For those dreaming of crystal blue Italian waters, the beaches of the French Riviera, and the sounds of Spanish islands this summer, we are sorry 2020 has been such an absolute cluster of a year so far. We will travel again! And when we do get to travel to these places once again, the things we took for granted on holidays of years gone by will taste SO much sweeter. Here’s to hoping that time comes soon.
So this summer while we, travel-loving Hongkongers, cannot breathe that crisp European fresh air, enjoy those late evenings, and feel the sand surround our toes on those beautiful beaches, we can at least enjoy the incredible tastes and flavours of the Euro-summer right here at the amazing restaurants and bars we have right here in Hong Kong.
Below is our guide for experiencing a European summer day in the 852. Let’s make the most of the incredible city we live in. Enjoy your summer, and don’t forget to share your foodie moments with us at Dishtag.
The morning of any continental European summer day has to start with a croissant. Still beautifully warm as it comes out of the oven, with a crunchy outside and a buttery inside. Then the big questions arrive: sweet or savoury? Do you add cheese, ham or maybe even a cheeky slice salami from the buffet? Or do you go with the sweet jam or naughty Nutella options?
The Limewood down at Repulse has gone for the sweet options when it comes to its own twist on the croissant: wild honey, peanut butter & coconut spread, and a spicy pineapple and papaya jam. A lovely way to start a day down at the beach, or a little treat after a hike over Violet Hill to Repulse. And if you do a have preference for savoury, the weekend and public holiday breakfast menu includes bacon and egg roti and a Spanish huevos rancheros with eggs, beans & chill if you want to kickstart your summer’s day with some spice.
After a morning soaking up the Euro-sun and having a morning dip in the Med, theres nothing your taste buds want more than a salty, fried seafood lunch, And maybe an ice cold birra. While you may not quite feel like your dining in a European culture when you are dining out in Wan Chai, these fried calamari at Pirata look as good as you will get in any (overpriced) Euro-diner. Check them out and enjoy the roof terrace for this Italian experience on Hennessey.
The Euro-afternoon generally involves a snooze on the beach. A book. Maybe a stroll. Even a swim. Then…the very important, even compulsory ice cream. Will it be French glacé, Spanish helado or Italian gelato? Or what about a completely new twist on the ice cream with this cornetto from Plat du Jour: perfect for the high paced HK lifestyle as inside the chocolate waffle cone there’s an espresso instead of ice cream! Pacific Place may not provide an ideal cultural venue for a “local French bistrot”, but eating in one of the great bistrots here in HK is probably the closest we are going to get to the Parisian experience this summer. Plus PP is a great venue for lunch, and it has AC, so a perfect spot to keep your ice cream cool to avoid those annoying ice cream drips you would have on the beach.
The ice cream has been devoured, you’re rested, you’ve showered, refreshed, and ready to make the most of the Euro-summer long evening. What a better way than to start the evening with an Aperol spritz and sunset. Forget the “piazza”, Hong Kong has Peel Street. And this gorgeous looking Aperol at Fineprint would take some beating by any Euro bartender. You may not quite be able to watch the sunset on the packed streets in Soho, but the vibe down on Peel is probably the closest Hong Kong has to the Euro-atmosphere.
Before dinner there’s obviously some time to eat something else. I mean, let’s keep this holiday vibe going. Tapas is key to any perfect holiday evening. Such an incredible invention! We are blessed with an exceptional tapas spot in the 852 in the shape of Pica Pica, and we featured their paella as a must try (Photography Credits: Pica Pica). We are also excited for the re-opening of 22 Ships on Ship Street. But if theres one tapas venue that can get us through the lack of actually being close to the music of the Balearics this summer, it has to be Cassio. Starting your night at Cassio rather than ending it there may be a better idea for some, so why not kick off your Euro-evening with tapas happy hour on the terrace. It may be just the remedy you need to get the rest of your evening kicking.
A holiday dinner for kings and queens
Is there a better way to finish your Euro-summer day than with a dinner fit for Kings and Queens? Freshly caught lobster madam? Yes please. Glass of wine? Make it a bottle, we are on holiday! By the look of this quite royal photo of the “famous” Giant Macaroni from Fishteria down in Kennedy Town, this would most definitely be a memorable dish to cap a day full of Euro-delights. You could even finish your evening with a “passeggiata” down the K-Town waterfront to close proceedings in a true holiday fashion…
And why not. You are on holiday ! This Four Fox Sake cocktail with frozen honeydew melon balls at Dragonfly would definitely be a twist on the Euro-nightcap, but 2020 has been so full of twists and turns, why not let it continue. And its great to see (announced on 20 June) that “live bands are back” in the garden area of this cool Tai Kwun spot as Hong Kong re-opens. Why not close your Euro-summer evening as you would do on the riviera with a sing and a dance? And take in some of the very best Hong Kong culture right here in the 852.
For those who love travelling to Europe, you know you will be back again. For now, let’s cherish these sunny days and enjoy the European foodie delights that we have right here on our doorstep. And don’t forget to share your Euro-summer foodie moments with us on the Dishtag app.