in Lincoln House — is most definitely part of the neighbourhood. The elegant restaurant allegedly gets its fish daily from Tokyo’s Tsukiji market, but even if it didn’t, the modern spin on sushi, sashimi and other Japanese staples wouldn’t make dining there any less an adventure.
What would the area be without a microbrewery? Area stalwart Enoteca comes to rescue this time, pouring Hong Kong’s own Gweilo Beer on tap. If hops aren’t your bag, of course Enoteca made its name as a wine bar. Bonus: Scads of outdoor seating for whiling away weekend nights.
The Codfather Oyster and Seafood Bar / Flames Charcoal Chicken
Tucked in the alley off Hoi Wan, this pair of casual, low-key eateries is the antidote to the more polished and preened outlets nearby. Scruffy and scrappy, this is Quarry Bay’s answer to LKF’s Rat Alley, which is always a good thing.