13 Hours in Hong Kong’s Tin Hau

Named for the goddess of the sea, Tin Hau is a quiet, unassuming corner of Hong Kong Island that’s traditionally been overshadowed by nearby Causeway Bay. However, this eclectic locale is making a name for itself as a cultural and culinary destination in its own right, with degustation restaurants, cocktail bars, and hidden private kitchens opening in the narrow streets that wreath the neighborhood’s namesake temple.

13 Hours in Hong Kong's Tin Hau

Looking through the entrance of Tin Hau Temple, which gave its name to the surrounding area. Photo from TPG Images.

9 a.m. Begin your morning with an organic single-origin coffee and a homemade banana-walnut muffin at local institution Pumpernickle, which opened way back in 2000. Heartier options include the generously sized omelettes and all-day breakfasts.

10:30 a.m. Several blocks away, the 18th-century Tin Hau Temple is well worth a visit. Built by the Hakka Tai clan on what was then the waterfront, it remains an active place of worship. Afterward, take a stroll in nearby Victoria Park, where you’ll see grandmothers practicing tai chi with mock swords and couples slow-dancing beneath the banyan trees. Look out for the statue of Queen Victoria, which was cast in London and saved from a Japanese scrapyard after World War II.

12:30 p.m. Lunch awaits at another local favorite, Sister Wah, a Michelin-recognized hole-in-the-wall with just six tables and a simple menu of home-style dishes. The specialty here is beef brisket and egg noodle soup, with other crowd-pleasers being the dan dan noodles and rice wine–soaked “drunken chicken.”

3:00 p.m. Walk off that lunch with a little shopping. Midwest Vintage on Watson Road is one of the most popular specialty stores in Tin Hau, with everything from vintage T-shirts and satchels, to jeans, custom jewelry, military surplus, and sports team jackets. Roughly 10 minutes away on foot, the first floor of Apple Mall is home to Teddy Village, whose handcrafted toy bears—woven with English and German mohair—are all made by artist Hilda Ng.

13 Hours in Hong Kong's Tin Hau

Photo courtesy of Midwest Vintage

6 p.m. Prepare your palate with a few beers at one of Tin Hau’s newest watering holes, Drunkerland (27 Ngan Mok St.). Thanks to an extensive range of local and international brews, this is a chance to sip your way across the world without having to leave your street-front table.

7:30 p.m. Dive into Tin Hau’s contemporary dining scene at AnOther Place by David Myers, a private kitchen serving modern French-Asian fare amid industrial-chic interiors. Forget the cramped confines of most private kitchens: this spot is spacious and elegant, with a main dining room adjacent to a bar lounge and balcony. Four- and six-course “discovery” menus are inspired by Myers’ extensive travels. Be sure to book a table well in advance.

10:00 p.m. Before heading out via MTR, stop by the cozy Vosé Bar & Restaurant on Electric Road. The venue’s namesake cocktail combines dark rum and rose syrup with cranberry and grapefruit juice, an ideal drink to sip on while enjoying live music every Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday night.

This article originally appeared in the October/November 2017 print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“The Guide: A Day in Tin Hau”).

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