Whether you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day or looking for a just-because night out on the town, Hong Kong is full of romantic restaurants.
Casual date spots
1. Pici Central
A new address from the Pirata Group – also behind Pirata, The Optimist and TokyoLima – Pici Central touched down in late 2017 in a cozy location just across from PMQ. Showcasing an open kitchen and an assortment of seating arrangements, the new space is much larger than the original Wan Chai address. But they have at least one thing in common: fresh pasta that’s handmade daily.
We love chef Andrea Viglione’s truffle-topped tagliolini, classic lasagna and mushroom-stuffed plin ravioli. But the best way to experience Pici is with a set pasta menu.
For just $280 a person you can share two appetizers, three pastas, and two desserts. Tack on a pair of negronis or a carafe of wine, and you’re still well under the $1,000 mark, making this one of the top casual date spots in town.
24-26 Aberdeen Street, Central, 2755 5233
Opened in 2016, Bizou joined the Dining Concept Group with an atmospheric location in Pacific Place Mall. Helmed by celebrated chef Magnus Hansson, the restaurant channels an American brasserie vibe with white-tiled walls, vintage light fixtures and wood furniture.
Following suit, the pared-back menu focuses on fresh and simple ingredients. Favourites include juicy filets ($368), wagyu burgers ($148), a herb-marinated whole chicken ($368) and a meringue-topped key lime tart.
Better yet, famed mixologist J. Boroski designed the bar menu, so you know the cocktails are going to be top-notch. We’d recommend the “Back to the Past”, made with marshmallow-infused whisky and Belgian chocolate, to ensure sparks fly all night.
Shop 132, L1, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, 2871 0775
3. Sijie Sichuan
We’ll be the first to admit that Sijie Sichuan Restaurant’s no-frills decor doesn’t immediately strike you as a conventional Valentine’s Day choice. But this Sichuan-style private kitchen in Causeway Bay will be love at first bite.
Spicy food lovers will drool over the hearty, numbing Sichuan menu, which covers staples such as spicy cold noodles, cucumber with hot and sour sauce, fried green beans with minced pork, and fish braised in chilli oil. Keep the chilled Tsingtao beers flowing and this could very well become your date spot of choice.
10/F, Bartlock Centre, 3 Yiu Wa St., Causeway Bay, 2802 2250
4. Thai Dao
Bang at the water’s edge on Sha Ha Beach, you’ll find charming Thai Dao barbecue restaurant. The open-air address checks all the box for a casual date – think cozy decor, fresh air, and soft lighting. Although you won’t see much of the sea view in the evening, the fairy lights twinkling from the outdoor canopy add a romantic touch to the atmosphere.
Prepared by Thai Chefs, the authentic Thai menu leans heavily towards seafood and meat dishes, many of which are ideal for sharing.
Our favourite? The deep-fried soft shell crab, which comes generously seasoned with shallots, garlic and red chilli flakes ($428). Don’t leave without trying the mango sticky rice drizzled with coconut milk ($68) – a sweet way to cap off the evening.
G/F, 9 Sha Ha Village, Tai Mong Tsai Road, Sai Kung, 2792 6189
5. Cull ‘N Pistol
In Sai Wan Ho, Cull ‘N Pistol greets diners with neo-nautical interiors and a relaxed, alfresco setting. Channeling all things New England, the casual restaurant specializes in seafood: look for a raw bar with a daily selection of oysters, as well as signatures such as New England clam chowder ($88) and a family-style clambake ($399).
If you’re here on Valentine’s Day, kick things off with a bottle of Champagne and tempura-battered oysters with caviar. Next up, starters like crispy calamari and prawn basket ($138) or lobster bouillabaisse ($88) should go down easy. As for mains, we’d recommend the beer-battered New Zealand Hoki Fish and Chips ($158) or braised Wagyu beef cheek ($198).
Site A, 55 Tai Hong Street, Lei King Wan, Sai Wan Ho, 2513 0199
6. The Conservatory
Just opened in 2017, The Conservatory elevates Sai Kung’s dining scene with high-quality Mediterranean and pan-Asian cuisine in a pretty colonial setting – think tropical wallpaper and old-school ceiling fans.
The Sai Kung Square address is part of the Enoteca group – run by Clearwater Bay-based couple Robert Cooper and Kim Minards – which counts Iberico & Co, Cicada, and several eponymous eateries among its ever-growing stable.
At The Conservatory, dishes are designed for sharing. We’d recommend the homemade, thin-crust pizza (from $118) or mains like grilled snapper ($88) and Moroccan-spiced lamb cutlets ($128).
For those keen to sample a wider assortment of dishes, the restaurant provides two helpful set menus: A “White Wine” platter or “Red Wine” platter (both $248). Intended to be enjoyed with your favourite bottle, the menus include a handful of signature starters and mezze plates.
26 Wan King Path, Sai Kung, 2792 1105
A little splurge
7. Caprice Bar
Nobody does romantic quite like the Four Seasons. But if you’re not quite up for a lengthy dinner at Caprice restaurant, head instead to Caprice Bar – adjacent to the main dining room.
In this cozy corner, couples can luxuriate in the intimate setting, while admiring the harbour views and perusing the tome of a wine list. Look for unusual French wines and Champagnes, paired with the restaurant’s famous cheese platters.
If you’re craving something more substantial, the classic French bistro fare should sate your appetite with Classic Lobster Caesar Salad ($350) Gillardeau oysters ($340) and cooked pata negra croque-monsieur with black truffle ($480).
6/F, Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, 8 Finance St, Central, 3196 8888
8. Restaurant + Bar Umami
An intimate spot inside Le Meridien hotel, in Cyberport, Restaurant + Bar Umami serves up authentic Japanese cuisine in a sophisticated setting.
Inside, diners can cozy up to the oval-shaped sushi bar or one of the intimate tables. But if weather permits, we’d gravitate to the romantic outdoor terrace where a shaded Japanese garden and koi pond await.
Named after the savory fifth taste, Umami restaurant excels in sashimi and refined udon noodles, alongside a few western dishes for good measure.
Favourites include thick slices of glistening fatty tuna ($450), teppanyaki beef with fried garlic ($440), and Japanese congee with lobster ($260). Round out the experience with a house sake or creative cocktail – like a “saketini” made with sake, lychee liqueur and fresh lychee ($95).
4/F, Le Meridien Cyberport, 100 Cyberport Road, Pok Fu Lam, 2980 7406
9. Shelter Italian Bar and Restaurant
Hovering above the madding crowds of Causeway Bay, Shelter Italian Bar & Restaurant is so romantic and quiet that it’s hard to believe you’re still in Hong Kong. In this secret garden sanctuary, you’ll dine on northern Italian classics, such as homemade tagliolini ($238), fresh seafood, prime ribeye ($398), and fresh salads.
This Valentine’s Day, you can make dinner here as fancy or as casual as you like. Keep it simple with some low-key pizzas or treat yourselves to a four-course Valentine’s Day Set Dinner ($1,288 for two). The holiday menu includes a choice of crab cakes, pan-fried turbot, USDA prime sirloin, grilled lobster risotto, and more.
No matter how you celebrate, the meal will be made with super-fresh ingredients – there’s a 42-square-metre garden on site where the restaurant cultivates its herbs, fruits and veg.
7/F, Hysan Place, 500 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay, 2778 8398
10. Chez Raymond de Paris
Those looking for a romantic night out in Sai Kung will appreciate the candles and warm red accents adorning Chez Raymond de Paris. Promising a steak-and wine-fueled experience, owner Raymond Vachaudez – who has managed restaurants in Copenhagen and Lisbon – has designed a convenient four-course Valentine’s Day menu that hits all the sweet spots.
On the menu? Choose from the likes of 36-month aged Spanish pata negra ham and comté cheese, flambeed scallops and lobster, baked razor clams, full-blood wagyu ribeye, roasted quail – plus a “Je T’aime” raspberry mousse cake. At $1,000 per person, the menu also includes a glass of bubbly or a specially crafted Valentine’s mocktail.
Of course, you can’t enjoy a classic French dinner without some French wine to match. Thankfully, Chez Raymond has curated a fantastic wine list with an emphasis on organic and boutique wines from Bordeaux, Burgundy, and the Rhone Valley.
183D, Po Tung Road, Sai Kung, 6484 1400
Big nights out
11. The Ocean by Olivier Bellin
Everywhere you look inside The Ocean, there’s an ogle-worthy detail, from the wave-like artwork to the shell-shaped booths and technicolor fish tanks.
The incredible decor is only matched by the delicious dishes from Chef Olivier Bellin, who hails from Brittany, France. And his talent hasn’t gone unnoticed: the restaurant earned its first Michelin star in 2017.
In the eight-course Valentine’s Day menu ($1,588 per person), highlights include French staples like foie gras and pan-seared coral Brittany scallops, alongside the show-stopping “Blue Lagoon” – a lightly cooked blue lobster with curry, apple and grapefruit.
Psst… Couples dining at The Ocean will want to request one of the romantic booths, facing the floor-to-ceiling glass facade. That way, you can soak up the Repulse Bay vistas while savouring every stop on the culinary voyage.
Shop 216, The Pulse, Beach Road 28, Repulse Bay, 2889 5939
Practically a Hong Kong institution, Hugo’s is located inside the Hyatt Regency hotel in the heart of Tsim Sha Tsui. The medieval setting features gilded mirrors, wrought-iron trellises, timber-beamed ceilings, and even a life-size suit of armour that appears to stand guard as you dine on classic European cuisine.
For a romantic date night, start with some freshly shucked oysters ($72 per piece) and a browse of the Christofle hors d’oeuvres trolley before tucking into the popular tenderloin tartare ($372) or the creamy brandy-spiked lobster bisque ($228).
As a team, you can attempt to conquer the 1-kilo Tomahawk ($1,650) or choose from favourites such as the French duck leg confit ($478), stuffed oxtail ($448), and lobster thermidor (from $728).
And for dessert? Don’t miss the flaming Bombe Alaska (French vanilla, chocolate and raspberry ice cream and meringue; $310), prepared tableside for two.
Lobby Level, Hyatt Regency Hong Kong, 18 Hanoi Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, 3721 7733
Headed up by Executive Chef Agustin Balbi – who has worked at numerous Michelin-starred restaurants in Japan – HAKU (meaning “things from abroad” in Japanese) is one of the most atmospheric restaurants in town.
Hidden behind a noren (fabric door covering), this contemporary and romantic Japanese restaurant feels instantly welcoming, centering around a 12-seat chef’s table where couples can watch the masterful preparation.
Originally from Argentina, Chef Balbi keeps the vibe casual with friendly chat throughout the evening. As each dish arrives, he provides a thoughtful and succinct overview of the preparation and ingredients in each recipe, which makes you appreciate the details all the more.
While you can keep the budget under control by ordering a la carte, we’d highly recommend a splurge on the innovative omakase Japanese set menu (essentially, chef’s choice).
At $1,380 per person, the creative eight-course menu skips from fatty tuna topped with Kristal caviar to a toasted brioche smothered in creamy Hokkaido uni.
Shop OTG04, Ocean Terminal, Harbour City, 3-27 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, 2115 9965
14. Gough’s on Gough
Decked out from top to bottom in Timothy Oulton, Gough’s on Gough is a visual explosion of touchable textures and beautiful furniture. The two-story space packs a big personality reminiscent of Gatsby-era glamor with its black-and-white marble floors, leather couches, and brass accents.
But the real calling card at Gough’s on Gough is the modern British cuisine, conceived by Chef Aaron Rhodes. The seven-course Valentine’s Day menu ($2,598 per person) is an ideal way to mark the holiday, featuring elegant dishes such as foie gras with plum, asparagus with truffle dressing, Norwegian cod with seaweed, chicken with lemon and thyme, and a sweet berry dessert.
15 Gough Street, Central, 2473 9066
15. Frantzén’s Kitchen
The first international venture from acclaimed Nordic Chef Björn Frantzén, Frantzén’s Kitchen has carved out quite the niche: Nordic cuisine with Asian influence and French techniques.
In Hong Kong, Chef Jim Löfdahl runs the show and his short but sweet menu provides a fantastic gastronomic adventure. The dishes that will stick with you are the oozy truffle and aged cheese French Toast ($125), the apple and lingonberry macaron ($60), and even a hot pot-inspired dish of wagyu, truffle, cabbage and cauliflower ($245).
The best seats in the house are at the open kitchen, where you can watch the chefs prepare each dish with laser-like precision. From this central perch, you’ll also have a great view of the unusual bar, which comes stocked with Nordic gins, whiskies and lengthy list of boutique French wines.
11 Upper Station St, Sheung Wan
16. CÉ LA VI
A three-in-one concept – with a lavish harbour-facing restaurant, rooftop SkyBar, and nightclub – CE LA VI offers something for every type of couple.
Come for the romantic sunset cocktails on the rooftop and stay for the sophisticated Japanese-inspired cuisine by Executive Chef Phillip Pak downstairs.
This Valentine’s Day eight-course set menu ($1,488 for two) will spoil you with dishes such as a sashimi and oyster platter, snow crab soup, lobster in shiso salsa, Angus beef striploin, sake-soy okra, and a lychee Champagne mousse for dessert.
25/F, California Tower, 30 D’Aguilar Street, Central, 3700 2300