Born as a sleepy 19th-century mining community, Shek Tong Tsui spent its pre-war adolescence as one of Hong Kong Island’s most glamorous red-light districts before maturing into a bustling 21st-century centre for inventive restaurants, cutting-edge design boutiques and sleek tea shops. Nestled between Sai Ying Pun and Kennedy Town, the diminutive neighbourhood is also home to the brand-new Central and Western District Promenade, a breezy waterfront strip perfect for traffic-free strolls. After snapping photos of the harbour, explorers should seek out these Shek Tong Tsui hotspots.
- Plantation by Teakha
Po Tuck Street, a narrow alley branching off notably steep Hill Road, is cluttered with artsy little businesses. So you’d be forgiven for climbing past the subtle façade of Plantation by Teakha, a delicately decorated tea shop boasting an impressive selection of premium loose-leaf cha. Here, wood shelves are filled with tins of standout flavours like red jade tea with bergamot from Taiwan and a masala chai blend from Assam. Discover your favourite new brew at one of the shop’s tea tastings, or pre-book a workshop to create your own blend.
- New restaurants
With the 2015 opening of the HKU MTR station, a wave of creative eateries launched in a neighbourhood once dominated by classic Cantonese restaurants. Long-time favourites like Po Kee BBQ were joined in the following months by buzzing newcomers like No Milkshake No Life and Jiang’s Hunan Chef. In 2016, COBO House cemented Shek Tong Tsui’s culinary cred with celeb chef Janice Wong’s whimsical take on Italian-Korean fusion. Next came BlackSalt Tavern – offering a unique mix of South Asian cuisines and craft beers – and TFVSJS. Opened by the eponymous rock band, this design shop and café serves up fresh gin cocktails, Mediterranean dishes and sweet tunes.
- Hotel Jen
When the dusty old Traders Hotel was converted into an upbeat Hotel Jen in 2014, it gave globetrotting, plugged-in millennials an affordable home in Shek Tong Tsui. Ideally located at the intersection of Queens Road West and Hill Road, the hotel features bright, airy rooms, speedy WiFi and a rooftop pool with an expansive view of the harbour.
- Queens Road West
Despite the neighbourhood’s recent boom in cosmopolitan shopping and eating, Shek Tong Tsui’s traditional storefronts haven’t all been replaced by hipster hangouts. Wander along the main drag of Queens Road West to get a feel for the centuries-old community and its rich culture, emblemised by streetside butchers, treasure-filled knick-knack shops, aromatic Chinese bakeries, busy metalwork garages and steam-filled noodle cafés. Be sure to dip into Shek Tong Tsui Market, where you’ll find rows of technicolour tropical fruits and flowers.
Shoppers seeking rare items from indie designers will love the curated collection of goods at Ethos. This lifestyle shop displays a melange of accessories, clothing and décor in a gallery-like space. Displayed against stark white walls, minimalist luggage, monotone rainwear and ceramic tableware are elevated to objets d’art. Look for magnetic clip-on sunglasses from local brand Pow! Eyewear, eco-friendly diffusers from Taiwanese brand Green Idea and Japanese-inspired jewellery from Hong Kong-based Atelier Hon’ne.