Lifestyle

Increasingly interesting: Olympic and Tai Kok Tsui


cato sze cartoon tai kok tsui

The area of Olympic, located west of Mong Kok in Kowloon, is part of Tai Kok Tsui. In fact, the local Olympic MTR station was originally to be called Tai Kok Tsui station according to planning proposals in the 90s. It was later renamed in honour of the athletes who took home Hong Kong’s first ever Olympic gold medal in 1996, and then again in the Paralympic Games the same year. Due to the station’s name, the area is increasingly being referred to by different names with the West Kowloon Highway serving as a delineating line—Olympic to its west and Tai Kok Tsui to the east.

Leisure & Facilities


olympian city

The Olympian City shopping complex is undoubtedly the biggest mall serving the Tai Kok Tsui area. Consisting of three phases housed in separate buildings, it offers more than 800,000 square feet of combined retail space with more than 300 shops and restaurants. Olympian City is also conveniently surrounded by five rail stations, namely Olympic, Mong Kok, Austin, and Kowloon MTR stations, as well as the West Kowloon Terminus of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link.

Tai Kok Tsui Municipal Services Building is the area’s one-stop destination for facilities. The seven-floor building contains a sports centre, climbing wall, fitness room, children’s play room, swimming pool, and a public library, among others. A different entrance leads to the Tai Kok Tsui Market and a cooked food centre. 

Food & Beverage


tony's hell tai kok tsui

With approximately forty dining options in Olympian City, shoppers are truly spoilt for choice with establishments such as Beerliner German Bar & Restaurant, BEP Vietnamese Kitchen, chain restaurants, as well as all your regular fast food joints. Out on the streets of Tai Kok Tsui, the culinary scene gets more interesting as they are mainly privately owned, with more personality. We particularly liked the look of Cedele on Cherry Street, a healthy Singaporean brand with artisan baked goods, gourmet sandwiches, and hot food. Another one to check out would be My Meat Run Buddy, a quirky meat-free buffet place on Pok Man Street with a Chinese pun as its name. But our favourite is undoubtedly, a hole-in-the-wall on the corner of Hoi King and Foo Kwai serving only a regularly changing secret menu; all you get to choose is which premium level to pay for, perfect for those who always have trouble deciding.


747 galley

The area surrounding the HSBC Centre, namely Pok Man Street and Foo Kwai Street, has quite a wide variety of bars. Nearby, The 747 Galley by Café Proud Wings is interestingly done up with an airport and aviation theme. Slightly further away on Pine Street, Visaa is a bar worth checking out for music lovers. Don’t let the rustic exposed brickwork fool you; they have a state-of-the-art surround sound system with live music every Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday night, and also a great selection of alcohol from around the world. 

Culture


hung shing temple

Before reclamation work, Tai Kok Tsui was a dock area with a long granite hill, and the tip of the cape hosted the Asia oil tanks. Founded in 1880 and known as Cosmopolitan Dock, it was one of Hong Kong’s major dockyards. During the Japanese Occupation in WWII, the area was bombed by U.S. aircrafts. After the facilities eventually closed in 1972, the dock was transformed into a housing complex called Cosmopolitan Estate. Apart from these 14 multicoloured residentials blocks, not much else remains of Tai Kok Tsui’s dockyard history. 


tai kok tsui

This old area still contains a mix of industrial and residential, though in the reclaimed Olympic area to the west, there have been increasingly more high-rise buildings being constructed, with many of the older buildings being replaced by these luxury residentials. The greater area of Tai Kok Tsui is undergoing a revitalisation, with many restaurants and bars setting up there. In spite of, or perhaps because of, the area’s slightly gritty reputation, there is also a burgeoning art scene; street artist Pantone C brings students from his urban art workshops to spray paint Tai Kok Tsui’s rooftop walls, and up until this February, famously eclectic music entertainment venue XXX Gallery was located on Larch Street. Keep your eyes open for what might pop up next.