Wong Chuk Hang used to sound like somewhere you’d go for a field trip, but thanks to the newly opened South Island Line, the neighborhood is now just a few stations south of Admiralty, making it the hottest place to be in town. Wong Chuk Hang, on the south side of Hong Kong Island, used to be a residential and industrial district — it wasn’t until the noughties that the area was redeveloped into a commercial district with quirky cafes and art galleries converted from old industrial spaces.
More from our neighborhood guide series.
Tucked away in an industrial building, Goodwill Production is a tiny restaurant with a big heart. The restaurant is run by a couple of young people who are passionate about good food, and love to share their love for cooking with others. The eatery serves both Asian and western dishes that are easy on the wallet. Remember to try the signature lobster and seafood risotto ($85).
Room N, 25/F, Block 1, Kingley Industrial Building, 35 Yip Kan Street, Wong Chuk Hang, 2889-6528, www.facebook.com/goodwillproduction.
When you take the MTR exit towards Nam Long Shan Road, you’ll instantly notice an old, two-story building sitting alone in the corner. The Nam Long Shan Road Cooked Food Market is a gem hidden in plain sight: the run-down premise hosts a handful of cha chaan tengs, as well as some of the most authentic, value-for-money Thai restaurants you will find on the island. Green Curry House is one of the few Thai eateries in the cooked food center, serving down-to-earth Thai delicacies including sizzling oyster pancakes, satay and of course, aromatic green curry.
Shop 5, 1/F, Nam Long Shan Road Cooked Food Market, 1 Nam Long Shan Road, Wong Chuk Hang, 9198-5438.
Spend a day in Ocean Park
The largest theme park in Asia, Ocean Park is one proud product of Hong Kong that’s celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. Even though many of its visitors are now from abroad, the marine-themed amusement park is still worth a visit for both adults and kids. For animal lovers, the park is home to various kinds of marine animals, as well as Hong Kong’s three giant pandas. If you’re into adrenaline-pumping rides, don’t miss “Hair Raiser,” Hong Kong first and only floorless roller coaster. The ever-expanding park is expected to unveil its brand new water park and the Hong Kong Ocean Park Marriott Hotel in 2017, so be sure to check them out soon. Oh, and Halloween is quite something else.
Shop for your home
For home decorators, Wong Chuk Hang is full of hidden treasures. The neighborhood’s many industrial buildings provid ample space for furniture and homeware stores, including Mirth, which has opened in an ex-stool factory in a 1960s building. The quirky and colorful store offers a funky collection of globally sourced furnishings and accessories to brighten up your home. Manks, meanwhile, showcases modern Scandinavian designs, introducing the beauty of functional simplicity for those looking for clean and sleek pieces for their home.
Mirth, M/F, BT Centre, 23 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Wong Chuk Hang, 2553-9811, www.mirthhome.com.
Manks, 14/F, Chung Tak Industrial Building, 30 Wong Chuk Hang Road (entrance on Heung Yip Road), Wong Chuk Hang, 2522-2115, www.manks.com.
Browse some art
Also thanks to its industrial history, Wong Chuk Hang is now home to a lot of lofty art galleries, with ample space to showcase all sorts of works. In fact, the many art galleries in the neighborhood have cluttered together to form a South Island Cultural District, organizing regular events to promote the area. One of the galleries is Charbon Art Space, a buzzing multi-purpose space for exhibitions and live performance art shows to bring art-lovers together. If you’re looking for works by aspiring Chinese artists, head to Blindspot Gallery, which is showing an exhibition called “After Party: Collective Dance and Individual Gymnastics” by five artists, who attempt to reveal the complex political tension between ideological control of the state and the expression of individual will.
Charbon Art Space, 8/F, Sing Tek Factory, 44 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Wong Chuk Hang, 6906-2330, www.charbonartspace.com.
Blindspot Gallery, 15/F, Po Chai Industrial Building, 28 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Wong Chuk Hang, 2517-6238, www.blindspotgallery.com.
Sitting on the top floors of one of Wong Chuk Hang’s many industrial buildings, 3/3rds is an unpretentious and charming cafe filled with ample natural light. This is a place where you can spend a whole day: its comfy, plush couches and bright, cheerful settings invite you to stay for breakfast, lunch, read a book or do some work on your laptop, and have yet another cup of coffee. 3/3rds serves a menu of mostly sandwiches, salads and breakfast items, as well as its signature thin-crust pizzas and artisanal coffee.
Two branches, including Unit D, 22/F, Yally Industrial Building, 6 Yip Fat Street, Wong Chuk Hang, 3462-2951, www.three-3rds.com.
Can’t afford to throw a party at your typical Hong Kong shoebox apartment? A private kitchen that also provides catering services, Pomegranate Kitchen has two venues in Wong Chuk Hang that are perfect for hosting parties and events. With both indoor and outdoor spaces, the options are plenty, and the kitchen is also capable of coming up with a full menu from scratch according to your preferences.
4B, 44 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Wong Chuk Hang, 2580-0663, www.pomegranate.com.hk.
The Butchers Club
Treat yo’ self to some in-house dry-aged steaks at The Butchers Club, a private kitchen for true carnivores. Can’t-miss items of course include a certified Angus beef that is custom dry-aged for over 30 days. Besides meat, The Butchers Club also serves fresh seafood like Australian oysters and lobsters from Nova Scotia.
16/F & Rooftop, Shui Ki Industrial Building, 18 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Wong Chuk Hang, 2884-0768, www.thebutchers.club.
Mum Veggie + Coffee + Sweet
If you prefer a holistic dining experience or are looking for a weekend cleanse, check out Mum Veggie + Coffee + Sweet, a small but cozy eatery inside the large office complex One Island South. As you can tell from its name, the restaurant hopes to create vegetarian dishes that remind you of home, just like mama used to make. The dishes here have a strong Japanese influence, but also include western breakfast and brunch items.
G07, G/F, One Island South, 2 Heung Yip Road, Wong Chuk Hang, 2115-3348, www.mum-hk.com.
Young Master Brewery
Where better than to get your drinks straight from the source? Local craft beer brand Young Master Ales can be found on tap in various bars in Hong Kong, but you can also get it straight out of the production line at the brewery in Wong Chuk Hang. The brewery is open to visitors most Saturday afternoons on a first-come-first-served basis, but make sure you drop them an email before making plans to visit. Brewery tours are available.
G/F, Sungib Industrial Centre, 53 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Wong Chuk Hang, 2783-8907, www.youngmasterales.com.
The rooftop bar of the hip Ovolo Southside Hotel, Above literally takes you above Wong Chuk Hang, giving you an aerial view of the contrast between the green from Nam Long Shan and the gray from the industrial buildings. The art-infused bar serves a range of innovative cocktails: perfect for happy hour retreats.
23/F, Ovolo Southside, 64 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Wong Chuk Hang, 3460-8159, www.ovolohotels.com.
Ap Lei Chau
Continue your journey on the South Island Line and you will find yourself in Ap Lei Chau, the second most densely populated island in the world. The insanely crowded island houses a handful of large residential properties and public housing estates, but is also one of the few places where you can still experience what a small fishing village Hong Kong once was. Here you can hop on a sampan to travel across the typhoon shelter, or enjoy seafood freshly caught by local fishermen at the cooked food market.