I must admit…I wasn’t that excited to return to Hong Kong. I’d been 5 years prior and I remember it being ‘just another city.’ But, it was Josh’s 31st birthday and we were staying in a new area of town, so I was determined to gain a different perspective on it…and I CERTAINLY DID!
We flew the first Singapore Airlines flight out in the a.m., which took about 4 hours. The flight into HK never disappoints, so be sure to grab a window seat!
After landing, we were slightly disappointed that HK no longer stamps your passport when you go through customs (mine was stamped 5 years ago upon entry/exit). Bummer! We navigated to the taxi line to central, which was much easier than I expected. All the taxi vehicles that go to central are red and line up on the left of the queue. There is also a person there to help with communicating to the driver where you wish to go because most locals in HK speak Cantonese (dialect of Mandarin, Chinese). Fortunately, our Airbnb owners are smart and gave us the address in Chinese characters as well as English. 20 minutes and about $35USD later, we were in the upbeat area of SOHO on Hong Kong island.
Our Airbnb was AMAZING: the owners, the info they provided about the area, the decor/cleanliness, the location… absolutely wonderful. It’s located on a small side street, which was filled with people hanging out and drinking beer on the street when we arrived. Such good vibes.
Check it out if you’re planning to stay on HK island:
The other AMAZING feature of the Airbnb on Peel Street, is that it is located next door to the COOLEST little coffee shop EVER: Peel Street Espresso Bar. The decor, vibe and service are all above par. We went to this place twice, once for espresso (duh) and a cookie, and another morning for breakfast. FYI, the Avo Toast and Banana & Nutella Bagel are DEVINE.
Just down Peel street, there’s also a daily wet market, which boasts fresh meat, vegetables and fruits. We had so much fun just walking around the streets at the market, observing all the people and items for sale.
SOHO is the perfect area to visit, because it’s super close to an abundance of bars, restaurants, malls, the Peak Tram and Lan Kwai Fong (I’ll explain this later). There is also a very large expat population in this region, so much so that, at some points throughout the trip, we forgot we were in China. I was SO in love with the winding, hilly, dirty streets (anything is dirty when you’re coming from Singapore, btw). We couldn’t get enough of just walking around and exploring, although it was SUPER hot in end June.
There are a LOT of happy hour places around SOHO, with really great prices. Otherwise, food and beverage prices are very comparable to Singapore=expensive. After we dropped our bags at the Airbnb, we walked around and found a cute little local pub on Wyndham that brews their own beer called The Tipping Point Brewery Co. Apparently they are Hong Kong’s first brew pub. The Brewery’s lager beer was awesome and the apps we ordered, spicy chicken wings and mini burger sliders, were surprisingly tasty.
After consuming a few beverages, we roamed around the streets until we could check into our Airbnb, take a quick cat nap, and then get ready to rock Josh’s birthday dinner.
After doing a LOT of research, I finally decided on taking Josh to Wooloomooloo Prime, although there are two locations in Singapore. This place did NOT disappoint. Although the price is really steep, the view of the city was epic and the steak was divine, not to mention the 5 different sauces that come with the steaks…OMG. If you’re looking for an impressive, special occasion meal, then this is your place. We spent several hours at Wooloomooloo, enjoying the view, sipping Prosecco and reveling in the fact that we were in the great city of Hong Kong!
Our view from outside. Beautiful.
Broiled Sea Scallops: wrapped in apple wood smoked bacon, served with mango chutney & topped with salmon roe. Delicious.
Tuna & Spanner Crab Tartare: a base of avocado, orange, shallot & coriander topped with sweet spanner crab & sashimi-grade tuna. Finished with sour cream & salmon roe. This was served plain, although we asked for crackers, which complimented it better.
Our FEAST for dinner: We each ordered the 10oz center-cut Filet Mignon, which was HUGE. We totally should’ve shared, but we ended up boxing up half of the steak and taking it home. Additionally, we topped each steak with lump crab meat, which went well. The steaks are served with 4 different sauces: Au Jus, Peppercorn Sauce, Mushroom Sauce and Red Wine Madeira. I loved the Mushroom Sauce, while Josh preferred the Red Wine Madeira. Josh also ordered a Horseradish Cream Sauce, which went really well with the steaks. For our sides, I went total American and ordered a baked potato, while Josh ordered the Sautéed Kipfer Potatoes, which were the BEST!
NOTE: all items are a-la-cart.
It was an unforgettable birthday dinner!
After dinner, we took a taxi back to our Airbnb to drop off our leftover food and have a drink. Then, we took a 10 minute (just under a half mile, 600 meter) walk to go out at the famous Lan Kwai Fong. There was an awesome vibe on these streets with many bars/pubs that were, surprisingly, filled with people and loud music on a Monday night. We had a blast!