A Weekend in Hong Kong Cover


Where do I start about our weekend in Hong Kong? This was my first visit and I was absolutely blown away. Our trip was only three and a half days (basically a weekend) in mid-August, and although we had a relaxed approach to what chose to do and see, we covered a lot of ground.


Dumpling tower Hong KongDumpling towers – image credit Jen Curcio


My to-do highlights were Victoria’s Peak and the Dragon’s Back Trail, the coffee at Coffee Academics and Omotesando, dumpling feasting at Din Tai Fung and eating many baked goods on-the-go. I loved the elegance of the bars and their stunning night time views of the city.

In general though, the main highlight of Hong Kong is the city itself: the bustle, colours, sounds, smells, fluorescent restaurant signs, shop fronts, and Hong-Kongers just going about their everyday.


hong-kong-what-a-tourist-looks-likeMe clutching my lengthy food-tinerary – image credit Ian Ryder


Though three and a half days is barely a sip of a dumpling soup in Hong Kong, we were fortunate to visit some stand out places that I would hate you to miss out on if you happen to go. There were many places I did not get to so I have included those as well and will save them for next time.

Speaking of next time, please feel free to share any of your Hong Kong tips in the comments, I would love to hear from you. In the meantime, enjoy A Weekend in Hong Kong!

JC x


Omotesando barista in enclosure Hong KongOne of the Barista’s at Omotesando Koffee – image credit Jen Curcio


Omotesando facade Hong KongThe sleek, concrete facade of Omotesando Koffee – image credit Jen Curcio


Omotesando coffee portrait Hong KongA coffee break done right – an espresso and Kashi at Omotesando Koffee – image credit Jen Curcio



Omotesando Koffee – Lee Tung Avenue, Shop no. 24-25,G/F,  200 Queen’s Road East, Wanchai, Lee Tung St, Hong Kong

Omotesando café started in Japan about five years ago. They have since spread their coffee wings, sharing their love of coffee making to the people of Hong Kong. You can smell precision and passion before even setting foot in the place! The coffee experience here is designed to the tiniest detail. When you walk in, you’re immediately greeted by a staff member ready to take your order as if their life depended on it. They show you the menu (an array of coffees and blended iced drinks). After ordering, you will be directed to take a small set of stairs and await your coffee as it is expertly crafted at the coffee lab. It’s all very practical, sensible and efficient, including the well designed seating area. Appreciators of interior design will be able to take in the space’s beautiful simplicity and thoughtful design. Thank you so much Siska from Senka for the recommendation!


The Coffee Academics – various locations including 35-45 Johnston Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong

We visited Coffee Academics two days in a row and enjoyed some of the best coffee we’ve had in Asia for quite some time. You do however, get what you pay for, with a soy latte coming to about the equivalent of $6AUD. Ouch! Having said that though, the quality was of Melbourne standard, and being on holiday for a mere 3.5 days, we decided to splurge a little. I should mention, The Coffee Academics also offer food which we tried. It was good but not great, so I’d suggest just sticking with the caffeine.


Deadend Cafe Hong KongCafé Deadend – a small but vibrant Western style cafe – image credit Jen Curcio


Café Deadend – Ground floor, 72 Po Hing Fong, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong

This small café, conveniently located next door to bakery, Po’s Atelier was a really great find. We had been walking around Sheung Wan all morning and needed a place to sit down. There was no room except for the bar counter, so we perched ourselves there and had a coffee. Despite feeling ridiculously full due to snacking all day, we had front row seats of the kitchen, watching as the staff plated food. Everything looked fresh and amazing and the menu was really impressive. Despite the limited seating area of about six tables inside, the place was buzzing with chatter and atmosphere. I would definitely return to try the food, sip on a drink and people watch.


A Weekend in Hong Kong Pos Atelier The savoury Danish of the day at Po’s Atelier – image credit Jen Curcio


Po’s Atelier – Ground floor, 70 Po Hing Fong, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong

Po’s Atelier was an absolute gem find. This popular French-Japanese boutique bakery offers a thoughtful selection of house baked pastries and breads. I was very pleased to see signage inside their petite store stating that all goods are baked from scratch (on-site), free of improvers, additives and preservatives. Given my new penchant for bread baking, I can say I have a new-found appreciation for this kind approach to bread making. This is a lovely place to stock up on, on-the-go treats while walking around Sheung Wan.


Pineapple Buns Happy Bake Shop Hong KongThe famous Pineapple Buns at Happy Cake Shop – image credit Jen Curcio


happy-bake-shop-coconut-scroll-faceThe size of the delicious, buttery coconut scroll at Happy Cake Shop – image credit Ian Ryder


Doughnuts Happy Bake Shop Hong KongThe doughnuts at Happy Cake Shop – image credit Jen Curcio


happy-bake-shop-coconut-scrollPlaying with my food again (the coconut scroll from Happy Cake Shop) – image credit Ian Ryder


Happy Cake Shop – 106 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai

We stumbled past Happy Cake Shop in Wan Chai on our way to Coffee Academics. It’s a tiny space and the amount of people shuffling to get inside gave me the impression that this wasn’t your average bakery. Even as we were loitering out the front, we heard several people walking past commenting on how famous it was and how much they love it. Completely overwhelmed by the amount of oven trays filled with baked treats everywhere and newspaper review cuttings on the walls with pictures of the treats and the owners, I approached one of the customers waiting alongside me to find out what Happy Cake Shop was famous for. She said ‘the doughnuts’ (pictured two images above), then consulted with the woman behind the counter in Cantonese, and added that the coconut scrolls and pineapple buns were also famous. I took all three and an egg custard tart for the win to-go. Everything tasted better than it looked: doughy, sugary, buttery, flaky – all the ultimate adjectives stimulated by great pastry. This is a naughty but nice pit-stop for sweet-tooths.


Truffle dumplings portrait Din Tai Fung Hong Kong FinalThe ridiculously delicious truffle dumplings from Din Tai Fung – image credit Jen Curcio



Din Tai Fung – four branches including Shop G3-11, G/F, 68 Yee Wo St., Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

After checking into our hotel and freshening up we headed to dinner at the famed Taiwanese dumpling house, Din Tai Fung. The food was absolutely delicious, and everything a good dumpling feast should be: quick and flavoursome! Though we seemingly sampled a quarter of the menu (the menu is lengthy) which were all great, the stand out dumplings for me were the truffle dumplings. I’ve not tasted anything quite like them before – this is a must order! In terms of the general experience, the staff were very attentive. In general I would recommend Din Tai Fung as a great spot for a no-fuss and filling dinner.


hong-kong-under-bridge-spicy-crabOur seafood feast at Under Bridge Spicy Crab Restaurant – image credit Ian Ryder


Under Bridge Spicy Crab Restaurant – three locations including G/F-3/F, Ascot Mansion, 421-425 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai

Walking through some unassuming red doors, led me to one of the most eventful, hands-on seafood feasts I’ve ever had in my life. Under Bridge Spicy Crab Restaurant is seemingly a Hong Kong institution. It was packed (it was a Friday night), I was taken there by a local friend (his chosen venue for his birthday dinner) and their website has a Hall of Fame section that includes Anthony Bourdain.

The ordering here was handled by my friend who has been living in Hong Kong for seven years. He also goes to the restaurant every three weeks or so, so I knew we were in good hands. He ordered the  spicy crab covered in a mound of fried garlic (centre dish in above image), the deep fried mantis shrimp – buttery, garlicky, delicious and tender, crispy roast pork and some greens.
Armed with an array of cutlery including a crab claw cracker, we set to work disassembling our seafood.

It was all delicious and packed full of flavour but the stand out for me was the shrimp, I could have eaten ten all to myself! This was great place to visit for a local style feast, and will be well suited for foodies not afraid to eat with their hands.


hong-kong-cafe-grey-deluxeUpperhouse, the gateway to Café Gray Deluxe Bar – image credit Ian Ryder



Aqua Bar – 1 Peking Road Shopping Arcade, 29+30F, 1 Peking Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui

Aqua is a stunning, modern, high end Hong Kong Bar. We went here for a drink, which turned in to a few, as well as some delicious dishes from their Italian and Japanese influenced menu. Dimly lit at night, the bar offers stunning views of the city and has an incredibly elegant, refined atmosphere about it. This is a great spot for couples, or small groups wanting a pleasant venue with a bit of a buzz.


Café Gray Deluxe Bar – Level 49, The Upper House, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Hong Kong

Located inside The Upper House, Café Gray Deluxe’s Bar offers stunning views of Hong Kong and Kowloon. It is beautifully fitted out with velvet and leather furnishings, and the bar’s cocktail and snack offerings are very tempting. We only stayed for two drinks but the atmosphere was fantastic, lively but still with a sense of privacy if that’s what you’re after.


Mido Cafe Hong KongOld school cool at Mido Cafe – image credit Jen Curcio



Mido Café –  63 Temple St, Hong Kong

Mido Café was on my to-visit list because I had read about it being an old school, 50s style Hong Kong institution, including its use as a setting for various local movie scenes.

Entering the café was like stepping back in time – minimalist windows, laminate table tops, booth seating, all apparently retained from it’s original opening. We ordered some food: a soup, and French toast. Despite looking sloppy it was all quite flavoursome.

All in all, I would suggest Mido not for its food but its unique ambience, as a relic from Hong Kong’s past and to watch passer’s by through the coloured windows.


A Weekend in Hong Kong BeachStill life at Big Wave Bay – image credit Jen Curcio


hong-kong-the-peakThe stunning view of Hong Kong from Victoria’s Peak – image credit Ian Ryder



Victoria’s Peak

Referred to locally as ‘The Peak’, Victoria’s Peak is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Hong Kong. It is famous for it’s stunning views of the city.

As a result you will do well to sport some patience as you will definitely have to wait to get your postcard snap of the views. You will see tourists with fancy cameras, selfie sticks and smart phones everywhere but you will get your turn against the backdrop of the city’s skyscrapers, and lights (if you go at night).

There are several ways of getting to The Peak, including the Peak Tram which is apparently the quickest way of getting there. We opted for a cab to get us there, and a bus back down into the city. According to my friend who lives in Hong Kong, the bus is the best way back down because you still get to soak in all of the views which are missed if you opt for the tram.


hong-kong-the-peak-chairA look out point at Dragon’s Back Trail – image credit Ian Ryder


Dragon’s Back Trail

I’m not impartial to a light hike when it presents itself and the Dragon’s Back Trail in Hong Kong was a fantastic experience – I would happily do it again.

Dragon’s Back, a ridge path along the two points of Shek O Peak and Wam Cham Shan Peak, offers stunning coastal views of the city and nearby islands, not to mention beautifully green and lush country park land that will have you ask the question: am I really in Hong Kong?


hong-kong-big-wave-bayBig Wave Bay – image credit Ian Ryder


The 8.5km stretch took us about 3 hours at a leisurely pace (water breaks, Instagram selfies and just generally catching your breath up the harder parts). We exited down at Big Wave Bay (pictured above) for some drinks to re-hydrate and cool off our sweat laden outer-garments. This was a relaxing end to an incredibly satisfying day stretching the legs and taking in such beautiful Hong Kong scenery. I would highly recommend this as a must on your itinerary. This is also a great guide if you’re interested in doing other trails during your stay.

Tip: Take water and sunscreen with you! Running shoes are perfectly suitable for this walk too.



The Butterfly Hotel

We had a really pleasant stay at The Butterfly Hotel. Size is a luxury in Hong Kong, so despite the room size being small or average by Hong Kong standards, we found it more than adequate. In addition to being centrally located near Victoria Park with easy access to public transport, the highlight for us was the portable free wifi device they loan out to guests. You charge it overnight, then take it with you during the day to stay online. This was a saviour for accessing Google Maps and guiding ourselves through the city.

Tip: If your hotel offers a portable wifi device or you’re traveling with a smartphone, pre-populate Google Maps with pins of places you want to visit. This helps you build your itinerary around certain areas to avoid running across town and back.



Airport In-Town Check-In (Early Check In Service)

Hong Kong is the first place I’ve been to where you can check your bags in, in the city and collect your boarding pass 24 hours before your flight! Why don’t more airports offer this service?

When you’re ready to head to the airport you simply catch Hong Kong’s dedicated MTR airport express line which takes you directly to the airport, in as little as 24 minutes.

To access this amazing service, all you’ll need is an MTR airport express ticket which you can purchase online here. The ticket prices vary depending on the station you journey from (between $110-$180 HKD).


Octopus Card

This card along with the airport express service, exemplifies how easy and convenient Hong Kong is as a city. This one card has many uses: on public transport, purchases at supermarkets and convenience stores, cinemas and so much more. For all its uses, check out their website here. The Octopus is a must when visiting Hong Kong, especially if you’d prefer going cashless when you can!



As I mentioned earlier I only visited Hong Kong for three and a half days, so naturally I didn’t get to see everything on my list. I’ve included some of those places below. If you have any questions about the places I visited or ate at, please feel free to email me at: info@decisivecravings.com.au, and if you have any additional tips, I would love to hear from you!

If you’re reading this B, thank you so much for being such an incredible city host and guide and helping us navigate Hong Kong with such ease! Another thank you for hooking us up with our Octopus and Airport Express cards!


Cafe’s on the list:

The Cupping Room

N1 Espresso



Eats on the list:

Aberdeen Wholesale Fish Market

Tung Po

Sing Kee

Sam Hui Yat

Yung Kee