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Words: Katy Wong

If you had swung through Quarry Bay five years ago, you’d have been hard-pressed to find anything other than office towers and residential blocks. Of late, the area has hit its stride, leaving its straitlaced reputation behind. Quarry Bay is now a refreshing alternative to busy SoHo – the momentum started after Tong Chong Street Market, the city’s most popular farmers’ market, touched down in 2015. Since then, the neighbourhood has seen a slew of buzz-worthy openings, from restaurants to art galleries.

 

Hoi Hwong Street

If you love boutique retail experiences and browsing through thoughtful concepts with personality, make a beeline for this up-and-coming shopping street. At bijou fashion boutiques like L’Strawberry and Suri Collection, you’ll find everything from comfy ballet flats to contemporary work outfits, Japanese brands and jewellery. Alternatively, ride the K-wave over to Blossoms HK, where milky pink interiors set the scene for trendy Korean clothing, accessories and more.

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Yick Cheong Building

Colossal and riotously colourful, this imposing residential complex is known colloquially as “the monster building”. The structure became a social media sensation after it appeared in the 2014 box office hit Transformers: Age of Extinction. Following the Instagram overload, the management has banned visitors from photographing the iconic structure, but it’s still worth a peek to see what the fuss is all about – just be respectful of the people who live there. Built by the government in the 1960s as subsidised public housing, the structure comprises five interconnected blocks, with towers so tall and dense that they pretty much eclipse the sky.

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1046 King’s Road

 

ArtisTree

Don’t let the stuffy office setting turn you off – ArtisTree is one of the most experimental performance spaces in Hong Kong. This multi-purpose theatre enlists local and international artists for dance, digital art, live music, virtual reality experiences and more. This month, ArtisTree has invited musically inclined office workers to perform with celebrity singers in lunchtime concerts as part of the Project After 6: The Pitch programme, which runs from 4–15 July. The finale takes place on 18 July, so mark your calendars for this next-level talent show.

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Para Site

Hidden away in a nondescript commercial building, Para Site is one of the most talked-
about contemporary art galleries in Asia. Founded in 1996, the indie institution has worked with big-name artists and curators, including Oscar Murillo who is shortlisted for this year’s Turner Prize. As part of the gallery’s annual Emerging Curators programme, Shanghai-based curatorial talent Hanlu Zhang will present “The Bicycle Thieves” – an out-of-the-box exhibition that addresses big questions like labour conditions, our relationship with technology and political ambitions. It runs until 1 September.

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New eateries

Quarry Bay wasn’t always known for its food scene, but that’s quickly changing. You can indulge in fresh seafood at The Codfather Oyster and Seafood Bar or enjoy contemporary Korean cuisine at Bib n Hops. But Quarry Bay keeps outdoing itself. Last year, Ask for Alonzo joined the fold, serving up Italian comfort food like truffle fettuccine.

If you have a sweet tooth, make a beeline for Ours Kissa Ten, a new snack booth specialising in premium pineapple buns stuffed with frozen cream in flavours like matcha, strawberry and cheese. Take it from us: they are addictive.

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