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Old is gold: Have you checked out Hong Kong’s heritage restaurants yet?

Hong Kong’s a city of paradoxes, a city where modernity and tradition can cohabit in harmony. No surprise then that among the city’s countless glitzy restaurants, a few have survived from its colonial past and are among the city’s time-honoured favourites.

One of the oldest surviving restaurants in Hong Kong, Jimmy’s Kitchen has been one of the most renowned culinary destinations in town since 1928. Indeed Jimmy’s Kitchen has come a long, long way from its bare-basic structure of the colonial era to an impressive gastronomic landmark of Hong Kong. It has gone down into Hong Kong’s urban legend as the place where more business deals have taken place than any meeting room in the city. Its fares from British-era bangers and mash to Indian dishes and its wine cellars boasting more than 400 bottles of rare vintages are a huge draw for the crowds. Given its legacy it has transcended from being just a restaurant to a place where memories are relived.

Situated over breathtaking views from The Peak, The Peak Lookout is a perfect venue, thanks to both its food and location. The restaurant takes us down the memory lane with its old-world charm and a well-preserved collection of old photos. The restaurant’s humble beginnings date back to 1947 when sedan chairs were the only means of transport for the residents of The Peak. Sedan car carriers would gather at the site of The Peak Lookout as a resting shelter, which was later transformed to the Peak Cafe. In 2001, the site was renovated to its present setting. To this day, it is one of the oldest surviving restaurants in Hong Kong that carries its proud heritage with an elegant and intimate ambiance.

When Giuseppe and Aldo Macchetti first opened La Taverna in 1969, they conceived it as an “islet of Italy away from Italy”. Since then, La Taverna has continued to be a go-to destination for all those in search of authentic Italian food in an authentic Italian setting. Head Chef Marco Bajma says, “Even before I walked into La Taverna, I felt like I was in the high street of my home town. I breathed a real Italian atmosphere.” According to him, the emphasis has always been on remaining faithful to genuine Italian ingredients and Italian tradition. This is inherent in the name itself, which pays homage to their grandmother’s restaurant by the same name in Milan.

The Pawn, located in one of Hong Kong’s most iconic historic sites dating back to 1888, owes its name to the famous Woo Cheong pawnshop which was housed in the same venue. After extensive renovations, The Pawn reopened in 2014, joining hands with renowned British chef Tom Aikens who says, “Our intention is to serve dishes that not only appeal to local diners, but also travellers and foodies. Above all, we want to create a fun dining experience and a relaxed, informal environment.” And that’s just exactly what The Pawn is all about, with its offering of traditional and modern British cuisine across two floors, the bar ‘Botanicals’ and the restaurant ‘Kitchen’.

So have you checked out all the oldest surviving restaurants in Hong Kong yet? If not, now’s the time to head out.


Text: Suchetana Mukhopadhyay
Photos: The Peak Lookout, Jimmy’s Kitchen, The Pawn, La Taverna

2018-01-05T15:53:56+00:00 January 07, 2018|Dining, Taste|